Plautdietsch, or Mennonite Low German, was originally a Low Prussian variety of East Low German, with Dutch influence, that developed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Vistula delta area of Royal Prussia, today Polish territory. The word is the form, in that language, of Plattdeutsch (Low German). Plaut is the same word as German platt or Dutch plat, meaning 'flat' or 'low' but formerly meaning 'intelligible', and the name Dietsch corresponds etymologically to Dutch Duits and German Deutsch (both meaning "German"), which originally meant 'ordinary language' in all the continental West Germanic languages.
The language (or groups of dialects of Low German) is spoken by over 300,000 Mennonites (Russian Mennonites), most notably in the Latin American countries of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Honduras, Belize, and Argentina, as well as in the United States and Canada (particularly Manitoba and Saskatchewan). They are members of a religious group that originally fled from Holland and Belgium in the 16th century to escape persecution and eventually resettled in these areas. They introduced and developed their particular East Low German dialect, the so-called Weichselplatt, while they came to and lived in the Vistula delta area, beginning in the early-to-mid 16th century. These colonists from the Low Countries were especially welcome there because of their experience with and knowledge of land reclaiming and making polders. As Mennonites they kept their own (primarily Dutch and Low-German) identity, using their Dutch/Low German language. Their East Low German dialect is still classified as Low Prussian, or simply Prussian. All Mennonites including Russian Mennonites trace their roots to the Low Countries and north Germany.
Beginning in the late 18th century, the expanding Russian Empire invited Germans and many from the Kingdom of Prussia, including many Mennonites, left and created new colonies north of the Black Sea in an area that Russia had recently acquired in one of the Russo-Turkish Wars but which is now situated in present-day Ukraine as well as other countries. Many Mennonites migrated to Canada the United States, and a great majority took to Latin America - especially south Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay; most of them live as rural settlers and have added some Spanish and Portuguese words to their own language due to the strong influence of the cultures surrounding them in those regions.
Today Plautdietsch is spoken in two major dialects that trace their division to Ukraine. These two dialects are split between the New Colony and Old Colony Mennonites. Many younger Russian Mennonites in Canada and the United States today speak only English. For example, Homer Groening, the father of Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons), spoke Plautdietsch as a child in Saskatchewan in the 1920s, but his son Matt never learned the language.
In 2007, Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas directed the film Stellet Lijcht (Silent Light), set in a Mennonite community in Chihuahua, Mexico. Most of the film's dialogue is in Plautdietsch.
Other articles related to "plautdietsch language, plautdietsch":
... The Lord's Prayer in Plautdietsch, another form of Low German and Dutch ... Plautdietsch Low German Dutch Ons Voda em Himmel, Uns Vadder in'n Heven, Onze Vader, die in de hemel zijt, lot dien Nome jeheilicht woare laat ...
Famous quotes containing the word language:
“My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isnt just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where youve got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words arent only bombs and bulletsno, theyre little gifts, containing meanings!”
—Philip Roth (b. 1933)