Keeping the Pennsylvania Dutch language alive - and thriving
"“It’s actually considered the fastest-growing small-minority language in the United States,” said Patrick Donmoyer, director of Kutztown University’s Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Berks County.
But outside “plain” communities in the state and beyond, Pennsylvania Dutch is becoming rarer."
When will Duolingo add Pennsylvania Dutch? (just kidding)
The spatial dimensions of this language are spread far outside the confines of Pennsylvania; it is a growing language in many states including Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Delaware and Kentucky.
When I lived in Indiana, many of my coworkers were Amish and spoke Pennsylvania Dutch as a first language, some of these L1 speakers only have moderate English proficiency. When you consider that your average Amish family has upwards of 6 kids per couple, and their kids also end up having large families, it is no surprise that this language is among the fastest growing in the United States. As farmland continues to get subdivided into smaller plots, and as the Amish grow, they are bringing Pennsylvania Dutch to new parts of the country.
Some people on this forum might treat this language as a joke, but it is far from it. It would make an excellent addition to Duolingo, I would use it in a heartbeat to be able to communicate with my neighbors and coworkers.
I live in Pennsylvania and I'm surrounded by an abundance of Pennsylvania-Dutch speaking Amish and are close friends of some of them and I agree with Michael_Sautter it would be cool to add this language to Doulingo. Then again It does not really matter, it would just be cool. :)
Its the only minority language not in danger of dying. Amish still have families with 3+ kids and are a self sufficient group, population is growing at a steady rate.
I'm doing a project in an area of Indiana with a good size Amish population. Their english is of course perfect, also very polite folks kids are so well behaved. Not sure the benefit of a non Amish learning the language outside greetings. As i said their english is flawless better then most peoples english in America.