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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."

http://www.Philly.com/philly/news/459323183.html .

When will Duolingo add Pennsylvania Dutch? (just kidding)

November 23, 2017



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. :)


The Pennsylvania Dutch course could have a cool flag. As long as Duolingo uses the license plate flag and not the official flag.

Let's also not forget that Duolingo is based out of Pittsburgh, so this request really isn't all that farfetched.


Imagine what it's like being a Dutch (from the Netherlands) person moving to Pennsylvania, and being asked time and again if I speak any Pennsylvania Dutch.


After they have added Finnish, Icelandic, Uzbek and Mongolian of course!


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.


Here in Pennsylvania I have encountered many Amish (and conservative Mennonite) people who have very so-so English. I find men have been taught English to a higher level than women typically have.


Cool stuff and cool culture!


You have to love the guy they found to ask the question to. I'd really enjoy asking him how he qualifies it as the "Fastest-growing small-minority" language in America. Pennsylvania, I'd be able to swallow easier but America as a whole? ;)


Yes as a whole, world wide.

America's freedoms protects groups like this. The rest of the world treats groups like this terrible. In multiple nations small minority groups are being wiped out via 'progress', government forced interaction, or brutal forced conversion to a certain religion (happening in Indonesia right now).

This includes European nations that force all kids to attend public schools. Part of the reason Americas Amish community is doing so well is the home school freedom, a very rare right in this world of wicked power hungry governments.


I think you missed the joke in my comment. I was asking how the "Director of Kutztown University’s Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Berks County." Knows that this minority language in particular is the fastest growing one in the ENTIRETY of America.


You're right, my bad a rare miss


Not a problem! Happy learning with your Spanish!

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