Is Texas German a dying language form?

Published 17th May 2013
post thumbnail

Over 150 years ago, in Texas it would have been normal to encounter a German-speaking community, with thriving schools, churches and businesses around the hill country between Austin and San Antonio. The number of speakers of the Texas German language has slowly begun to dwindle over the years though as a result of generations not keeping up the tradition of teaching their children this dialect. The world war of course played a big part in the decline of the language as tensions between the US and Germany were evident and this combined with less emphasis on younger generations learning the language of their ancestors means that Texas German could well be in danger of dying out completely.

Endangered languages are not unusual. In fact recent press has suggested that around half of the world’s 7,000 languages are endangered. There are different levels of endangerment, however the statistics for Texas German do not inspire much confidence. According to the Houston Chronicle “only about 8,000 people speak Texas German now, down from perhaps 150,000 in the 1940s – census data is unclear – and they are almost all older than 60. Virtually no young people speak the language, and it will be dead in 30 years.” Speakers of these endangered languages are coming up with ways by which to revive the interest in them, with the aim of preventing their extinction, but that is often easier said than done. Campaigns in local schools and publicity to promote the language in the community are two of the main methods of trying to keep the dialects and languages alive. Another option is trying to record people speaking the language so as to build up a resource and prevent these precious parts of culture being erased in the future.

The trouble with Texas German it seems though, is that no two speakers recorded so far appear to speak in exactly the same way. This can apparently be dependent on the exposure each speaker has had to the language and to other languages – namely English – because this can influence how they speak Texas German and adapt the language to fit their personal situations.

Such a fascinating dialect surely calls for wider research and recording so as to avoid the loss of it for future generations. In an ever changing world with each country and community becoming more and more affected by globalisation it would be good to think that dialects like this one will not fall under the radar and that people will be pushing to keep them alive!

Article Name
Is Texas German a dying language form?
The number of speakers of the Texas German language has slowly begun to dwindle over the years. Find out more about this dialect.

Check out some more of our pages...

disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155

Have you ever thought that proofreading was important?

Proofreading Day – 8th March 2018 Have you ever thought that proofreading was important? Maybe not, when in school, it might’ve been unlikely to write an essay and re-read it for mistakes before handing it in to a teacher. But when it comes to business, we think proofreading is very important. We think it’s great that …

Read More

Missing the Olympics? Don’t worry, the Paralympics are on their way!

Missing the Olympics? Don’t worry the Paralympics are on their way!   The opening ceremony for the Paralympics is on Friday!! If it’s anything like the opening ceremony for last month’s Olympics we have a lot to look forward to! The games last from Friday 9th–  Sunday 18th March with 80 Gold medals up for …

Read More
Get a quote today