Rare Dialect Dying in US: Texas-German?

Last speakers in their 60s, as professor tries to preserve it

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2013 7:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another unique American dialect is fading into obscurity, and it's a safe bet that most never knew it existed in the first place: "Texas German." It's so unusual that University of Texas linguist professor Hans Boas tells the BBC he has "found no two speakers that speak roughly alike." And that's after recording 800 hours of interviews with the descendents of Germans who moved to Texas five or six generations ago.

Boas says the dialect has its origins in several regions of Germany, and has a smattering of English mixed in. It's a linguist's delight. The problem is that the dialect is no longer being passed down from generation to generation, and the youngest speakers are now generally in their mid-60s. Which explains why Boas is so busy making recordings. For more on the project to preserve the dialect, visits its website.

  (Shutterstock)
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The BBC video offers samples of Texas German.   (BBC)

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