Non-native minority languages (USA)

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mikemmlj
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14 May 2009, 4:13 am

Are you aware that there are several non-native minority language groups in the USA?

1. Spanish is the most obvious choice, some families in my own state of New Mexico go back hundreds of years. Although there are several different sub-culture forms of Spanish in Texas, New Mexico, and California.

2. Cajun French spoken in Louisiana is widely known with some parishes (counties) in Louisiana having 20-30 percent of people speak Cajun French daily. But did you also know that the number of Acadian French speakers is growing in the North East US as French Canadians migrate south? Some cities in Northern Maine are over 80 percent French speaking!

3. Did you know that Jersey Dutch (a form of Dutch) was spoken from the time the Dutch settled New Amsterdam until the mid twentieth century? There are still communities in the midwest that hold monthly church services in Dutch.

4. Pennsylvania Dutch is well known as a variant of German spoken by the Amish in parts of the US. But did you know that 6 percent of elementary school education was conducted in German prior to WWI?

5. There was a unique langauage spoken by African Americans along the coastal Carolinas until as late as the 1960's. Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay still has it's own unique accent that is only now starting to die out.

Thanks for letting me share one of my 'special interests" it is a lot of fun for me....and there is so much More: Did you know Sweden had a colony in what is now the US? Vikings may have explored parts of New England? The Danes used to own the US Virgin Islands?


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14 May 2009, 9:21 am

mikemmlj wrote:
3. Did you know that Jersey Dutch (a form of Dutch) was spoken from the time the Dutch settled New Amsterdam until the mid twentieth century? There are still communities in the midwest that hold monthly church services in Dutch.

I had never heard of this actually. The name Jersey Dutch though is not terribly surprising; many place names in north Jersey and southern New York come from Dutch (e.g., the very common suffix -kill to denote a creek or river, and the Tappan Zee just to name the first few instances to come to mind)


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14 May 2009, 9:35 am

mikemmlj wrote:
Are you aware that there are several non-native minority language groups in the USA?

1. Spanish is the most obvious choice, some families in my own state of New Mexico go back hundreds of years. Although there are several different sub-culture forms of Spanish in Texas, New Mexico, and California.

2. Cajun French spoken in Louisiana is widely known with some parishes (counties) in Louisiana having 20-30 percent of people speak Cajun French daily. But did you also know that the number of Acadian French speakers is growing in the North East US as French Canadians migrate south? Some cities in Northern Maine are over 80 percent French speaking!

3. Did you know that Jersey Dutch (a form of Dutch) was spoken from the time the Dutch settled New Amsterdam until the mid twentieth century? There are still communities in the midwest that hold monthly church services in Dutch.

4. Pennsylvania Dutch is well known as a variant of German spoken by the Amish in parts of the US. But did you know that 6 percent of elementary school education was conducted in German prior to WWI?

5. There was a unique langauage spoken by African Americans along the coastal Carolinas until as late as the 1960's. Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay still has it's own unique accent that is only now starting to die out.

Thanks for letting me share one of my 'special interests" it is a lot of fun for me....and there is so much More: Did you know Sweden had a colony in what is now the US? Vikings may have explored parts of New England? The Danes used to own the US Virgin Islands?


cool post.
being a norwegian, and 17th of may coming up, and usa having _more_ norwegians than norway, ive grown fascinated by the linguistic traints that are kept, such as certain accents, and "uff da" or simply "da" or saying "yes" in a more "ja"-ish way.

about minority languages, norway has lappish/saami/sapmi, a finno-ugric language in the north. everyone knows ABOUT the saami, but nobody gives a s**t. sometimes i feel kinda bad about it, because it is a language that has always been a part of the scandinavian peninsula's northern regions (as well as closely related languages in finland, estonia and karelia)

i know NOTHING of saami, i know that norway is "norga" in saami, as opposed to "norge" in norwegian. and thats all :(


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mikemmlj
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14 May 2009, 2:17 pm

My Psychiatrist asked if I was Scandanavian when I first went to him, I said no i'm Dutch. He said Asperger's Syndrome is a very Dutch/Scandanavian/Baltic States condition. Have you heard this? Saami (Laplanders I guess is not a nice word) people remind me of Canadian/Alaskan Innuit tribes (Eskimos). You will notice that my signature line is a quote from C.S. Lewis borrowed from Norse mythology. Are you familiar with the Old Norse language at all?


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14 May 2009, 5:14 pm

mikemmlj wrote:
5. There was a unique langauage spoken by African Americans along the coastal Carolinas until as late as the 1960's. Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay still has it's own unique accent that is only now starting to die out.

Are you referring to the Gullah? I read a book about them and used to be very interested.



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14 May 2009, 5:27 pm

Yes, the one that was described in #5 is the Gullah (sometimes called Geechee) language.


Yiddish was the primary language spoken by Jews entering the country via Ellis Island, and several of the Yiddish newspapers are still being produced. It's still the majorly spoken language in Hassidic communities. In Kiryas Joel, a village in an NYC exurb, 89% of the population speak Yiddish at home and of those individuals, 46% speak little or no English.


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