Mennonite Low German Church in
Sublette, KS
The Low German Mennonite Church in Sublette, Kansas.

Chihuahua, Mexico Low German Dialects in Kansas

Research conducted by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
at the University of Kansas

Since the early 1990s, Low German-speaking immigrants have been moving to southwest Kansas from the State of Chihuahua in Mexico.  These immigrants are Old Colony Mennonites who came to Mexico from Manitoba early in the 20th century.  They have come to Kansas to escape extreme poverty in Mexico.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have begun to gather Low German dialect samples from these immigrants as part of the Linguistic Atlas of Kansas German project.   First contact was made in March, 2000, with two families who came north from the town of Cuauhtémoc, a city of 120,000, located about 250 miles south-southwest of El Paso, Texas in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Since these speakers speak very little English or standard German, they pose a unique challenge as we try to solicit translations for our Atlas of Kansas German Questionnaire.

These sound samples are selected translations from the Atlas of Kansas German Questionnaire. They are in .mp3 format. The informant is a female Mennonite Low German speaker:

This study of Chihuahua, Mexico Low German dialects in Kansas is supported in part by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, a non-profit cultural organization encouraging the appreciation of history, heritage, and values.

The project team would also like to recognize the Bukovina Society of the Americas for their support with this project.

This page was last updated on November 16, 2001.