Linguistic Map of the Volga German Mother Colonies
by Professor Georg Dinges, University of Saratov, 1923
Dialect interviews were conducted using Wenker sentences in the 1920s in the mother colonies of the former Volga German Autonomous Republic by interested teachers and scholars. The maps of their transcribed data are found in print in the Wolgadeutscher Sprachatlas (WdSA).
A principal researcher of the Volga German dialects was Professor Georg Dinges. He was the founding force behind the WdSA project. He also wrote articles about the Volga German dialects to affirm their value in a time of severe pressure to not only assimilate to the Russian language, but also to conform more to the standard German language found in books. The Volga German map published here accompanied his article Über unsere Mundarten "About Our Dialects".
The genius of Dinges' map is that his system of combined colors and shapes visually simplifies the complexities of dialect identification. Sometimes it takes many pieces of data to make a reasonable determination.
Dinges' map should be of interest to the descendants of the Volga German immigrants to Kansas and elsewhere who are interested in the dialects of their ancestors who were in Russia from the late 18th century to the late 19th century.
Dinges also adapted an early 20th century map of German Dialects for this article to show where the Volga German dialect features found in Russia might be found in Germany.
Click on the map to open a new window with the full-sized map. If you have Internet Explorer 7.x or Mozilla Firefox 1.5.x or newer, you can then click on the map to zoom into a particular point on the map. Internet Explorer 6.x users have an option to expand out the whole map then scroll around.
This Linguistic Map of the Volga German Mother Colonies (Map #30) is available in print from the
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
This image of the map is posted here with their permission.
Last Updated August 20, 2009