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Vilamovian language - now that's something interesting


McCoy 27 | 1,275
28 Aug 2010 #1
Vilamovian or Wilamowicean (Wymysiöeryś) is a West Germanic language spoken in the small town of Wilamowice (Wymysoj in Vilamovian) near Bielsko-Biała, on the border between Silesia and Lesser Poland in the historical region of Galicia. At present, there are about 70 native users of Vilamovian, the majority of them elderly people; Vilamovian is therefore a moribund language.

In origin, Vilamovian appears to derive from 12th century Middle High German, with a strong influence from Low German, Dutch, Frisian, Polish and Old English. The inhabitants of Wilamowice are thought to be descendants of German, Dutch and Scottish settlers who arrived in Poland in the 13th century. However, the inhabitants of Wilamowice always denied any connections with Germany and proclaimed their Dutch origins.

MareGaea 29 | 2,752
28 Aug 2010 #2
So you see, the Dutch are everywhere :)

>^..^<

M-G (even in PL!)
OP McCoy 27 | 1,275
28 Aug 2010 #3
Dutch are everywhere

holland.org.pl/index_en.htm
Softsong 5 | 495
16 Oct 2010 #4
Turns out my "so-called" Germans are also mainly Frisian, Dutch and Flemish. They were from the Russian partition, but had been in the Gdańsk area and moved down the Vistula. They were invited to Poland by the nobles to help reclaim swampy land. They were first subjects of Prussia, then Poland and then Russia.

Their language was similar to this one. Like Vilamovian, it is also almost a dead language. It was called Niederung Platt and it turns out that when they were expelled to Germany, they could understand the Flemish housekeeper perfectly. They no longer had their records from 300 years back, but the oral history said they were of Dutch origins. I really enjoy learning about languages and how they developed. Thanks for posting.
jonni 16 | 2,485
16 Oct 2010 #5
Check out the SEARCH function - there have been three of four threads on wymysorys, one of them very recently.

One interesting thing is that it's supposed to be mutually intelligible with NE Scots dialects.
Softsong 5 | 495
16 Oct 2010 #6
Really? Had not seen those threads, but did notice this one.

So, I am happy McCoy posted. Maybe they will merge them someday. :-)

Yes, I was surprised to also learn that that Scot dialect is also I believe a low German derivative. There was so much trade going on between all these areas and the low German language of the Hanseatic Trade League was used a lot like English is today.
delphiandomine 87 | 18,433
12 Jan 2021 #7
I found this video a while ago - it's of a presumably native speaker speaking, and I can barely understand a word he says.

youtu.be/UtNiVX7ofDM

It's fascinating - if I didn't know better, I'd assume it was Dutch or Swiss German!

Has anyone been to Wilamowice/Wymysoü?
pawian 176 | 14,293
12 Jan 2021 #8
and I can barely understand a word he says.

Yes, it is Dutch to me. it was like listening to a Turkish sermon.
Lyzko 28 | 7,001
12 Jan 2021 #9
An old saying goes something like this, "Good butter and good cheese is good English and good Fries". While I've no tangible personal knowledge of the language which is the topic of this thread, linguists have theorized that modern West Frisian, still spoken in sections of Northern Germany, is the closest extant tongue to present-day English.


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