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Allen Spiker German Russian Dialect Tapes

Spiker

Allen Spiker

The German language of the German Russians in North Dakota is unique. The language developed in the foreign environment of the Russian colonies and later in the United States. Allen Spiker, a North Dakota native and a descendant himself of German Russian immigrants, undertook in the 1970s as part of his German linguist education to document this rapidly disappearing language. He conducted sound recordings across North Dakota typically with the oldest generation of German Russians who learned German as their first language and still actively used German in their communities and homes. Mr. Spiker’s research helps answer how the language developed, how heavily influenced was it by Russian and English, and did German dialects still exist in the German Russian communities of North Dakota. The results of his work are an important aspect in documenting the culture and heritage of what is today the largest ethnic group in North Dakota.