maitani » posted to maitani and linguistics
“Unserdeutsch” – the only German-based creole language
"“Du geht wo, Du essen was?” Anyone who speaks German will doubtless understand this question despite its somewhat clumsy grammar. It is in fact German, however – or more precisely “Unserdeutsch” (i.e. Our German), a creole LANGUAGE that is at risk of dying out. A LANGUAGE is described as creole if it emerged from several different languages. “Unserdeutsch” is now spoken by fewer than a hundred people – most of them elderly – in Papua New Guinea, and is the world’s only German-based creole LANGUAGE. Unlike most creole languages, which evolved in the context of trade on plantations or in ports, “Unserdeutsch” is the result of a secret LANGUAGE invented by missionary SCHOOL children during the German colonial period in Papua New Guinea in around 1900." ‎· maitani
"The mothers of the missionary SCHOOL children belonged to one of the local tribes, while their fathers were colonial officers from Germany, seafarers from Australia or migrant workers from China. In the Catholic Herz-Jesu-Mission Vunapope near Kokopo, today’s provincial capital, the children would be taught by the nuns in standard German. Outside school, they would mix the German they learnt in the classroom with the languages of their parents, the result being “Unserdeutsch”. The German phrase “Um drei Uhr hole ich dich ab” (meaning “I will pick you up at three”) became “Drei Uhr i komm aufpicken du”, “i” being a mixture of the German “ich” and the English “I”, while for simplicity’s sake the children only used “der” or “de” as the definite articles." ‎· maitani
mmm, that's not an accurate definition of a creole. my understanding is that it's a pidgin until it's got native speakers, whereupon it is a creole. ‎· LibSkrat
It is not the only inaccuracy that can be found in the article. From this description, is not clear whether Unserdeutsch is a creole at all. The discovery, and the name UNSERDEUTSCH is fun though. ‎· maitani
An introduction to pidgins and creoles ‎· maitani