German Abroad 4 conference

Unser Deutsch, a creole language based in German, which originated from Papua New Guinea is on the verge of extinction, confirmed the fourth international German Abroad online conference recently hosted by the German Subject Group in the Department of Humanities and Arts.

The German Abroad conference is a biennial event that focuses on the structural and sociolinguistic issues of German-speaking minority groups from the perspectives of variationist sociolinguistics, language contact and multilingualism.

“This year’s conference gathered participants from Germany, Poland, Texas, Netherlands, Italy, Papua New Guinea, and Namibia, allowing in-depth discussions of the various varieties of German in the world”, disclosed Prof. Marianne Zappen-Thomson, senior academic from the German subject Group.

She further elaborated on the fact that participants presented on and discussed various varieties of the German language namely German in Poland, Hungary, France, Texas, and Namibia. The latter, also referred to as NamDeutsch, particularly intrigued many of the scholars, added Prof. Zappen-Thomson.

During the conference it was affirmed that certain German dialects including Unser Deutsch are close to extinction while others such as the German in Texas does not have many speakers alive, however, research regarding the variant is ongoing.

At the end of each day participants were entertained by a series of videos provided by the Gondwana Collection Namibia – showing them the beauty of Namibia. As a token of appreciation, the German Abroad 4 participants will donate towards the Gondwana Care Trust.

The conference concluded with a video of the UNAM Choir. The conference took place from 27 – 28 September.

The German Abroad 5 conference is scheduled for September 2022 in Eichstätt, Germany.

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