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  • Plautdietsch, or Mennonite Low German, was originally a Low Prussian variety of East Low German, with Dutch influence, that developed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Vistula delta area of Royal Prussia. The word is the form, in that language, of Plattdeutsch. Plaut is the same word as German platt or Dutch plat, meaning 'flat' or 'low', and the name Dietsch corresponds etymologically to Dutch Duits and German Deutsch, which originally meant 'vernacular language' in all the continental West Germanic languages. The language is spoken by over 300,000 Mennonites, most notably in the Latin American countries of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Honduras, Belize, and Argentina, as well as in the United States and Canada. They are members of a religious group that originally fled from the Netherlands and Belgium in the 16th century to escape persecution and eventually resettled in these areas. They introduced and developed their particular East Low German dialect, the so-called Weichselplatt, while they came to and lived in the Vistula delta area, beginning in the early-to-mid 16th century.

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