Be Texan and Be Heard: Our State Hosts a Wide Range of Languages

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Texas is an amazingly diverse state, with incredible history, culture, and future projections. A big part of these aspects is language, and the Lone Star State is blessed with a wide range of languages. Although there is no official state language, at some point throughout history, acknowledgment happened officially for English, Spanish, German and Norwegian. Throughout the history of Texas, English and Spanish have at one time or another been the primary dominant language used by government officials. Since 1837, the Texas Government is required to offer Spanish translation of laws. Additionally, German was recognized as a minority language for over 65 years, being at Statehood in 1845.

Before Texas was a part of the United States, Caddo was spoken by Native Americans and is the language from which the name of our state originates. The Spanish then brought their language, next early immigrants. Did you know Texas German is a dialect of the German language? It is native to the Texas Hill Country and is spoken by the descendants of mid-19th century German immigrants who came to the region.

Be Texan and Be Heard: Our State Hosts a Wide Range of Languages

Photo: envato elements

Nearly one third of the Texas population speaks Spanish, and Vietnamese and Chinese have surpassed German and French, becoming the third and fourth most used Texas languages. After those three are Hindi, Korean, Kurdish and Tagalog. Czech and Polish are also spoken here, as well as a multitude of other tongues from around the world. Travel around Texas and different languages will become more evident: Northeastern Texas has French, Southeastern Texas boasts Southwestern Louisiana Creole, Sino-Tibetan and Austroasiatic languages, and Central Texas is home to speakers of German, Polish, and Czech.

Wondering about our own special Texan dialect? Although there is not an exclusively set language for Texans, many mixed two languages together in their daily speech, while most of us know several words which would make a non-Texan go ‘huh?’ What are some examples of words you use that are uniquely Texan?