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Old Swedish Spoken in Gammalsvenskby, Linguists' Goldmine

8. January 2013 by Masha 0 Comments


Not many people know that old Swedish history and culture can be found in southern Ukraine. Located on the Dniper River near Kherson, Gammalsvenskby has around 300 residents who speak "old Swedish" to each other. They also mix in German and Ukrainian words. 


However, with the aging population making up the majority, and younger generations not wishing to learn to speak "gammelsvenska," the language will likely disappear in just a few years. 


This means even more linguists than usual will likely visit the town, along with busloads of Swedish farmers who travel to learn the agricultural techniques used in the region. Swedish backpackers are popular tourists too as they enjoy the landscape and the history. 


Some economic support has been given by the Church of Sweden and Gotland Municipality. In 1996, Chumak, a Swedish-owned company that produces oil, ketchup and canned food, was established in the nearby town of Kakhovka. Today it's one of Ukraine's biggest food processing companies with commercial offices in Kiev, Minsk and Moscow. Chumak is the largest tomato processing company in Central and Eastern Europe.


Are you dating Ukrainian women who live near Gammalsvenskby? Stop by for a historic glimpse at old Swedish heritage. 



Source: Stockholm News