North Dakota - Languages



Although a few Indian words are used in the English spoken near the reservations where Ojibwa and Sioux live in North Dakota, the only general impact of Indian speech on English is in such place-names as Pembina, Mandan, Wabek, and Anamoose.

A few Norwegian food terms like lefse and lutefisk have entered the Northern dialect that is characteristic of North Dakota, and some Midland terms have intruded from the south.

In 2000, 93.7% of the population five years old or older spoke only English at home, down slightly from 92.1% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Scandinavian languages" includes Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. The category "Other Native North American languages" includes Apache, Cherokee, Choctaw, Dakota, Keres, Pima, and Yupik. The category "African languages" includes Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, and Somali.

North Dakota

LANGUAGE NUMBER PERCENT
Population 5 years and over 603,106 100.0
Speak only English 565,130 93.7
Speak a language other than English 37,976 6.3
Speak a language other than English 37,976 6.3
German 14,931 2.5
Spanish or Spanish Creole 8,263 1.4
Scandinavian languages 3,193 0.5
Other Native North American languages 2,536 0.4
French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 1,597 0.3
Other Slavic languages 1,350 0.2
Serbo-Croatian 825 0.1
African languages 459 0.1
Polish 452 0.1
Chinese 437 0.1
Russian 331 0.1
Tagalog 330 0.1


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