Plautdietsch is spoken by several hundred thousand people. The speakers live scatterd all over the world. Considerable communities of Plautdietsch speakers live in Canada, Paraguay, Mexico, Germany, Kazakhstan and Bolivia.
Plautdietsch is also called Mennonite Low German. The speakers are ethnic Dutchs which fled to Eastern Europe in the 16th century because of religious prosecution. The Plaudietsch language emerged during the 16th and 17th century while the speakers lived in the delta of the Vistula in Western Prussia. In the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century the Mennonites were invited to Russia by the Emperors Katarina II and Paul I. In the Ukraine they founded two major colonies: the 'Old Colony' and the 'New Colony'. In this time the main dialect split of Plautdietsch into 'New Colony Plautdietsch' and 'Old Colony Plautdietsch' occurred. In the 20th century many members of the community migrated to North America and Latin America.
Plautdietsch belongs to the Low Saxon dialect group. Low Saxon is a direct descendant of Old Saxon.
The Low Saxon dialects did not participate in the High German sound shift.
The declination of Low Saxon has three cases.
Low Saxon syntax shows significant German influence.