Gutnish is the language that since old days is spoken on Gotland. It has been placed on the East Scandinavian branch of languages next to Danish and Swedish, although it often reminds more of certain West Scandinavian languages as Icelandic and some Norweigan dialects.
The origin of Gutnish is found in Old Gutnish – a separate ancient language next to Old Norweigan, Old Danish, Old Icelandic and Old Swedish. One misunderstanding is sometimes that Gutnish is merely a dialect of Swedish, but as it is a direct development of Old Gutnish, this perception is not correct. Sadly there has lacked strong representatives for Gutnish under the years, why the language and its origin often is misinterpreted.
Gutnish had earlier its own writing system and was used in writing during the entire medievals up until the 17th century when Danish and later Swedish became the more dominating languages. Inspite the cease of Gutnish as a written language, it was still used as a spoken one for the following 400 years. That it then was able to survive must be seen as something of a miracle, but also prooves that the language must have had quite a great strength and strong position in gutnish life and culture. Since the 18th century and forward, some writings were sporadicly made in Gutnish but the official language was now Swedish.
Today – the status of Gutnish is pretty low. Most children and young people are ashamed of it and consider it being something old and unmodern – much because it is almost entirely spoken by older people. It is not taught in schools, and parents does not teach nor encourage their children to speak it. It is not often one hears really genuine Gutnish - a mix between Gutnish and Swedish is mostly often used.