Talk:Pennsylvania Dutch language

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Contradiction[edit]

The article contradicts itself. Sometimes it states Pennsylvania German to be closest to Franconian, but then it says Pennsylvania German is mainly derived from Pfälzisch. To me it sounds more like Franconian. --142.104.118.91 (talk) 20:29, 12 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I moin 's klengt a bissele Schwäbisch... =) Frank F H (talk) 12:08, 28 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

If I remember correctly, Palatinian is linguistically subgrouped unter a general group Franconian. However, this usage should be explained the normal understanding of Franconian is belonging to Franconia. --77.4.42.9 (talk) 10:42, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I would say Pennsylvania German comes from the German dialect(s) within the triangle Mannheim/Ludwigshafen-Speyer-Heidelberg. --95.89.122.234 (talk) 20:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You are absolutely right! I know that being myself a proud Mannheimian. By the way - Iddish originates also from there --Pebble Beach (talk) 22:38, 13 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Palatinian dialect (Pfälzisch) is part of the larger Franconian dialect (Fränkisch) region. "Pfälzisch" is also called "Rheinfränkisch" (Rhine Franconian), even though it is only one of three subgroups of Rhine Franconian. --Metron (talk) 11:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]

"Deitsch"[edit]

Until very recently, it has not been any more a common practice to refer to Pennsylvania German as "Deitsch" in English, than it has been to refer to Standard German as "Deutsch" in English. Additionally, there are a number of German dialects in which the word for "German" is "Deitsch". This even includes a number of other German-American dialects. Using "Deitsch" as an English name for the language just adds an unnecessary layer of confusion. In English, this language should be referred to as Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch. This is why most references to "Deitsch" were either changed to "Pennsylvania German", or simply deleted. JMCooper (talk) 05:43, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. I think some people feel the need to refer to languages by the language's own self-name out of a misguided sense of political correctness. I'm always having to change "Gaeilge" back to "Irish" and "Cymraeg" back to "Welsh" in the articles about those languages. —Angr 15:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Complete information[edit]

Maybe you guys could work together with the people of the "Pennsylvania Dutch"-page ?81.207.97.6 (talk) 11:32, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

With reference to what? Pennsylvania Dutch is about the people, while this article is about the language. +Angr 12:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I believe that this is also the same language (or dialect, if you prefer) that is spoken by the Mennonite communities in Mexico and other places in Latin America. There are several Mennonite settlements the the Mexican state of Chihuahua, for example, that speak a German dialect that seems to my ear to come from Southern Germany or Switzerland, and I believe that it is the same dialect that is referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.165.68.242 (talk) 17:04, 22 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Mennonite communities in Mexico and other places in Latin America with very few exceptions, e.g. Upper Barton Creek, speak Plautdietsch, not Pennsylvania German. Their language does not at all sound like a dialect coming from Southern Germany or Switzerland, except maybe for people who are totally ignorant concerning German dialects! --Tuncker (talk) 23:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Translation of poem[edit]

"Nau bin ich widder lewig z'rück" should be translated as "Now I have returned, still alive", not "once more alive".

The word "widder" does not mean "once more" here, but is part of the phrase "widder z'rück", which means "back again" (in the sense of "having returned").

(Believe me, I'm German and a translator ;) 85.22.101.28 (talk) 11:05, 24 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]

'xäctly. (I'm going to change that.) --2001:A60:1534:9401:F51B:C55B:1F3A:EAB2 (talk) 20:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I would translate it: "Now I'm back again, alive". (Word by word: "Now am I again alive back"). There is no word meaning "still" in the sentence, even though this may be concluded. Tuncker (talk) 23:34, 31 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Table below "Speaker population"[edit]

This table in my opinion does fit in the article "Pennsylvania German language", because the article is not about "speakers of German or a German variety outside Europe". By the way, the table is not correct in many ways. Yiddish, even though linguistically not more distant to Standard German than many German dialects, it is an ausbau language and therefore not a German dialect. Other data are totally outdated, e.g. the number of Pennsylvania German speakers, or just false, like the number of Plautdietsch-speakers in Mexico (40,000 instead of 100,000). The number of Hunsrückisch-speakers is totally overestimated, the number is nothing but "guestimated from Wikipedia ethnic figures". Ethnicity and language can differ extremely! I would remove the table. Tuncker (talk) 20:02, 14 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Past tense[edit]

Like many modern European languages, except English, the past can be expressed using two tenses, in modern German the so-called Vergangenheit and Vollendete Gegenwart. The principal factors determining the use of these forms (at least in the standard German that I have been using on a daily for about thirty year) are speech (ich bin gegangen) and writing (Ich ging). It may be that, as in Yiddish, the second of these forms has expired completely in both speech and writing.Pamour (talk) 23:21, 25 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Mennonite Plautdietsch[edit]

Yes, the contributor (Dan Holsinger) who deleted the paragraph about Plautdietsch may be correct in doing so.

This article by Cambridge University Press 2018 indicates that some Mennonites speak it, but probably not those in PA:

  Mennonite Plautdietsch (ISO 639–3: pdt) is a West Germanic (Indo-European) language belonging to the Low Prussian (Niederpreußisch) subgroup of Eastern Low German (Ostniederdeutsch), a continuum of closely related varieties spoken in northern Poland until the Second World War (Ziesemer 1924, Mitzka 1930, Thiessen 1963). Although its genetic affiliation with these other, now-moribund Polish varieties is uncontested, Mennonite Plautdietsch represents an exceptional member of this grouping. It was adopted as the language of in-group communication by Mennonites escaping religious persecution in northwestern and central Europe during the mid-sixteenth century, and later accompanied these pacifist Anabaptist Christians over several successive generations of emigration and exile through Poland, Ukraine, and parts of the Russian Empire. As a result of this extensive migration history, Mennonite Plautdietsch is spoken today in diasporic speech communities on four continents and in over a dozen countries by an estimated 300,000 people, primarily descendants of these so-called Russian Mennonites (Epp 1993, Lewis 2009).

Peter K Burian (talk) 13:16, 26 June 2018 (UTC)[reply]

St. Mary's County Amish[edit]

There is a large population of Amish in St Mary's County, Maryland who split off from the Pennsylvania group in a schism in the 1930s. They are also distinct from the much smaller Amish groups in Western Maryland. Many of the Southern Maryland Amish grow tobacco and most speak the Pennsylvania German dialect. Many of the local roads have signs telling drivers to share the road with horse and buggies. Would be nice to see more information about this population in this article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.103.139.122 (talk) 21:44, 16 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Move to "Pennsylvania Dutch"?[edit]

It looks like there was some discussion about this years back, but I think it warrants a fresh set of eyes by editors more knowledgeable than I.

Isn't "Pennsylvania Dutch" the more WP:COMMONNAME? Google Ngram thinks so.

TortillaDePapas (talk) 04:51, 18 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Requested move 4 May 2021[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Overall there's a clear consensus to move. Some argue against the move because in linguistic literature the term "Pennsylvania German" is more often used or because the title is considered by some editors to be an incorrect name (although that's disputed). However, most editors commenting do not accept that argument or consider it to supersede WP:COMMONNAME in this case. (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 01:19, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]



Pennsylvania German languagePennsylvania Dutch language – This title has been a travesty against WP:COMMONNAME for years. Absolutely everyone in Pennsylvania calls this Pennsylvania Dutch. We already moved Pennsylvania Dutch to the correct title.

When I looked through the talk history, I see the vast majority of comments have been in favor of a move. The only exception is the last requested move, which failed only because enough people failed to show up for the discussion.

(courtesy ping User:TortillaDePapas who recently commented) Magog the Ogre (tc) 11:53, 4 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hardly "absolutely everone". Kutztown is in PA, but it's the "Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center". — kwami (talk) 00:50, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. Even though I know it's a dialect of German and the "Dutch" is a rendering of "Deitsch" (comparable to the origin of Netherlands "Dutch") meaning "German", in English I've only known it to be called "Pennsylvania Dutch", and even the first sentence of the article has said that's the more common name for the last 15 years. Largoplazo (talk) 18:48, 4 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support "Dutch" doesn't commonly referred as the Netherlands in Pennsylvania Dutch. 180.242.74.101 (talk) 21:01, 4 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support move per COMMONNAME. O.N.R. (talk) 23:24, 4 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Ngram shows 3:1 to 6:1 in favor of "Pennsylvania Dutch" in recent years (though the gap has narrowed considerably over prior decades). And that would be the choice per the criterion of "Recognizability". But per COMMONNAME, "inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources." ISO, Ethnologue, Glottolog, LinguistList and the Endangered Languages Project all use "Pennsylvanian German", as does Kutztown University's Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center. Jellyfish and starfish are similar names in another field, where we went with a common name that conflicts with the modern use of a word. (In the 17th century they were fish, as were whales, but they are no longer.) Note that Pennsylvania Dutch English is also relevant here. — kwami (talk) 00:47, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Kwami makes a good argument that the speakers themselves use "Pennsylvania German" (or, in language, "Deutsch") and all reference works on the language use "Pennsylvania German". I'll change my "support" to "oppose". --TaivoLinguist (Taivo) (talk) 00:56, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don't consider "Pennsylvania Dutch" to be "inaccurate" per se because it isn't directly related to the modern Dutch language anymore than I consider french fries to be an inaccurate term because it has nothing to do with France. "Pennsylvania Dutch" is the name most commonly used in reliable sources, as well as the most commonly used term in general, so that's what our article title should be. Rreagan007 (talk) 23:27, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This article is about a language, so the only reliable sources that count as reliable sources are linguistics ones. Nearly 100% of linguistics sources use "German", so your comment about "Dutch being the most commonly used term in reliable sources" is false. (I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to some linguistics source I have not seen, so not an absolute 100%.) --TaivoLinguist (Taivo) (talk) 13:06, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment - Not knowledgeable enough about this particular topic to feel comfortable presenting my reply as a !vote; but Kwami makes a very good argument that the current title may conform better to policy and also fundamentally be less misleading. HumanBodyPiloter5 (talk) 04:09, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose per WP:PRECISION. Not only does "Pennsylvania German" prevail in scientific literature [1][2][3][4], the current name distinguishes it from Pennsylvania Dutch English, serving as a WP:NATURALDAB. Nardog (talk) 00:56, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Only commented above, as wanted to think about it. While you can still occasionally find "Pennsylvania Dutch" in the recent linguistic lit, the field has largely shifted to Pennsylvania German, as Penn Dutch is misleading. (Most people, at least outside PA, who aren't familiar with the language naturally assume that "Penn Dutch" is Dutch, to the extent that intros need to clarify that it's not.) As for the claim above that the name "Penn Dutch" is not inaccurate, perhaps within PA "Dutch" means German, but for the rest of the English-speaking world, "Dutch" means Dutch. So we have two quite valid and defensible but conflicting rationales: Common usage indeed is "Penn Dutch", but RS's are overwhelmingly "Penn German". Add in the potential for "Dutch" to mislead our readers and the fact that the people themselves call themselves "Penn German", at least a significant amt of the time, and I've come down on the side of keeping the article in line with RS's.
As for the people being at Pennsylvania Dutch, I don't find the discrepancy bothersome. We generally try to use the same name for a people and their language, but there are plenty of exceptions. — kwami (talk) 22:52, 8 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment - this discussion is everything that's wrong with Wikipedia. The denonym and the significant majority of popular usage is Dutch, while the scientific literature is nearly even, but we are going to close this discussion as no consenus because the permanently online crowd who live outside the state, have no knowledge of our history, and haven't a single clue on popular usage decided their opinion was more relevant than the popular one. You know what? Fine, keep your stupid name. Can't say you weren't warned. Magog the Ogre (tc) 16:00, 9 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • I favor the name change, but nevertheless: If this discussion is everything that's wrong with Wikipedia then, given that you're stating that a disagreement over which sources to give more weight to in choosing which title to use for an article is everything wrong with Wikipedia, it's as though you're saying that, overall, Wikipedia really has very little wrong with it and there's utterly nothing else about it to criticize. If that isn't what you meant, then take this as a lesson on how one undermines oneself when one's contribution to a discussion relies so much on overwrought rhetoric.
In addition, you didn't warn us of anything, so "Can't say you weren't warned" also seems to serve a purely rhetorical purpose. Largoplazo (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Pennsylvania Dutch is near-universal in non-academic media. Pennsylvania German appears frequently in linguistic articles, but this need not take precedence over common usage, as Wikipedia is not an academic publication.Zhanmusi (talk) 16:37, 11 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Vowel shifts similar to Yiddish?[edit]

Vowel shifts in Pennsylvania Dutch is strikingly similar to Yiddish. Were these languages based on the same old dialect? Siealex (talk) 22:58, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]