Pennsylvania German

pd-sticker-draftLearn Pennsylvania German: It’s a real language, and it’s easy. Did you know that about 400,000 people in the U.S. and Canada speak it? And did you know that more than 1 million people in the Palatinate (Germany) speak a similar dialect? Don’t wait any longer … Doug Madenford offers a “Hiwwe wie Driwwe Online Class” (also available on


Lesson 1: Introduction (Slides Lesson 1)
Lesson 2: Greetings and Introductions (Slides Lesson 2)
Lesson 3: Where you live (Slides Lesson 3)
Lesson 4: The Alphabet and Pronounciation (Slides Lesson 4)
Lesson 5: Numbers (Slides Lesson 5)
Lesson 6: Personal Pronouns (Slides Lesson 6)
Lesson 7: Verbs and Conjugation (Slides Lesson 7)
Lesson 8: Irregular Verbs (Slides Lesson 8)
Lesson 9: Questions and Question Words (Slides Lesson 9)
Lesson 10: Telling Time (Slides Lesson 10)
Lesson 11: Days, Months, Seasons (Slides Lesson 11)
Lesson 12: Nominative Case (Slides Lesson 12)
Lesson 13: Possessive Adjectives (Slides Lesson 13)
Lesson 14: to know (Slides Lesson 14)
Lesson 15: Family Members (Slides Lesson 15)
Lesson 16: Describing what you like (Slides Lesson 16)
Lesson 17: Accusative Case (Slides Lesson 17)
Lesson 18: The Weather (Slides Lesson 18)
Lesson 19: Present Progressive (Slides Lesson 19)
Lesson 20: Modal Verbs (Slides Lesson 20)
Lesson 21: Negation (Slides Lesson 21)
Lesson 22: Colors (Slides Lesson 22)
Lesson 23: Future Tense (Slides Lesson 23)
Lesson 24: Clothes (Slides Lesson 24)
Lesson 25: Dative Case (Slides Lesson 25)
Lesson 26: Rooms and Furniture (Slides Lesson 26)
Lesson 27: Separable Prefix Verbs (Slides Lesson 27)
Lesson 28: Body Parts (Slides Lesson 28)
Lesson 29: Reflexive Verbs (Slides Lesson 29)
Lesson 30: Emphasis Verbs (Slides Lesson 30)
Lesson 31: Holidays (Slides Lesson 31)
Lesson 32: Adjective Endings (Slides Lesson 32)
Lesson 33: Comparative and Superlative (Slides Lesson 33)
Lesson 34: Two-way prepositions (Slides Lesson 34)
Lesson 35: Present Perfect Tense (Slides Lesson 35)
Lesson 36: Places in a Town (Slides Lesson 36)
Lesson 37: Command Forms (Slides Lesson 37)
Lesson 38: Asking and Giving Directions (Slides Lesson 38)
Lesson 39: Conjunctions (Slides Lesson 39)
Lesson 40: Passive Voice (Slides Lesson 40)
Lesson 41: Subjunctive Mood (Slides Lesson 41)


Alle Sadde Wadde 1: Gediere uff re Bauerei (Animals on the farm)
Alle Sadde Wadde 2: Gediere in em Busch (Animals in the forest)
Alle Sadde Wadde 3: Veggel in re Luft (Birds in the air)
Alle Sadde Wadde 4: Obscht (Fruit)
Alle Sadde Wadde 5: Gaardesache (Vegetables)
Alle Sadde Wadde 6: Es Fleesch (Meat)
Alle Sadde Wadde 7: Milichsache un annere Sache (Dairy and other things)
Alle Sadde Wadde 8: Drinke (Drinks)
Alle Sadde Wadde 9: In re Kich (In the kitchen)
Alle Sadde Wadde 10: Ungeziffer (Insects and other creatures)
Alle Sadde Wadde 11: Blumme un Blanze (Flowers and plants)
Alle Sadde Wadde 12: Erdwadde (Geography terms)
Alle Sadde Wadde 13: Greider un Gewaerzer (Herbs and spices)
Alle Sadde Wadde 14: Verbs
Alle Sadde Wadde 15: More Verbs


The following institutions offer classes:

Montgomery County (PA):
Pennsburg: Schwenkfelder Library and Archive.

Lehigh County (PA):
Allentown: S. Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church. Beginners & Advanced.
Allentown: Cedar Crest College, Hamilton Blvd.
Emmaus: Public Library, East Main Street.
Macungie: Lower Macungie Library.
Emerald: Fire Company Building (may be not any more).
Slatington: Groossdaadi Grundsau Lodsch, 8662 S Loop Road (various classes of the PG Groundhog Lodges). Contact: Lee W. Haas (Haaptmann).

Berks County (PA):
Kutztown: Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center (One Room School House).
Kutztown: Shayna Kinner Childcare Center (for Kids).
Mertztown: Longswamp Township Building.
Mohrsville: Belleman’s Church.
Oley: High School.
Robesonia: Church Building.
Topton: District Elementary School.

Lancaster County (PA):
Lancaster: Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road.
Ephrata: Muddy Creek Library, Cat’s Back Road (“Katzebuckel”).
Lititz: United Zion Retirement Community.

Lebanon County (PA):
Schaefferstown: Historic Schaefferstown. Brendle Museum.

Schuylkill County (PA)
Klingerstown: Salem Church of Rough N. Ready.

York County (PA):
Dover: Spring Grove Community Center. 860 Old Hanover Road.

We don’t publish any personal information or phone number here. If you are interested in attending one of the listed Pennsylvania German classes, please contact the institutions for further information.


50 responses to “Pennsylvania German

  1. Salut, ich verstehe au alles.
    Scheener gruss vum Elsass

  2. James Fasnacht

    Vergessen Sie Pennsylvania Deutsch ist auch sprechen in Ohio, Amerika?

  3. Pingback: #9 Beatles Album: "Let It Be" | 100 Favorite Albums

  4. Moien
    Ech fannen die Spooch immens an kann baal alles 1 zu 1 verstoen :)
    Decken Kuss aus Lëtzebuerg, Europa
    Bis geschwënn

  5. HI I am trying to get a translation of a PA German name for a tradition from my mothers family. The name is “Ahid Vayglen” can you help me with this?
    The tradition comes from Berks County and I believe is originally from the Baden Württemberg area of Germany.
    Thanks Michael

  6. Hello
    I am trying to find an accurate translation of the name of a tradition from my mother’s PA German family. you help? Ahid Vayglen

  7. Hello! I am PA Dutch with family roots in Annville PA. I never learned much of the language, but my grandfather spoke it all the time when he was with friends or family who spoke. Whenever we left his house, he would say “Kum Bah Widda”. I’m not sure of the spelling, but my understanding was that it meant “come back soon”. Could you help me clarify? Thanks!!

  8. Robert Roemer Sr

    Do you know of any people that speak Pa. Dutch in South Carolina? I want to learn to speak Pa. Dutch; but I want somebody to talk with as I learn the language.

  9. Pingback: Teitsch Deitsch – billziegler1947

  10. Where can I find and hire a Pennsylvania Dutch Translator for upcoming projects that my company has?

  11. How do you say the heart of God, spiritual strength in PA Dutch?

  12. How do you say “Hochdeutsch” in PA Dutch? Specifically I want to tell the Amish that I can speak German from the modern Germany

  13. Hi I am learning the language with a group and we are working on two letter words. Does anyone know what “oh” means? Thank you (Danki)

  14. Michael Werner

    En glee silwerich Nixli in en golden Bixli. Yes, that makes sense …

  15. Oh my goodness! I am so pleased to find this site! My father was raised Amish and spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, but, although he spoke it when his siblings came to visit, he never spoke it at home as Mama did not know it.
    I begged him to teach me, but he only taught me a word here and there.
    I always wished I had been able to learn.
    I wonder if you could tell me….he had a saying: “it’s a silver nothing in a golden box” which he would always say if we were being too nosy about a present. It was something like “silvere nichtsli een en guldene bixli” I really have no idea if that is right…or how you would spell it. Have you ever heard that phrase?

  16. Michael Werner

    Nee, mach yuscht fatt, ‘s iss alrecht!

  17. This is a great website! Do you mind if I link your videos on my website, I think it would be a great resource.

  18. Great it’s very close to the dialect I’m speaking as native from Northern Baden i can perfectly understand it

    ich lieb es und konnt es kaam glawwe, dass ihr so schwätzt

  19. I have a qiestion: i bought a “windel-kavelie” (carry bag in black which are used for mother to take the diapers with them, typical Amish in Holmes County) but do not know if it is the right way to spell this word. Please help me to write it in the right way!

  20. Hi, I am wondering if you could tell me how to spell a word that sounds something like “lactly” and means something like “people-friendly.” Thank you!

  21. Hello! Would you be so kind as to provide PA Dutch words that mean “odd,” “unusual,” “special” or “weird”? Thank you so much!

  22. I’ve been trying w/o success to find the PA German for “Be ye not conformed to this world.” Can you help?

  23. Pingback: Deitsch Language Learning Materials | Grundsau Burrow

  24. Thank you very much! Very appreciated. Maybe one day I’ll master English enough to start to learn Pennsylvania German!

  25. Michael Werner

    Geb acht: Private: Yaage, Fische odder darich gehne iss verbodde. Der Eegner grickt die Police.

    Kenn Hasch Yaagerei.

    Geb Acht: Private: Yaage, Fischer odder darich gehne yuscht, wann der Eegner es erlaabt hot.

    It’s really not possible to do a word by word translation. But that should be close …

  26. Hi, I live in Western PA and we seem to have more and more Amish and Mennonite families moving into the area … I was wondering if you could be kind enough to give me a couple of translations…. the first is “Posted. Private property. Hunting, fishing, trapping or trespassing for any purpose is strictly forbidden. Violators will be prosecuted. Name. Address.” Also, “No Doe Hunting”. And finally, “Posted. Private Property. Hunting, fishing, trapping or trespassing by written permission only.” (Been having a bit of a trespassing problem as of late). Not being rude… just notifying….

  27. Der HwD Drucker

    Linguists named the dialects which are spoken in Northern Germany “Niederdeutsch” (Low German), because they are spoken in an area that is located close to the (North and Baltic) sea. They named “Oberdeutsch” the dialects which are spoken in Southern Germany close to the Bavarian Alps. The dialects which are spoken in between, are called “Mitteldeutsch” (“Middle German”). In this area one can find Hesse and the Palatinate, where most of the ancestors of the Pennsylvania Germans came from (Rhine Valley). Pennsylvania German is derived from a “Middle German” dialect …

  28. Would Penn Dutch be considered closer to “low” German? My father was telling me about his Penn Dutch grandparents, (Indiana), and he cannot remember the answer, but he had remarked once upon the comparison of German dialects with them. (By the way, there was loads of Swiss heritage in his grandfather’s background, if that has any connection?) Thank you!

  29. Hi, I was wondering if you could give me the PA Dutch translation for the following words:

    Warrior (of God)
    Seeking (God’s will)
    Led (by the Holy Spirit)

    Thank you!

  30. Der HwD Drucker

    Mach als fatt!

  31. Hi I was wondering if you could provide me with a translation. “Never give up”

    Thank you!

  32. Thank you very much !

  33. Der HwD Drucker

    Dihr wunnert verleicht, ferwas ich net English am schwetze bin. Ich schwetz en alti Schprooch, ass Pennsylvanisch Deitsch gheesse watt. Nau denkt dihr verleicht: Was fer Leit deete en Schprooch wie sell schwetze heidesdaags. Ich deet nau gleiche, en wennich ebbes verzehle vun selli Satt Leit. Grooss Dank fer’s abhariche …

  34. Hello, I have to do a presentation about the Amish and I would like to start by speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. Maybe someone could translate me these Phrases in Pennsylvania Dutch. “Hello, maybe you wonder why i don´t speak Englisch and what language i am speaking. It´s a very old language and is called Pennsylvania Dutch. You maybe think which persons speak this language nowadays? I will introduce them now to you…. Thank you very much for your attention”. It would really appreciate that. :-)

  35. Der HwD Drucker

    It’s the way, Palatines in Germany speak even today. The lingustic construction was taken along by the emigrants who left the Palatinate in the 18th century and settled in Pennsylvania.

  36. Hi! My name is Alessandra and live in Italy. I’m writing my graduation thesis on Pennsylvaniadutch and I’m analysing a little text published by HwD. I’m comparing it with Standard German trying to understand why a construction differs from it. In the sentence: “Wie ich en Kind waar, hemmer zwee Telephones deheem uff ‘re Bauerei ghatt”, I don’t understand the use of “wie” in place of “als”…I’ve tought that it could be a loan translation of the English “as”….but in this case it would have been more obvious to use “als” because “as” is derived just from “als”. I hope you can help me….thank you!
    My compliments to your magazine….I have written about it in my thesis.

  37. Der HwD Drucker


  38. So I don’t have to worry about that?

  39. Der HwD Drucker

    Not originally, but there is a tendency to use English phonetics in Pennsylvania German, especially in Amish communities …

  40. Does anyone know is pa Dutch has rolled r’s or w’s? That would help a lot!

  41. That’s really cool. This iss en gut website! :)

  42. Hi, My name is Samuel Hofstetter and i’m a swiss german who was born in Ticino (Switzerland), speaks italian as first language (i don’t speak german nor Pennsylvania German) , lives in Mexico and loves languages that’s why i made this petetition to save pennsylvannia german. So it would be great if you could publish my petition on the Hiwwe wie Driwwe and share with all the people you know thank you.

  43. Hi! Found this site with the great videos for learning PA German with Doug Madenford! My hearing isn’t the best and having a bit of trouble when he uses words beginning with “w” (Wu, Was, weit and such); is the W pronounced as a “V” ? A little booklet I have, says all Ws in German are pronounced as V, but can’t quite distinguish on the video. Can someone please clarify? Thank you! Pat

  44. Ai Ich fin des toll wuschd gar net das Pennsylvania deitsch vonnem paelzische kummt, ich bin a paelzer aus Kaiserslautern seit 25 johre in kalifornien, sproche und dere gschischde interessiere mich. Alla ich schroib do ehfach so wie mer de pelzische dialekt dahooim spresche, hoff ihr verstehn was. Do muss ich emol urlab mache bei eich

  45. Found the page and found It quite entertaining to read your newspaper. I do actually understand every single word it, but I have never learned to read and write it that way. I am German and grew up north of the area where the dialect seems to come from in Germany. I just learned it by using it from the first days of my life, but we do write and read German. Like the Swiss German, which I can only understand if they do write it down and it turns out to be German. SO it is very easy for me to understand as a native “Hessian” German
    I worked a while in PA, but I have actually never had the chance to talk to a native Pennsylvanisch-Deitsch speaker.

  46. In German, Botshaft means embassy, embasador. Messenger / message makes sense too. Good name for a newspaper.

  47. No online classes, but we are working on that. “Botschaft” means “message”.

  48. Are there any online classes? I would love to learn PA Dutch.
    Also please, what does ‘Botschaft’ [as in the newspaper] mean?

  49. glaawe, finne, naachfolyie, zamme

  50. Hi,
    I wonder if you could provide me with a translation for 4 Penn Dutch words?
    believing, discovering, succeeding, together

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.