Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch

I would really like to learn Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch (Pennsylvania Dutch), and I didn't see any already existing thread for it, so I made one. If you would like to have a Duolingo course for Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch, please upvote and comment below. It is a language derived from the Palatine dialect of German, and spoken mainly in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio. It is the first language for many Old Order Amish and Mennonites, who speak it at home. It has about 250,000 speakers in the US, and another 20,000 in other countries

November 7, 2016


Have you seen this post about how to suggest a language course:

It would probably be a good idea to contact Lrtward of Jrikhal to ask for this post to be added to that page.

November 7, 2016

Yes, I saw it. I was going to send a message to Lrtward, but forgot. I'll do that now.

November 7, 2016

There are some speakers across the Midwest and some parts of New England area I think? It would be nice to learn. There are a lot of languages in the US that are spoken but not really spoken about. There's a large Anishnaabe community in Upper Michigan and there are departments in the universities.

November 8, 2016

Yes, there are a few areas in the Midwest that speak it. There are more speakers in PA than any other state, and Ohio also has a lot. I don't think anywhere east of Pennsylvania uses the language in everyday life.

November 8, 2016

I live in Pennsylvainia so I am interested

November 8, 2016


November 10, 2016

Yeah I cant spell for life ..... XD

November 10, 2016

Is that the same as Platte-deutsch? If so, that would be a little useful around here, if only for aggravating Mennonites at auction sales.

November 7, 2016

According to Wikipedia Plautdietsch is 'quite different from Pennsylvania German'

November 7, 2016

Pennsylvania Dutch would be a great idea. +1

July 8, 2017

I would really like to learn this language, it connects to my family history.

October 4, 2017

I would love a Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch course! I use High German with the Amish at work but they only understand half of it, I am learning some of their language though as well.

October 20, 2017

I am of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. I now live in North Carolina but a Pennsylvania Dutch course would be great. Just beware it would be very similar to the existing German course.

March 16, 2017

That is interesting to hear because I've heard from many PD speakers that when they visit Alsace they converse very easily with natives, but most German speakers struggle to understand Alsatians.

July 19, 2018

I know Pa Dutch, it was my first language, (i knew English very soon) I'd be very glad to enter it, and have sent in an application already, but i think it doesn't always go through? Maybe if enough people say they know it? I have done the whole German course so i kinda know how our words should be spelled, but if i would get to do it i couldn't do it as much in the summer

June 23, 2017

With making a course on Duolingo, a few criteria must be met. There must be enough requests for it(number of upvotes on the first post about it), which this language has 48. Finnish has 1,400 if I remember correctly. So they might make this language, but they will probably do Finnish, Latin, Arabic, etc first. Now it doesn't go strictly by number of requests, e.g. Finnish had more requests but Japanese was made first because they figured out how to do it first. This isn't a hard language to make if they get the contributors, but it will likely be at least a year or two before they would make it. Second is obviously how many people are willing to work on it. So far I think you are the only one. They usually want 3-4. Third, I think they decide somewhat on what course to make by how useful it will be in real life. That is probably why Latin hasn't been made yet. Outside of the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and Quebec, this won't have much practical application. Sorry for the long post lol. I am glad you are willing to work on it though :^)

June 23, 2017

They did add, Klingon and High Valyrian which are not useful so why not Pennsilfaanisch Deitch? lol

October 20, 2017

As someone who's ancestors spoke this, I would absolutely love to see it added as a language! It's so important to preserve languages like this.

December 2, 2017

My mom's side of the family is all Mennonite and I need to learn this language to communicate with my older relatives!

December 3, 2017

I have wanted to learn Pennsylvania Dutch for years. I live in south-central Pennsylvania, where living speakers can be found, but I haven't found language courses offered within an hour of me in all the time I've looked, and with the way my schedule is, DuoLingo is a fantastic format for language learning.

Since Kutztown University offers a Pennsylvania German minor, I wonder if they might be interested in some sort of partnership for this. It would mean so much to me to finally be able to fluently read and speak the language of my great-grandparents.

July 19, 2018

I don't think there are any people on Duolingo that speak it, though. That's the problem. I'm sure you could find a few language courses for it on Memrise. Best of luck!

November 7, 2016

My great-grandma spoke Pennsylvania-Dutch. I do not think she was Amish or a Mennonite.

March 8, 2017

I would love this course! I live in an area with a high number of native Pennsylvania Dutch speakers (mostly Amish, some Mennonites), and understanding the language would help me to barter and trade with them.

November 23, 2017

I would love this course!

March 4, 2019

What would be the best way to learn this fluently? I would go on here, but the course isn't here obviously haha! :D

May 5, 2017

There is a small memrise course, other than that I think you have to know someone who speaks it.

May 8, 2017

yeah looked online, there isn't much apart from youtube and just general forums about where to learn it

May 11, 2017

Also I'd recommend PA Dutch 101 on Youtube, really good for introductionary PA Dutch :)

May 11, 2017

I am a Mennonite from Belize. We speak Low German(Plautdietsch) at home and learn English at school to use in business. Then most of us learn Spanish yet to speak with the local people in Belize. However we only speak Plautdietsch and we have forgotten how to write it because throughout the centuries we've had to flee from war. So I would greatly appreciate a course where I could once again learn how to write in my mother tongue. There are about 9,000 native Low German speakers in Belize.

March 11, 2018

Hi Charlie, my great-grandmother also spoke low german (although she was a Catholic in rural Ohio, USA). It's probably a little bit different from your exact variety but it should have been pretty close. I went over to the Low German thread and added my vote to that language since I'd be interested in learning it too. You should go over there and vote for it too!

March 19, 2019

Would be cool to know if you interact with the Amish regularly

July 22, 2018

I'd like to add my vote for PD. Being from rural Ohio, I've heard bits and pieces of it from folks at church and other friends.

February 22, 2019

being from PA, this would be a good thing.

March 19, 2019

There may be hope now that Navajo and Hawaiian have been added! Pa Dutch's dwindling numbers have been compared with Welsh and Irish which both have existing courses. For now we'll have to stick with Douglas Madenford's videos. Surely he'd be willing to contribute to the course.

April 24, 2019

i need this in my life. i have always been interested in this language. before ww1 almost half of all pennsylvanians spoke it. Now hardly anyone but the religious orders know it

July 1, 2019

Yes, please!

August 3, 2019

For those interested in the Pennsylvania Dutch language, an excellent recent academic book is "Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language" by Mark Louden of the University of Wisconsin. It is a book about the history and development of the language. It is not, however, intended to teach you PD.

March 19, 2019

I’d be very interested. I took a course at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, but it’d be great to have this resource - it’s difficult with my schedule to get to the few classes that are offered in real life.

August 22, 2019

Grew up in PA, near Kutztown. Would love to see this course.

September 2, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.