German, Pennsylvania


A language of United States

Alternate Names
Pennsylvania Deitsh, Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvanish

118,000 in United States (2010 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 133,000. Ethnic population: 200,000 (Kloss 1981).


Scattered; Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin; new communities in other states.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Amish Pennsylvania German (Plain Pennsylvania German), Non-Amish Pennsylvania German (Non-Plain Pennsylvania German, Pensylvanisch Deitsch). Blending of several German dialects, primarily Rhenish Palatinate (Pfalzer) German, with syntactic elements of High German and English. Mostly incomprehensible to those from the Palatinate (Kloss and McConnell 1974–1998).

Language Use

Plain community not shifting to English [eng], but maintains stable bilingualism (1987 M. Louden). All domains. Mainly older adults. Only preschoolers are monolingual. School children and adults also speak English [eng].

Language Development
Bible: 2013.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Separate orthographies for Pennsylvania and Ohio dialects. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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