German, Pennsylvania


A language of United States

Alternate Names
Deitsch, Pennsilfaani-Deitsch, Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch, Pennsylfaanisch Deitsch, Pennsylvaanisch Deitsch, Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvanish
Pennsylvania Deitsh, Pennsylvanisch-Deitsch

133,000 in United States (2015 census), increasing. Ethnic population: 200,000 (Kloss and McConnell 1981). Total users in all countries: 148,000.


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

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


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 1978).

Language Use

Plain community not shifting to English [eng], but maintains stable bilingualism (1987 M. Louden). All domains. Some of all ages. Also use English [eng], especially school children and adults.

Language Development

Bible: 2013.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Separate orthographies for Pennsylvania and Ohio dialects. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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