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Palatine German language

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Title: Palatine German language  
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Subject: Pennsylvania German language, Central German, German language, Palatinate (region), User pfl-0
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Palatine German language

Palatine German
Native to Germany (Southwest Palatinate, Rheinpfalz)
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Latin (German alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pfl
Glottolog pala1330[1]

Palatine German or Pfaelzisch (Pälzisch; German: Pfälzisch) is a West Franconian dialect of German which is spoken in the Rhine Valley roughly in an area between the cities of Zweibrücken, Kaiserslautern, Alzey, Worms, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Speyer, Landau, Wörth am Rhein and the border to the Alsace region in France but also beyond. Pennsylvania German, or Pennsylvania Dutch is descended primarily from the Palatine German dialects spoken by Germans who immigrated to North America from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries and who chose to maintain their native language. Danube Swabians in Croatia and Serbia also use many elements of it. Normally, one distinguishes the Pfälzisch spoken in the western part of the Palatinate (Westpfälzisch) and the Pfälzisch spoken in the eastern part of the Palatinate (Vorderpfälzisch). Some examples of the differences between High German and Pfälzisch are:

Vorderpfälzisch Westpfälzisch High German English equivalent
Mais Mais Mäuse mice
Lais Lais Läuse lice
Grumbeea Grumbeer Kartoffel potato
Schnoog(e) Stechmigg Stechmücke mosquito
Bääm Bääm Bäume trees
Bää Bää Beine legs
Schdää Schdää Stein stone
soi sei sein his (possessive)
unsa unser unsere ours
ned/nid net nicht not
dowedder/dwedda degeche dagegen against
Fusch Fisch Fisch fish
ebbes ebbes etwas something
Ärwedd Arwett Arbeit work
Doa Dor Tor gate
Abbel Abbel Apfel apple
hawwe hann haben have

A few examples of sentence pronunciation in Vorderpfälzisch would be:

Isch habb's'm schunn vazehld, awwa där hod ma's nid geglawd.

In Westpfälzisch:

Ich hann's'm schunn verzehlt, awwer er had mer's net geglaabt.

In standard German, the sentence would read as such:

Ich hab's ihm schon erzählt, aber er hat's mir nicht geglaubt.

The English translation would be,

I have already told [it] him, but he didn't believe me.

Hasche aa Hunger? (Westpfälzisch)

Hoschd ach Hunga? (Vorderpfälzisch)

In standard German, the sentence would read as such:

Hast du auch Hunger?

The English translation would be,

Are you hungry, too?

Pronunciation and grammar vary from region to region (even from town to town). Palatine Germans often can tell the part of Palatinate or even the village where other speakers are from. Something all Palatine dialects have in common is that the genitive is not used, similar to the German imperfect, except for words such as soi (to be) and wolle (to want).


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Palatinate Franconian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links

  • Modern German Dialects: Pfälzisch
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