Palatine German Language
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Palatine German Language

Palatine German, or Pfaelzisch-Lothringisch (Pälzisch; German: Pfälzisch) is a West Franconian dialect of German which is spoken in the Upper 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). The English term Palatine refers to the Palatinate region where these dialects are spoken.


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
Schnook Schdeschmick Stechmücke mosquito
Bääm Bääm Bäume trees
Bää Bää Beine legs
Schdää Schdää Stein stone
soi sei sein his (possessive) / to be
unsa unser unsere ours
net (nit) net nicht not
dowedder/dewedda degeche dagegen against
Fisch (Fusch) Fisch Fisch fish
ebbes ebbes etwas something
Ärwett Arwett Arbeit work
Doa Dor Tor gate
Abbel Abbel Apfel apple
hawwe hann haben have
Haffe Hawwe Kochtopf pot (saucepan)

A few examples of sentence pronunciation in Vorderpfälzisch would be:

Isch habb's'm schunn vazehlt, awwa där hod ma's nit geglaabt.

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 the Palatinate or even the village where other speakers are from.

Grammatically, all Palatine dialects share the features that the genitive is not used (replaced with uses of the dative, with or without von) and that most verbs do not have an imperfect past tense, only the perfect.

See also


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pfaelzisch-Lothringisch". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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