Mary Laub

Mary Laub, Maxatawny, is the author of "On the Farm; Where is Henny?” written in Pa Dutch with phonetic spelling and English translation. She will be contributing PA German columns with an English translation.

Nau vielleicht hoscht du en Frog, was iss der Unnerschitt zwischich Pennsilfaanisch Deutsch* un Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch? Deel Leit saage Deutsch, un annere Leit saage, Deitsch. Yaahre zerick in die 1700s die Englische Leit doh in Amerika henn es Watt, Deitsch, fer all die Germanic Schprooche vun Deitschland, Osterreich, un Schweiz gyuust. Sie henn aa es Watt, Deitsch, gyuust fer all die Leit wer sin vun des Gegend kumme. Wann Leit saage Pennsilfaani Deutsch, sell iss all die Dialekts vun die Deitschland, Osterreich, un Schweiz Gegend.

(Now perhaps you have a question, what is the difference between Pennsylvania German and Pennsylvania Dutch? Some people say, German, and other people say, Dutch. Years ago in the 1700s, the English people here in America used the word, Dutch for all the Germanic languages from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They also used the word, Dutch, to refer to all the people who came from this area. When people say Pennsylvania German, this refers to all the dialects from the Germany, Austria and Switzerland areas.)

So, die Watte Pennsilfaanisch Deutsch un Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch kenne hie un her sei yuuse. Viel Leit gleiche der Watt, Deutsch, im Blatz vun Deitsch yuuse so as es iss net verhuddelt mit die Deitsch Schprooch un Kultur vun die Nederlander.

(So, the words Pennyslvania German and Pennsylvania Dutch can be used interchangeably. Many people like to use the word German instead of Dutch so it is not confused with the Dutch language and culture in the Netherlands.)

Deel Resources saage vun 1683 bis 1776, baut 85, 000 Deutsch- schwetze Leit sin in Amerika aakumme. Baut 70,000 Leit henn in Pennsilfaani sich hiegeblanst. Sie sin meh aus der Palatinate Gegend in Deitschland kumme. Des iss in der Sudde-Oscht Gegend in Deitschland. Die Pennsilfaanisch Deutsch Schprooch iss wie es iss in der Rheinland-Pfalz Gegend in Deitschland Heit. Letzt yaahr sin mei Mann un ich zu des Gegend gange. Ya, es waar wunderbar gut! Mer kenne gut Pennsilfaanisch Deutsch mit selle Leit schwetze!

(Some resources say from 1683 until 1776, about 85,000 German-speaking people arrived in America. About 70,000 people settled in Pennsylvania. They came mostly from the Palatinate region in Germany. This is in the southeastern area in Germany. The Pennsylvania German language is like that in the Rhineland-Platz area in Germany today. Last year my husband and I went to this area. Yes, it was wonderful! We could speak Pennsylvania German to these people!)

Nau, eppes meh Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch…

(Now, something more Pennsylvania Dutch)….

Viel Leit in des Kutzeschteddel Pennsilfaani Gegend froge, “Kannscht du Micke fange?” Sell lechert mich! Verwas woll eenichepper wunnere eb ich Micke fange kann? Ich fang ken Micke un ich kenn niemand as sell dutt! So, fer was saagt epper sell? Es iss en Weg fer ausfinne eb epper Pennsilfaanish Deitsch verschteh kann. Awwer es macht kenn Verschtand un iss yuscht fer Schpass!

(Many people in this Kutztown, Pennsylvania area ask, “Can you catch flies?” That makes me laugh! For what reason would anybody wonder if I can catch flies? I don’t catch flies and I don’t know anyone else who does that either! So, why does someone say that? It is a way to find out if someone can understand Pennsylvania Dutch. But it makes no sense and is just for fun!)

Wann du en Antwatt gewwe kannscht zu daere Frog “Kannscht du Micke fange?”, wisse die Leit as du glee bissel Deitsch verschteh un schwetze kannscht. Die Antwatt zu daere Frog iss, “Ya, wann sie hocke bleiwe.” So, vielleicht ee Daag wann du in der Kutzeschteddel Gegend un abaddich an en Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Event bischt, saag zu ebber as du kennscht, “Kannscht du Micke fange?” Dann waard mol. Wann daer Mensch guckt as wie du naarisch bischt, saag die Frog nochemol. Wann daer Mensch net en Antwatt gewwe kann, ausleg fer was du die Frog gfrogt hoscht. Dann geb die Antwatt, “Ya, wann sie hocke bleiwe.” Es waer wunderbaar gut wann annere Leit en glee bissel Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch lanne kennde un Schpass hawwe!

(When you can give an answer to this question, “Can you catch flies?” People know that you can understand and speak a little Dutch. The answer to this question is, “Yes, when they sit still.” So, perhaps one day when you are in the Kutztown area and especially at a Pennsylvania Dutch event, say to someone you know, “Can you catch flies?” Then wait once. When this person looks at you as if you are crazy, ask the question again. If this person cannot give an answer, explain why you asked this question. Then give the answer, “Yes, when they stay still.” It would be wonderful if other people can learn a little Pennsylvania Dutch and have fun!)

NOTE: Deutsch is not a word in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. It is used in this article to distinguish it from Deitsch which is the word for Dutch in the dialect. Similarly, Deitschland is used to denote the country of Germany.

Bis schpeeder…

(Until later)…

Yuscht die Bauerei Maedel aus Kutzeschteddel, die Mary Laub

(Just the farm girl from Kutztown, Mary Laub)

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