Pennsylvania Deitsh, a spoken language primarily used within Amish communities, carries a rich cultural and linguistic heritage. While High German is traditionally employed for religious purposes, the Amish have embraced Pennsylvania Deitsh as their everyday language.
The Bible in Pennsylvania Deitsh
Nowadays, the Amish also want to read the Holy Scripture in their own language. The New Testament is already available in Pennsylvania Deitsh, the “Translation Committee” is currently engaged in the task of translating the Old Testament into Pennsylvania Deitsh. While the project is ongoing, the New Testament has already been translated, including Psalms and Proverbs, which are included in the second print edition.
An Evolution of Vocabulary: English Influences in Pennsylvania Deitsh
To assist readers encountering Pennsylvania Deitsh in written form for the first time, a guide accompanies the Pennsylvania Dutch New Testament. This guide offers support in understanding and navigating the language, as its written form may be unfamiliar to many individuals.
Pennsylvania Deitsh has developed its own unique vocabulary, influenced by the surroundings and experiences of the Amish community. Interestingly, English loanwords have found their way into Pennsylvania Deitsh, particularly for objects that were not yet invented when the Amish ancestors migrated from Europe. These linguistic adaptations highlight the language’s flexibility and adaptation over time. For instance, the term “shteem-intshein” is used to refer to a steam engine, diverging from the High German term “Lokomotive.”