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Palatine German
Spoken in Germany[1]
Total speakers unknown[1]
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Latin (German variant)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 pfl

Palatine German (Pfälzisch/Pälzisch or Pfaelzisch/Paelzisch) 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, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Speyer, 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 Pfaelzisch are:

Vorderpfälzisch Westpfälzisch High German English Equivalent
Mais Mais Mäuse mice
Lais Lais Läuse lice
Grumbeer Grumbeer Kartoffel potato
Schnoog(e) Stechmigg Mücke a mosquito
Bääm Bääm Bäume trees
Schdää Schdää Stein stone
soi sei sein his (possessive)
unser unser unsere ours
net/nit net nicht not
dowedder degeje dagegen against
Fusch Fisch Fisch fish
ebbes ebbes etwas something
Ärwett Arwett Arbeit work
Dor 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 verzehlt, awwer där hot mer's nit geglawt.

In Westpfälzisch:

Ich hann's'm schunn verzehlt, awwer er hat 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 already told [it to] him, but he didn't believe me.

Hasche a(ch) Hunger? (Westpfälzisch)

Hoschd aa Hunger? (Vorderpfälzisch)

In standard German, the sentence would read as such:

Hast du auch Hunger?

The English translation would be,

Are you hungry, too?

Palatine speakers tend to swallow some of the other letters that standard German speakers enunciate. It's important to point out that 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 isn't used, same as the German imperfect.


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