11 responses to High German vs. Pennsylvania German In Conversation (Video)
  • *
    Comment on Mistake in translation (July 24th, 2017 at 10:27)

    Mistake in translation

    Thank you for sharing this video. Knowing some of both languages, I could follow along, but I noticed there was a mistake in the translation around the Amish word “Leicht,” which means “funeral” in his language, but “easy” in High German. The word easy is in the subtitles, and it shouldn’t be. The Amish man was bringing up how the communities come together for funerals, but it has nothing to do with the High German meaning for Leicht.

    In the part around the question marks when the second man was talking about what time he gets up… he was saying he wakes up at a given time but likes to lie back down for a while, and then it’s “Here we go.” (Time to get up and get to work.)

    • Thanks Saloma for pointing these out. In the comments on Youtube someone mentioned a mistake, and I’m guessing they may have meant what you pointed out here. I did notice the “easy funeral” part (2:57 in the video), which sort of threw me for a loop 😀

      Btw I’m curious if you’ve heard much of what Swiss Amish speak, and if so how well you are able to follow along?

    • *
      Comment on High German vs. Pennsylvania German In Conversation (Video) (July 24th, 2017 at 13:40)

      Hi Saloma

      The word Leicht for Funeral is also used in Swiss German (z’lycht gah)

  • *
    Alex Knisely
    Comment on Dem Nicht-Amischen ist Deutsch in der Schule beigebracht worden, oder? (July 24th, 2017 at 13:22)

    Dem Nicht-Amischen ist Deutsch in der Schule beigebracht worden, oder?

    Seine Muttersprache ist Deutsch gewiss nicht. Wennschon, hätte er nie die Amischen gesiezt (mit Sie angeredet). Solch eine Höflichkeitsfloskel ist den Amischen völlig fremd, wenn ich mich nicht irre.

    Jedenfalls bedanke ich mich bei Frau Furlong. Ich habe das mit dem Nickerchen (eine kurze Zeit, das Bett noch zu hüten, trotz des Weckers!) nicht verstanden. Aber was soll’s.

    Danke, Erik, dass Du uns dieses Video mitgeteilt hast!

  • *
    Jim (Jakob) Kramer
    Comment on Doe Leicht (July 27th, 2017 at 13:51)

    Doe Leicht

    This word has nothing to do with easy. Die Leiche is High German for corpse. It takes little in the way of imagination to see how one thing led to another. It could be that the Amish wanted an expression that was not from the Roman Catholic tradition (die Trauermesse) or the Lutheran and Reformed parlance (der Trauergottesdienst). Or it could be a simple Ableitung or expression someone just happened to use based on die Leiche, and it stuck. Danke bestens, Erik, dass du das Video mit uns geteilt hast!!!

  • *
    Comment on Leicht (July 28th, 2017 at 19:56)


    In our Ontario version of Pa. Duetch, we use the word Leicht for funeral, for easy and for light (as opposed to heavy.)

  • *
    Comment on High German vs. Pennsylvania German In Conversation (Video) (July 29th, 2017 at 02:56)

    Wow! So many English words interspersed in there. And I almost felt a hesitance with the Penn German speakers. They would quickly slip into English halfway through the interview. (I wonder if that is because it is more automatic when dealing with non-Amish people to just speak English).
    This was VERY interesting for me. I’ve been studying Penn German for a year now – and had not realized the dialects could be quite so varied and quite so many. I really enjoyed this. I wish there were more videos of this kind.

    By the way – when exactly do the Amish speak Hoch Deutsch, if ever? Is it only at the Church services? When they pray at home, do they read the Bible in High German out loud?

    Excellent post, Eric!

  • *
    Comment on First hand (July 30th, 2017 at 09:36)

    First hand

    At Horse Progress Days 2016, in Howe, Indiana, I witnessed something similar. There was an international guest from Germany named Gunther something that I happened upon. I had his business card, but have misplaced it so I don’t know his last name. He spoke next to no English, which is where I am with German … high, standard or otherwise.

    At one point he was trying to tell me something, but I was clueless as to what he talking about. So I asked 3 Amish men that were standing together if they could translate what he was saying. They tried and tried, but clearly couldn’t do it. Then a 4th walked up, listened for a minute and then began conversing with Gunther. He was easily able to translate for us.

    I have no idea why it was so easy for him, but not the other 3 unless they just weren’t as fluent in standard German as he was.

Leave a reply to High German vs. Pennsylvania German In Conversation (Video)


Resource List
Reliable information from one of the largest Amish sites on the web.

Join over 15,000 email subscribers to get:
Amish Community Info | Book Giveaways | Amish Writers & non-Amish Experts | More

Get email updates

100% Free | No Spam | Unsubscribe Anytime