Hiwwe wie Driwwe: A Pennsylvania German publication

Dr. Michael Werner passes on a link to the Pennsylvania German website Hiwwe wie Driwwe (‘Over here as over there’).  The site is coupled with a biannual newspaper of the same name, apparently the only regular Pennsylvania German language publication.

Pennsylvania German Road sign schule weeg

A bit of background on the dialect, from the Hiwwe wie Driwwe site:

In North America, one can still find a few speech islands, in which Pennsylvania German is spoken. Today, about 300,000 Americans and a few thousand Canadians speak that dialect, which came into existence in the 18. and early 19. century. As the German immigrants came to the “New World”, they mixed their dialects with English, which was the languagemainly spoken in the English colonies. And after a few generations,there was only one German dialect: Pennsylvania German. That unique idiom resembles mostly the Palatine dialect, which is spoken in the Rhine Valley between the cities of Neustadt, Grünstadt and Mannheim.

Interesting to see a regular publication in Pennsylvania German.  In shops in Amish areas you do come across occasional books rendered in the dialect, but typically the Amish would write in English rather than using some rendition of their primarily spoken language.

From Wikipedia, have a look at comparisons of the Lord’s Prayer, written in English, two different PA German wording systems, as well as two versions of Modern German:

English (BCP) Writing system 1 (English-based) Writing system 2 (German-based) Modern German (close translation) Modern German (standard wording)
Our Father who art in heaven, Unsah Faddah im Himmel, Unser Vadder im Himmel, Unser Vater im Himmel, Vater unser im Himmel,
Hallowed be thy name. dei nohma loss heilich sei, dei Naame loss heilich sei, Deinen Namen lass heilig sein, geheiligt werde dein Name,
Thy kingdom come. Dei Reich loss kumma. Dei Reich loss komme. Dein Reich lass kommen. Dein Reich komme.
Thy will be done, Dei villa loss gedu sei, Dei Wille loss gedu sei, Deinen Willen lass getan sein, Dein Wille geschehe,
on earth as in heaven. uf di eaht vi im Himmel. uff die Erd wie im Himmel. auf der Erde wie im Himmel. wie im Himmel, so auf Erden.
Give us this day our daily bread. Unsah tayklich broht gebb uns heit, Unser deeglich Brot gebb uns heit, Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute, Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute,
And forgive us our trespasses; Un fagebb unsah shulda, Un vergebb unser Schulde, Und vergib unsere Schulden, Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
as we forgive those who tresspass against us. vi miah dee fagevva vo uns shuldich sinn. wie mir die vergewwe wu uns schuldich sinn. wie wir denen vergeben, die uns schuldig sind. wie auch wir vergeben unseren Schuldigern.
And lead us not into temptation Un fiah uns naett in di fasuchung, Un fiehr uns net in die Versuchung, Und führe uns nicht in die Versuchung, Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
but deliver us from evil. avvah hald uns fu’m eevila. awwer hald uns vum Iewile. aber halte uns vom Üblen [fern]. sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.
For thine is the kingdom, the power Fa dei is es Reich, di graft, Fer dei is es Reich, die Graft, Für Dein ist das Reich, die Kraft Denn Dein ist das Reich, und die Kraft
and the glory, For ever and ever. un di hallichkeit in ayvichkeit. un die Hallichkeit in Ewichkeit. und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit. und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Dr. Werner, who publishes and edits Hiwwe wie Driwwe and serves as president of the German-Pennsylvanian Association, says that among the newspaper’s contributors are Amish individuals, and that around 10% of the paper’s subscribers are plain households.

Also: the difference between Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish.

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    One Comment

    1. Dr. - Ewald Heirich {Henry} Hanelt

      phantastiK! In my waning life and in the USA insteas Australia, {I have been brought here to Michigan on a congressional quota initiated by Gerald Ford} I have now found real Amish in Oxford PA.