Palatine German language

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Palatine German
Native toGermany (Southwest Palatinate, Rheinpfalz)
Latin (German alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3pfl

Palatine German (endonym: Pälzisch; Standard German: Pfälzisch [ˈpfɛltsɪʃ]), is a Rhenish Franconian language and is spoken in the Upper Rhine Valley, roughly in the area between Zweibrücken, Kaiserslautern, Alzey, Worms, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Mannheim, Odenwald, Heidelberg, Speyer, Landau, Wörth am Rhein and the border to Alsace and Lorraine, in France, but also beyond.

The Pennsylvania Dutch language, also called Pennsylvania German, is descended primarily from the Palatine German that was spoken by Palatine refugees who emigrated to North America from the 17th to the 19th centuries and maintained their native language. Danube Swabians in Croatia and Serbia also use many elements of Palatinate German.

Pfälzisch spoken in the western Palatinate (Westpfälzisch) is normally distinguished from the Pfälzisch spoken in the eastern Palatinate (Vorderpfälzisch).

The English term Palatine refers to the Palatinate region, where the language is spoken.

Pronunciation and grammar vary from region to region and even from town to town. Palatine Germans can often tell other speakers' region of the Palatinate or even their specific village.


Here are some words in Standard German and in Pfälzisch:

Vorderpfälzisch Westpfälzisch Standard German English equivalent
Mais Mais Mäuse mice
Lais Lais Läuse lice
Grumbeea Grumbeer Kartoffel potato
Schnook Schdechmick Stechmücke mosquito
Bääm Bääm Bäume trees
Bää Bää Beine legs
Schdää Schdää Stein stone
soi sei sein his (possessive) / to be
unsa unser unsere ours
net (nit) net nicht not
dowedder/dewedda degeche dagegen against
Fisch (Fusch) Fisch Fisch fish
ebbes ebbes etwas something
Ärwett Arwett Arbeit work
Doa Dor Tor gate
Abbel Abbel Apfel apple
hawwe hann haben have
Haffe Hawwe Kochtopf pot (saucepan)

This sentence is pronounced in Vorderpfälzisch:

Isch habb's'm schunn vazehlt, awwa där hod ma's nit geglaabt.

In Westpfälzisch, it would be the following:

Ich hann's'm schunn verzehlt, awwer er had mer's net geglaabt.

In Standard German, the sentence would read:

Ich hab's ihm schon erzählt, aber er hat's mir nicht geglaubt.

In English, it means:

I have already told [it to] him, but he didn't believe me.

Hasche aa Hunger? (Westpfälzisch)

Hoschd ach Hunga? (Vorderpfälzisch)

Hast du auch Hunger? (Standard German)

Are you hungry too? (English)


Grammatically, all Palatine dialects do not use the genitive case, which is replaced by the dative, with or without von, and most dialects have no imperfect tense but only the perfect.

Notable speakers[edit]

See also[edit]