What is Deitsch?
It is Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German, a German dialect spoken in North America brought by settlers from German speaking areas in Europe (such as the Palatinate, Hesse, Wurtemburg, Switzerland and Alsace) who came to the British colony of Pennsylvania between 1683 and 1776, and who later, from Pennsylvania, spread out to other areas. In Canada, the Pennsylvania Dutch speaking population came from Pennsylvania in the aftermath of the War of Independence, again during the 1820s, with a third wave from the USA between 1950 and 1970. The Canadian Pennsylvania Dutch speaking population is also made up in large part of the descendants of immigrants who arrived in the 1820s directly from Alsace, the Palatinate and Bavaria.
Am I allowed to contribute?
Yes. If you speak or are learning Pennsylvania Dutch, you are welcome to contribute
I don't know how to spell in Pennsylvania German, so should I write?
Your contribution is important. Don't worry about spelling, as long as someone can understand it. If necessary, someone can edit your spelling. There is also flexibility to spellings. For example in the Encyclopedia you will find "eppes" and "ebbes", "Schtettel" and "Schteddel", "Pennsylvaanisch" and "Pennsilfaanisch".
I would write, but I would need to use many English borrowings, should I write?
English borrowings are acceptable. If another person knows a Pennsylvania German equivalent for your English borrowing, then they might replace your English word, or put the PG word in brackets after the English word or vice versa. Borrowings can alternate with their dialect equivalents if they are frequently used ex. "Old Order Mennischde" and "Fuhremennischde".
I want to write about a subject that interests me but how do I start a new article?
Type the name of your future article that you would like to write about under "guuck uff" then press "go" or "guuck fer Ardickel" (do not press "search" or "such" if you want to start a new article). If there is no article on this topic, hit "create this page" and you are ready to write your article.
Do you have a dictionary?
Not as of yet, but we are working on a three-way dictionary. Nouns can usually be looked up within the Wikipedia itself, often a picture is available with the article, especially once the Wikipedia becomes larger. If you want help increasing your Pennsylvania Deitsch Vocabulary, check these pages out:
- Verbs can be difficult to decipher. For help with many of the common verbs in our articles check out the Pennsylvania Dutch Dialect Project.
Do you have a list of computer terms in Pennsylvania Deitsch?
Yes, we do: deitscherei.blogspot.de
But I thought the Amish didn't have computers...
Pennsylvania Dutch was also traditionally spoken by "secular" communities in south-eastern Pennsylvania. Our Wikipedia is aimed at this group, those learning Pennsylvania Dutch in the Pennsylvania Dutch "schools", and the many Pennsylvania Dutch speaking people who have computers who grew up in Amish and Mennonite families. Approximately half of the Amish and Old Order Mennonite population of over 225,000 is under 18 and it has been estimated that approximately 10 % do not join their respective churches. This amounts to around 20,000 speakers over the next two decades. Some of our writers come from the secular Pennsylvania German communities, some of our contributors have Amish or Old Order Mennonite parents or grandparents, some are actively implicated in preservation efforts for the language, whether based in Germany or in North America, and some of our contributors are simply dutchophiles.