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Palatine German Sample I (Gimmeldingen)

This is an excerpt from an interview made in 1956 with a male speaker of Palatine German from the village of Gimmeldingen, which is now part of Neustadt an der Weinstraße, located 35 kilometers (22 miles) to the southwest of Mannheim. The consultant was 62 years old when interviewed in 1956, so he was born in either 1893 or 1894. The digitized interview with this speaker is part of the Zwirner-Korpus (speaker identification number I/1595; recording number ZWF95AW1), which is accessible through the Datenbank für Gesprochenes Deutsch at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache–Mannheim, Germany ( A complete analysis of Gimmeldingen Palatine German is given in: Karch, Dieter. 1973. Gimmeldingen Kr. Neustadt an der Weinstrasse; Mutterstadt Kr. Ludwigshafen am Rhein. Phonai, Bd. 13, Monographien 6. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. A transcription according to the rules of German orthography follows, along with translations into Pennsylvania Dutch and English.


Gimmeldingen Palatine German: Also, wie mer aus der Schul waarn, wie ich aus der Schul waar, do waar’s Allererschte, da hot em mol Vadder e neii Sens kaaft. Da hot er mol laerne maehe. Un wie’s so waar, net, maehe, do hot mer als in der Bodem neighackt, un do hot mer herumgstudiert, bis mer’s faerdich gebrocht hot. Am Heumache, do is noh schlecht gange. Wie emol des Omet mache kumme is schpeeder, na, do hot mer schun besser maehe kenne. Do hot mer nimmi so viel in der Bodem ghackt, do hot mer der Boge schun besser haus ghadd.

Pennsylvania Dutch translation: Well, wie mir aus der Schul waare, wie ich aus der Schul waar, noh s’erscht Ding, noh hot mol der Daed em en neii Sens gekaaft. Do hot mer mol glannt maehe. Un wie’s waar, gel fer maehe, noh hot mer als in der Bodde neighackt, un noh hot mer als widder browiert, bis mer’s recht grigt hot. An Hoimache-Zeit, noh is’s schlecht gange. Wie mol die Zeit kumme is fer’s Omet mache schpeeder, noh hot mer schunt besser maehe kenne. Mer hot nimmi so viel in der Bodde ghackt, mer hot’s noh besser duhe kenne.

English translation: Well, when we got out of school, when I got out of school, the first thing, your father bought you a new scythe. Then you learned to mow. And as it was with mowing [for the first time], you would chop into the ground, and then you would try over and over again until you got it right. At hay making time, it went poorly. When it was time to make the second cutting later, then you could mow better. You didn’t chop so much into the ground anymore, you could do it better.