Pennsylvania German (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch) Bible

Pennsylvania German (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch) Bible

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Pennsylvania German (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch) Bible

Pennsylvania German (Deitsch, Pennsilfaanisch-Deitsch listen , Pennsilfaanisch; often called Pennsylvania Dutch) is a variety of West Central German spoken by the Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites and other descendants of German immigrants in the United States and Canada, closely related to the Palatine dialects. There are possibly more than 300,000 native speakers in the United States and Canada. In Pennsylvania 29.9% of the population currently claim German ancestry. It has traditionally been the dialect of the Pennsylvania Dutch, descendants of late 17th- and early to late 18th-century immigrants to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina from southern Germany, eastern France (Alsace and Lorraine), and Switzerland. Although for many, the term "Pennsylvania Dutch" is often taken to refer to the Amish and related Old Order groups exclusively, the term should not imply a connection to any particular religious group. Contrary to popular belief, the word "Dutch" in "Pennsylvania Dutch" not a mistranslation, but rather a corruption of the Pennsylvania German endonym Deitsch, which means "Pennsylvania Dutch / German" or "German". Ultimately, the terms Deitsch, Dutch, Diets and Deutsch are all cognates of the Proto-Germanic word *þiudiskaz meaning "popular" or "of the people". The continued use of "Pennsylvania Dutch" was strengthend by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 19th century as a way of distinguising themselves from later (post 1830) waves of German immigrants to the United States, with the Pennsylvania Dutch referring to themselves as Deitsche and to Germans as Deitschlenner (literally "Germany-ers", compare Deutschland-er) whom they saw as a related but distinct group.Speakers of the dialect today are primarily found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and other Midwestern states of the United States, and in Ontario in Canada. Historically, the dialect was also spoken in several other regions where its use has either largely or entirely faded. The practice of Pennsylvania German as a street language in urban areas of Pennsylvania (such as Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, and York) was declining by the arrival of the 20th century, while in more rural areas it continued in widespread use through the World War II era. Since that time, its use has greatly declined. The exception to this decline is in the context of the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities, and presently the members of these two groups make up the majority of Pennsylvania German speakers (see "Survival", below).