Fill out the form below, and I will keep you up-to-date when the Amish language learning MP3 program will be released to our world.
Created by the Amish for people (an Amish family in Southern Pennsylvania) to learn their language and culture.
Fill out the form above and I will let you know when it is ready. If you want to know more about the language here is my post on the linguistics of it: PADutch language
Thank you and God bless. Mark Biernat
The Amish Language
In this fast-paced world, it is hard to imagine a time without computers, internet, cell phones, televisions, microwaves and cars. We read the history books and we shake our heads at the hardships that our ancestors must have had to endure. Try telling children that when TV dinners first came out that you had to bake them in the oven for almost forty-five minutes and they will look at your horrified. Life in the fast lane is certainly fast; everything is instantaneous and we are always connected to the world by technology.
What no WIFI in Amishland?
Sometimes, we disconnect and slow down. Perhaps a camping trip, where the lack of Wi-Fi might be grumbled upon but pictures can always be posted when you get home, or maybe a weekend at a nice hotel, where you have no deadlines. During these times when we are faced with nothing to do but to relax, we think “this is the life” and maybe, just maybe, we yearn for those simpler times of yesteryear.
The real way to learn about the Amish people
If you ever truly want to learn about simpler times, you can do so without needing to meet a history book, just visit a Mennonite or Amish community. The Amish and the Mennonites live in the modern world but retain their old ways. For many, this is fascinating. Could you trade in your car for a horse and buggy? Would you be able to bid farewell to your gadgets and gizmos? Perhaps we all have a part of us that wishes to disconnect and slow down and that is why the Amish and Mennonites are so interesting.
Since I have been creating this program and learning the Amish language, my family’s life has been transformed spiritually. I do not know if it is a coincidence or not. However, by immersing myself in their language, I think through osmoses, I am feeling the positive influence their culture.
Aside from their lack of modern clothing, the first thing you will notice about the Amish and the Mennonites is that they have their own language. They do speak English but they also speak their own language, and old language and it is called Pennsylvania Dutch, or PA Dutch. Pennsylvania Dutch is a German based language but it is a hybrid language, a mixture of German and English. When listening to them talk, you will hear bits and pieces of English mixed into the language.
What is the first language of the Amish children?
The Amish learn PA Dutch as their first language and then when they attend school, they are taught English. Many of them also speak High German, as their bibles are often written in German and many of their religious services are still held in German. The Pennsylvania Dutch are originally from Germany and left due to religious persecution. Some have Swedish roots, having come from the part of Switzerland that was predominately German speaking but German was the base language.
Dialects of Amish
In 1683, the first group of Germans arrived in Pennsylvania and continued to do so for the next several decades. They became farmers, forming their own communities, primarily in Pennsylvania but they have communities in other states as well. More Amish immigrants came to America in the 18th and 19th centuries, some also settled in the communities in Pennsylvania and others made new communities in Indiana and Ohio. You will find that there are differences in the dialects from the Amish in these regions.
Why would anybody want to learn PA Dutch?
There are many reasons why learning a new language is a good idea; the biggest reason is that we should never stop learning. Learning new languages keeps our brains working and helps prevent age related mental decline. Other reasons are because you might have shared ancestry or have Amish in your family tree and you want to learn the language. Perhaps you live and work with the Amish and you would like to be able to converse in their own language.
The reason why do not matter, but their language is fascinating. It is a common misconception that Pennsylvania Dutch is derived from the Dutch language. The word Dutch comes from the Netherlands, but rather from how the word “Deitsch” sounds when said out loud. “Deutsch” is the German word for people from Germany, it also sounds like “Deitsch”, which is a German endonym, and thus, over the years, it became the word Dutch.
What is a hybrid language
Because it is a hybrid language, with a spattering of English thrown in, many people find that PA Dutch is easy to learn. If you live in a state with an Amish population, PA Dutch sayings are probably already part of your lexicon, so why not learn more about the language.
It does not matter if you are interested in the Amish in particular or just interested in language, you will find learning Pennsylvania Dutch fun and easy. You can use it to talk to Amish people that you encounter, to help boost your brainpower, or just for the fun of learning. The Amish are a fascinating people and their language is just as interesting.
You do not need a time machine to go to an early time in history; you just need to visit the Amish. You will be instantly transported back to a simpler time and when you know the language as well, you can even enjoy getting to know the Amish even more. Not only will speaking to the Amish help you learn more, but also once you begin to speak their language, it will be easier to experience the Amish culture first hand.