Amish Words

A Guide to Pronunciation of PA-Dutch Words



Amish Words - Happy Times in the Garden

Happy times in the garden

A vowel is long when doubled. A vowel is long when followed by an h. Almost always a vowel is short when followed by two consonants.

Vowel Pennsylvania Dutch English Approximation
a (short) sache (things) a as in what
aa (long) aag (eye) aw as in saw
ae (long) baer (bear) ea as in bear
gaes (gas) a as in gas
ae (short) paesching (peach) a as in match
a (r) (long) darf (may) a as in father
e (long) geht (goes) a as in gate
e (short) fett (fat) e as in get
i (long) ihn (him) ee as in see
i (short) bin (am) i as in pin
o (long) rot (red) oa as in boat
u (long) blut (blood) oo as in moon
u (short) dumm (stupid) oo as in cook
Out for a ride in a pony cart

Out for a ride in a pony cart



Dipthong Pennsylvania Dutch English Approximation
au laut (loud) ow as in cow
ei leicht (light) i as in pine
oi roi (row) oy as in boy


Most of the consonants of Pennsylvania Dutch are pronounced much like they are in American English (b, p, d, t, k, ck, f, h, l, m, n, s, and w). Some of them are associated with letters that occur in English but with different sounds.

Consonant Pennsylvania Dutch English Approximation

Amish coat room

Amish coat room

b bank (bench) b as in bank
ab (off, away) p as in bump
ch (always follows a vowel ich (I) (Sound not in English)
mache (to make) (Sound not in English)
ck packe (to pack) ck as in picky
pack (pack) ck as in pack
d daal (valley) d as in dog
dodder (egg yolk) dd as in buddy
dog (death) d as in dot
f finne (to find) f as in find
hoffe (to hope) f as in huffy
schof (sheep) f as in hoof
g geld (money) g as in gold
Grischt (Christian) g as in ground
regischder (register) g as in regulate
g (betweenvowels only) aage (eyes) (Sound not in English)
g (in final position) aag (eye) k as in kick
h hut (hat) h as in hat
h (silent) uhr (clock)
k keenich (king) k as in king
l leicht (funeral) l as in light
millich (milk) ll as in silly
schlingel (rogue) l as in single
m mann (man) m as in man
besem (broom) m as in broom
n not (need) n as in not
menner (men) nn as in banner
in (in) n as in in
ng ring (ring) ng as in ring
nk gennuk (enough) nk as in sink
p parre (pastor) p as in pastor
lumbe (rag) b as in number
pp kopp (head) p as in hep
roppe (to pick, pluck) bb as in robber
s, ss sadde (sort of) s as in sort
kissi (cushion) ss as in sissy
boss (kiss) ss as in boss
sch schul (school) sh as in shop
t tee (tea) t as in tea
text (text) t as in next
dot (dead) t as in debt
v verrickt (crazy) f as in for
w wasser (water) w as in water
x hex (witch) x as in ax
x (sometimes ch) waxe, wachse (to grow) x as in ax
y yung (young) y as in yard
z zucker (sugar) ts as in hats

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