Amish Words

A Guide to Pronunciation of PA-Dutch Words


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.

a (short)sache (things)a as in what
aa (long)aag (eye)aw as in saw
ae (long)baer (bear)
gaes (gas)
ea as in bear
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 mood
u (short)dumm (stupid)oo as in cook


aulaut (loud)ow as in cow
eileicht (light)i as in pine
oiroi (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.

bbank (bench)
ab (off, away)
b as in bank
p as in bump
ch (always follows a vowel)ich (I)
mache (to make)
(Sound not in English)
(Sound not in English)
ckpacke (to pack)
pack (pack)
ck as in picky
ck as in pack
 ddaal (valley)
dodder (egg yolk)
dog (death)
d as in dog
dd as in buddy
d as in dot
ffinne (to find)
hoffe (to hope)
schof (sheep)
f as in find
f as in huffy
f as in hoof
ggeld (money)
Grischt (Christian)
regischder (register)
g as in gold
g as in ground
g as in regulate
g (between vowels only)aage (eyes)(Sound not in English)
g (in final position)aag (eye)k as in kick
hhut (hat)h as in hat
h (silent)uhr (clocki as in pin
kkeenich (king)k as in king
lleicht (funeral)
millich (milk)
schlingel (rogue)
l as in light
ll as in silly
l as in single
mmann (man)
besem (broom)
m as in man
m as in broom
nnot (need)
menner (men)
in (in)
n as in not
nn as in banner
n as in in
ngring (ring)ng as in ring
nkgennuk (enough)nk as in sink
pparre (pastor)
lumbe (rag)
p as in pastor
b as in number
ppkopp (head)
roppe (to pick, pluck)
p as in help
bb as in robber
s, sssadde (sort of)
kissi (cushion)
boss (kiss)
s as in sort
ss as in sissy
ss as in boss
schschul (school)sh as in shop
ttee (tea)
text (text)
dot (dead)
t as in tea
t as in next
t as in debt
vverrickt (crazy)f as in for
wwasser (water)w as in water
xhex (witch)x as in ax
x (sometimes ch)waxe, wachse (to grow)x as in ax
yyung (young)y as in yard
zzucker (sugar)ts as in hats