Classes offer rare op to learn Pennsylvania Dutch – Part II

Ken Stough, left, instructor for the Pennsylvania Dutch language classes, talks with Butch Reigart during a class at Providence Place near Dover. Reigart, formerly of York County, is teaching an upcoming Lancaster-based Pennsylvania German course. Background posts: Der Belsnickel of the Pennsylvania Dutch: ‘He looked scary and carried a sack of presents’ and Classes offer rare op to learn Pennsylvania Dutch and York County group preserving Pennsylvania Dutch language, heritage.

People are fascinated with Pennsylvania Dutch language, a dialect of German spoken for decades – centuries – in York County and other parts of Pennsylvania.
Today, the dialect is most prevalent among the Mennonite and Amish, the latter a growing population group in southeastern York County.
According to a news release, the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society is offering 10-week classes in the Pennsylvania Dutch language and culture… .

The new class for beginners with no prior background will be held Thursdays starting March 12. A class for those with one semester or more prior experience in Pennsylvania Dutch, will be held Wednesdays, starting March 11. Both classes meet from 7-9 p.m. at Society headquarters, 2215 Millstream Road, just off Route 30.
Cost is $100 for members, $115 for non-members. The series ends with a meal in an Amish home. Details: 717-393-9745.
Butch Reigart will teach the class.
“Butch’s interactive teaching style,” the press release states, “includes dialogues, songs, stories, history and cultural practices of the Plain People, for whom it is a living language.”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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4 Responses to Classes offer rare op to learn Pennsylvania Dutch – Part II

  1. Abigail wright says:

    I am trying to learn Pennsylvania Dutch.
    I have very limited funding therefore I was wondering
    if you knew where I could find learning CDs of the language.

  2. Jim McClure says:

    Abigail, I think I would just take your question to the the historical group in this post: 717-393-9745. See what they say.

  3. justfalcon says:

    Two of my greatgrandmothers married out of the Amish. Even though they never lived near me, I had trouble in english school because of my odd word order. I was the only one in the family with an “accent”. At 52 years of age, I’d like to “relearn” what feels like my native language. I also wish there were CDs and books. Thanks sf

  4. Clarice Annerud says:

    If anyone knows of someone who will make some tapes or CD’s in this language. I would love to learn it. My grandparents spoke it and when they died when I was a child it was never spoken again in our home. I woould like to connect with my roots. Thanx CA

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