The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Pennsylvania Dutch Program

We have an odd tendency in this country to get xenophobic about languages other than English being spoken.  My father is illustrative of many Americans: he gets annoyed when he is at an ATM and they give him a choice between English, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Japenese, and the like.  He thinks it should just be in English.  Myself. I don't get annoyed, I simply take the extra nanosecond to press the button for "English" and move on.  Anyway, as a society we'll work hard to stamp out a language, but then just when it is on the verge of being extinct we'll get nostalgic - or have buyer's remorse - and want to bring it back.  This cycle has repeated itself over and over in US history, from the native Hawaiian language (now making a comeback), to Cajun French, to various American Indian dialects, Pennsylvania Dutch, and many others.  It's too bad, I think if we had just left the languages alone in the first place we'd be a richer culture fo it.  But, anyway, I'm on my language soapbox because any of our site readers in eastern Pennsylvania - the heart of what was once Pennsylvania Dutch country - can attend an interesting presentation tomorrow (Sunday, March 21) about the language.  The program will be presented entirely in Pennsylvania Dutch.  A dialect of Pennsylvania Dutch is still spoken today by most Amish but at one time it was spoken by many settlers in the Keystone State: Catholics, Moravians, Lutherans, Russian Mennonites, and so forth.  Click here to read m ore about the presentation.

Re: Pennsylvania Dutch Program

I missed this post when I had a computer glitch..I just wanted to share that my hubby's sister and family live in Lancaster county,near Ephrata. Her two young boys play with kids who speak Pa Dutch and have picked it up by association. Their English sounds funny to others. This would have been an interesting program..wish I could have attended.

Re: Pennsylvania Dutch Program

i think that it is good for children to learn more than one language. since my husband and i were in the military, all four of our children learned several different languages. they can speak german, french, italian, spanish, irish, and swedish. we spent a lot of our time overseas and i am so glad that our kids are fluent. since the amish have a german dialect, it would be wonderful if my two sons and two daughters could speak to them and to really enjoy the teachings of the amish to them.