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German Dialects of the United States







Welcome to the American Languages pages devoted to German dialects in the United States, including Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish), which is officially recognized as a language in its own right.

In addition to a number of short essays on various aspects of German-American linguistics, we are currently featuring sound clips from the following categories:

Our recordings of German-American dialects come from the Max Kade Institute’s North American German Dialect Archive, which contains several hundred digitized interviews with speakers going back over half a century.

The oldest recordings were made in the 1940s by Professor Lester W. J. Seifert (UW–Madison). These consist mainly of Low German dialects of southeastern Wisconsin, as well as Wisconsin High German. During the late 1960s, Prof. Jürgen Eichhoff (UW–Madison; later Penn State University) recorded interviews with a number of speakers in nearly all major areas of German settlement in Wisconsin.

The Texas German recordings were made by Prof. Glenn G. Gilbert (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale) in the 1960s and 1970s.

Also in the Gilbert collection are a number of Kansas German interviews that will be featured soon. Most of the Pennsylvania Dutch recordings were made in the 1980s by Prof. Wolfgang W. Moelleken and colleagues at SUNY-Albany, as well as Jürgen Eichhoff, who interviewed a number of Amish and Mennonite Pennsylvania Dutch speakers in Indiana and Wisconsin.

These German dialect pages are being regularly updated and expanded, so please visit often!


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Last Updated: October 27, 2010