Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Pennsylvania German

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Pennsylvania German Wikipedia[edit]

main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia Pennsylvania German)
submitted verification final decision
Application-certificate.svg This proposal has been approved.
The Board of Trustees and language committee have deemed that there is sufficient grounds and community to create the new language project.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

The requested project was created at pdc: at an indeterminate date. Note that this request was approved before the implementation of the standardised Language proposal policy, and should not be used as a model for future requests. Shanel 01:03, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.
  • Notes/comments
    • Number of speakers= 300 000
    • Locations spoken=Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and other States & Ontario
    • Related languages=German, Luxembourgish, Alemmanic

Pennsylvania German might not have an ISO code but it does have an SIL code (pdc). PDC Stettlerj 23:26, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

It will get an ISO-639-3 code (pdc) when ISO-639-3 will be approved [2]. --APPER 08:57, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Question: How close is it to the Pfaelzisch dialects in Germany? I understand that it is often considered a Pfaelzisch dialect. I think that, IF possible, it would be better to include PDC in a wider scope. If it's not reasonable, though, that's fine. --Node ue 08:56, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
I think the sheer number of English loan words in Pennsylvania German, and the three hundred year separation, plus the Swiss influence in PG etc.. would render it impossible to share an encyclopedia. Without certain English loan words, for example, the language would soon become incomprehensible to a speaker of Pennsylvania German. However, it is a good point of discussion. I know that the two dialects are pretty intercomprehensible, but to what extent, I am not sure. Also, Pfaelzisch has been influenced by Standard German over the last three hundred years and how close it is to the dialect spoken 300 years ago I can not answer. Stettlerj 18:06, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Hi, try ... how much of it do you understand?

There is already a Pennsylvania German encyclopedia started with the hope that eventually it could be moved to There is some hesitation to help with the current project precisely because it is not at Before the Pennsylvania German encyclo becomes too big it probably should be moved to - Stettlerj

  • Support. Over 500 pages already! --Chamdarae 06:50, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support indeed. But not only because it already has so many pages. Yiddish already has been granted a Wikipedia and language status, so Pennsylvanisch should be treated likewise imo. Caesarion Velim, non opto 10:41, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Just one thing: most speakers are Amish, and Amish are not allowed to have computers, are they? Caesarion Velim, non opto 11:06, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
      • True, most speakers are Amish or Old Order Mennonite and would not have computers (especially not in the home). However, there are people who grew up beside the Amish, perhaps with Amish grandparents and cousins, and they grew up with the language because it was spoken around them, and there are many people who were Amish as children and never got baptised. Also among the non-Amish Pennsylvania German communities there are not many speakers but there are organisations and people dedicated to its survival. Stettlerj
  • I think this is a great proposal, but it really needs a second native speaker before it is likely to be accepted. It looks like there are a number of contributors to the encyclopedia -- are any of them native speakers, or at least fluent, besides you? If so, please have one indicate support (and fluency) here. Tuf-Kat 23:43, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support --Node ue 01:25, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Support -- great!!! Skafa 7 October 2005
  • Support ( ) 22:12, 7 October 2005 (UTC).
  • Support--Harvzsf 04:14, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Test-tools 08:28, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support although someone fluent in both (German) Pfaelsish and English says, it is a kind of an arbitrary mixture of both - you usually have the choice, from which language to pick. Yet it adds a quite unique sound to it. Miss van der Roehe 10:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Someone who does not speak English might think it is an arbitrary mixture of Old English and French. Alsatian might seem to be an arbitrary mixture of dialectal German and French, but there's nothing arbitrary about it. I agree from the outside it might seem that way. Stettlerj 17:17, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Hi, try ... how much of it do you understand? I think that in the long run, it would be better to have one WP for PD and Paelzisch; however if you can't read that page easily it may not be reasonable.
After trying to read the page, i can understand it a bit, but it is very hard to read. It is not an easy read. These are my thoughts...If it is a Paelzisch - Pennsylvania German encyclopedia, i don't think it will work. But, hey, I may be wrong, but my personal opinion, is that the Pennsylvania Germans will not read it or identify it as their own. It could work perhaps if articles about Europe for example were written in Paelzisch and articles that touch North America in Pennsylvania German... then perhaps it could work. So I would not rule it out. Stettlerj 23:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I have a question... If we make it a Pfaelzisch - Pennsylvania Dutch encyclopedia, how many people are willing to contribute in Pfaelzisch? Stettlerj 22:01, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Support --Taichi - (^_^) 09:55, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose I doubt that there will be enough participants to create a full-size encyclopaedia in Pennsylvania German. Raetius 10:00, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support this is a nice project! Servien 18:33, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support --Marley 19:52, 16 November 2005 (UTC) I also agree it's a nice project. I have a neighbor who grew up in Pensylvania Dutch area and still gets newspapers printed in this language. It sounds very quaint but strangely understandable, I've studied some German although I'm not fluent I understand and read it. Unlike the person who opposes, I believe there really would be enough people who would contribute. Marley

Support. The Wiki-Project on "" is growing, but some people would prefer to contribute to a Pennsylvania German encyclopedia, which is a part of the wikipedia project. Dont't think about establishing a Pennsylvania German / Palatine encyclopedia. I am a Palatine, and I can tell you that nearly every village has its own local dialect. Pennsylvania German is a language, which is more standardized. The best solution would be to move the existing wiki project to wikipedia.

  • Oppose Apperently someone opposes a project. This opposition was posted before 2005, so well before the current Pennsylvania German encyclopedia was set up. The opinion is interesting in that it puts Pennsylvania German and George W. Bush English in the same category. Stettlerj 20:07, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
    • I think you can safely ignore Toytoy's comments there. ;-) --Chamdarae 20:15, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support this wiki has already over 500 articles :| would be stupid not to allow it Bart v.d. Heij 09:40, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support strange that I did not add my vote here before. Having an account on and having a look and read every now and then it should have been obvious. And: they do just what needs to be done: create content in "their" language. It would not be logic not to allow this wikipedia - it already exists even if under another name.--Sabine 23:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support There is already a wiki-based encyclopedia in this language, so we can be shure that there are peope who are ready to work on Pennsylvania German encyclopedia. It seems quite logical to me that this encyclopedia should be hosted by wikimedia, as one of oter peer wikipedias. Kneiphof 21:44, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Hégésippe | ±Θ± 04:18, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Ideally I hope can be up and running before Christmas so the transition can be done during the holidays. Stettlerj 22:48, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Ladino was started with 13 supporters, Venetian with 13, Vlax Romany with 11. How many will it take for Pennsylvania German to get a wikipedia because the current project at may have over 1 000 pages before it is approved if it takes too long. What must happen yet before this project is approved? Stettlerj 17:42, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
    • My proposal: move this request to the "approved" page and let's kick some developer. This request has just been unlucky in attracting a developer's attention. Caesarion 18:23, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Why was this page approved then returned to the unapproved section several days later? Currently our wikipedia is about the 90th largest if it were a Wikipedia. It would be even larger, except we are worried about making it too large before the move to I am not saying we are not happy at, we are. We have many contributers, but it is not in our culture to fight for a place for our language. If you don't want to accept our language because it is a small language that is mostly spoken outside the amish by the elderly, that is ok. I think it will be sad, but we must accept it. Howver, it seems to me if we were to get native speakers with no intention of writing, from various addresses, then it will be accepted! 700 plus pages... that is nothing... 3 or 4 L1 speakers with no intention of writing... you got your wiki! (I am not planning on signing up native speakers with no computer! however - I am just saying it would be easy to do - 700+ pages... you can't fake that - even if some learned their PG from revitalisation efforts) Stettlerj 17:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Hi Stettlerj! The reason why your request was moved to the "approved" page and back to the discussion page the next day is that I made a mistake. While checking which requests might qualify to be moved I saw the very high number of supporters as well as Caesarion's above comment that it ought to be moved. But I somehow overlooked that you were the only native speaker who had registered so far. When I noticed my mistake 26 hours later I reverted it. I would like to apologize for the confusion this might have brought to you and your fellow Pennsylvania Dutch German speakers. My suggestion: I'm moving it back to the approved page now, I'm assuming responsibility for this. Since you undoubtedly have an encyclopedia with an active community already, I think we could make an exception here and hope that this is supported by our fellow Wikipedians (if anybody should have any objections, please leave a note on my talk page). Arbeo 22:24, 4 December 2005 (UTC)