Beginners Pennsylvania German Language Classes Begin
Get acquainted with Pennsylvania German during this 10-week class taught by Butch Reigart.
Pennsylvania German originated in the southeastern region of the state, coming from the German-speaking Swiss, German, and Alsatian immigrants who arrived between 1683 and 1808.
Today the language is often associated with Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania, although historically descendants of Lutheran, Reformed, and other immigrant groups coming from southwestern Germany spoke it widely. Reigart notes, “the Amish percentage of current dialect speakers is ever increasing as the Amish continue to hold onto and teach it to their children as part of their efforts to maintain separation from the modern world.”
Reigart, who lives in Columbia, Pennsylvania, grew up hearing Pennsylvania German in his childhood home in York County. He later became fluent, received degrees in German and Russian, and served as a foreign language specialist for the United States government for more than thirty-five years.
Registration can occur online or by calling (717) 393-9745. Primary instructional materials are included in the course fee of $100 for Historical Society members and $115 for nonmembers. Supplemental texts, dictionaries, recordings, and other study aids are available from the Society bookstore.