Diminutives are formed by the addition of the suffix kje and are always neuter.If the noun ends in t or k then the diminutive is formed by adding the suffix je. Examples are: Schwienkje, Me'jalkje, Kautje, Krietje, Büakje.
A married woman is disignated by adding the suffix sche to the married surname. Examples are: Pannasche, Wiebsche.
Most adjectives have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and superlative. The comparative is formed by adding a to the positive word and the superlative is formed by adding ste to the postive word; Examples are: heet, heeta, heetste.
dee Grope es heet dee Grope es heeta dee Grope es aum heetsteFollowing are example of changes that occur in comparing adjectives in the different genders:
Masculine Feminine neuter en schmock a Jung ne schmocke Me'jal en schmocket Bilt en schmockra Jung ne schmockre Me'jal en schmockret Bilt en schmocksta Jung ne schmockste Me'jal en schmockstet BiltPersonal pronouns and their related possessive adjectives:
ekj mien dü dien hee sien see äa wie ons jie jün see (M) äaOrdinal numbers designate the rank of an item in a series; fractions are used as adjectives or nouns:
cardinal ordinal fractions eent easchta twee tweeda haulf (de halft) dree dredda en dreddel fea feada en feadel fiew (fief) fefta en feftel sass sassta en sasstel säwen säwenda en säwendel acht achta en achtel näajen näajenda en näajendel tian tianda en tiendelThe ordinals listed are masculine; substituting an e for the last a changes these ordinals to the feminine; substituting et for the last a makes them neuter. The cardinal numbers are all feminine.
pers. pron. = personal pronoun.
poss. adj. = possessive adjective.
pl. = plural.
M= Molotschna dialect variant.
conj. = conjunction.
pref. = prefix.
suff. = suffix.
sep. = separable.
insep. = inseparable
lit. = literally.
vulg. = vulgar.
adv. = adverb
comp. = comparative.
sup. = superlative.
refl. = reflexive.
coll. = colloquial.
letters in brackets () can be used optionally.
As pronounced and heard As pronounced and heard by the Old Colony Mennonites by the Molotschna Mennonites Winkjla Winkler Wintjla Kjoasch cherry Tjoasch Kjikjel chick(s) Tjitjel kjnette to knit tjnette Migj mosquito Midj trigj back tridj Pligj (shoe) tack Plidj Frü wife, woman Fru Lüss louse Luss jün your jun je'neiw fussy, particular je'nau Meiw sleeve Mau moake* to make moake* foake* often foake* Loake* (bed) sheet Loake* Ssoll inch Tsoll Ssoagel* tail Tsoagel* ssettre tremble tsettre ssinjre vibrate tsinjre Sselt tent Tselt* The pronunciation of the diphthong oa is quite different between the Old Colony Mennnites and the Molotschna Mennonites. This difference in the pronunciation is extremely difficult to explain and practically impossible to put into type. It must be heard to get the full significance of this difference. It is close to the diphthong in the English word roar or boar when pronounced by the Molotschna Mennnites. The Old Colony Mennonites bring the tongue forward in the mouth when they pronounce this diphthong. Another somewhat controversial consonant is the hard s. The Old Colony Mennonites pronounced a number of words beginning with the hard s such as Ssoagel, Ssoll, while the same words are pronounced as Tsoagel, Tsoll by the Molotschna Mennonites. This dictionary will use the ss where words begin with the hard s.
As pronounced by the As pronounced by the Old Colony Mennonites Molotschna Mennonites Ssoll inch Tsoll Ssoagel tail Tsoagel ssettre tremble tsettre ssinjre vibrate tsinjre Sselt tent tselt
short i is like i in it e.g. Schilt ie is like ie in field e.g. hiele, Biel long i is like i in machine e.g. Tia short e is like e in met e.g. Dell, stell long ee is like ey in they e.g. hee, breet long a is like a in father e.g. Fater, hab ä is like a in gate e.g. bäde, fäl äa is like ai in air e.g. äajde, mäajlijch au is like ow in gown e.g. Faut, Launt short o is like o in top e.g. Spott, bott long o is like o in open e.g. op, Rot oo is like ou in out e.g. Hoot, Foot short u is like u in put e.g. mucht, Luck ü is like u in Yule e.g. Tün, jün** The ü, as shown in the above example, relates to the Molotschna pronunciation. The Old Colony Mennonites push their tongue forward when pronouncing this vowel.
In some Mennonite communities verbs and nouns that end in e are closed with a final n. In general terms the Old Colony Mennonites, on which style this dictionary is based, do not use the n after these words.
Examples are: scheete(n), rane(n), Woage(n). Letters in brackets can be used optionally.
en is a masculine and neuter article: en Maun, en Kjint
ne is a femnine article: ne Frü
det is a neuter article means the: det Kjint
et is another article in Low German which has the English equivelant of it or the. Examples are: Es et aul däjch; is it dry already? Es et Kjint aul je'sunt; is the child well already? Care must be taken to distinguish det from dit and daut
The following words belong in a class of their own because they do not conform to the general rules that apply to the o and the s:
Bos, Hos, Blos are examples where we have the long o like in pole. The
s remains soft.
Drosel, Schosel, tose, Kos, Fos are examples where we have a short o like in pot; the s remains soft.
Fros, Os, Oshacka, Osodla, Nätklos are examples where we have the long o like in pole but here we have the hard s like the s in boss.
In Low German a number of contractions have evolved that may look
strange but have nevertheless become an idiomatic part of the language.
regular expression English contraction woat daut will it woat't kaun ekj can I kaun'kj met däm with the met'm woa ekj will I woa'kjThere are many others and it may take some time before writers in LG accept the above in written form. The duplication of information contained in parts of this section is deliberate.