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UW Madison German Department

During the 1960s Jürgen Eichhoff, of the Max Kade Institute, UW Madison, traveled to different parts of the state to interview people to record examples of Low German.  We have examples of 2 people from Marathon County in this section.


Erwin Baumann

Erwin Baumann (   )  , Township of Berlin, Marathon County Wisconsin was a Dairy Farmer with a life-long interest in the German language, both standard and low German. He was also a muscian, his instrument being the violin.  He, for some time, conducted the St. Ev Lutheran Church Band in Naugart Wisconsin.  The inteviews with Erwin were made in 1968 by Jürgen Eichhoff of the Max Kade Institute, UW Madison, Wisconsin.  We have separted this interview into topics.  Besides illustrating a very good example of spoken Eastern Pomeranian Low German (Ostpommern Plattdüütsch), it also gives us a real insight into the life of the early immigrants to the Township of Berlin and surrounding areas of Marathon and Lincoln Counties.


Wenker Sentences

Immigrating, Settling, and Early Life in Berlin Township

Butchering and the Bear Thief

Barn Raising and Neighbors Helping Each Other

Threshing Days

Farm Life-Evenings Farm Work

Wisconsin Winters

Neighborhood Area Language Makeup

Wedding Celebrations


Farm Animals

Counting and Days of Week











Esther (Krenz) Bloch

Esther (Krenz) Bloch, 1903-1985, Township of Hamburg, Marathon County, Wisconsin was a homemaker, farm wife, and school teacher.  She graduated from Marathon County Normal School and the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.  She taught in numerous one-room schools in Marathon County.  This is an example of a Ost Pommersch Platt, speaker, Esther Bloch of Marathon County Wisconsin recorded by the Jürgen Eichhoff, of the Max Kade Institute, UW Madison, WI.


1968 Recording of Ost Pommersch Platt, East Pomeranian Low German.

Esther Bloch Story Interview

This is a great example of the language as it is and was spoken by the members of the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin.

16th International Platt Konferenz - September 9-12, 2011

This conference held annually, alternating between venues  in the U.S. and in Germany was held in Wausau, Wisconsin in 2011.  The conference features seminar speakers, exhibits, fellowship, music, food and refreshemts.  Two of our Verein members were featured presenters at this conference.  Click on the link below the images to view the video.

In this video Bill describes his experiences growing up with and learning the Wisconsin version of Ost Pommersch Plattsdüütsch (Low German).

Bill Loppnow - Low German, My Mother Tongue


The link below is another presentation at the same conference.

In this video Bill "Herr" Storm compares and contrasts Low German and High German

Herr Storm - Low German vs High German



Wisconsin Platt Today

In the 2010s NDR North German Public Television recorded a series of videos throughout various parts of the world of people using Plattdüütsch (Low German) .  Some examples are Sydney, Australia, South Africa. Brazil, Kansas, Siberia, and of all places, North Central Wisconsin. Specifically, Marathon and Lincoln Counties.  To illustrate to our website visitors, we have excerpted a 2:20 minute clip from the Wisconsin production. Click the link below.


Wisconsin Platt-Loppnow



Sounds- Germanic Languages

The Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin was contacted by Dr. Paul Heggarty of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Dept of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution in order to interview and collect of some of our Low German speaking members  for his study.  He shared the website shown below where sound are classified by location. This project covers multiple languages, however, by selecting the Low German tab, and a given word, one can actually hear how that word is spoken in various regions of Germany. 

The version of Ost Pommersch Platt, East Pomeranian Low German, with which we are familiar is no longer spoken in Eastern Pomerania because the population that spoke it was relocated to other parts of Germany and the world in 1945 following the end of WWII.  However with this Sound Tool we can find places such as West Pomerania and Mecklenburg, that pronounce words the same as our East Pomeranian version.

To use the tool, select the language on the left side of the map, then the word you want to examine from the right side.  It will show up on the top of the map at which time you can begin clicking on the region and hear how that word is pronounced in the region.  

Of special interest to us, if you click on Diaspora German on the left side and then scroll down the column until you reach Wisc. Pommern, you will find 4 examples of Central Wisconsin Ost Pommersch from Naugart, Stettin, and Maine in Marathon County and one in Green Bay who were all recorded on Dr Heggarty's visit to our Verein.

Sound Comparisons Germanic Languages

(Be patient after clicking on the link above as it takes some time to load)


Dr. Paul Heggarty

Dept of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution,  [website]

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History,  [website]

Kahlaische Straße 10,

07745  Jena,