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From 1979 to 2020, Professor William D. Keel and his graduate students at the University of Kansas recorded speakers of German dialects in Kansas and Missouri. This collection contains MP3 excerpts from the recorded interviews, edited to preserve the privacy of participants. The recordings contain data collected from dialect questionnaires developed in Germany and the USA, along with free speech conversation, anecdotes, jokes, songs and recipes.
With just a few exceptions, speakers are identified by a code that begins with KS or MO, depending on the state the speaker represents, Kansas or Missouri.
Questionnaire sets are found in compressed zip file format for easy download of multiple soundfiles.
Refer to the User Guide for more information.
For an introduction to the German dialects in Kansas, read Deitsch, Däätsch, Düütsch and Dietsch: The Varieties of Kansas German Dialects after 150 Years of German Group Settlement in Kansas by William Keel.
For comprehensive statistics on mid-20th century German usage (and other languages) in Kansas counties, read Foreign Language Units of Kansas by J. Neale Carman.

Recent Submissions

  • KS22 Marshall County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris; Lunte, Gabi (1999)
    KU Questionnaire sentences recorded in 1999 for the East Frisian (West Low German) dialect of Marysville, Kansas. Female speaker born in 1918.
  • KS21 Marshall County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris; Lunte, Gabi (1999)
    KU Questionnaire sentences recorded in 1999 for the North Low Saxon (West Low German) dialect of Bremen, Kansas. Male speaker born in 1927.
  • KS20 Johnson County, Kansas 

    Putnam, Michael T. (2003)
    Wenker sentences recorded in Yiddish in 2003 in Leawood, KS. Male speaker, born in 1921.
  • KS19 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris (1994)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1994 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Catherine, KS. Male speaker, born in 1934.
  • MO16 St. Charles County, Missouri 

    Johnson, D. Chris; Lunte, Gabi; Keel, William D. (2000)
    KU Questionnaire sentences recorded in 2000 for the Westphalian (West Low German) dialect of New Melle, MO. Male speaker born in 1956.
  • KS18 Marion County, Kansas 

    Keel, William D. (1991)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1991 for the Mennonite Plautdietsch (East Low German) dialect of Hillsboro, KS. Male speaker, born in 1898.
  • KS17 McPherson County, Kansas 

    Stucky, Max (1980)
    Wenker sentences, an anecdote about butchering pigs, and a sampling of weekdays, seasons, holidays, and garden vegetables recorded in 1980 for the Schweitzer Mennonite (West Middle German) dialect of Moundridge, KS. Male ...
  • KS16 McPherson County, Kansas 

    Stucky, Max (1980)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1980 for the Schweitzer Mennonite (West Middle German) dialect of Moundridge, KS. Female speaker, born in 1892.
  • KS15 Reno County, Kansas 

    Keel, William D. (1990)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1990 for the Pennsylvania German (West Middle German) dialect of Partridge, KS. Male speaker, born in 1942.
  • KS14 Rush County, Kanas 

    Shire, Ilse (1980)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1980 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Liebenthal, KS. Female speaker, born in 1904.
  • KS13 Trego County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris (1996)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1996 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of WaKeeney, KS. Male speaker, born in 1919.
  • MO01 Lafayette County, Missouri 

    Keel, William D. (1993)
    A short anecdote recorded in 1993 for the West Low German dialect of Concordia, Missouri. Female speaker, born in 1917.
  • KS12 Logan County, Kansas 

    Keel, William D. (1980)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1980 for the Mennonite Plautdietsch (East Low German) dialect of Russell Springs, KS. Female speaker, born in 1918.
  • KS11 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Shire, Ilse (1981)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1981 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Victoria (Herzog), KS. Female speaker, born in 1912.
  • KS10 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris (1993)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1993 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Schoenchen KS. Male speaker, born in 1921.
  • KS09 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris (1993)
    Wenker sentences and a conversation about the WPA projects of the 1930s recorded in 1993 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Schoenchen KS. Male speaker, born in 1926.
  • KS08 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Johnson, D. Chris (1993)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1993 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Schoenchen, KS. Male speaker, born in 1926.
  • KS07 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Shire, Ilse (1981)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1981 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Pfeifer, KS. Male speaker, born in 1927.
  • KS06 Ellis County, Kansas 

    Shire, Ilse (1981)
    Wenker sentences recorded in 1981 for the Volga German (West Middle German) dialect of Munjor, KS. Female speaker, born prior to 1930 (exact year unknown).
  • MO04 Benton County, Missouri 

    Johnson, D. Chris; Lunte, Gabi; Keel, William D. (2019)
    KU Questionnaire sentences recorded in 2019 for the West Low German dialect of Cole Camp, MO. Female speaker born in 1951.

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