Interview with Ronald Brost (RB),
Alma Hermann (AH) and William Hermann (WH)
Conducted by Allen L. Spiker (AS)
14 July 1979
Transcription, Translation, Editing and
Proofing by Pr. Marvin L. Hartmann, June 8, 2006
THIS INTERVIEW INCLUDES MANY EXCELLENT "SCHWAEBISH"
STORIES TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH
(Note to readers: When I transcribed the dialect I spelled the
words phonetically. By that I mean I often ignored standard German
spelling. Because I could not insert the umlauts I substituted
combinations of letters, vowels and often other double letters
to achieve the approximate sound. These interviews were intended
to demonstrate subtile similarities and differences in inflection
and pronunciation in a dialect. Interviewees often mixed English
with the German they spoke, misspoke the articles and word endings.
I sought to transcribe it as accurately as I could hear it. Unless
the reader is interested in specific dialect pronunciations from
the word lists, the most interesting part of this interview is
the section at th beginning where the interviewees tell stories.
Because I already departed from the acceptable German spelling
I also did not capitalize the nouns. The reader needs to be aware
that recording quality varied greatly, people often spoke hesitatingly
because it was unrehearsed and often several persons were speaking
at the same time. It made sorting out the sentences very difficult
and often impossible. Most annoying to the transcriber was laughter
drowning out the punch line of a story. I put a question mark
after each statement which Allan Spiker wanted repeated in dialect
even if he posed a declarative sentence. In each case there is
an implied, "How would you say...?") I make no claims
to consistency nor accuracy. MLH)
AS: This is Allan Spiker and we're at the convention
at Jamestown, North Dakota, and I'm speaking with Ronald Brost
and Alma Hermann and William Hermann. Say your names....
AH: Alma Hermann.
WH: And William Hermann.
AS: Alright, now Mr. and Mrs. Hermann
AH: No, it's not. We're brother and sister.
AS: Oh, brother and sister?
WH: That's right.
AS: Alright now, you both have left Kulm but you're
from there originally?
AH and WH: Ya.
AS: And how long have you been gone?
WH: I left in 1937.
AS: And where have you lived since then?
WH: So that makes it...37-77..that is 40 years.
WH: Forty two years.
AH: I lived in Chicago also. But now I live back
AS: And you said you've done some translating this
AH: Yes and I'm going to do some more for Heritage.
I just talked to Dr. _________
AS: OK. Just so we have an understanding of your
RB: (I need to tell you,) this is my Uncle and my
AS: I was wondering ....
RB: Now you get the continuity of the thing. Well,
I'll start out once, maybe the others can come along. This one
particular thing they were telling me about Rudolph Hermann, my
uncle. He said, I think it was the Bosserts that was their name.
And those were about the dirtiest people in the community and
they scared the daylights out of ....
AS: You want to tell it in German?
RB: Oh ya. Bosserts, it still comes out the same
way. Oh haen sie halt ven sie neie kerl krikked in an bundle teams
no haen sie halt villa gut verschrecka un angsht macha. So haen
sie g'sagt, "Ven er dort nah kommet, die kochen schtrudla
im vaesch keeble.
Un sie usa a schtir schtokk .....(Laughter) ...zum sie..........im
vaesch keeble na kochet sie dann. Un doh esset nix, passet arg
uff, ihr vehren krank....musset nix esset vie vas vo "canned"
ish. Vas inna kanneh ish ....(veignt) kae trubble, you know. Un
die haen halt doch ...haen sie kein hunger g'haet un no sinn sie
halt.....ein dak haen sie g'noticed dort is ane alte ent g'vae
die war lahm un halber haeigh. Un die haet yeder dak wann sie
drinn komma sinn, zum es aerste haen sie gukkt op die ent noch
ish. Ein dak sin sie heim komma et war die ent vek. Yets vaas?
Nei kommen ins haus un alle krank g'vae sella dack.
(Translation: When new fellows came to work on the
bundle teams [at threshing time] there was alway a plot to scare
these new guys and cause some fear. They were told, "When
we get to this certain place, they make the "strudla"
in the wash tub and they use a _____for a stirring stick. (Meaning
unclear.) Be sure you don't eat anything, be very careful or you
will get sick. Eat only the 'canned' food. Then you won't have
any trouble." And of course they claimed no hunger. One day
they noticed an old duck which was lame on a leg and half dead.
And every day when they came the first thing they checked was
to see if the old duck was still there. So one day when they came
home the duck was gone. Now what? When they got into the house
(to eat) the whole family there was sick.)
WH: Aber Ronald, ich war nich dort ......mir haen
niemals dreshet bei dier..mir hen niemals g'drescht by Bosserts.
Vir hatten by dem Edeward Vetter, un der Christ Mogck un der.........
RB: Fergess net die Schwaager der Christ Miller.
WH: Ya, un der Gottfried........ach, du weisst doch....ah...
Voice: Gottfried Mueller.
WH: Die sinn ....dah habt mir gedrescht.
AH: Aber ich, oh, we're not supposed to speak in
High German. Ich kan aber remembera vo ich in't schul ganga bin
vo eine von denne Bosserts girls in der schul war. On no ish sie
einmal, I'm going to talk in the venacular now...ish sie ein morgah
net komma. Un nah hin mer alle g'vondert vot Emma Bossert ish.
Des ish die Bossert vo so dreckich waren. Un no ungefaehr recess
time war un da war a schrecklicher clatter outside on a horse.....stopped...stopped,
on ah die Emma Bossert hat brut.....ich weiss net was teachers
nahma war. Des is now the way we used to talk....our naw ish die
teacher on die deer geganga on hat die uff g'macht mir kids haen
halt ....course wass desh ish. Noh hat die Emma g'sagt "I'm
not coming to school today. I have to go and set the skunk traps.
And ...un no hat teacher deere zu g'macht. Das naechste ding was
mir g'sehe haen ish des horse un rider un three skunk traps on
the neck here. Things dort vorbei g'floga un Emma war fort. Der
naechste dak ish sie int schul g'komma. Hat missa skunk traps
(Translation: I can remember when I went to school
and one of the Bossert girls also attended there. One morning
she didn't show up in school. We all wondered where Emma Bossert
is. This is the Bossert family that was so dirty. About recess
time there was a loud clatter of horses hooves outside and Emma
Bossert.....(Unclear) I can't remember the name of the teacher.
The teacher went to the door and opened it. We kids were curious
what was going on. Emma announced, "I'm not coming to school
today. I have to go and set the skunk traps." So the teacher
closed the door. The next thing we saw was Emma on the horse flying
past the (window) with three skunk traps around here neck and
she was gone. The next day she showed up in school. She had to
set skunk traps.)
RB How about der alte ________der hat amoal a skunk
g'nomma no hat er sie villa raus nimma.. oh, des war ah...
Voice; Na wo wohnt der.
RB: Der ish schon lang krupiert. (Laughter) Der
hat sie drunna gonna un spaeter sinn sie rick g'mooft. Un varen
sie nort von uns.....Un hat der alte papa hat er a schtink katz
....same as a skunk....you know.. (Sketchy: He's long dead. They
went down but moved back again and lived north of us. The old
man had a skunk....)
RB: Un hat ene villa aus drickla in bahckofah. No
hat er fergessa dafor, noi ish sie exploda im bakkoffa drin. Desh
ish vohr. (Tr: He wanted to dry up (the skunk) in the oven of
the kitchen range. He forgot about it and the thing exploded.
That's the truth.)
AH: Aber yetz, .....no, mit dem butcheera. Oder
redet ihr noch fom drescha? (Tr. Now..about butchering. Or are
you still talking about threshing?)
WH: Ich hab doh noch was mit dem drescha. Mir haben,
mei fatter un Ronald's father ...sie haben eine dreschen machine
zusammen gekauft. und dah haben wir immer zusammen getreschet.
Ich hab g'arbeit mit dem ...met der crew...un der Ronald un, un
sein elder bruder ....wir haben immer zusammen geschafft, in der
Fall gedreschen. Un da habt wir eine neie dresching machine un
da varen mir dah auf der homeschtead. On wir haben die grosse
schtroh hut...es war heiss in August und September. Un des war
ein vindy dak, vindicher dak, you know. Un do war der Teddy, der
war auf einera seit der hat mit die boondle gepitcht, you know.
Un der Harry, dass war mein bruder, der war auch der ander site
mit sein bundle team un da haben wir die boondle in die dreshing
machine gepitchet. You know. Un der wind der hat geblaasen, you
know un uff ein mal da kommt a vint un der hat dem Harry hut genommen
un der hut ish in den conveyer gebloken un in die treshing machine
un aus dem blower naus. Un da iss der Teddy umgefalalen un die
feese hoch in die luft un dann iss der geglegen. Er hat so ge-glacht
dass er nicht opp schtehen kann. Dess war alles mit dem hut, er
war kapoot, raus zu dem schtroh haufen.
(Tr: I have one about threshing. My dad and Ronald's
dad had bought a threshing machine in together and so we always
threshed together. I worked with the crew, with Ronald, his older
brother...we always worked together threshing in the Fall. We
had this new threshing machine and were on a homestead. We all
had these huge straw hats because it was hot in August and September.
And this day it was very, very windy. Teddy was on one side (of
the threshing machine feeder) from where he pitched bundles and
Harry, my brother, was on the other side with his team (and wagon).
And from there we were pitching bundles into the machine. And
the wind was blowing fiercely. All at once the wind whirled Harry's
hat on the conveyor to the mouth of the machine and in an instant
it was blown from the blower (to the strawpile). Teddy fell over
(on his wagon) with his feet up in the air. He was laughing so
hard he couldn't stand up all because of the hat which was now
on the straw pile.)
AH: Ich vill so an den fetter_________. Dess var
ahn alter kerl der haat so viel charms k'aet, der hat kenna anything
doah. Die fraueha wenn sie, wen er komma ish, die haen alle ahn
g'hanga un hin alle attention gebba......un er hat grad g'vist
vee er alles aus die maedla kanna admiara. Mit praises unna vie
schoen ihra schurtz ish un so ....un sos fornatta alles gutes
essa vas sie frau var a bisslie ....draekich. Un no ish er immer
zu der neighbors ganga un hat die frauh complimented un no hat
er alles .......Unser tanta Christina ..hat.....unser alte fetter
hat dort ah g'vohnt vo er retired var. Un die var ah schrecklicher
guter koch, schrecklicher guter pie un coffee cake g'macht. Vo
ich in dah confirmation school var, no var ich boarded un roomed
by mei onkel, Christian onkel, un aunt Christina. Un dort ish
immer der alte nah komma un hat immer dort gutes essa krikkt veil
sie frau net gut kocht hat. Oin obent din die...vell, die meischte
obend sin die alte leit just...zusamma komma...dort im haus so
....meetings g'halta un Bible discussed un old times . Der alte
war immer dabei zu der party. Ei obend war....ish er komma, mir
hin grad d'supper gessa, no ish er komma zu der hintere teer..
rei komma un hat er g'sagt, "Oh, schmekt aber doch so gut."
Un er hat g'vist is gibt apple pie for supper. On no hat sie...
" ....willst du a piece of apple pie hann?" "Oh,
no, no," sagt er, " a little bit schpaeter. Oh, no,
no, ich hab d'supper gessa." No hat er es eber dinkt. No
hat er denkt, "Wenn ich den yetzt den pie net krikkt, dann
krikk ich ihn dann net schpaeter wenn die alle so kommt, no krik
ich net pie." No hat er g'sagt, "Christina, ich dink
ich daen den pie yetz nimma." On hat er sich yetz a schtueck
g'schnitta un a fork 'gae un na war ar grad in der mittle kiche
g'stannah un hat doh den pie do nei do var a knock on the window.
Un der hat gvist die alte sinn wo komma un no hat er denkt, "Die
kennen ich net aufsfinda." No ish er schnell zur hinder deer
naus g'schprunga un no ish er ans finschter ganga un watched un
die sin alle forna rei g'komma un sich nah g'hookt un denkt hat
er sei pie gessa doh drausa. No ish er forna run g'schprunga,
hat sichs maul ap g'putzt un ish er fornna rum g'schprunga no
hat der onkel Erich g'sagt, "Nah, guten abend._____________ish
grad frish komma waer. Der nachtste morga vo ich do hinta naus,
dort war sei disch un sei fork ________bei dem cistern nauf g'schtellt
un no hat er ________forna run g'schprunga. So trickish war er.
Oh er war.....
(Tr. I want to tell one about an old fellow....This
was an old fellow who could turn on the charms so that he could
get away with anything. When he came among a bunch of women they
all kinda hung around him for attention. He knew exactly how to
get the girls to do anything by his admiration. He would praise
them and tell them what beautiful aprons they were wearing. So
he was also able to get something good to eat (which he liked)
because his wife was a bit untidy. He would to to the the neighbor,
charm the housewives and (get something to eat.) In his retirement
he lived in the vicinity of my Aunt Christina and she was a fabulous
cook. She made heavenly pies and coffee cake. When I went to confirmation
school I used to board and room with my Uncle Christian and Aunt
Christina. This old fellow would often come there because he got
something good to eat because his wife was not a good cook. In
the evening many of the older people would meet at my Uncle's
house for meetings, Bible study and visiting about old times.
The old fellow would also be at the meetings. One evening he showed
up right after we finished supper, came to back door, stepped
right in and said, "Oh, does this ever smell good."
He knew we had apple pie for supper. My Aunt asked, "Would
you like a piece of apple pie?" "Oh, no, no, I'll wait
until later," he said. "I just has supper." In
a moment he thought it over. He schemed, "If I don't take
the pie now, I might not be able to get it later when the whole
bunch arrives." So he said, "Christina, I think I'll
have that pie right now." So he cut himself a piece, stood
in the middle of the kitchen to eat when there was a knock on
the window. He know it was some of the older people who gather
at the house and he thought, "They can't see me here."
So he beat it out the back door and went to the window and watched
as the visitors came into the front door. So he sat down and ate
his pie out behind the house. Then he ran around to the front
of the house, wiped off his mouth, went the door and greeted Uncle
Christian, "Good evening ________, " as if he had just
arrived! The next morning I went out the back door and saw his
dish and fork standing on the cistern pump where he had set it
before he ran around to the front. He was a tricky one!)
(Group discussed another person - garbled.)
RB: Remember that story. Er hat immer magt kaet,
sei frau war ...... Sagt er, vell, er ish zimlich meed, er dinkt
er geht frueh ins bett. Un uff eim mahl war der donner von a yacht
in naechsten zimmer, no sagt er, "Gott, kinder bringen zwievel.
Ich ben in bett....(Punch line was lost in laughter). How about
this guy? Er war in a company un er hat zu viel trunka un er sagt
er besser geht naus un gookt vies vetter ish. Nu hatter die letz
deer die geht na zut pantery nei. Nu ish er zurick nu sagt er,
"Wie ish's vetter?" Sagt er, "Desh triebe un schmaekt
(Tr. I remember that story. He always had a hired
maid because his wife was.... So he says that he was quite tired
and he thought he would go to bed early. All at once there was
a terrible noise in the next room and he cried out, " God,
kids bring onions. I'm in bed....(Lost punch line.) And how about
this guy. He was together with others and had too much to drink
and he says he better go outside to check the weather. But he
took the wrong door and ended in the pantry. When he got back
they asked him, "Well, what's the weather like?" "It
is overcast and it smells like cheese!" was his reply.)
WH: Ronald, once war die zwei kerl, dess war der Edeward, die
hat den bork (male pig) gelada. Dess war der Heinrich Keller.
OK Vee haben grozer bork. On der Edeward hat tobacco chewed. Un
er hat ein grozer block chew tobacco in dem maul, see? Un der
Edeward und der Heinrich die walten in den bork uf g'lada. Un
sie haetten viel trouble mit dem grossen bork also uff geladen.
Uf ein mal ish der grosse bork zwische die feese g'schprunga un
der Edeward hat den groza block chew tobacco uff g'schwallowed
un no hat er g'sagt, "Achhhhhhhhh, mein nah, hatt dess g'brennt
(Tr. Ronald, once there were these two guys, Edward...who
had this boar. Then there was Heinrich Keller. OK. We had this
big boar. Edward was chewing tobacco. He had huge plug of chewing
tobacco in his mouth, you see. So Edward and Heinrich wanted to
load this boar [on a truck] but they had a lot of trouble getting
it done. All at once that boar ran between Edward's legs and Edward
gulped down the tobacco plug and then said, "Oh gosh, I mean
to tell you, did that ever burn in my stomach!)
RB: So he swollowed the whole works, eh? This same
crew that threshed together, my Grandfather, my Dad and our Uncle
Christ, we also butchered together. And this man was our Uncle
Christ, aber der, dess war ahn geitziger. Er war unser butcher
aber er war the eiziger kerl do hat kenna a sau schtecka uns messer
durkka raus ziega. Den haen net g'bloot. Mer haba immer mit ________drescha
no hin mer halt pferd in der schtall nei duah no hin mer haber
gaeh. No hat er immer so a krupich kennlie kaet das mer die pfert
net fiel haber gaeh kenna. Halt, kenna haber schparrah, you know.
No, het er immer der grosse eimer veg duhn un hat des krubiche
ding. Aber mir haen ihn g'fixt. Mir haben immer twei, drei mohl
(Tr. This man was our Uncle Christ but I tell you,
he was stingy. He was was our butcher and he was the only fellow
who [was so stingy] that he could thrust a knife into the neck
of a pig and draw the knife out dry. It didn't bleed! [In another
situation] we would be threshing together [with Uncle Christ]
and in the evening we would put the horses into the barn and feed
them oats. [Because he was so stingy] he alwlays furnished us
with a tiny little bucket so that we wouldn't give the horses
much oats. Save it, you know. He always hid the larger pail and
gave us the little thing. But we fixed him. We would fill the
little one two, three times!)
AH: Er war immer der subject of ridicule, war der
immer so dumm ox sich g'hat. Nah haber amol sie hant [vey g'macht]
wo er hat villa a vind muhl ah dreaha. Now this is the way we
usually talked. Hat mer die vintmuehl vill ah dreha un ish der
haendel nuff g'schnappt un hat ihm die hand schrechlich vey g'macht
un hat ers niemand vill saga. No vo die andere uf um barn, what
do you call it, the upstairs of the barn, schtallboda, dort haen
sie g'scholffa vo so fiel waren. Sie haen blankets un haen sie
im hei g'scholffa uf dem schtall boda. Un no sin sie alle int
sleep ganga und dem Christ is die hand so veschwolla des hat veyer
and veyer dora hat nix villa saga. Un no hat er angst kaet no
...die hand net usa kann der naechste dahk. Nu sie haen immer
so teased. Nah ish er nunter ganga in der schtall un hat er sich
a stuck von ah hei gabel handle. So van yo er bundles pitched
vaer yo die hand ........hat er sich des int hand nei bunda nu
hat er denkt das dess, die hand net von stiff vers for der naechste
dak. Nah ish her upstairs vider ganga aber er had net kenna schloafa
nu her er missa yemand sahga. Ich denk der hat _________aber ver
var dort? Anyway, er hat missa helf haen den schtoch aus der hand
krikkt haen veil dess war gans gschwolla. Un no had er der naechste
dahk hin sie en so schraeklich....
(Tr. He was always the subject of ridicule because
he always acted like a dumb ox. One time he hurt his hand when
he turned on the windmill. [ Now this is the way we usually talked.]
He wanted to turn on the wind mill and the handle snapped up and
he hurt his hand very badly but he didn't want to tell anyone.
Because there were so many guys [in the threshing crew] they slept
in the hayloft of the barn. They had blankets and slept on the
hay in the hayloft. They all fell asleep and Christ's hand swelled
up and hurt more and more but he still didn't want to tell anyone.
He was afraid he wouldn't be able to use his hand the next day
because they would tease him unmercifully. So he went down the
the ground floor and got himself a piece of a pitchfork handle
so that when he pitched bundles his hand (unclear) he tied his
hand to the pitchfork handle thinking that the hand would be shaped
for the next day's work. So he went back to the hayloft but he
couldn't sleep and he had to tell someone. I think it was _________,
do you know who was there? Anyway, he had to have help prying
the handle out of his hand because it was swollen all around.
The next day [Tape is garbled but I am guessing...] he suffered
RB: Incidentally, my fatter hat nich kenna nuff
gehe itn vintmuehl. Un no hin mer der Christ onkel immer called,
der ish immer ruff komma un hat vintmuehl g'schmiert un hat mei
fahtter ihm a haircut gaehe un no ish er vitter heim gahnga. For
yora land so hat er.....
(Tr. Incidentally, my father was never able to crawl
to the top of the windmill. So we called Uncle Christ and he crawled
up there and greased ther mill for which my father gave him a
haircut and he'd go home again. This went on for years........
WH: Now, ehe ish vergess mit dem schtallboda. Ven
vir mit dene dresh crew geschaffen haben so habt vir auch dem
schtallboden geschoffen. Da war nich better im haus ....nahmen
wir dem horse blanket und gehent wir im schtallboda. Un da haben
wir ahn job, ich weiss nich wo es war bei Edewart fetter oder
was immer war. Der had a shet bei dem schtalle un der had den
schtall boden, no war das hei auf den schtallboda. No haben wir
geschlafen gehea. Un bei dem schtall hat der eine schet un die
shet hat eine bunch of schwein, sei, ya. Hat a bunch of sei in
their shed. Un dem schtallboda waren _________vo mann dass hei
droben ..schtumpen.. oder vie hinmer da gesagt. Un das war ...haben
wir geschlafen un waren zehr vermuede, des war ungefahr velleicht
zwei, drei uhr im mmorgen unt ein mahl ver der krew ish der auf
gerollt ven dem schtall boden unt ish ________down bei dene saue.
Un der drei uhr in der morga var (Imitates pigs squealing.) Gott
im himmel, vas da los? Da hatten wir die laterne auf geleited,
runna komma un da ish der kerl gelege in da mit die saue. Oh,
do lieber schtrosack!
(Tr. Now, before we forget about the haylofts......
When we were with the threshing crews we also slept in the haylofts.
There were not enough beds in the house. We took the horse blankets
and went up to the hayloft. So once we had a job, I can't remember
exactly, perhaps be Uncle Ed's or wherever. He had a lean-to shed
attached to the barn and there was the hayloft with the hay. There
we had gone to sleep. In the shed attached to the barn he had
a bunch of pigs, sows, actually. In the hayloft there were [openings]
through which hay was fed below or the way we said it. Well, we
fell asleep because we were very tired and about two or three
in the morning one of the guys rolled off the floor into the opening
and [fell] down among the pigs. And at three in the morning
[imitates pigs squealing]. God in heaven, what's wrong here? So
we lit a lantern, went down and there was the fellow among the
sows. Oh beloved strawsack!)
RB: Is the time up?
AS: We still have two minutes. OK. "I like
that and I used to like that?"
RB: "Ich gleich dess und ich habs freer glicha."
AS: And "I was there?"
RB: "Ich war dort."
AS: "What's wrong?"
RB: "Alles was basierah kann." "What
AH: Also, "Was ish letz?"
AS: "Hey look?"
RB: "Hey, gook."
AS: How would you say, "Look out." You're
RB: "Paas uff."
AS: "He walks now and he walked yesterday?"
RB: "Er laahft yetz un er ish geschtert ah
AS: "She runs now and she ran yesterday?"
RB: "She schpringt and ish geschtert ah g'schprunga."
AS: "I jumped now and I jumped yesterday?"
RB: "Er ish yetzt g'hopst un geschtert ish
er ah g'hopst."
AS: OK. "He sold the plow."
RB: "Er hat der pfulk ferkhafft."
AS: "One plow, two plows?"
RB: "Ein pflug, zwei pfleeg."
AS: "He always smokes a pipe?"
RB: "...schmoakt immer a pfife."
AS: How do you say "God" and how do you
RB: "Gott" un "deifel."
AS: Is that a "d" or a "t?"
RB: We say it with a "d."
AS: And "I hear something?"
RB: "Ich hoere etvas." "Ich hoer
AH: "Ich hoer vas."
AS: "No, I don't know him?"
RB: "Nei, ich ken den net."
AS: "I know that he doesn't have any money?"
RB: "Ich weis dass er kei gelt hat." "Er
ish arm vie a kirchemaus." (Poor as a church mouse.)
AS: How would you say, "Summer, Winter, Spring
RB: "Sommer, Vinter, Frieyore un Schpaetyore."
AS: "That's a pretty girl?"
RB: "Dass ish a schones maedleh."
AS: And when you were a boy and you talked to someone
older than you, could you use "du?"
RB: No, never.
AS: What would you use?
AS: How do you say, "One day, two days?"
RB: "Ein dak, zwei daag."
AS: "One wagon, two wagons?"
RB: "Ein vaaga, zwei vaaga."
AS: And then, what do you call ...how do you say
AS: And how about a small trail going off to the
RB: "Kohl. Kohl waeg."
RB: Ever hear of a "hole vaeg?"
AS: What's a "hole vaeg?"
RB: A "hole vaeg" was a road that wasn't
graded and wasn't grassed. And people drove it with the wagons
and pretty soon there would be ruts. That's a "hole vaeg."
AS: And two of them would be "zwei...?"
RB: "Zwei hole vaeg." Vie varen glicklich
ven mir ein g'kat." (We were lucky to have one."
AS: How do you say, "One saw, two saws?"
RB: "Ei saeg, zwei saega."
AS How do you say, "I saw wood now and I sawed
RB: "Ich saeg yets holz un ich haen geschtert
ah holz g'saegt."
AS: How do you say, "One frog, two frogs."
RB: "Ein froasch, zwei ....
AH: "Zwei fraesch."
RB: I don't know, that didn't come up too often.
AS: How about a "kroht?"
RB: Huh? Oh a "krutt." Ya, ya, that's
what we called them.
AS: Did yu call a frog.....naw a frog was an "froasch"
and a "krutt" var a "krutt."
AH: Ah "krott" var a female.
RB: A "krott" var a bigger thing and it
had warts on it.
AS: How do you say, "One horse, two horses?"
RB: "Ei pferd, zwei pferd."
AS: And when you say it's "One frog and two
frogs, how do you say that?
RB: We weren't sure. We saw only one frog at a time.
AS: What do you call cattle or livestock?
RB: Cattle or livestock? "Fiech."
AS: And then, "One egg, two eggs?"
RB: "Ei ei, zwei eyer."
AS: "One tomato, two tomatos?"
RB: "Ei batlachanni!" (All laugh)
AH: Ya, "batlachanni!"
RB: That's supposed to be a Russiann word, isn't
it? We had a guy in town, they called him "Batle tchonni."
His name was Johnny. But we didn't say "batlilchanni."
I think we said "tomato," didn't we?
AH: Your grandma, she always said, "batlichanni."
RB: She did?
AS: But what would you say?
RB: We said, "tomato."
AS: And "One potato, two tomato?"
RB: "Ei kartoffel, zwei kartoffel."
AS: Did you ever say, "krumbaerah?"
AS: That's some other people. And "Oats?"
AS: With a "b?"
RB: With a "b."
AS: And then "cucumber?"
RB: "Gukgummer," hin mer g'sagt.
AS: And then "pickle?"
RB: "Pickle?" Des war a sauere "Gukgummer."
AS: And "One beet, two beets?"
RB: "Ei rohtrieb un zwei rohtrieba."
AS: And "One carrot, two carrots?"
RB: "Ei gehlrieb, zwei gehlriebah."
AS: And "One apple, two apples?"
RB: "Ei aepfel un zwei aepfel."
AS: "Ei aepfel?"
RB: "Ei aepfel un zwei aepfel."
AS: And "One tree, two trees?"
RB: "Ein bome, zwei baem."
AS: You don't say "ahpfel, aepfel?"
RB: Na, we say "aepfel?"
AS: I just...some people say it different..
AS: And how do you say, "One garden, two gardens?"
RB: Well, we always said, "gahrta," didn't
we? "Ei gahrta, zwei gahrta."
AS: And then what about the part where you raised
watermelons and all that?
RB: Ah, "bashtahn."
AS: And "One shirt, two shirts?"
RB: "Ei hemet, zwei hemetah."
AS: And "One candle, two candles?"
RB: Oh boy, we said "candles," didn't
AH: Ya, ah.
RB: I don't know what else we'd have said.
AS: "Kaertze?" "Kahrtzeh" something
AH: "Kaartzh" ish da candle.
RB: Is that a candle? I never heard that.
AH: At Christmas time .....and our recitations we
talked about "kaartzen" but we never used the word.
RB: Never used the word.
AS: Can you count from one to twenty in German?
RB: "Eins, zwei, drei, vier, finf, sex, siebah,
acht, neun, tzeh, ehlf, zwoelf, dreitzehn, fertzehn, foofzehn,
sechzehn, sippzhen, achtzehn, ninezehn, zwanzigh."
AS: OK. How do you say, "One stone, two stones?"
RB: "Ein schtai, swei schtai."
AS: Same word then?
RB: Ya. Aber we say many stones would be "viele
AS: And how would you say, "The hill is high?"
RB: "Grozzer buhkkel."
AS: And two hills would be......?
RB: "Zwei beekel."
AS: What about a mountain?
RB: Ah, boy, was war ah mountain. Mir haen, we never
had nothing bigger than a "buhkkel."
AS: And, "The cemetery is behind the church?"
RB: Ah huh, well dez ..dera grab...the... the...no
RB: "Der kirchhof ish ....
AS: "...is behind the church."
RB: We called it that...the "kirchhof."
Voice: "Geberkeh"...that's "mountain?"
RB and AH: Ya, ya, we used that.
AS: And how would you say, "The cemetery is
behind the church?"
RB: Well, see that's war the "kirchhof."
AS: And how would you say, "..is behind the
RB: Oh, "hinder der kirich." Oh, I'm sorry.
AS: How do you say, "One ladder, two ladders?"
RB: Ah, let see, what did we call that?
RB: There you go, "Ei leider, zwei .....ei,
AS: And "One cradle, two cradles?"
AS: "Veigah?" "...and two cradles?"
RB: "Veegah schtul" war ah rocking chair.
AS: And what did you call the cradle, there?
RB: I don't know, we never had one.
AS: And, "One fly, two flies?"
RB: "Ei mook, zwei mookah."
AS: "One coffin, two coffins?"
RB: "Ei sarek, zwei sarkah."
AH: "....zwei sarkah."
AS: And "One chair, two chairs?"
RB: "Ei schtool, zwei schteel."
AS: "She sits in the chair all day?"
RB: "Hookt im schtool der ganze dak."
AS: "I want to drink a cup of coffee with cream
RB: "Ich vill kaffee mit rahm un zukker."
AS: And then "drink?"
RB: "Un un drinka."
AS: "One haystack, two haystacks?"
RB: "Ei heischohber, zwei heischohber."
AS: And "One house, two houses?"
RB: "Ei haus, zwei heiser."
AS: And a small house is....?
RB: "Ah heislie." "Krubiches haus."
AS: "Krubich" means?
AH: A raunchie little thing.
AS: "We eat meat for supper every day?"
RB: "Mir kommet alle tzahmma for supper."
AS: "We ear meat every day for supper?"
RB: I thought you said, "We meet...."
RB: "We haen alle obend fleisch g'essa."
AS: How about, "That smells good?"
RB: "Des schmeckt gut."
AS: And "That tastes good?"
RB: "Es schmeckt gut."
AS: Is that with a "b" or a "v?"
RB: A "b."
AS: And "I wash clothes?"
RB: "Kleider g'vescht."
AS: And "She sweeps the floor with a broom?"
RB: "Faegt aus mit dem baesah."
AS: "I'm going home now?"
RB: "Ich geh yits heim."
AS: Only a couple more. How do you say "One
foot, two feet?"
RB: "Ei foos, zwei feece."
AS: How high does "foos" go?
RB: That's good question. Vie hoch geht der foos?
AH: I think its this part here.
RB: What's the other part called then?
AS: I was wondering because some people say it goes
right to the hip.
RB: "Ah foos geht bis an der ___________"
AS: How about "heel?" (Pause) "Faerschte?"
RB: Eh, ya, that I've lost.
RB: Oh, good Lord.
AS: How about "One hand, two hands?"
RB: "Ei hahnt, zwei haent."
AS: And then "wrist?"
RB: Never had...............lost again.
RB: "Maul" unless they were mad and then
it was "gohsch" oder "fress!"
AS: And "One lip, two lips?"
RB: "Ei lip, zwei lippel?"
RB: "Keeh oder kaeh."
RB: What did we call the foreheat......."schtaern."
AS: The word for "star is?" "One
RB: "Ein schtaren...
AS: Und zwei.....?
RB: "Zwei schtaerner?"
AS: So one "star" and "forehead"
are the same words?
AS: And "bald" parts?
RB: "Dah kahl kopf."
AS: You said "kahl." Did you ever say,
RB: No we never did.
AS: You just said kahl. Most of the people around
here say "kahl." And "maustache?"
AS: "I eat?"
RB: "Ich ess."
AS: "I drink?"
AS: And if someone overstuffs himself he.....
RB and AH: "Er fresst."
RB: "Oder saufft."
AS: How do you say, "Inlaws?"
AS: And "father-in-law, mother-in-law."
RB: "Schweiger fatter un schwiegermutter."
AS: How about "son-in-law?"
RB: "Dochter....ah.....der son-in-law...?
RB: I don't know about "Dochtermann."
AS: "Un zwei....?"
RB: "Dochtermann...but how do you say daughter-in-law?"
AS: How do you say "Two son-in-laws?"
AH: "Zwei scwiegersohn."
AS: And then "daughter-in-law" was?
RB: Boy, that's tough.
AS: How about "A brother-in-law?"
RB: Brother-in-law is "schwoager."
AS: And then, "Sister-in-law?"
AS: And how do you say "uncle?"
RB: Well, "onkel un faetter."
AS: Which do you usually say?
RB: We used them both. Usually the older generation
we called "faetter" and the younger ones we called "uncle."
AS: Just any man that......even if it wasn't really
your blood uncle?
RB: No, we didn't go too much for this "uncle"
stuff unless he was the real thing. You know.
AS: OK. How about an "aunt?"
RB: "Tanta and baeslie."
AS: Did you use both then?
RB: Ja, same thing. The older people like my mother's
cousins we called them "baeslie."...our great aunts.
And our aunts were "tanta."
AS: And "godfather?"
RB: Say now there, we never had anything like that.
AS: OK now what religion are you?
AS: OK. Ya, so you don't use that godmother.
RB: Now ma tells me that uncle Jake had Jacob Schuldheiss
for a godfather because they were Lutheran then. But she would
know but I can't remember what the (god) father is?
AS: And then how about "orphan?"
AH: Something "kind."
RB: Ya, I thought I ...
AS: "Veisenkind" or something like that?
RB: Ya, but we had another name I thought of this
RB: No, its just one word, I think. I can't zero
in on it. I can still remember when we used to pray in church
for the widows and orphans in German. But now I can't.....
AS: How "widow?"
AS: And two would be....?
AS: And "widower?"
RB: "Vittmann," ya.
AS: And two......?
AS: And, "Most people in town are Germans?"
RB: "Die maerschte sinn deitsch int schtatt."
AS: "They've been married for 25 years?"
RB: "Geheiarat finf un zwanzich yahr."
AS: Do you say "ge" or "ye?"
RB: "Finf un zwanzig yahr."
AS: And "They're divorced?"
RB: "Sie sinn g'scheidah."
AS: "Gescheidah?" OK. That's it. Thanks.
AH: This has been fascinating. Now what do you do.
Do you chart this with others.
AS: I'm doing the same list in every place.
AH: Oh, my.