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Interview with Frederin Friederich (FF)

Conducted by Allen Spiker (AS)
5 April 1979, Jamestown, ND

Transcription by Matthew Miller
Translating and Editing by Rev. Marvin L. Hartmann

Editor's note: I have deliberately spelled German words phonetically because they were spoken in the Swavian dialect and because our interest here is in pronunciation. For simplicity's sake I did not capitalize the German nouns nor place quote marks where in ordinary English and German they would have been appropriate.


AS: Let’s see. Could you…well I’ll give my name first. My name’s Allen Spiker. Today is April 5, 1979 and I’m in Jamestown, North Dakota. And you’re name is?

FF: Frederin Friederich.

AS: And you’re from Fredonia.

FF: From Fredonia, raised in Fredonia, and I was born in Tripp, South Dakota. I was only two years old when I got to Fredonia. Raised there, got into Jamestown here in 1941.

AS: Okay. And how old are you now?

FF: Say, I’m about 67.

AS: Okay. And do you think the way you speak is pretty much like the other people in Fredonia?

FF: Yep, about the same way. Yes.

AS: Okay.

FF: Same language that most of the people speak in that area. A few of them are living, but, uhh…yes, I would say so.

AS: Okay. I’ll just ask these words then and just how you’d say it when you speak German in your dialect then.

FF: Um hmm.

AS: So how do you say, I like that.

FF: Ich gleich des.

AS: And I used to like that last year.

FF: Das han ich letscht ye... ah glicha.

AS: Okay. And then how would you say, I was there.

FF: Ich vahr dort.

AS: And what’s wrong?

FF: Vas ish letts?

AS: And then, if I’d say, hey look.

FF: Gook.

AS: And if I was standing on the street looking in the other direction, and a speeding car’s coming at me and you say, look out. You know, warning me.

FF: Pahs oof.

AS: And then, he walks now and he walked yesterday.

FF: Er lauft jetzt und ish geshtert g'loaffa.

AS: And she runs now and she ran yesterday.

FF: Sie schpringt jetz und ish geshtert g'chprunga.

AS: I jump now and I jumped yesterday.

FF: Ich hahn jetzt schoan g'hopst un hopst…geshtert g'hopst.

AS: And how would you say, I jumped now.

FF: Schoan hopst jetzt.

AS: Okay. And then, he sold the plow.

FF: Er verkauft the pfloog.

AS: And then, how do say, one plow, two plows?

FF: Pfloog und pflieg.

AS: Okay. And then, he always smokes a pipe.

FF: Er hat immer d'pfeife g'schmoakt.

AS: And how do you say God and how do you say devil?

FF: Gott un teifel. Gott un der teifel.

AS: With teifel, do you say a t or a d?

FF: T.

AS: T. Okay.

FF: Tivel.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, I hear something?

FF: Ich haer ettas.

AS: And then, no I don’t know him.

FF: No, ich wei... ich kenn, ich weissa...ich kenn ihn net.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, I know that he doesn’t have any money.

FF: Ich weiss der hatt kei gaelt.

AS: And how do you say summer, winter, spring, and fall?

FF: Sommer, vinter, schpaetjahr un freejahr.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, that’s a pretty girl.

FF: Des schaenes maedle.

AS: And when you spoke to, as a child, you spoke to someone who was older than you, did you say du, or did you say something…

FF: Ihr.

AS: Ihr.

FF: Ihr. Yep.

AS: And how do you say, one day, two days.

FF: Ein daag, oder zwei daet.

AS: And is that a t or a d?

FF: D.

AS: D. Ein daag, zwei daeg.

FF: Zwei, yah.

AS: And how do you say, one wagon, two wagons?

FF: Ein vaaga un zwei vaaga.

AS: And one…what do you call a path, like on the country, where you drive out into the field?

FF: A vaeg.

AS: And then if you had two of them, you’d call them what?

FF: Zwei vaeg, (unclear) That’s zwei vaega.

AS: Okay so there’s no difference between one and more.

FF: No. Hmm umm, hmm umm.

AS: And what do you call a saw, like for wood?

FF: Saek.

AS: And then two would be?

FF: Zwei saega.

AS: Saega then.

FF: Yeah.

AS: And then how do you say, I saw wood now and I sawed wood yesterday.

FF: Ich hahn geschtert holz g'saegt un saeg hite.

AS: Okay. And how do you say one frog, two frogs?

FF: Ein frow, zwei frow.

Woman: Frowsh, I think it is…

AS: For frog?

FF: Frog, you say?

AS: Frog.

FF: Frowsh you mean?

AS: Yes.

FF: Yep, frowsh.

AS: You say frowsh.

FF: Froesh.

AS: Did you ever say anything like groab?

FF: Hmm mmm. Nope.

AS: Okay. And how do you say one…

FF: Froesh oder zwei fraesh.

AS: Fraesh?.

FF: Fraesh, yeah.

AS: And how do you say, one horse, two horses?

FF: Ei pfaerd oder zwei pfaerd.

AS: Same word for both.

FF: Yep.

AS: And what do you call cattle or livestock. One word for everything.

FF: Pfaird ..ah fiech oder......faird or, fiech or der…

Woman: Kee.

FF: ( unclear)

AS: Okay.

FF: Haerta fiech.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, one egg, two eggs?

FF: Ei ei oder zwei eier.

AS: And then, one tomato, two tomatoes.

FF: Ei tomato, zwei tomatoes.

AS: Okay. You used the English word.

FF: Same thing, yep.

AS: Oh, do you happen to know where your parents were from in Russia?

FF: No. My mother came from Russia, yes.

AS: Oh, your father was born in South Dakota then.

FF: Yeah, yep. Born in South Dakota.

AS: Can you, do you know where she came from?

FF: From Odessa, Germany.

AS: Okay, so right in Odessa then.

FF: Yep.

Woman: Odessa.

FF: Yep.

Woman: Russland, meaning.

FF: Umm hmm. That’s what I was gonna…

AS: Okay.

Woman: In schwartza mehr.

AS: Okay. And are your parents from that area too?

Woman: No. My parents came in came mainly from Russia.

AS: Uh huh.

Woman: You know, from Romania, they used to be a….

AS: From Bessarabia.

Woman: (Unclear) ...der deitsch...

AS: Yep.

Woman: [Laughter].

FF: ...d'haer kommt.....in der dag.

AS: Yep. Sinn, sinn dier eltern in Bessarabia geboren?

Woman: Nein, nein. No. Ich denke my muttera ish in, ish in Bessarabia.....

AS: Umm hmm.

Woman: Romania, Bessarabia g’boara.

AS: Das mein grossfatter geboren, in Bessarabia.

Woman: Yeah, und varta amarra, Bessarabia, like Neu Elft an der dorf.

AS: Umm hmm.

Woman: Yeah. Un denk mein fatter ish in Neu Elft oder Alt Elft g'boren.

AS: Uh huh. Aber, sie biede sprachen vie mehre venege die gleicha spracha.

FF: Yeah.

Woman: Yeah. Mir, he can....

FF: ..... ya just throw something.....

Woman: …mehre venige die selbigen dialect, desh Schwoabish.

AS: Okay.

Woman: Mir sinn Schwoaba.

FF: ... ja.Mir hin immer selbst g'schwetzt....

AS: Okay. And how would you say, one potato, two potatoes.

FF: Ei kartoaffl, zwei kartoaffla.

AS: Do you ever say anything like grumberr?

FF: No. Kartoaffl or die kartoaffla.

Woman: That’s not in our word.

AS: Okay.

FF: Kartoaffl or die kartoaffla.

Woman: Andere leit die hin so g'sproacha aber net mir.

AS: Okay. When I ask another word, it’s only because I’ve heard that.. variations.

Woman: Yeah, yeah.

AS: And I just ask if you’ve heard it or use it.

Woman: Yeah, yeah. Grumberra.

AS: And how do you say oats?

FF: Haber.

AS: Haber.

FF: Haber, yeah.

AS: Do you…with a b or a v?

FF: B. Haber.

AS: Haber. Okay. And how do you say cucumber?

FF: Kukummer.

AS: And then a pickle.

Woman: Saueree kukummr.

FF: That’s a saueree kukumbera. Yeah.

AS: And how do you say, one beet, two beets.

FF: Ein roadrieb oder roadarieba.

AS: Okay. Is it rieb?

Woman: Zwei roadrieba.

FF and Woman: Rieb.

FF: Rieb, yeah. Roadrieba.

AS: Was that a b or a p?

FF: P.

AS: P?

FF: Yeah. And then rieba, is a b.

Woman: Yeah, rieba.

FF: Rieba.

Woman: Rieba. Zwei reiba.

AS: And how, how do you say, one carrot, two carrots.

Woman: Oin gehlrieb order zwei gehlrieba.

AS: Okay. And then, one apple, two apples.

FF: Ein apfel, order zwei aepfel, ja.

AS: And one is apfel too?

FF: Yeah. Both aepfl, yep.

AS: Okay. So you don’t say ein ahpfl. Zwei aepfel? Okay, because some say ahpfel.

FF: Yep. Nope.

AS: And then, one tree, two trees.

Woman: Oin boahm oder zwei boahm. Zwei baehm.

FF: Baehm.

AS: Baehm…

FF: Baehm, yeah.

AS: …is two then?

FF: Boahm und baehm, yeah.

AS: And then how do you say, one garden, two gardens.

FF: Ein garta oder zwei garta, yeah.

AS: Same word for both?

FF: Same word, yep.

AS: And is there any special name for the part of the garden where you had cucumbers, watermelons, just all the things with vines.

FF: Nope.

AS: Anything like…

FF: Isch immer the selbige platz.

AS: Bashton or?

FF: Ein garta, yep.

Woman: A bashton, well I don’t, you know. ..we're der hoim varra uff unserem farem, dort hinmer immer noch ah bashtaan .

FF: Bashton ish wann a neuer vasa uff brocha ish. Un dann sinn da herbousa und kiripsa und wassermalona, die sinn uff der bashtan g'pflanza warra wohs neiaha sod... vaasa, you know. ( A bashton was put when new sod was broken and planted to potatos, pumpkins and watermelons......new sod, you know. )

AS: Okay. Das habe ich nicht gevoost.

FF: Yeah.

AS: Ich kenne das vort nicht.

FF: Das var immer da bashton, see.

Woman: Die bashton uff ein neues land.......

FF: Neues... ish's frisches vaase uff brocha.......Neues land friescha vasa uff broacha.

AS: Gut, das vust ich nicht.

FF: Yep.

AS: And how do you say, one shirt, two shirts.

FF: Kirich. Kirich oder kiricha. (Confuses church and shirt.)

AS: One shirt.

Woman: Shirt.

FF: Shirt? Oh, shirt. Himmit.

Woman: Himmit.

AS: Himmit. And then two would be?

FF: Zwei himmita.

AS: Okay. And one candle, two candles.

Woman: Candle. Ich denk mir himmer net deitsches ket.

AS: Do you ever say anything like talchlilcht?

Woman: Licht.

AS: Kertz, kertza?

FF: No.

AS: Kertza?

FF: No.

AS: Anything like that? Okay. And then would you count from one to twenty in German.

FF: Eins, zwei, drei, vier, finf, sechs, seiben, acht, nein, zehn, aelf, zwaelf, dreizeh, festzeh, fufzeh, sechszeh, seibzeh, ahchtzeh, neinzeh, zwanzich.

AS: Okay, and…people should be glad I didn’t ask for one to a hundred or something. How do you say, one stone, two stones.

FF: Ein schty oder zwei schty.

AS: The same word?

Woman: Schtoin. Zwei schtoiner.

FF: Schoiner.. Schtoiner haufa.

Woman: Oin schtoiner.

FF: Aber zwei sin, sinn zwei schtoiner. Wann sie a haufa sin, nad sinn schtainer haufa.

AS: Schtoiner haufa. Okay.

FF: Yeah.

Woman: Und it’s schtoinich.

FF: Ei schtoin, oder zwei schtoin, oder drei schtoin, (unclear)..... ish ahn haufe schtoiner.. Das sinn schtoiner.

AS: Okay. And then how would you say, the hill is high.

FF: Der bukkel ish hoch.

AS: And…

Woman: Der hocha bukkel.

FF: Der hocha bukkel.

AS: And then two hill, two high hills.

FF: Die beekel, die sinn hoch. Ja, a hocha beekel.

AS: Beechle?

FF: Beechle, yeah.

AS: And then what do you call a mountain?

FF: Desh ish....mir kiner...them mountains hin mir kiner ket and uff.....dann viss ich net vass es ish. Der hocha bukkel ish was alles ........ (We had no mountains and therefore I did not learn the word.)

AS: Okay, good. Everyone else here too just…they use the same word for hill, and then a mountain is just a high hill.

Woman: Yeah.

FF: Hocha bukkel, yah.

AS: And then how do you say, the cemetary is behind the church.

FF: Kirchoeff ish hinder der kirich.

AS: Okay. And then what do you call a ladder?

FF: Lieder.

AS: And then two would be.

FF: Zwei leidera.

AS: Okay.

Woman: Leidera.

AS: Leidera?

FF: Yep.

AS: And then what do you call a cradle, where you rock?

FF: A kripp.

AS: Now is that, when you rock?

FF: Kripp.

AS: Did you say anything like a veege?

FF: Kripp oder veeg.?

Woman: Na, veeg, net.......

FF: Veeg ish wass schtill schtaet un a veeg ish was viege doat. (A crib stands still, a cradle rocks.)

AS: And that’s…one crib is a veega?

FF: A veeg, yah.

AS: A veeg?

FF: Veeg, yeah.

AS: And then what would two be? Two cribs, or two…

FF: Zwei veega, (unclear) ....das war andera. Zwei veega, yeah.

AS: Veega, okay. And then what…how do you say, one fly, two flies.

FF: Ein mooka, zwei mooka.

AS: Same word for both.

FF: No, mooka.

Woman: Mooka.

AS: Mooga?

FF: Mooga oder moog.

Woman: Zwei, zwei sinn noch aurig…

FF: Eins ish ah moog, zwei sinn mooga.

AS: Okay. Good, is that a k or a g on this.

FF: K, yeah. Better than k yet. Mooka, yeah.

AS: Okay, okay.

Woman: I think it’s a g, actually.

AS: What do you say? And you’d say mooga.

Woman: Yeah, yeah.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, one coffin, two coffins.

FF: Coffins, you say?

AS: Yes.

FF: Ein sarg oder zei saerga.

AS: Okay. Do you ever use anything like a totenlag?

FF: Hmm umm.

AS: Okay. And then how do, what do you call the burial, the service?

FF: Da graab.

AS: And then what would you call the funeral service in the church?

.

FF: Die leicht. Yeah.

AS: Liecht? Okay. And how do you say, one chair, two chairs.

FF: Ein stuhl oder zwei schteel.

AS: And how do you say, he sits in the chair all day?

FF: Der hokkt im schtool der ganz dahg.

AS: Okay. Do you ever say sitzen?

FF: No.

AS: Okay. I’ve been trying to figure out, some people say sitzen, some say hokken. And it seems like both groups don’t use the other word.

Woman: And it’s such a difference then…sitze, und hokkae. You know, there’s such a difference.

AS: Yes. You know like in high German today, if you’d say der hokkt im stuhl. You know it’s kind of, he’s always sitting there doing nothing.

Woman: Er sitzt.

AS: And how do you say, I want to drink a cup of coffee with cream and sugar.

FF: Tass kaffe mit dem rahm un zukker.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, I want to drink? I want to drink.

FF: Ich ville tass kaffe.

AS: Okay.

Woman: Drinka.

AS: You’d say tass all the time.

FF: Yeah.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, one haystack, two haystacks.

FF: Ein heischoaber un zwei heischaeber.

AS: ...an heischo......

FF: Heischaeber.

AS: And then one is what?

FF: Heischoaber.

AS: Schoaber?

FF: Heischoaber un zwei heischaeber.

AS: That’s in, a different word. So that’s, I’ve never run into it.

Woman: Hauffa hei. .

AS: Hauffa hei and ein schoa......

FF: Yep.

AS: You get a lot off…

FF: Ein schoaber oder schaeber un schaeber......(unclear).

AS: Okay.

FF: .....sinn schaeber, yah.

AS: And then one house, two houses.

FF: Hieser oder haus.

AS: Okay.

Woman: Oin haus...

AS: And then, zwei haeser.

FF: Zwei hieser.

AS: Hieser. And then, is there any way to say a house is small, a small house besides just saying klien?

FF: No. Kleines haus, kleines haus was all we.................

AS: Do you say anything like klienes hoisel, hoisla or anything like that?

FF: Kleines heisla.

AS: Hiesla?

FF: Ya, venn doa so kinder schiela daen so hin mer sagt desh ish a kleines heisle.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, we eat meat every day. We, we eat meat every day.

FF: Wir essen fliesch alle dag.

AS: And then how do you say, that smells good?

FF: Es schmeckt gut.

AS: And that tastes good.

FF: Yeah.

AS: How do you say, that tastes good?

FF: Schmeckt gut.

AS: Same thing for tastes and smells.

FF: Yep. Yep.

AS: And then how do you say, fog?

FF: Naebl.

AS: Is that a b or a v?

FF: B.

AS: And then how do you say, I wash clothes?

FF: Ich wesch kleider.

AS: And she sweeps the floor with a broom.

FF: Sie faegt da boda...she faegt aus mit ah baesah.

AS: Okay. I’m only asking a few words from these next pages, so it’s not all on this.

FF: We got a think twice here once in a while, you know, but never the less.

AS: It puts people on the spot. You’d be surprised how many can’t think of a word.

Woman: Are you serious.

AS: And then maybe, you know, twenty words later, just a second, it’s like…

FF: I’m sure it’s all there, you know.

Woman: Yeah, yeah.

AS: Or you run, like I was in Dickinson, and I was doing this with someone who had always lived in town, and I’d ask her things like plow and she couldn’t think of it. Because she, they never used it in town.

Woman: No, no.

FF: Yeah.

Woman: Fliega, fliegen.

AS: Yeah. And how would you, what’s the word for your in-laws?

FF: Schwaeger.

AS: And that means, all your in-laws?

FF: Uh huh.

AS: And then, father-in-law, mother-in-law.

FF: Geschwaer.

AS: You can go ahead.

Woman: I don’t, that I don’t know either.

AS: Anything…

Woman: Gegeschwaer.

FF: Gegeschwaer is what vir sagen, ja.

AS: Gegeschwaer meant what?

FF: That means your father and mother-in-law.

AS: Both together?

FF: Yah.

AS: And how about just your father-in-law.

FF: Gegeschwaer.... or der schwaegemutter.

AS: Schwaegemutter und den…

FF: Schwaegefatter, yeah.

AS: Schweegavatter?

Woman: Schweegavatter.

AS: And then son-in-law?

FF: Son-in-law would be the…I don’t know. Tochterman.

AS: Tochtemann and then two would be?

FF: Toch..., yeah. Tochtermaenner.

AS: And then daughter-in-law?

FF: That would be the same thing as…

Woman: Doachter…

AS: Daughter-in-law.

Woman: Vee hasht du g'sagt ...dass, dass....

AS: Toachter, toachtemann?

FF: Toachte.

Woman: Vie haschst do g'sagt der son-in-law.

AS: Toachtemann?

FF: Toachtemann.

Woman: Oh.

AS: And a daughter-in-law would be? Anything you…

FF: Toachtemann sei frau.

AS: A soansfrau? Anything like that?

Woman: Yeah.

AS: Soansfrau or…

FF: Hmm mmm.

AS: Schweegatochter.

Woman: Schweegatochter, yeah.

AS: Is that what you use?

FF: Desh ish net vas vir g'sagt hin, no.

Woman: Well, mir hin ah bissle....

AS: Schnure?

FF: Toachtemannsefrau, desh about alles vas ich weis.

Woman: Des hin mir ah net so oft g'used.

AS: Uh huh.

Woman: You know, des ish...

AS: Do you ever use anything like a schnure?

FF: No.

AS: Okay. Some people do. It just means string. I don’t know, they figured to use this kind of, tagging along and stuff. And what would you call your brother-in-law?

FF: Mei gegeschwaer.

AS: Gegeschwair?

FF: Yeah.

AS: And that’s brother-in-law?

FF: Umm hmm.

AS: And then two brother-in-laws would be?

FF: Same thing then.

AS: And then sister-in-law?

FF: .....die schwaeiger sie...sei.. frau, wolt mir saga because this would be the sister see?

AS: Okay. And then how do you say…

Woman: .........seine frau.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, one uncle, two uncles?

FF: Mei ongle oder meine ongle, das warret. Meine ongle oder ongle.

AS: Is it the same word?

FF: Yeah.

AS: For one and…

FF: It’d be the same thing.

Woman: It can, mir hin fetter g'sagt. ..hin fetter kaet.

FF: Vier hin ongle g'sagt, sie hin fetter g'sagt.Vir em alle g’sagt, sein vetter sagt sei.

AS: Okay. So that’s kind of mixed down their.

FF: Yeah. It’d be the same thing.

AS: Okay. And how would you say one aunt, two aunts.

FF: Mein tanta.

Woman: Tante oder baes, mir hin baes g'sagt.

AS: Okay.

FF: Meine tanta, yeah.

Woman: Baisvetter un baeslie.

AS: Okay. One is it tanta?

Woman: Yeah.

AS: And then two would be?

FF: The same thing. Tanta, yeah.

AS: And then what did you say for one aunt, two aunts? Was it bas, baiser, baisle?

Woman: Alsa mass hin sie bas g'sagt, you know the ...Emmabas und Katherinabas. Un vans zwie baesla. Ich denk mir hin immer baesla g'sagt.

AS: Okay good.

Woman: There’s no word for zwei baisa. I don’t know, baisla.

AS: Okay. And then do you, so you use these for other people besides your real aunt and uncle.

Woman: No.

AS: I mean for friends of the family.

Woman: No, net mir.

FF: No, only friends. Vas friends....

Woman: No, not for friends. Only those that we’re related.

AS: Okay, what would you call your real uncle then? What would you call your father’s brother? Would you call him…

Woman: Oncle.

AS: Oncle?

FF: Oncle, yeah, yeah. Dat’s var der oncle,

AS: Okay. And then how do you say godfather.

FF: There’s no words that I know of.

AS: Did you ever say like pate, paetta?

FF: Huh uhh. No, no.

AS: Patenfatter?

Woman: He's the tauft pappa, you know, desh ish ah net was vier.....

AS: Tauffatter.

Woman: Taufpatie, yah.

FF: Yeah, that was they ..zu der tauf komma, they..........

AS: And then what you call the godmother, if it’s taufpatter? Is there any word for the godmother?

FF: Hmm umm.

AS: What religion are you?

Woman: Lutherisch.

FF: Yeah, German.

(Here is where the second tape begins)

AS: Mainly because, like the Mennonites have no Godparents. It just doesn’t exist so they don’t have any words for it.

FF: Vir sinn keina Mennonites, no.

Woman: Vir sinn Luthaerish.

AS: And then how do you say, "One orphan, two orphans?"

FF: Veissekind and then veissekinder.

AS: And then one widow, two widows?

FF: Vittfrau order vittveiber.

AS: Veiber?

FF: Vittveiber.

AS: And that’s a b?

FF: Yeah.

AS: Yeah. It’s sometimes hard to hear for me if it’s a, b or v or a, d or a, t.

Woman: Yeah.

FF: Vittvieber, yeah.

AS: And then one widower, two widowers?

FF: Disch a vittfrau order vittvieber.

AS: Vieber, okay.

Woman: Yeah, but Vittmann…

AS: Or wait…a widower. A widower.

FF: and Woman: Vittmann.

AS: And then two would be?

FF: Vittmaenner.

AS: And then how would you say, most people in town are German"?

FF: Merschta lait doh sinn Deitsch.

AS: And then how do you say, I can see him?

FF: Ich kann ihn seh.

AS: And he can see me.

FF: Er kann mich seh.

AS: And we can see her.

FF: Vir kenn sie seh.

AS: And she can see us.

FF: Sie kann uns seh.

AS: And if you were talking to your wife and you said, you can see them can’t you?... just to your wife.

FF: Du kannst die seh, kannsht net?

AS: And if you were talking to your wife and to me and you said, you can see them can’t you? meaning you two.

FF: Yeah, ihr ken sie seh.

AS: Okay. You wouldn’t believe the trouble I had sometimes getting across, trying to get du and ihr. And then talking only to your wife, they can see you. just to your wife.

FF: Yeah, kenn dich seh?

Woman: Ich kann dich sehna.

AS: And then they can see you.

FF: Sie kenn dich seh....euch sehen.

AS: Euch?

Woman: Sie sehen sie doch jetzt.

FF: .....Eich sehn, yeah.

AS: Okay. And he gave me the bucket.

FF: Er hat mir die aimer gaeha.

AS: Okay. Later I found out what that meant, this is just, I just happened to put it down.

Woman: The bucket.

AS: He gave him the bucket and someone explained it, you know.

FF: Isch'n eimer.

AS: She gave him the bucket, or something like that. Do you use that expression too?

FF: Ein eimer.

AS: Sie, sie hat ihm ein eimer g’gaeba.

FF: Yep. Bucket ish ahn eimer.

AS: And I mean, for the sense of a girl, you know, kind of dropping a guy or something. Do you use it like that?

FF: Hmm umm. Not said in Deitsch, no.

AS: Okay. Some groups use that, it means that if a girl breaks the engagement, or she’s got a boyfriend, just drops him; won’t see him anymore. And sie hat ihm den aimer g’gaeben, or something like that?

Woman: No, no, no, no, no.

AS: Okay. And he gave him the bucket.

FF: Sie hat ehm der eimer geh.

AS: And he gave her the bucket.

FF: Er hat ihn der eimer…sie hat ehr der eimer...er der eimer geh.

AS: And he gave them the bucket.

FF: Er hat dehm der eimer geh.

AS: Dem?

FF: Dem, yeah.

AS: And he gave you to only your wife.

FF: Yeah. Er hat dir der eimer geh.

AS: And he gave you the bucket, the two…

FF: Mir der eimer geh.

AS: ... To both of us; he gave you two....

FF: Sie hat eich, eich der eimer geh.

Woman: Sie hat eich.....

AS: Okay, eich then.

FF: Eich yeah.

AS: When you’re talking to two people....and he gave us the two buckets.

FF: Er hat eich der zwei eimer geh.

AS: Same for one bucket, two buckets?

FF: Yep.

AS: Okay. We’re getting close to the end now.

FF: [Laughter].

AS: Before I cut out all…I’ve got big blank spaces here too for you. How would you say, his dog barks too much?

FF: Dem sei hund bellt zu fuehl.

AS: And her husband drinks too much.

FF: Der, ihr mann drinkt zu fuehl.

AS: Okay. And how do you say, her husband?

FF: Ihr mann drinkt zu feehl.

AS: There you say ihr mann?

FF: Ihr mann, yeah.

AS: But for his dog, you’d say daehm sei hund.

FF: Sein hund, yeah.

AS: Okay. And my hand hurts.

FF: Mei hand duht vay.

AS: And our TV’s broken.

FF: Yeah, this is television, desh ish net Deutsch. (unclear)

AS: Okay. Germans say television or TV too, so…

FF: Yeah.

AS: And how would you say your to just your wife, your apron is new, isn’t it? Just your wife.....

FF: Yeah. I

Woman: Schurtz.

FF: Dei schurtz ish noof, yeah.

AS: And then if you were talking to your wife and say a neighbor woman and you say, Your aprons, both of you, Your aprons are new."

FF: Eira, eira schurtz sinn noof"

AS: Okay. How do you say…

FF: Schirtzs.

AS: Schirtz?

FF: Schirtz, yeah.

AS: So one is what? One ish a…

FF: Schurtz and schirtz.

AS: Schirtz, okay. And then how would you say, their house is new.

FF: Is new?

AS: Their house is new.

FF: Die ihra haus isch nei.

AS: And then John’s brother is her husband.

FF: Un, der Johann sei brudder ish ihren mann.

AS: And Frieda’s sister is his wife.

FF: Frida sei.. sei schwester ish sei frau.

AS: And then they have been married for twenty-five years.

FF: Sie sinn schon ferheirat fuer finfunundzwanzig jahr.

AS: And they are divorced.

FF: Sie sinn what?

AS: Divorced.

FF: Sie sinn g’scheeda.

AS: Okay.

Woman: (unclear)

FF: (Laughter)

AS: You know, it’s unbelievable sometimes trying to get that across for the du and you. I don’t want to say it, because it is pronounced different in different areas. And sometimes people…I’ll say, talking to your wife, how do you say, "They can see you"? And they will say, "Sie kaennen mich sehna," and I can’t get the "du" in their somehow, without actually asking for it. How do you say, "One foot, two feet"?

FF: Ein foos, zwei fees.

AS: And if I would say, "Ich hab mein foos g’broacha," how high could that be? If I just called you on the phone and said, "Ich hab mein foos g’broaka," exactly where would that…

FF: Es doot net sagga venns am knee ish oder am foos, ohn oberam knee oder onderam knee. (It doesn't say if it is the knee or the foot, whether above the knee or under the knee.)

AS: So how high could that possibly go, when I say foos?

FF: Es kaennt anywhere vom foos zum bis am knee sei. (It could be anywhere from the foot to the knee.)

AS: Okay, good. And then how do you say ankle?

FF: Ankle, yeah? I just can’t get it right now. I got it on my tongue, but I can’t think of it.

Woman: You better go on.

FF: Ask something else, yeah.

AS: Okay. And then, well, if a foos goes to the knee, what would you call the upper part of the leg?

Woman: Schenkle.

FF: Dis vaer der schengle.

AS: Okay. And then how do you say, one hand, two hands?

FF: Ei hond, zwei hend.

AS: And then how high if I say, "Ich hab meina, mein hend g’broacha." How high could that be, if I were just calling you?

FF: Dis wert, dis wert hont. Dis war hont un net ahrm. (This would be the hand [indicating], this the hand but not the arm.)

AS: Just…and then how about the wrist? If I’d just say…

FF: Des waehr, des war net hont. (That would be....that would not be the hand.)

AS: Hont would go up to the wrist then?

FF: Yeah.

AS: Okay. And what do you say for mouth?

FF: Moul.

AS: And then how about an animal?

FF: A tier.

AS: But if you, referring to an animal’s mouth. You know like a…

FF: Moul.

AS: Maul. You say maul?

FF: Moul. Dis waer moul, ....ahn animal, yeah.

AS: Okay. And if you were trying to tell someone to shut up, and you were mad at them, what word would you use for mouth?

FF: Halts moul.

AS: You’d say moule?

FF: Yeah.

AS: Did you ever use goasch or anything like that?

FF: I can tell you a story on that.

AS: Okay. Go ahead.

FF: Frierie jahr ish der Pastor immer zu die leit ins haus gannga. Un die mode war immer (wann er komma) dass er zu essa nah komma sinn. Un die zwei haen so kleina buba kaet un der eine hat grad so (unclear: sense is that he was silent) un der anders had immer g'babbelt, immer g'schwetzt. Endlich hatt sie mutter g'sagt, "Nah, halt doch amol die mund." Der andere hat denn Pastor ahg'gukkt un sagt er, "Mir saget ah manchmal, "Halt die gosch."

Trans: In the earlier years pastor would make house calls. It was the custom that he would then also stay for a meal. This couple had a couple of little boys one of whom was rather quiet but the other visited, yacking on and on. Finally his mother said, "Please, close your mouth." The quiet one piped up and said, (to the pastor) "Once in a while we say round here, "Shut your trap!" (Literally, "Shut your gab.")


FF: Desh goasch iss ah mund, aber des mund hat der net wolt saga. (Rest unclear.)

AS: But using a good German mund. Okay. I’m interested in any stories like that, so, just feel free to add them when you’d like. How do you say chin?

FF: Kee.

AS: You do say kee?

FF: Keen? yeah.

AS: Do you ever call this a Bart? Just for a chin?

FF: Nope. Not, well unless you got a growth on, then it’s a bart.

AS: Okay. Some German-Russian’s here in the state call this a bard and if you have a full beard it’s also a bard. And so for a woman too they’d say, you know, she has a bard.

Woman: Kee.

FF: This is keen. Ja.

Woman: This is kee. My face ish a kee.

AS: Keen?

FF: Keen, ja.

AS: Kae?

Woman: Kee, yeah.

FF: Kee.

AS: Kee. Okay. And then what do you call your forehead?

FF: Dets a forekopf, a koapf. Just a koapf to my knowledge.

AS: Do you say anything like staern?

FF: Staern, ja. Ich weiss det.

AS: Staern…

Woman: Ja, ik weiss, Ich verstaeh was ein staern ish aber mir haben niemals staern gesagt. (I understand what a "staern" is but we never used it in ordinary speech.)

AS: Oh, you never said staern? Okay. And how do you say when someone’s bald?

FF: Er ish…kahl.

Woman: Plootkopfich.

FF: …Kahl, kahl"

AS: Kahl or…

Woman: Kahlkopfich oder plootkopfich.

FF: Kahl or plootkoapf, ja. Either way, yeah.

AS: And you said Plootkopfich? Okay.

Woman: Yeah.

FF: Kahl or plootkopf.

AS: And then what do you call a moustache?

FF: Schnauzer.

AS: And a beard?

FF: Desh ah schnauzer.

AS: Okay. And a beard?

FF: What?

AS: A beard then, you said…

FF: It’s a bart.

AS: And then how do you say to drink?

FF: Trink, ja. Trink.

AS: And then for animals, you know, if you say, take the horse and give him, let him drink.

FF: Ja, ja, same thing.

AS: Trink?

FF: Trink, ja.

AS: But than when I said he drinks too much, you said…

FF: Ish immer zum zu vasser und trinka, ja.

Woman: Er sauft, ah tier sauft vasser un mir trinket vasser. (An animal gulps, we drink.)

AS: Okay. And if you drink too much beer or something…

Woman: Than er sauft, ja.

AS: But you’re not…

FF: Er ... ish soffa, ja.

AS: Okay. And then how about if you eat. Which word do you use for eat?

FF: Essa.

AS: And then how about someone who sits at the table and just shovels it down?

FF: Der fresst.

AS: Okay. That’s it, okay. Were there any other stories you can think of or anything?

FF: Oh yeah, I could tell you one.

Woman: Tell the one about the bub on the buggy.

FF: I could tell you that one. Its from die fiierie yahre, you know, in the kirch jetzt in die weiber uff einer seite g'hokkt un die maenner of der andra seite. Und jetzt hin sich ja dess so g'macht so sich dort zwei weiber amol veraergert hin. Die hin halt nimme g'schwezt mit einander. Die war eine forna an der kirch g'hokkt , desh ish die anner hinna g'hokkt. Un jetzt hatt der alte prieschter amol des vernomma dass die nimme schwetzt mit einander. Un hat er sie noch der kirch amol neba naum g'roofa un hatt ihn amol der kapital forglesa. Und jetzt sinn sich na einander vergeba, you know, alles gut g'macht und hin sich einander vergeba. Und die mode frieher war dass die frau ish forna an der kirch stehe bliebe und die pferde hin die ein g'schpannt hinter die kirch kaet hin dann sind sie forna nah g'farra un ish die frau ufs boggy und sinn sie hei'g'farra. Un jezt hat die zwei alles fergebba kaet aber grad eb die frau so ufs boggy ganga ish, hat sie sich so rum draeht und hatt dera andera grad ins g'sicht g'seet un sagt sie "Na, fergebba han ich dir aber an altes luder bisht halt doch." Des ish one thing. Die Deitsche schichter sind alle vohr. Englische sind uff g'macht aber Deitsche sinn wahr. Dess sin wahre g'schichter. Ich kann dir noch einer verzaehla von ....desh is von Kulmer.

(Translation) This one comes from the early years when men sat in church on one side and the women sat on the other. It turns out that two of the wives became angry at each other and refused to chat with one another. One sat in the front of the church and the other in the back. The old priest noticed that that no longer talked to each other. So one time after church he took them aside the read them the riot act and they forgave each other and everything was OK. It was also the custom that the women would gather in front of the church door and the men would go out back, hitch up the buggy and bring it around, the women would get in the buggy and they would drive home. Now the two women had forgiven each other and as one of them got in the buggy, she turned around and said to the other right in her face, "I forgave you its true but you're still an old blockhead." That is one thing about German stories, they're true to life. English stories are made up but German stories are true. I can tell you another one...this one from the Kulm here.


Die frau hat immer trouble ket mit dem schwetza desh em net g'schwetzt hin. Un, frierie yarha am samstag's obend sin die leit in't schtadt g'farra, you know, (unclear ) ....sach kaffa, des war die mode, in't schtaat farah. Un monchmal ish der mann in't barbership ganga zum sich die haar schnieda lassa un raziera and kibblazierah. In't barber shop war kei namma net in deitsch. Sind sie ah missa barbership saga aber hoar klipper und raziera, dess war, dess war in deitsch. Halt so war die art, die sinn am Samstag's obend in't schtaat g'farra un der mann ish dann nieber in't barbershop zum hoar klippera lassa un rasiera unt frau ish an der schtoar ganga. Un, of course, ich sag die hat immer a bisslie schnell g'schwetzt un ish net so raus.......for an hour. Ihra nochtbar ish nei komma un sagt er, "Na wo ish eier fatter heit obet?" Nu sagt sie, "Ya, der ish drieber in der barbershop, lasst die hoar schnipper un laxiera."

The wife always had trouble because (she would get things confused. Note: tape unclear.) In the early days people would go to town on Saturday evening, you know......to buy stuff, was the custom, so they went to town. Occasionally the man would go to the barbershop to get a haircut and a shave. The shop didn't have a name in German so they just said barber shop but
klipping and shaving was written in German. So as was the custom they went to town on Satuirday night, the husband went to the barbershop for his haircut and shave and his wife went into the store. Of course, as I said, she always spoke a bit too fast but spent an hour there. Her neighbor came in and he asked, "Well, where is the old man this evening?" "He's over in the barbershop getting a haircut and a laxative." she said. (It must be explained that instead of saying shave which in German is the word "rasiern," she confused it with 'laxieren' which means to take a laxative.)

FF: Die g'schichta sin alle vore, die deitsche.

AS: OK. That's good.

FF:. ....ya, that's genunk!

AS: Okay that’s good.

FF: Das sinn all gedung.

AS: Okay. Gedund vie jetz.

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