Home History Culture Oral History Transcribed Interviews

Interview with Wendelin Volk (WV) and Mrs. Ed Selensky (MS)

Conducted by Allen L. Spiker (AS)
21 May 1979, Rugby, North Dakota

Originally Transcribed by Matthew Miller
Translation, Editing and Proofing of the dialect expressions by Rev. Marvin L. Hartmann


(The original purpose of this interview by Allan Spiker was to demonstrate the differences and similarities of expression of several dialects. Therefore the reader must pay strict attention to the spelling. We used phonetic spelling which means we sought to spell so that the pronunciation would would be clear although the spelling did not reflect the standard German spelling. We did not capitalize the nouns. All "r's" must be rolled to achieve the proper pronounciation. We sought to reflect accurately the nuances characteristic of dialect speech. We make no claims to consistency. Readers need to remember answers are sometimes dialect words mixed with English. MLH)

AS: My name’s Allen Spiker and I’m in Rugby, North Dakota. Today’s date is May 21st, 1979, and your name is Wendelin…

WV: Yes sir.

AS: Volk. And you’re from Karlsruhe.

WV: Born and raised in Karlsruhe, yep. Okay.

AS: How long have you been up here?

WV: Seven years now.

AS: Okay.

WV: I moved in here in ’71. In the Spring.

AS: How old are you then?

WV: Oh, sixty-seven.

AS: Okay. We’re just trying to get an idea on the tapes. Younger people may not speak as much German as older people. So we try to get the age.

Man: I don’t speak good enough German. That’s right. [Laughter].

AS: You can go ahead. But I’m going to ask the questions here.

Man: But then the younger peoples wouldn’t understand it.

AS: Well, the stories now we’re collecting are all in German. Jokes, stories, if people want to say something.

WV: Oh, was I, was I, supposed to answer German.

AS: Oh No, that’s all right.

WV: Oh, oh.

AS: This is just information so later I know how old you were. That you’re not twenty or you’re not eighty, or something like that. How would you say, now in your German, I don’t want any high German, "I like that?"

WV: "Ich gleich dess."

AS: And "I used to like that?"

MS: "Ich habs als geglicha."

AS: Okay. And if one of you disagrees with the other, just go ahead and say it. How would you say, "I was there?"

WV: "Ich bin dort g'west."

AS: And "What’s wrong?"

WV: "Vass ish letz."

AS: Okay. And if I’d say, "Hey look?"

WV: _______

AS: Okay. And if I were standing out here on the street, and a speeding car comes around the corner and I don’t see it, and you shout out the window, "Look out?".

WV and MS: "Pass uff."

AS: Okay. And how would you say, "He walks now and he walked yesterday?"

MS: "Er lahfft yetz un haasht geschtert g'loaffa."

AS: Okay. And, I’ll get, if you’re talking, I’ll get your name too, so.

MS: Mrs. Ed Selenzky from Rugby.

AS: And you’re originally from?

MS: Originally from Karlsruhe.

AS: Mr. Volk’s daughter then?

MS: Yes.

AS: Okay. Do you still speak German too, then?

MS: Mostly.

AS: One thing, is the German here pretty much the same as in Karlsruhe?

WV: About, I would say.

MS: Umm hmm.

AS: So you’re all the same people here?

WV: Yeah.

AS: How would you say, "She runs now and she ran yesterday?"

MS: "Sie lahfft yetz, geschert ish sie g'shprunga."

AS: Would you, if you’d say, "Ist sie gesprungen," what would you say today?

MS: "Heit ist sie g'sprunga."

AS: "Heit morgen.......

MS: "Schpringte."

AS: Okay. And how would you say, "I jumped now and I jumped yesterday."

MS: "Ich hops, geschter bin ich g'hopst."

AS: Okay. And how do you say, "He sold the plow?"

MS: "Er hat der pflug verkauft."

AS: And how do you say, "One plow, two plows?"

MS: "Er hat sei pfleeg verkauft."

AS: Okay. And "He always smokes a pipe?"

MS: "Er rocht immer on pfife."

AS: Do you say "raucht or schmokt?"

MS: "Raucht."

AS: What do you usually say? Okay. And how do you say God and how do you say devil?

WV: "Gott und deifel."

AS: Okay. Is that a "t" or a "d," when you say deifel?"

MS: "D."

WV: That’s a "d."

AS: Okay. I have problems hearing that sometimes, it’s close. How do you say, "I hear something?"

MS: "Ich hear ebs."

AS: And, "No I don’t know him?"

WV: "Nah, ich konne en net."

AS: Okay. And how do you say "no?"

WV: "Nah."

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

WV: "Ich weiss dass er kein geld hat."

AS: Okay. Summer, winter, spring, and fall?

WV: "Sommer, Vinter…"

MS: "Frieyore."

WV: "Schpoatyore......"

MS: "Frieyore."

WV: "Frieyore un Schpoatyore."

AS: Okay.

WV: There we go.

AS: And "That’s a pretty girl?"

MS: "Sie ish ah schones mahdl."

AS: Okay. And as a child when you would speak to an adult, your grandparent, let’s say your grandfather, would you say "du" to him?

MS: "Ihr."

AS: "Ihr?" And "One day, two days?"

MS: "Aih doak, zwae daeg."

AS: "Daeg?"

WV: Umm hmm.

AS: Is that a "d" again or a "t?"

WV: A "d."

AS: Okay. And "One wagon, two wagons?"

WV: "Ei wage, zwae waega."

AS: And, what would you call the road out in the country.

WV: Oh, let’s see. "Prairie weg." That’s it.

AS: And then two of them would be, "Zwei......".

MS: "Zwae prairieweg."

WV: Yeah.

AS: Your words the same as one word.

WV: Yeah.

AS: When I ask for one and two. It’s usually like "baum, bahme," for that difference. How do you say, "One saw, two saws?" For wood?

MS: "Ah saega, zwou saega."

AS: And how do you say, "I saw wood now, and I sawed wood yesterday?"

MS: "Yetz saeg holtz, geshtert hab ich holz g'sae."

AS: And what do you say for "One frog, two frogs?"

WV: "Ai frosch, zwou fraesch."

AS: Okay. What do you call a toad then?

WV: A what?

AS and MS: A toad.

MS: A toad?

WV: I don’t know.

MS: "Grott."

WV: A "grott." That’s right, "grott."

MS: And then "Zwou grotte."

AS: Okay. Now is that only a toad, or?

MS: One toad is "Ei grott," and "zwou grotta," is two toads."

AS: Okay and then "froash." is frog?

MS: Yeah.

WV: Yeah. That’s the one with a lung.

AS: That swims.

WV: The green one.

AS: Yeah.

WV: And then the "frusch" is the black one.

AS: It’s interesting some people say "krott" for frogs and toads.

MS: Umm hmm.

WV: Yeah.

MS: There’s a difference.

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

WV: "Ah russ, zwei russ."

AS: And what do you say for cattle or livestock?

MS: "Fiech.".

AS: "Fiech?" And "One egg, two eggs?"

MS: Ah ei un zwei eier."

AS: How do you say "One?"

MS: "Eier." "Zwei eier, ah eik, zwei eier."

AS: Eik with a "k" then. And how do you say, "One tomato, two tomatoes?"

WV: "Ah badeis, two badeis."

MS: "Ai badeis, zwah badeis."

AS: Okay, and you don’t say "badeis ahpfel," you just say "badeis."

WV: Well, it could be, it could be.

AS: Okay.

MS: Some say "badeis aepfel."

AS: I was just wondering what you said. Okay.

WV: Good.

AS: But down in Vogel, you said?

WV: "Badeis aepfel.".

AS: Okay. That’s two then? Two or more.

WV: No. Ein badeis, und zwei badeis. That’s two.

AS: Okay. And then how do you say, "One potato, two potatoes?"

WV: "Ai krumbaera, zwoo krumbaera."

AS: Okay. And "oats?"

WV: "Hoaber."

AS: And "cucumber?'

WV: "Gogumer."

AS: And a "pickle?"

WV: "Zwei gogumere." That’s a couple of cucumbers.

AS: Do you say "saure" or anything like that?

MS: "Saure gogumer."

WV: "Saure gogumere." That’s pickle.

AS: Do you use "z"?

WV: That’s pickle then.

MS: "Saure…"

AS: And how do you say, "One beet, two beets?"

WV: Let’s see now a minute. Well do you want it pickled or?

AS: No, just a regular beet.

WV: Well.

Man: "Beet und zwei beet."

WV: Yeah, but that is English in the first place. We sagten "rohtriebah."

MS: "Roteriebah."

WV: Yeah, yeah there we go. "Rote, rote," there we go.

AS: How do you say one?

WV: "Roteriebah."

AS: That’s more, how do you say one then?

MS: "Rotrieb."

WV: Ahh, "Rothrieb."

AS: "Rhotrieb." Like a "p" or a "b?"

MS: "Rhotrieb." Like a red beet.

AS: Was it a "p" or a "b" at the end?

MS: A "b."

AS: A "b" at the end. Okay. And "One carrot, two carrots?".

WV: "Ah gehlarieb oder zwoo gehlarieb."

AS: Okay. And "One apple, two apples?"

MS: "Ai oapfel, zwoo aepfel."

AS: And "One tree, two trees?"

AS: "Ai bahm und zwae bahm."

AS: Same word for, same for one or more?

MS: Umm hmm. "Zwae bahm."

AS: Okay but, "bahm" is the same.

MS: Yeah that is the same.

AS: And then, "One garden, two gardens?"

MS: "Ai gahta, zwae gaeta."

AS: And "One shirt, two shirts?"

WV: "Ah hemb, zwah hemda."

MS: "Zwae hembah.".

AS: "Hemba?" And "One candle, two candles?"

MS: "Ah kahrtze, zwoo kahrtze."

AS: Would you count from one to twenty.

MS: Awins, zwei, drei, viere, finfe, sexe, siebene, ochte, neune, zehne, elfe, zwolfe, driezhene, fartzehne, funfzehne, sechzsehne, siebensehne, ochtsehne, neunsehne, zwanzig.

AS: At first I was gonna go higher, but I thought…

Man: That’s enough.

WV: Do you want it in Russian too?

AS: No. [Laughter]. Did you learn Russian and home?

WV: I used to count it till ten.

AS: For that, your folks taught you.

WV: Yeah, we had no use for that.

AS: Uh huh.

WV: Not used, just talked it.

Man: My dad could talk it.

AS: He was born over there though, right. And how do you say "One stone, two stones?"

MS: Ah schtaan, zwae schtan."

AS: And how would you say, "The hill is high?"

MS: "Da hubble ish hoch."

WV: "Dah berg ish hoch."

MS: "Dah berg ish hoch."

AS: Who says "hubbel?"

WV: Some people do.

AS: But you, you normally didn’t.

Man: I’d say "barick" too.

MS: Some would say "Eeeber em hubble reeber." You see, that’s "over the hill.".

WV: And I would say, "Ueber em berg drueber."

MS: "Ueber drueber."

AS: And how would you say, "Two hills?"

MS: "Zwae bahrik."

AS: Okay and what do you call a mountain?

WV: Well, that’s a big hill too.

AS: Yeah.

MS: "Ueber dah heebel drieber. That’s a "heebel drieber."

WV: No, a mountain. A mountain, that’s what he wants. What do you call it? But that must be…

MS: "Heebel," isn’t that mountains?

WV: Well it’s, "heebel" is more rolly. But mountains, that’s like in Alaska, you know. Or out west.

AS: So you’d say what, "grosse berg?

MS: "Grosse bahrig" or something?

Man: Yeah, that’s the way.

WV: Well, that’s the old ______for mountains.

MS: Yeah, but remember they used to talk about when they crossed the mountains, they’d say immer "Eber hiebel, kommen sie." You know, over the hills. They’d call…

AS: Just big hills, yeah.

MS: They’d just call them big hills. Because they didn’t really know what to call them.

WV: And like when they come across the sea, they said "Immer rieber schwartze sea."

AS: They didn’t have a sound for that.

WV: Yeah.

AS: And how would you say, "The cemetary is behind the church?"

WV: "Der kahrich hof ish hinner dah karich."

AS: "Kahrich?"

WV: Yep.

AS: And, "One ladder, two ladders?"

MS: "Ah lahdr, zwoo lahdre."

AS: And "A cradle that rocks?"

MS: "Vogh".

WV: Yeah.

MS: "Ah vogh."

AS: And zwei?

MS: "Zwoo vaege."

WV: "Zwoo vogha."

MS: "Zwoo vogha."

WV: Yeah.

AS: Okay. And "One fly, two flies?"

MS: "Ah meeg, zwoo meeka."

AS: And "Coffin, two coffins." "One coffin, two coffins."

WV: Yeah.

WV and MS: "Ein soag, zwoo soagah."

AS: And what do you call the funeral service?

WV: The "licht."

AS: And how about the burial afterwards?

WV: "Begraebniss."

AS: And how do you say, "One chair, two chairs?"

WV: "Ah schtul und zwoo schteel."

MS: "Zwae schteel."

AS: And would you say, "He’s sitting in the chair now?"

MS: "Ahr hookt im schtul yetzt."

AS: "Hookt." Do you ever say "zitsen?"

MS: That’s…the kids out in school are taking German, that’s what they say.

AS: Here in Rugby.

MS: Umm hmm. That’s a High German.

AS: Yep.

MS: In High German.

AS: Some people say it, some say "hoakt" and some say "hukken." So there’s a lot of variation.

WV: That’s right.

AS: How do you say, "I want to drink a cup of coffee with cream and sugar?

MS: "Ich vill a kep von koffee drinken mit rahm und zukker."

AS: And "One haystack, two haystacks?"

WV: Ei hei heiffa, zwae hei heiffa." Right?

AS: Okay. And how do you say "A small house?"

WV: "Ah gleines haus."

MS: "Kleines heisel."

WV: "Kleines heisel." Ya.

AS: Okay. And how would you say, "We eat meat every day?"

MS: "Mir essen flahsh alle dhog."

AS: "Flahsh?" And "That smells good?"

MS: "Desh schmukt gut."

AS: "That tastes good?"

MS: Say we use taste.

AS: Yeah.

WV: Yeah. Na, that’s English, that’s not that tastes. "Horch amol, durcha." (Listen now.) What do you call that? What do call that? Tastes good?

Man: 'Besuche?"

WV: Nah.

MS: Tastes is "besucht?"

WV: It’s something else.

AS: You mean ______?

WV: See taste is English in the first place.

Man: Yeah, "besucha, besucha" that's the same as taste.

WV: See, there you go.

Man: Yeah.

WV: That’s right. Yep, that’s right.

AS: And then how do you saym "fog? Fog? Early in the morning.

WV: Oh.

MS: "Naebel."

WV: Oh, "naeble."

AS: "Naebel?"

WV: Ya.

AS: And how would you say…

Man: Or "dah duft," but some say "nabel."

AS: Is there a difference, or is it the same?

Man: No. No.

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

MS: "Ich vaesh klahdr."

AS: And "She sweeps the floor with a broom?"

MS: "Sie faegt dah booda mit em ah baesah."

AS: And how would you say, "I’m going home now?"

MS: "Ich gehe yetz hahm."

AS: How do you say, "One foot, two feet?"

MS: "Ah fuss, zwae feas."

AS: And if I would call you and say, "Ich hab mein foos gebrochen," how high could that go? I’d just call you on the phone, and you couldn’t see it. Would that only be to the ankle, or could it be to the knee or to the hip?

MS: I think it’s from the ankle to the knee. "Mein foos."

Man: No it’s all the way up.

WV: Actually, I think it might go all the way.

Man: Yeah, it’s all the way. The leg yeah. It’s a leg.

AS: "Foos."

WV: "Foos." That’s just the foos down here. This here is the leg.

AS: But in German when you speak that? Would the "foos" go all the way up?

MS: It goes all the way up, doesn’t it? The foos gebrocha.

WV: No, fuss ish daes doh. (Very likely indicating his foot.) Well that’s…

Man: That’s the leg.

WV: The leg up here, yeah.

Man : And that’s the "foos."

WV: "Hasht dah foos gebrocha.".

Man: (Unclear but seems to agree that "foos" refers to the leg generally which sets up the following comment.)

WV: Nah, wo hat er en g'brocha? Dort drunna? (Where did he break it? Down there?)

AS: So it could be to the hip.

WV: Could be up here. It could be there.

AS: And how do you say the heel of your foot?

MS: "Fahshte."

AS: "Fahshte?". And what do you call your ankle?

WV: Ankle? Well, come on.

Man: Joint?

WV: No. Let me think here. Ahh, that’s more English than German.

Man: "Kleich?"

MS: "Kleich?"

AS: And that means joint or anything like this.

WV: Yeah, "kleich."

AS: And how do you say, "One hand, two hands?"

MS: "Ah hahnd, zwoo haent."

AS: And wrist.

Man: The "schocklarich."

AS: Okay. And how do you say mouth?

MS: "Maul."

AS: And when you were kids and you were fighting with your brother or sister, and you tell them to shut up. Would you say, "Halts maul?"

MS: "Machs gosch zu!"

AS: And how do you say, "One lip, two lips?"

MS: "Ah libbel, zwae libbel."

AS: Is that a "p" or a "b?"

MS: "B."

AS: "B?"

MS: "B, b, b."

AS: Okay. Those are so close, that I have problems hearing them. How do you say "chin?"

MS: For Jim?

AS: Chin, chin.

MS: Ohh.

Man: "Bart."

WV: "Bart."

MS: "Bart."

AS: And what do you call your forehead?

Man: "Shtahn."

MS: "Shtahn."

AS: And what do you call one star?

Man: "Schtahrne."

WV: "Schtahrne."

AS: One is a "schtahrne?"

WV: "Ahne schtahrne."

AS: Okay, and more would be?

WV: "Fiel schtahrne."

AS: Okay. And how do you say, what do you call the bald spot, a man has up here.

MS: "Plutkopf."

AS: Okay. And what do you call a mustache?

WV: "Schnautze."

MS: "Schnautze."

AS: Sounds bad. What do you call a beard?

MS: "Ah bahrt.".

WV: "Bahrt."

AS: Same word as for chin?

WV: Yep. Yeah.

AS: And if you’re woman, you’d hope that bahrt is only your chin. And how do you say,
"I eat."

MS: "Ich ess."

AS: And how about the guy who’s a real slob when he eats, and he eats too much.

MS: "Ah fresst.".

AS: Okay. And then how about, "I drink."

MS: "Ich drink." "Ich drink."

AS: Okay. And how about someone who sits in the bar all night and drinks.

MS: "Ah saufft."

AS: Okay. How would you say, and what do you call your in-laws?

Man: "Geschwer. Geschwer."

AS: And father-in-law, mother-in-law?

Man: "Mei mutter-in-law."

MS: "Geschwervatter and geschwermutter."

WV: Ya.

AS: And "son-in-law?"

WV: "Dochtermann."

AS: And two would be?

MS: "Dochtermaenner."

AS: Is that a ''t'' or a ''d?''

MS: "D." "Dochtermaenne."

AS: And "daughter-in-law?"

WV: Daughter-in-law…"Sohnsveiber."

MS: Yeah, "Sohnsveiber."

AS: And one would be...?.

MS: "Sohnsfrau."

AS: And "Sohnsvieb."

MS: "sohnsvieber."

WV: That would be…

AS: "Veiber?"

MS: That’s plural.

WV: "Frau" would be one and "veiver" would two.

AS: But in "veiber," that second ones a "v" too? "Viever?"

MS: That’s women.

AS: Okay. And then how would you say, "Brother-in-law?"

Man: "Tochtermann."

AS: Brother-in-law!

MS: No, brother-in-law.

Man: Ohh.

MS: "Geschwerbrud, geschwerbruder, ________?

WV: Yeah, no, no, no.

Man: "Schwoager."

MS: "Schwoager."

AS: And then two would be?

Man: "Schwaeger."

WV: "Schwaeger."

AS: How do you say?

Man: "Schwaeger."

WV: "Schwaeger," that would be two of them. And one is "Schwohger."

AS: And what do you call a sister-in-law?

WV: Sister-in-law…What did I say a little while...?

MS: "Sohnsfrau?"

WV: "Sohnsfrau?"

AS: No, no. Sister-in-law.

WV: No.

MS: You meant sister-in-law.

Man: That’s, that’s "Sohnsfrau."

AS: No.

WV: To you it would be, but…

AS: That’s a daughter-in-law. Daughter-in-law would be your son’s…

Man: "Sohnsfrau."

AS: Son’s wife. But this would be…

MS: "Sohnsfrau."

AS: Sister-in-law…

MS: "Sohnsfrau, sohnsfrau."

AS: No, sister-in-law would be your…

MS: Brother’s wife.

AS: Your brother’s wife.

MS: Okay, that’s "sohnsfrau" would be your…No. "Brudersfrau."

WV: No, well you have that, if it don’t ring, it don’t work.

MS: "Sohnsfrau would be your son’s wife."

AS: "Geschwei" or anything like…"

MS: "Geschweir. Geschweir?"

AS: "Geschwei?"

WV: Well, what did you…

AS: "Geschwei?"

WV: Sister-in-law would…

Man: I take over here my brother’s wife…

MS: "Geschweir?"

Man: No, listen. We gotta figure out that. Frank, or Mike’s, your brother Mike’s wife, she’d be your sister-in-law…

WV: That’s right.

Man: But how do you say that in German, or take my brother over here, his wife is my sister-in-law. That’s what you’re meaning.

WV: Your sister that is "Mei g'schwei."

Man: "G'schwei."

AS: "G'schwei?"

Man: "G'schwei."

WV: You mean I spit that out right now? "Mei g'schwei."Mein schwei?

Man: That’right. That’s "Mei g'schwei.".

AS: And how do you say "One uncle, two uncles?"

MS: "Ah faetter, ....."

WV: "Zwei featter, ....

MS: "Zwai faettere."

AS: "Faettere.?"

MS: Umm hmm.

AS: And then "One aunt, two aunts?"

MS: "Ah baesel, zwoo baesel."

AS: Is it the same? What’s one again?

MS: "Ah baesel."

AS: "Baesel and zwoo baes....."

MS: "Baeslah."

AS: "La." And then when you were small did you call people who weren’t really your aunt and uncle, fetter and…

MS: Always. Older than you.

AS: Any other person.

MS: Older than you, yeah. Always, was fetter.

AS: Okay.

MS: With respect to the older.

WV: Never said "du," we always said "ihr."

MS: "Ihr und faetter."

WV: What respect we had when we were kids.

AS: Okay.

MS: And the older people, you know they were always "faetter" and "ihr" was always…

WV: Always, "ihr."

MS: Always respect, with respect…

WV: Always, always, yep.

Man: If you didn’t, he’d twist your ear, you’d always say.

[Laughter by all].

AS: Until you said "ihr."

WV: _________.

AS: And how would you say "godfather?"

Man: "Faether."

MS: "Faether."

WV: "Dauf faetter."

MS: 'Dauf faetter."

AS: Is that a "dauf," a "d" again.

MS: "Dauf."

WV: Well that means, for Baptists…

AS: Yes.

MS: Ya.

AS: And then "godmother?" "Godmother?"

MS: "Daufmutter."

WV: "Daufgehge."

MS: "Daufgehge," yeah. "Gehge."

WV: "Daufgehge."

AS: And how do you say orphan?

[Pause]

Man: Orphan?

WV: Oh, come on. [Pause]. Well, it’s so easy.

AS: "Weisekind" or something like that..

WV: Nah.

AS: "Angenommenes kind?"

Man: That’s a little different than orphan. That’s, uhh, he’s without a home you mean?

AS: Yes.

WV: Yeah.

AS: His folks are dead. It wasn't anything like "wiese" or "weise or weissekind?"

WV: "Wahsikind."

MS: "Wahsiekind," ya.

WV: Yeah, "Wahsiekind."

AS: And two would be, zwei…

MS: "Wahsiekinner."

WV: "Zwah wahsekinner."

AS: And how do you say, "A widow and two widows?"

MS: "Ah vittfrau un zwoh vittfrau." "Ah vittfrau un zwoo vittfrau."

AS: But it’s for "zwo vittveiber?"

MS: "Vittveiber."

WV: "Zwei vittvieber."

AS: And how would you say, "One widower, two widowers?"

MS: One widow is a "vittfrau."

WV: Yeah, but he wanted it in zwei, zu.

Man: "Zwei vittfrauan."

MS: "Vittmaenner."

AS: All right. And how would you say, most people in town are Germans.

MS: "Maenschte leit in schtatt sinn deitsch."

AS: And how would you say, "I can see him."

MS: "Ich kenn ihn seena."

AS: And "He can see me?"

MS: "Er sehe mich."

AS: And "We can see her?"

MS: "Mir sehne sie."

AS: And "She can see us?"

MS: "Sie sehen uns."

AS: Now if you were, if you were talking to your father and you said, you can see them can’t you. How would you say that?

MS: "Ihr sehen sie, nich?"

AS: So you use "ihr," for your father. And then how about, you can…How would you say that to a friend, to, well say it to your sister. "You can see them, can’t you?"

MS: "Haschde du ah g'sehnah?"

AS: And then if you were talking to your sister and a friend, and you said, you can see them can’t you, meaning two people, would you…

MS: "Hin ihr sie g'sehena?"

AS: Okay. So when you’re talking to two or more people your age, you still say "ihr." Just like…

MS: I always do.

AS: Okay.

MS: I was brought up that way.

AS: Yeah, I’m interested in the way you say it.

MS: I always say "ihr."

AS: And if you were talking to your sister and you said "They can see you."

MS: "Sie sehnen eich." "Sie sehnen dich."

AS: Okay. And then two or more would be, sie sehnen…

MS: "Sie sehnen euch."

AS: And how would you say, "He gave me the bucket?"

MS: "Er hat...?

AS: "He gave me the bucket."

WV: "Er hat mir der aimer geba."

MS: "Er hot mir der aimer gebba."

AS: "He gave him the bucket?"

MS: "Er het ihn der aimer gebba."

AS: How do you say it,"ihm?"

MS: "Ihr, ihm."

AS: "Ihm." And "He gave her the bucket?"

MS: "Er hat ihra da ......

WV: "Aimer gebba."

MS: "Aimer gebba."

AS: "He gave them the bucket."

MS: "Er hat ihne dah aimer gebba."

AS: Okay. If you’re talking to one sister and you say, "He gave you the bucket?"

MS: "Hat mir der aimer gebba."

AS: Okay, to one sister. He gave you, you’re talking to your sister.

WV: "Hat ihr der aimer gebba."

MS: "Hat ihr der aimer gebba."

AS: Ihr. And if you’re talking to your sister and a friend, you’d say, he gave you…

MS: "Er hat eich der aimer gebba."

AS: And "He gave us two buckets?"

MS: "Er hat uns zwae aimer gebba."

AS: Okay. This is the last word, then, so, see it’s not too painful. "His dog barks too much?"

MS: "Sei hunt baehlt zu feel."

AS: And "Her husband drinks too much?"

MS: "Ihra mann saufft zu fiel."

AS: And "My hand hurts?"

MS: "Mei hond dhut veh."

AS: And "Our T.V. is broken?" I don’t need a German word for T.V.

MS: "Unser T.V. ish schneer."

AS: And "Your apron is new?"

MS: "Ihr schortz ish nei."

AS: And if you’re talking to your sister and another friend, another woman, you’d say, "Your aprons are new?"

MS: "Sind ihre schartz nie?"

AS: Okay, so how do you say, "One apron, two aprons?"

MS: "Schortz un schartz."

AS: Okay and schockts…

MS: Schortz is one and schartz is two.

AS: Okay. I have problems hearing the difference, but I know that somethings…How do you say, "Their house is?"

MS: "Ihra haus ish nei."

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

WV: "Johannes…"

MS: "Johannes sei bruder ist ihr mann."

WV: Yep.

AS: How would you say it?

MS: "Johannes sein bruder ish ihre mann."

AS: You said something before Johannes, did you say something?

MS: "Johannes?"

AS: Oh, okay. And how would you say, "Frieda’s sister is his wife?"

MS: "Frieda’s…"

AS: "Sister is his wife."

MS: Da Frieda ihra schwester ish sei frau."

AS: And "They’ve been married for twenty-five years?"

MS: "Sinn schon finf un zwanzig yore k'heirat."

AS: And "They are divorced?"

MS: "Sie sin yetzert von ant." (Von einander- - separated.)

AS: Okay. Could it be "geschieden? Geschieden?"

WV: How do, how do you say divorced in German?

AS: Do you say "geschieden?"

Man: No, "ah fonant." (Contraction for "von einander.")

MS: "Afonant." apart.

WV: Apart, that means apart.

Man: Yeah.

AS: Okay. That’s the end of the word list.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Library North Dakota State University North Dakota State University GRHC Home