Interview with Donna Giedt Wright (DGW)

Conducted by Allen L. Spiker (AS)
1 July 1981

Some narrative portions were transcribed, edited and proofed by Lena Paris.
The Katschubish word and phrase study was transcribed, edited and proofed by Rev. M.L. Hartmann in May 2006.

Readers please note: The Katschubish phrases were rendered phonetically. No attempt was made to capitalize nouns or reflect regular German spelling. The reader attempting to pronounce the words is encouraged to roll the Rs and to pronounce the TH toward the "duh" sound with a heavy "h" gutteral sound. Apologies for any inconsistencies that may be found. Further, all the English phrases Allen Spiker wanted to hear in the Katschubish dialect are punctuated with a question mark although occasionally they are declarative. My purpose for that is reflect the implied question "How would you say.....?"

AS: My name is Allen Spiker the date today is July 18, 1980 and I am speaking with Donna Mae Wright.

DW: I was born Donna Mae Giedt on December 26, 1924. I was almost a Christmas present. I was born in Danzig, North Dakota in McCintosh County, lived there went to the elementary school and then to high school in Ashley and graduated in 1942. From there I went to Interstate Business College in Fargo for several months. Then I worked for an insurance company as a stenographer.

I returned home, leaving there in 1950 when my mother and I moved to Fargo. We still converse in Katschubish, and when my brother, Bill, gets here we have a high old time. It's fun when you have someone who talks Katschubisch and talk about the old things we used to do.

AS: You were telling me about some of the things about what happened as a child.

DW: In the elementary school we were almost like outcasts because we were Katschubisch. Now I have no idea why.

AS: Where did you attend elementary school?

DW: This was in Danzig. We went through the eighth grade in Danzig.

AS: Was it mixed Katschubisch and other people?

DW: Yes, we were the only Katschuba there. The teachers, of course, were good to us. At recess time we were the last one chosen to play ball. But when you are klutz like I was that kind of went with it. Unless someone befriended you; otherwise kids kind of shunned you. Of course, at that age they can be kind of cruel.

AS: Did you speak their German dialect too?

DW: No, at that time I could not. I don't speak it very fluently now, not as well as Bill does.

AS: Because of Bills wife?

DW: Now another reason why we were shunned at school was because we were Baptist.
Everybody else was Lutheran. We were the only Baptists outside our relation, but we were the only children at school that were Baptist; now that could be why.

AS: A few people told me about the Kaschuerbisch jokes is what they were called by other German-Russians, and I was wondering did the kids tease you about that at school?

DW: I can't recall. The only thing I do remember is unless by the time I got there it had kind of worn off a little bit. But not being able to play and not having a friend at recess time when everybody else had friends. I can't recall that we were the point of some joke.

AS: How many Katschuba lived in the Danzig area?

DW: It's kind of hard to tell how many. I know there were Pudwills that spoke Katschubisch and the Staedings, Giedts, the Donners and Michelsons. I think there were some Berndts that also spoke Katschubisch.

AS: They lived fairly close together.

DW: They were all within a fifteen mile radius.

AS: Were there other children among those families?

DW: There were children among those families, although we lived closest to Danzig and the rest of them were in another school district. We were on the outer fringe.

AS: I was wondering that you were the only two in that school.

DW: That's why.

AS: I'd like to hear you speak Katschubisch.

DW: Oh vall et, die geschichte vitala? OK. Fon meane Grossmutter, dae moost amol pancakes broata fer an em outlaw. Den nooma det Dick Tracy. An hae kahm zu morganst maen Grossfutter waer nich t'hoos. On-a aen fona younges mussta da paet holla bae da deer un hae gled da flint gruda upp desh da haen konn, yemand komm det hae schiessa konn. Un yemand comm erre huegel raeda an hae frogh uff da vae fon am sheriff. Un Grossmamma said, "No, dat vaer groota nachbur," aber hae det manna komm sheriff, hae konna schaesta. Aber, they said, "No, dat groot nachbar." Aber hae det manna komm sheriff, hae konn schaesta. Aber, they said, "No, dat groota nachbar." Un hae guk nich ueber em worryya. So the, ah, hae, they dan no schnae ae pfinna pancakes un den raegta ahss.

AS: Did he just come and how did that happen?

DW: Evidently he just rode out. There was a farm and he may have been tired and hungry and how far he had come I have no idea.

AS: You said that was at your farm outside of Danzig.

DW: That was at our farm one mile west of Danzig.

AS: When was that about?

DW: I would say about 1900 give or take a few years.

AS: Would you like to tell that in English?

DW: I am not exactly sure that I can relate it just exactly in the...

AS: Just approximately.

DW: I want to tell you a story about my grandmother. She had to fry pancakes for the outlaw Dick Tracy at gunpoint. My grandfather was not home. One of their sons had to stand right outside the door and hold the horse so that in case somebody came he could just jump on and go. He had his gun laying right on the table as he ate his pancakes, and then a neighbor came riding across the hills and he wanted to know if it was part of the sheriffs posse. And grandma said, no it was just a neighbor and he wouldn't have to worry about him. He said he could pick him off if he was part of the sheriffs posse. But that was a long time ago and she was a very courageous woman.

DW: Meane Grossmutter, ye vaert zaer (domineering). I don't know how to say, 'domineering.' Aber sae alles muss gonna so vie sae saed. Un, ah Grosspapa, hae gleicht am roaka. Aber hae durch nich im hoos roaka. Hae muss hindert hoss goone. Un, "Oach, du dommer," gleech vird der raed dann. An der vaerd, oh, die konn, really saer urveisa. Dae am oct uhr zom morghens im platza op um boggy fohr ich den int kirch fort. Der paet verde noch nicht angespchpannt. Aber det med doch vaehr fardich am alles vaer, ah, ah , ganz rein thoos up veraegt. Un ad var fartigh komm a kitsh for op a boggy.

My grandmother was a very domineering woman, and grandpa liked to smoke. He smoked since he was six years old. But he didn't dare smoke in the house. He had to go behind the house to smoke. "Oh you dumb woman," he would say. She was really a worker. By 8 am on Sunday morning she had the dinner ready, the house was cleaned up and she was sitting in the buggy waiting to go to church. The horses weren't hitched up yet. We thought that was so funny. Bill and I have laughed about that many times.

AS: I suppose your grandfather was Baptist too? That wasn't very acceptable to smoke, was it?

DW: No, it wasn't but he did it anyway. There is a little bit of the devil left in all of us, I guess.

AS: Would you like to tell anything else?

DW: Right off hand, I imagine I can think of a lot of things after your gone.

AS: We can start this word vocabulary, and again I'll just ask you in English and you just tell me in Katschubisch? On any of these say it like you would normally say it with your brother or with your mother. If there is an English word you would rather use other than Katschubisch, that's fine. The first one is a section on house and home. How would you say "This is the kitchen?"

DW: "Des iss da kiek."

AS: "Some houses have two kitchens?"

DW: "Manga heesa habe zwee kieke."

AS: "The stove is in the kitchen?"

DW: "Da ova iss in da kiek."

AS: "We have two stoves in our houses?"

DW: "In unser hoov habe zwae ohvas."

AS: "Light the fire?"

DW: "Schtekk da feer ahn."

AS: "The wood is in the stove?"

DW: "Da holt iss in ovta."

AS: "They burned all the coal?"

DW: "Habe ye kola all yebrennt."

AS: "The chimney is burning?"

DW: "Det kamoo brennt."

AS: You always say "kemine?"

DW: "Kemine" is chimney.

AS: "The oven is hot."

DW: "Da ohva iss haet."

AS: "The window is broken?"

DW: "Det finster iss kapoot."

AS: "Their kitchen has two windows."

DW: Just a minute. Back up to the earlier one.

AS: "The window is broken?"

DW: "Yes, kapoot order verschloacha."

AS: Which would you usually say?

DW: "Verschloacha." That's broken.

AS: Does that have any special meaning, like you broke it by choice?

DW: Ya, like by force.

AS: How would you say, "Their kitchen has two windows?"

DW: "Ihra kirch haet zwae finsters."

AS: "Shut the door?"

DW: "Mok der deer toh."

AS: Toh?

DW: Toh.

AS: OK. And, "Both doors are open?"

DW: "Du deere zinn alle beid opp."

AS: "The doorknob is broken?"

DW: "Da keenk iss kaboot."

AS: "The sink is in the corner?"

DW: Sink? "Da sink iss inem aek."

AS: A number of these things your people didn't have back in Russia.

DW: No.

AS: And if you use an English word, that's fine. This isn't a test.


AS: "The faucet is leaking?"

DW: "The faucet lackt."

AS: And again, no one had faucets over there, so they have no word...none of the German do over there. And..."There are two faucents?"

DW: "Sinn zwae faucets."

AS: "This ceiling is high?"

DW: Ceiling? "Dessa bieneh iss hoch."

AS: How do you say it?

DW: "Bieneh"

AS: The ceiling? Does that mean the inside ceiling or like the roof?

DW: No, no, the roof is "dockh."

AS: OK. You're the first German Russian I have found who has a word for ceiling.

DW: Oh, really. I had to think for a while. Its "bieneh."

AS: "Not all the ceilings are high?"

DW: "Die bieneh zin nich ahla hoch."

AS: "Where is the footstool?"

DW: "Wo ist, eh, foatschtuhl?"

AS: "This is my chair?"

DW: "Des iss meena schtoal."

AS: "There are five chairs in the kitchen?"

DW: "Da zinn feef schtael in em keak."

AS: How do you say, "church?"

DW: "Keark." "Keark."

AS: And "kitchen" is...?

DW: "Keak."

AS: "They are sitting in the living room?"

DW: "Dae zeat im faerschte tzimmer."

AS: "Faerschte."

DW: "Faerschte." That's a front room in stead of living.............."

AS: And how do you say "They are sitting?"

DW: "They tzaetse..."

AS: How would you tell your daughter, "Sit down?"

DW: "Zaet die haen."

AS: "We have one real little room?"

DW: "We have aen ________klaena tzimmer."

AS: If you would say...OK....your word for "house" is?

DW: "Hoos."

AS: And then two would be.............?

DW: "Hooser."

AS: Do you have any word for a little house?

DW: A "hoostjah."

AS: And how would you use that when say one real little room? Could you use that same thing?

DW: No, room and house is different.

AS: But...."hoostjah?"

DW: "Hoostjah" is a little house.

AS: Could you use that with a too?

DW: No, "Ae klaena tzimmer." "A tzimmertjeh." Which we would say too.

AS: OK. Good. And, "Some houses even have two such little rooms?"

DW: "Mangya heeser habe twae klaena tzimmer."

AS: And, "The pantry is smal?"

DW: "The pantry iss klaen."

AS: "The dishes are in the cupboard?"

DW: "De yescherr iss im schraank."

AS: And how do say "dishes?"

DW: "Yescherr."

AS: And cupboard is.....?

DW: "De schraank."

AS: I'm just asking you to repeat these because a lot of these words are new for me. Since this is a different list than I asked Bill. "The kitchen is on the first floor?"

DW: "De kaek iss oppa aeschte schoak."

AS: And "The bedrooms are on the second floor?"

DW: "De bedrooms sinn upstairs."

AS: Do you say bedrooms or do you have..........?

DW: That's what we always used, was bedrooms.

AS: I was wondering because some people say "schaafzimmer," or "schloafzimmer."

DW: Yah, yah. That's Schwaebisch.

AS: OK, because I'm more familiar with Schwaebisch than with yours.

DW: Yah, yah. But we said bedroom.

AS: "He's up in the attic?"

DW: "Hae iss am da aact."

AS: A lot of these words are buildings they first had over here.... And "He goes up stairs?"

DW: "Hae yea d'ropper."

AS: And, "He goes downstairs?"

DW: "Hae kaempt roonther."

AS: "The stairs are not very wide?"

DW: "The stairs sinn gahns schmahl."

AS: "This bedroom is large?"

DW: "Det bedroom es grooth."

AS: And, "The bedrooms are upstairs?"

DW: "Da bedrooms sinn boaba."

AS: And that means upstairs?

DW: Yah.

AS: How would you say, "downstairs?"

DW: "Undeh."

AS: You said "groat" was large. How would you say "small?"

DW: "Groat" is large. "Klaen."

AS: And "This bed is soft?"

DW: "Det baad iss edda vaek."

AS: OK. And how do you say "bed?"

DW: "Baad."

AS: And, "There are two beds in this room?"

DW: "Zin zwaegh baad in dessen tzimmer."

AS: And how say bed?"

DW: "Baad" But two is 'baaduh."

AS: And one is.....?

DW: "Baad." And two is "baaduh."

AS: I have a problem hearing the difference. " The bedsheets are clean?"

DW: "Duh baad drach iss rhein."

AS: Do you ever say anything like, "laaken, bed tuch, lein tuch?"

DW: Ah, "lein dook." "Leindook, leindook, yea, OK, that's for sheets."

AS: And how would you that one sheet or two sheets?

DW: That's one.

AS: OK. And..........?

DW: Dets "leindaeke." Is two...

AS: Good. You know, I find that your, you and the Mennonites, with your Platt have a more complicated language for the changes from singular to the plural.

DW: Yah, yah. A lot of time, you know for the plural, in an "ae" is sounded like "baadh und baadeh."

AS: And some of the other forms I can't even imitate. How do you say, "Take off the dirty bedsheet?"

DW: "Nimm do drachiche leindekker fomm baadh."

AS: OK. And how would you say, "clean?"

DW: "Rhein."

AS: . How would you say the "clean bed sheet?"

DW: "Doh der reine leindekke offt baad."

AS: And how do you say, "The kitchens clean??

DW: "De kiek iss gahnz rhein."

AS: Do you ever use "sauber?"

DW: No. No. No. That's Schwaebisch again.

AS: How would you say, "The quilt is warm?"

DW: "De daak ish schoen warrm."

AS: "Tonight we need a couple of quilts?"

DW: "Haet oben brook we zwae daake."

AS: "He sleeps without a pillow?"

DW: "Hae schlapt ohne kahffe."

AS: "Schlapt?"

DW: "Schlapt."

AS: "And the pillow slip is dirty?"

DW: "De kahffe beerae is draakich."

AS: "Bring me those clean pillow slip?."

DW: "Bring me die rheine kahffe beerae."

AS: "He's lying in bed again?"

DW: "Hae licht um vaeder im baadh."

AS: And, "Yesterday he was lying in bed all day?"

DW: "Yester lahche der ganze daach im baadh."

AS: "The dresser is in the bedroom?"

DW: "The dresser is in the bedroom." I just can't think of the word for dresser. The "commode, the commode." "The commode iss im bedroom."

AS: "And she has a couple of dressers?"

DW: "They have da pour commodeh."

AS: "Do you remember what the old-time cradle was called?" Can you say the entire sentence?

DW: "Vaest do vhat dae olle vaegh haed."

AS: How would you say, "two cradles?"

DW: I suppose the same thing.

AS: OK. And how do you say, "Do you remember?"

DW: "Vaest du??

AS: And, "That's an old stone house?"

DW: "Dadsa olla schtaen hoos."

AS: What did you call your houses back there? Where you lived....the old-time houses?

DW: "Ah vahsa hoos." That's a sod house.

AS: Others say "vahsen haus." "He builds a brick house?"

DW: "Hae boodh a brick house."

AS: Your people didn't use bricks?

DW: No. No word for that.

AS: And "He built two frame houses?"

DW: "Hae boodh zwae helsena heesa."

AS: And do know what the old time log cabin was called?

DW: "Vaest du vat dat olla hoos vaer?"

AS: See, this is written for a different part of the country .....not for the plains.

DW: A log cabin, "Olla hoos," old haus is all I can say.

AS: No one had a log cabin.

DW: No. No one had a long cabin. "Old house" is all that we would say, I would imagine.

AS: "The new house is larger than the old one?"

DW: "Deht neeva hoos iss grater vie det olle."

AS: "They're living in the doctor's house?"

DW: "Hea vohnen in dokter im hae haem hoos."

AS: "Its the house which I sold to him."

DW: "Deht iss des hoos vat ich em verkofft."

AS: "This is our house?"

DW: "Deht iss uns hoos."

AS: "That is your house?"

DW: "Daht iss deen hoos."

AS: "That is their house?"

DW: "Daht is ihr hoos."

AS: When you talk to someone in your family like your husband, say that you are speaking Katchubisch, and you say, "That's your house," then you's say...?

DW: "Daht iss deen hoos."

AS: But as a child, if you met......

DW: "Daht iss uns hoos." That's our house.

AS: But if you, as a child, say you were speaking to the minister, and you'd say, "That's your house," to the minister, what would you say to him for "you?"

DW: "Daht is deen hoos."

AS: You would say "deen?"

DW: Uh huh.

AS: I was wondering because sometimes the Schwaebisch would say, "dein" for family and friends but if you met an adult, or someone they'd say, "eure."

DW: Ya, ya, that is Schwaebisch what we called the 'higher' German.

AS: I was wondering of you used the two.

DW: We did when we spoke with our grandparents.

AS: What did you say to them?

DW: "Sie." We didn't say "dich" because that was considered like, you know a 'sit down.' "Saet dich haen." You sit down. That I would say if I were speaking to you or my mother. "Saetzhen sich haen." That would show respect.

AS: If you were asking your grandmother.....

DW: To sit down, this is what I would say to her.

AS: If you would say to your grandmother, "That is your house," how would you say that?

DW: "Das iss deen hoos."

AS: You would then?

DW: Yes.

AS: "Where does he live?"

DW: "Vo vont hae?"

AS: And, "Where did he live last year?"

DW: "Vo vontet lahstet yore?"

AS: And "How would it be if we went now?"

DW: "Vie vairet venn ve ennen noo fohrd?"

AS: Your Katchubisch is very good because you answer right away. "I was there yesterday?"

DW: "Aek vaehre dohre yestere."

AS: "You were there too?"

DW: "Do vaerscht ook dohr."

AS: And if you were talking to two people, how would you say that?

DW: "You vaere ook dohr."

AS: And you say, "you?"

DW: Uh huh.

AS: If you were talking to two people and said, "That is your house?"

DW: "Det iss you hoos."

AS: A command, "Lets go home?"

DW: "Lets loose foreh."

AS: "He's mowing the lawn?"

DW: "Hae schnittet grahss."

AS: "He walked between the houses?"

DW: "Hae veent zwischene de heese."

AS: Section seven: dishes and utensels: Again if you get tired..........

DW: No, no.

AS: "The frying pan is on the stove?"

DW: "Dah paan iss opp on dah ohva. Die broadh paan iss opp um ohva."

AS: "We have two iron pans?"

DW: "Vee hava zwae eesena paanah."

AS: "The handle is hot?"

DW: "Dah haendle is haet."

AS: "The handles aren't long enough?"

DW: "Dah handles are nicht laghnk yenoch."

AS: "Who put the pan on the table?"

DW: "Veech schtelld da paan ahp ah desch."

AS: "That's the cooking kettle?"

DW: "Deht iss dah koak kaettl."

AS: "She hates to wash the kettles?"

DW: "Sie gleicht da kaettle nich wahsing."

AS: "Bring me the other bread pan?"

DW: "Bring me die andere broat paaneh"

AS: "Where is the knife?"

DW: "Where is et knaafeh?"

AS: "That cup is cracked?"

DW: "Daht tahs iss verschloache."

AS: How would you say.......

DW: That's not right. "Verplatzt!"

AS: How would you say, "I'd like to drink a cup of coffee with cream and sugar?"

DW: "Aet dink gleich aenna tass koffe drinka met schmannt unt soakkr."

AS: The command, "Use the other cups?"

DW: "Nimm da ahndra tahsse."

AS: "These are nice drinking glasses?"

DW: "Det sinn schoene glaeasar."

AS: "Bring me the other glasses?"

DW: "Bring me dee ander glaeasar."

AS: "We have some real small glasses?"

DW: We havea maghnya ganz klaene glaeasar."

AS: Remember what used for "tzimmer".....?

DW: "Gahnz klaene."

AS: What did you use for a little room........?

DW: "Ah klaenes tzimmertya."

AS: Could you use that with glasses?

DW: "Glahstye." You could. Ya.

AS: And then, "She's drying the dishes?"

DW: "Sie vaeshtet det tschaerr."

AS: "She's drying the dishes?"

DW: "Sie draecht oot." OK "Sie draecht oot." "Sie draechtet deh stschaerr."

AS: "She dropped the dishrag?"

DW: "Sie (lieft) der kodder fahla."

AS: OK. This does.........

DW: Wait a minute, wait a minute. That should be "wahshkodder." "Sie (laeft) der wahschkodder fahla."

AS: And what did you say the first time?

DW: Just "kodder."

AS: A "kodder" is a rag?

DW: Uh huh.

AS: "The water bucket is empty?"

DW: "Der wooter aermer es leer."

AS: "Bring two buckets right away?"

DW: "Bring me gleich zwae aermers."

AS: "He's carrying a bucket of water?"

DW: "Hae dracht na aermer wooter."

AS: "He carried the bucket away?"

DW: "Hae nahm dah aermer foot." "Hae droacht dah aermer foot."

AS: "Where's the basket, like say a washbasket?"

DW: "Wo iss dah korff."

AS: And when you used to go shopping in town, did you carry any kind of basket? What did you put your things in?

DW: You mean like a groceries.....when we went grocery shopping.

AS: Ya, you carried................

DW: They had bags. Grocery bags.

AS: So you just brought everything out from the store......?

DW: Or ....or boxes.

AS: What did you use to put the things in when you walked around?"

DW: Oh, that was ....they had. You evidently weren't familiar with the country stores, are you? They had all the didn't carry anything. They carried it to the counter, like usually the stores were divided. One part was the grocery in Danzig this was part was the grocery and you could get meats there and then whoever ran the store usually had the post office. Later on the post office was separate. Then on the other side was the dry goods, the material, thread, shoes etc. Well, OK, what you bought from the dry goods was brought over to the grocery side and then everything was itemized. It was written on a slip and that at the counter is where you paid for it. And then it was all packed. The clerk packed everything in a box.

AS: It’s not like a cart.

DW: No, you did not use a shopping cart.

AS: The stores that I was in were just aisles and the items were carried to the counter.

DW: There were the old stores in Danzig. Later on in the '40s and '50s when there weren’t any stores left in Danzig, we went to Ashley, I imagine they did have shopping carts.

AS: How would you say, "Haven't you got some other baskets?"

DW: "Hasst du kaena ahndere kaahrbs?"

AS: "Kaahrbs?"

DW: "Kaahrbs?"

AS: And what was one basket?

DW: "Korff."

AS: "She's wringing the clothes?"

DW: "Da ringa zu oot." "Sae ringa da klaeder oot."

AS: "The wash is on the line?"

DW: "Dah wash iss opp ohn da leen."

AS: "Its drying nicely?"

DW: "Aet draecht schoen."

AS: "She is ironing clothes?"

DW: "Dah plaht de klaedr"

AS: "Placht?"

DW: "Placht."

AS: "The barrel is full?"

DW: "Dah tonn iss full."

AS: "He bought a keg of beer?"

DW: Oh....

AS: Did you have a word for the different sizes in barrels?

DW: (Sigh) Keg. I have no idea.

AS: Just a small barrel.

DW: "Je tonnkyen," probably.

AS: And then this next section the farm and buildings on the farm.

DW: I don't know how good I'll do there but I'll try.

AS: How would you say, "This farm is sold?"

DW: "Dezza fahrem est ferkofft."

AS: "He sold both farms?"

DW: "Hae ferkofft allo beid fahrem."

AS: "Our farm has eighty acres?"

DW: "Unser fahrem had achtzig ahker."

AS: You can tell from this that it is further out east because not too many people had only eighty acres. And, "Your farm is larger than theirs?"

DW: "Unser fahrem.........your farm?

AS: "Your farm is larger than theirs?"

DW: "Daena fahrem ez greater vie ihra."

AS: "They don't live on their farm?"

DW: "Ha vona net offa fahrem."

AS: "We have a renter on our farm?"

DW: "We have a renter opp ona fahrem."

AS: "Our son runs our farm?"

DW: "Unser sean runns unser fahrem."

AS: Is that one son?

DW: Uh huh.

AS: How do you say "two sons?"

DW: "Unser zaeha." I can't think of it.......

AS: OK. How do you say, "One daugher, two daughters?"

DW: "Unser dochder. Unser daachder."

AS: And how would you say, "That fence is new?"

DW: "The fence is noof."

AS: That's new?

DW: "New."

AS: And then...did you ever work with barbed wire?

DW: No. Just barbed wire.

AS: Where there any other kind of fence that they used when you were a child?

DW: Net wire. Net wire. That was net wire.

AS: How do you say, "All the fences are new?"

DW: "Da fences are allo neech."

AS: "If I were a farmer I'd have a tractor?"

DW: "Wann aech a fahrmer vare dayd ik a tractor hava."

AS: "Some people work in town and some work on the farm?"

DW: "Manghyah lied uhrbeide int schtaat un manghyah fahremye."

AS: "We go to work?"

DW: "Vee gohna uhrbeit."

AS: "He works on the railroad?"

DW: "Hae uhrbeitet the railroad."

AS: "They build that farm last yea?."

DW: "Ha bootet dae schtall lastet yore."

AS: "He walked over to that red barn?"

DW: "He gingh na dem rote schtall."

AS: "The barn floor is empty?"

DW: The barn floor?

AS: Just the main floor.

DW: "Da schtall ebe leer."

AS: "One haymow is still empty?"

DW:, I can't think of what that really is.

AS: Do people really use that or just hay stacks?

DW: Oh, they used haylofts because I know my Dad would ................I'd have to drive the horses you know when he. I know I was scared to death. I can't think of a word that would fit haymow.

AS: But you used haystacks?

DW: We used hay stacks.

AS: What did you call those in German?

DW: "High hoppes."

AS: Is that one or more?

DW: "High hoppe is one und high hoppes is more, could be several, two or more.

AS: How would you say, "He cleaned the stable?"

DW: "Hae _________da schtall______, cleaned the manure out of it."

AS: How would you say, "The cows are in the barnyard?"

DW: "Dae kae sinn op um haof."

AS: How do you say "one cow?"

DW: "Da koh."

AS: How did you say, "One horse, two horses?"

DW: "Aen paet un zwae paet."

AS: Is there a difference to it?

DW: "Aen paet un zwae pa-ed."

AS: How would you say, "The grainary is full?"

DW: "The granary is full."

AS: "We have two granaries, an old one and a new one?"

DW: "Vee haba zwae granaries, aene neecha un aene olla."

AS: What do you call the building where the pigs are kept?

DW: "Schweenschtall."

AS: What did you call "one pig, two pigs?"

DW: "Ah schween un schween." Singular and plural.

AS: How would you say, "The pig; the pigs?"

DW: "Det schween un dah schween." The article before....

AS: Is one article masculine and ..........

DW: One would be plural here and one singular.

AS: How do you say, "The man and the woman?"

DW: "Dah mahn un dah frew."

AS: What do you call the building for the chickens?

DW: "Haenaer schtall."

AS: How would you say, "This well is very deep?"

DW: "Dezza brunnah s'chvaer daep."

AS: Did you have a well at your place?

DW: We had both a well and a wind mill. The water was very hard to reach. We had several wells that did not produce. A little bit west of the barn, down the hill, was a creek and my dad built a well that you could draw water with a bucket for the livestock. We didn't use that for our household use. The well in the yard produced enough water for that, but for the livestock we had to draw water and on hot days I'll tell you there was no end.

AS: I can believe that because it was really dry out there. And, "My garden is small?"

DW: "Maena goarda ess klaen."

AS: "We don't have two gardens?"

DW: "We hava both aena goarda."

AS: Now say, "We don't have two gardens?"

DW: "We hava kaena zwae goarda."

AS: "He's working in the garden?"

DW: "Hae ohrbeit inna goarda."

AS: And, what's the privy called?

DW: "The toilet."

AS: That's what you said. Did you ever say anything like a "bekhouse" or .....?

DW: No, that was Schwaebisch.

AS: And then.......

DW: We called it closet.

AS: Once it was in the house?

DW: No, outside. "Go in clawset."


DW: That's were we disappeared when dishes were to be done. (Laughs)

AS: Good excuse, ah? And then how about, "The rye is cut?"

DW: "The rogga et ish schneerde."

AS: "The barley is ripe?"

DW: "Da yarscht iss reep."

AS: "We will cut the oats?"

DW: "We verda bold der hoaber schnaede."

AS: "He lets one bundle lying?"

DW: "Hae laet aene boondle legge."

AS: How do you say, "You take that schock," like a corn schock?

DW: "Du nimmst dae korn schock."

AS: "We'll begin threshing tomorrow?"

DW: "Vae fang ahn drahsche mohrgeh."

AS: And, "He is already threshing?"

DW: "Hae hat ahl yedroascha."

AS: "We had a good harvest?"

DW: "Vee hahdene goade aehrent."

AS: And "The plow is broken?"

DW: "De ploach est verbroaken."

AS: "Two new plows?"

DW: "Vee haabe zwae neecha palgue."

AS: "He plowed all day?"

DW: "Hae plagued dah gahnza dach."

AS: And "They are plowing the sod?"

DW: "Dae Oh, how do you say sod? Hum ....."Dae brahka opp." The breaking up.

AS: When they said "vaasen haus" was is ...........

DW: That's sod. That's sod house. "Dae brahke opp." I imagine it was a foregone conclusion that you knew that when they were breaking up that that was sod.

AS: It was sod.....

DW: Yah. That that was the sod that they was a new place or new land that they were preparing.

AS: OK. And then, "He tried to plow but it was too dry?"

DW: "Hae pabaert plaga but it ta drae."

AS: OK. And "He's using the drag?"

DW: "Hae aecht yede morgha." No, let see once, that isn't the question. "Hae aecht."

AS: And, "They're using two drags but one is mine?"

DW: "Aeghe mit zwae aege aber aent iss meene aeghe."

AS: And "We sow wheat in the Fall?"

DW: "We seiya veita enem harscht."

AS: And "We plant corn in the Spring?"

DW: "And vee seiya korn im freeyore."

AS: And "He's cultivating the corn?"

DW: Oh, you know when you're handing me all these words (laughs) that I haven't used for ....cultivating? Hmm
I don't know what the word for cultivating is.

AS: That's no problem if you can't think of the word. You may not have used it either for cultivating in German.

DW: I know. I think we just said, "cultivate."

AS: Do you have any word for a "marsh?"

DW: Ya, ya, now what is it. We had the creek, we called that. Of course that isn't Platt word. I can't recall it. I can't think of it.

AS: There aren't marshes out there either.

DW: There aren't very many. We had low spots, you know where the water drained to that when it got dryer they would cut for hay.

AS: How do you say to cut hay? "I mowed it last year?"

DW: "Aek had hei ____lastet yore."

AS: "I have to buy a new rake?"

DW: "Ich hatt menya nee hark koopeh."

AS: And that what you pulled behind horses or a tractor?

DW: Uh hun.

AS: And "The first crop of hay was very good?"

DW: "Dah aerschta hei aehrent vaeret goat."

AS: Did you ever use anything like a "hommet, kommet, nachmahl" for a second....crop of hay?

DW: .......of a second cut. No.

AS: It was on the list. I've never heard anyone use any of these. I was just wondering if any of the north Germans...

DW: I don't know. Not to my knowledge, I don't think.

AS: And how would you say, "He said they need the hay themselves?"

DW: " Hae brokket det high him selber."

AS: "He has an old wagon?"

DW: "Hae hattna ah old woogeh."

AS: OK. And what did you call a car then?"

DW: Car? I know my grandfather called it an automobile. (Laughts) I think we just called it car.

AS: How would you say, "We should have two wagons?"

DW: "Vae zolla zwae wooga hahva."

AS: And, "He will loan the wagon to me?"

DW: "Hae vaat mae da wooga borga."

AS: And "He often loans me the wagon?"

DW: "Hae hafta mae offt ye borcht."

AS: "He said he didn't need it right now?"

DW: "Hae said hae bruggd det nu nae."

AS: "That was a good buggy?"

DW: "Det vaene goodah boggy."

AS: And "Nobody uses buggys now days?"

DW: "Kaene use boggys maehr."

AS: And "Here's the whip?"

DW: "Hier iss dah pietsch."

AS: Were there any other types of whips or..........just one type?

DW: Well, no, there were different types of whips. You know, ah, ....I know my dad made whips.

AS: Oh, he did?

DW: Yah. He took leather and braided it round.

AS: Did they use different names for that?

DW: No. It was still a "peitsch."

AS: If you told someone, "Light the lantern........?"

DW: "Schteck da lathaerne ahn."

AS: "I still have a couple old lanterns?"

DW: "Ae haen noch immer a poor ole lathaerne."

AS: OK..and if you said, "In the barn.......?"

DW: "Im schtall."

AS: Do you say anything else for barn? Schaune? Schoin?

DW: No...just "schtall."

AS: And "I could use a nail to hang it up?"

DW: I could ...............usa zum to opp hange."

AS: "Here's a short nail?"

DW: "Haes a kortza noagelsje."

AS: "I must buy some short nails?"

DW: "Aet mutt me kotta naeghil koopa."

AS: "A new broom sweeps clean?"

DW: "Hann na niegha bahssa faecht a rhein."

AS: And "You should sweep the floor every morning?"

DW: "Zolt alla morgha oot faegha."

AS: And "The floor ought to be swept today?"

DW: "Zee zoll heata uff faegha."

AS: "We'll scrub today?"

DW: "Vee vera heeta oop wahscha."

AS: That means scrub?

DW: "Oop wahscha."

AS: "The shovel is broken?"

DW: No, that spade. "Schoadem" is spade.

AS: And how do you say "spade?"

DW: "Schoadem ess ferbroaka."

AS: What would you say for the type you used for grain?

DW: "Hussum."

AS: OK. Was that the one with the handle on it, the two handles?

DW: Ya, ya. Or else the scoop shovel. Ya

AS: That was the same word.

DW: That was "scheffel."

AS: And "He broke the shovel?"

DW: "Hae ferbroak da scheffle."

AS: "I can't find the needle?"

DW: "Ah kann da noadle nek faende."

AS: And "I can't find it anywhere?"

DW: Ae kann it naeghendens faende."

AS: "Ah ha, we found it." meaning the needle?

DW: "Ah ha, hier est seh."

AS: "We found it on the floor?"

DW: "Ae fundet et opp ah aerd."

AS: "I have a pin?"

DW: I have a pin. Like I have a needle?

AS: A pin like you's use if you were making a dress.

DW: "Ah klooftya."

AS: What would you call two of them?

DW: "Kloofyas."

AS: And "Where are the knitting needles?"

DW: "Wo at sinn dah knoept dach......." (Unclear)

AS: What would you call one knitting needle?

DW: "Knepfschtalk."

AS: And if you tell someone, "Take this match?"

DW: "Nimm det match."

AS: And, "Give me that box of matches?"

DW: "Giff me det box matches."

AS: "He's smoking a pipe?"

DW: "Hae roaked na peep."

AW: And "He has three pipes?"

DW: "Hae ad drae peepe." My Dad, he always had pipes. One time he traded seven pigs for just one pipe!

AW: For a pipe?

DW: For one pipe. And it was a beauty. Even I liked it. I never smoked though. It was a nice one.

AW: He shoulda.....

DW: A "meerschaum" you know.

AW: A white one?

DW: No, it was yellow.

AS: Ya, they turned yellow when they're used, don't they? And "He's smoking his and I'm smoking mine?"

DW: "Hae roaked seene peepe un aek roak meeneh."

AS: And "This is strong tobacco?"

DW: "Des ish schtaarke tohbak."

AS: And "That's chewing tobacco?"

DW: Well, chewing is "kow"............."Hae kowt tahbohk."

AS: Did they ever say anything like "kleen tohbahk?"

DW: I couldn't tell you.

AS: I'll ask a few animals. "One leg of this dog is black?"

DW: "Aen baen fom hund iss schwartz."

AS: And, "I use these dogs for hunting?"

DW: "Dezza hund gwonna met me whennak yahschle."

AS: And "The dog barks?"

DW: "Da hoont baehrkt."

AS: And if you're telling the dog, "Lie down?"

DW: "Leid de haehn."

AS: And "He let the dog loose?"

DW: "Hae let da hoond lohs."

AS: And "And the dog was let loose last night?"

DW: "Dae laetet da hoohd lohs laistet ohbend."

AS: And "That cat caught a mouse?"

DW: "Dae cot craighne moos."

AS: Is there any difference for, ah, a male cat and a female cat?

DW: No, no.

AS: And how do you say "mice?"

DW: "Da moos oder meece." "Moos" is singular and "meece" is plural.

AS: And then, "We have four cats?"

DW: "Meer hava faet kahthe."

AS: And "That's a big tom cat?"

DW: "Det iss a grohte koather."

AS: Is that a different word, or...?

DW: It is a different word. Ya, I wasn't quite truthful with you. I never thought about the word for a male cat. Like a female is a cat and the male is a "koather."

AS: If someone had been drinking all night and the next day he had a hangover, is there any special word for that?

DW: I wouldn't know.

AS: Ya, especially as Baptists, that wouldn't be quite as common, I suppose.

DW: We never run into that so there was never.......for us to have....... But for drunk, we said "bezoaffe." For a person that was drunk but for a hang-over.....I don't know there would be.

AS: And then "These little kittens are pretty?"

DW: "Diese katze sinn schoen."

AS: "The cattle are in the pasture?"

DW: "De faeh iss opp dem feld."

AS: That's cattle?

DW: "Faeh."

AS: "Faeh."

DW: Cattle. "De faeh iss opp dem feld."

AS: And "She's a good cow?"

DW: "Det issnya goothe ko."

AS: "She's got a big udder?"

DW: "Sie hat ngya grosse eedah."

AS: "We have ten cows?"

DW: "We hava zehn kae."

AS: And "The calf is sucking?"

DW: "Da kahlf loacht."

AS: "We sold three calves today?"

DW: "Vae ferkawved drae kalved heeday."

AS: "This heifer will soon calve?"

DW: I don't think..........

AS: "The bull is in the stable?"

DW: "Da bull iss im schtall.

AS: And, "We have two bulls, a young one and an old one?"

DW: "Vae hava zwae bulla, aen younger un aen oller."

AS: And "Oxen aren't used any more?"

DW: Oxen? We never used oxen.

AS: Again, this list was made for a different part of the country where different German..... What do you say when you chase the cows?

DW: "Vee yoaget dae kae."

AS: Was that when you chased them into the barn or something?

DW: "Vee yoaget dae kae int schtall." We would chase the cows into the barn.

AS: How would you say, "That horse is mine?"

DW: "Dat iss mean paert."

AS: And "The old mare is in the pasture?"

DW: "Ess em kohbble iss opp em feld."

AS: "Kohbble?"

DW: "Kohbble" Female, ya

AS: And how about.........

DW: Oh, now you're going to ask me to say how.........

AS: How would you say "Two heads are better than one?"

DW: "Zwae caps em baetter vie aehna."

AS: And "He hurt his head?"

DW: "Hae daes denna kopf vey."

AS: "She's combing her hair?"

DW: "Zae kaempt de hoar." "Zae kaempt ihra hoar."

AS: "Close your eyes?"

DW: "Mukkt deena awuga tho."

AS: "His eyebrows are heavy?"

DW: "Hae haebt grootha aaugh broane."

AS: "The eyelid protects the eye?"

DW: I can't think of what to say to that.

AS: How about "Her eyelashes are long?"

DW: How do you say "eyelash?" I don't know the word for eyelash.

AS: And "Your left eye is sore?"

DW: "Die lengsche ooga ish schlimm."

AS: How do you say, "Both eyes are sore?"

DW: "Zene oogah zinn schlimm."

AS: And "Have you got something in your left eye?"

DW: "Hast do wass in daenem lengscha oogh?"

AS: And "These are the ears?"

DW: "Det sinn denn oohghre."

AS: And "This ear hurts?"

DW: "Diss oohre deit vey."

AS: "It's the ear which I froze last winter?"

DW: "Det iss det oohr vaht ik lastst yore ahn frohr."

AS: And, "These are the cheeks?"

DW: "Det sinn meena bahkeh."

AS: And "He hit me on the right cheek?"

DW: "Hae schloache me on em raechte bahkeh."

AS: And, "My neck is stiff?

DW: "Meen genek iss schteef."

AS: "My throat is sore?"

DW: "Ek hatt halsvey."

AS: "I hit him in the nose?"

DW: "Ek schloach him in da neaze"

AS: How do you say, "Two noses?"

DW: "Zwae neaseh."

AS: And "This is the mouth?"

DW: "Det iss et moove."

AS: Do you the same word for the dogs, for example. How would you say, "The dog's mouth is sore?"

DW: "Da hundts moove....." The same thing for a dog.

AS: When you say, "We eat meat every day." How do you say that?

DW: "Vee eatha faesch alla dach."

AS: But how about the animals, when they eat?

DW: "Feathe" "Da hundt fraath."

AS: How about, "We drink tea?"

DW: Hae drinket tae."

AS: And what about, "The cows are drinking water?"

DW: "Da kae zuppa woather."

AS: And how about if I go out to the bar at night and sit there and drink, what would you say about me?

DW: "Ze zet im schtall un drinkt."

AS: Do you use the same word for animals and people who drink too much liquor? How would you say, "He drinks too much. He's always in the bar?"

DW: "Hae iz immer vee zoateh." (versoffen) But for animals, I don't know how you .....

AS: How do you say, "He drinks too much?

DW: "Hae drinkt zu fail. Hae zufft zu fail."

AS: And how do you say, "He'll never be rich. He has too many mouths to feed?"

DW: "Dae vaht neimals reich. Wahara haert tohfiel muhle tum foadre."

AS: How do you say, "mouth?"

DW: "Muehler."

AS: How do you say "poor?"

DW: "Ae iss, ae iss sehr poorah." Very poor.

AS: How do you say, "This tooth hurts me?"

DW: "Meena, deesa thean deits vey."

AS: And "He had all his front teeth pulled?"

DW: "Ae ___ lichtah da ganza firschta teeana oot richtae."

AS: And "These are the eyeteeth?"

DW: "Det sinn dah oogah teaneh."

AS: What do you call the big teeth in back, the molars?

DW: The molars? I don't know. I have no idea.

AS: Anything like "bakkenzahn?"

DW: "Bakka." That would be cheek. I imagine there would be a word but I don't know it.

AS: And then, "My right hand is sore?"

DW: "Meena raachte hond es schlimm."

AS: "My hands are clean?"

DW: "Meen hands sinn rhein."

AS: Mine aren't. (They laugh.) And, "The right foot is larger than the left?"

DW: "Da rachta fooat iss graater then da linkshe fooat."

AS: "His feet are very big?"

DW: "Dae haet vaeh groada faet."

AS: OK. What would you call it if someone has a corn on a toe?

DW: "Ik hatta corn."

AS: And how do you say, ah, "One leg, two legs?"

DW: "Aen baen, un zwae baents."

AS: OK. And if you'd say, "I hurt my foot," how would you say that?

DW: "I ________meena foat vey."

AS: How high would that go? If someone told you that. How far on the leg would that go?

DW: "Mean baen?" Well, I would say up to the knee.

AS: "Foat."

DW: "Foat" is you foot. That I would say goes to the ankle.


DW: And the "baen" is from the ankle to the knee. Un...."schenkle" from the knee up to the hip.

AS: And how does the hand and arm go?

DW: You mean a "haant?" ...and the wrist, "da ohra"...that's the whole thing..."da ohra."


DW: That would be all the way up to the shoulder. But you have "aelbooch" in between.

AS: OK. And then, "This is where the heart is?"

DW: "Det iss wo det hatz iss."

AS: And, "He broke the big bone in his arm?"

DW: "Hae broke de grota knohka in aenem ohra."

AS: And, "He broke his ankle?"

DW: "Hae broke aena ankle."

AS: "I have blister on my left heel?"

DW: Oh, what's the word for blister....

AS: Do you ever say a word like a "blaas" or "blose?"

DW: "Na blose. Blose.

AS: A blister.

DW: Ik hap eena blose app meena hocke." I have a blister on my heel.

AS: And left heel?

DW: "Linkshe hocke." "Ik hap eena blose app meena linkshe hacke."

AS: "I have blisters on both heels?"

DW: "Ik have blose app an beid meen faet." ".....beid meena hacke."

AS: "He has long legs?"

DW: "Hae het longa baent."

AS: "This leg is sore?"

DW: "Det baen is schlimm."

AS: "Schlimm" means sore.

DW: Ya.

AS: OK. And "This coat has a hole?"

DW: "Dezza keetle hazza loch."

AW: How long is that when you say kittle?

DW: "Kittle" is the coat.

AS: Is that a long coat? Or...


AS: How about the one that just comes to the waiste?

DW: "Na yahk." That jacket, a "yahk."

AS: "He has two coats?"

DW: "Hae had zwae kittla."

AS: And "Please patch the trousers?"

DW: "Bette, flek da dext."

AS: "Dexae" is trousers, then?

DW: Uh huh.

AS: "The vest is torn?"

DW: I don't know what you would call that. The "vast!" "The vast iss verieerte."

AS: That's "torn?"

DW: Uh huh. "Verieerte."

AS: "He has a brand new suit?"

DW: "Hae hettne ganz neeye suit."

AS: Whatever you say, that's what I'm interested in.

DW: I would say that that's what we used. I'm sure there's another word for it.

AS: There's no right or wrong....its just the way you say it.

DW: Ya.

AS: And "He has something in his pocket?"

DW: "Hae hatt _________inna tahsch."

AS: "This overcoat doesn't fit me?"

DW: "Dezza kittle phasst mee nich."

AS: "Where did you get that shirt?"

DW: "Wo traechtet det haemd?"

AS: "Haemd?"

DW: "Haemd."

AS: "Oh, you can get such shirts in Fargo?"

DW: "Oh, dae haemd yekricht in Fargo."

AS: How do you say, "One shirt, two shirts?"

DW: "Haem un haemdae." See that's were that "ae" comes in again, you know, for the plural.

AS: "This stocking has a hole in it?"

DW: "Dess schtrempff hazza loch in it."

AS: Are there different types of stockings with German words?

DW: I would stay a stocking, stocking.

AS: And "These stockings don't fit?"

DW: "Dezza schtremp pahssa nich."

AS: "Those shoes are too small?"

DW: "Dae show zin tsu klaen."

AS: "I see one shoe, two shoes?"

DW: Its the same, "show and show."

AS: How about a boot?

DW: "Nabootke."

AS: "Bootke."

DW: "Bootke."

AS: Is that one, or...

DW: "Bootke." That's the same as shoe. Its singular and plural.

AS: How high would they usually go?

DW: I would say knee high.

AS: OK. Kinda like the old Russian...........

DW: Ya, ya. I'm sure that 's word "boortke."

AS: It doesn't sound German.

DW: But that's what we used, "boortke."

AS: One I forgot, referring to the overcoat... How would you tell someone, "Hang it up on the clotheshook?"

DW: "Haeng deena kittle opp."

AS: Did you have any word for clotheshook?

DW: "....oppa hoak. Haeng deena kittle oppa hoak."

AS: OK. And "She has a new dress?"

DW: "Sie haatha ah neeta klaidt."

AS: How would you say, "His boots are dirty?"

DW: "Zeens boortka zinna draackich."

AS: "How many dresses does she have?"

DW: "Vee fon klaeder hat sie?"

AS: "Her dress has a long skirt?"

DW: "Ihr klait hettna longa ........" .I suppose rather than say it like that I could rephrase it and say, "Sie hattna longa rohkk ahn." She's wearing a long dress.

AS: And...."rohkk."

DW: "Rohkk" is dress. That is the entire thing.

AS: What would you call a skirt then?

DW: Beats me. (Laughts)

AS: They didn't have that then, did they?

DW: Well, ya, they must have had skirts but I don't know what the word for it. I think they just used skirt.

AS: I think when the older people came it was always a full dress.

DW: With an apron over it, ya. That could be too. But you remember seeing pictures of the beautiful hand embroidered shirtwaiste. You know, they didn't call them blouses. They called them shirtwaiste, you know. But they had to have skirts, you know.

AS: What did they call an apron in Katschubisch?

DW: "Schaertz."

AS: Is that one? And two is?

DW: "Schaertah."

AS: How would you say, "And that blouse doesn't fit her quite right?"

DW: "Det blouse pahsst nicht goath."

AS: And "She has a new handkerchief?"

DW: "Dass a neeya schnappel douk."

AS: Two would be ...? He uses only blue handkerchiefs?"

DW: "Hae hatt no blos blahow schnapple daeche."

AS: That's a nice sounding word. "He goes in rags all the time?"

DW: "Hae yaet immer ferlahkt drunna."

AS: "Get dressed?"

DW: "Traachte ahn."

AS: "He got dressed."

DW: "Hae trakk sich ahn."

AS: "Where are the clothes brushes?"

DW: "Where sinn dae klaese brusche?"

AS: "She should clean the clothes with the brush?"

DW: "Dae zollde klae rhein mooka mit dah brush."

AS: And "She has a beautiful wedding ring?"

DW: "Zae hatt am ana schoena rink."

AS: And "Our rings aren't nearly as good?"

DW: "Unzer rink sinn nich hahlf so goat." Not half as good.

AS: OK. "He usually goes bare headed?"

DW: "Hae yeat blose koppich."

AS: And how do you say someone's bald?

DW: "Bloot." "Hae ish bloot."

AS: "Bloot?" And that everthing...

DW: A bare top.

AS: And that means bald without hair on top.

DW: That means bald without hair.

AS: How do you say "blood?"

DW: "Bloat."

AS: OK. I was wondering what the difference would be.

DW: "Bloot and bloat."

AS: And "Children like to go barefoot?"

DW: "Kinder gleiche barfft goineh."

AS: "I would wear a hat if I had such a cold?"

DW: "Ik daet me n'hoat antrakka vann eck soana cold hahd."

AS: And how are you doing?"

DW: I'm doing fine. (Laughs)

AS: Then I'll start on personal attributes. "She's a pretty girl?"

DW: "Aber dass iss ah schoenet maedetke."

AS: "She's the girl to whom he gave the ring?"

DW: "Daht iss et maek vat hae dah rink yacht."

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

DW: "Maekeh."

AS: And "And that girl, she doesn't know what she wants?"

DW: "Det maekeh vaet nich vatt sie vell."

AS: "Gee, she's beautiful?"

DW: "Zee iz aber sehr schoen" I guess.

AS: How do you say, "ugly?"

DW: "Aegklech."

AS: OK. And that ...people...anything.....?

DW: "Aegklecher hund, aegklecher sei, aeglecher mensch."

AS And "She is much more beautiful than her sister?"

DW: "Daes fiel schenner vie ihra schwaasder."

AS: And " She is the most beautiful girl in town?"

DW: "Dass ist da schoenster maechae int schtot."

AS: "But she likes to show off?"

DW: "Aber sae verstellt sich? Now that would be....I don't know how to say "show off." To act silly, "f'stallt sich."

AS: "She's the girl whose mother was just here?"

DW: "Det is det maechae vie ihr mutter vaer grad here."

AS: "She's young?"

DW: "Sae iss noch younk."

AS: "She's younger than I?"

DW: "Dess ee yenger vee I."

AS: And "He's very strong?"

DW: Hae iss zaer schrarkk."

AS: "He's the strongest man in the county?"

DW: "Hae is....oh, the country?...... Hae iss dah staerksta mahnn inem county."

AS: And "They don't say much?"

DW: "Zahae nich fiel."

AS: OK. And the next section is on just different family names and that. The first one, "My father isn't at home?"

DW: "Maen fudder es nicht t'hoos."

AS: "I went to town with my father?"

DW: "Ae keempt int schtaat mit meanem fudther."

AS: "My mother is home?"

DW: "Maene mutter ist t'hoos."

AS: "I'm staying with my mother?"

DW: "Ike bleebe mit meanem mutter."

AS: That means staying home like that. And .....

DW: Staying at home means "aet bleeb t'hoos." I'm staying home.

AS: And then, "Our child is eight years old?"

DW: "Uns kint iss ahcht your oalt."

AS: And "The neigbor's children were here?"

DW: "De nachtbars s'ehre kinder vaahre hier."

AS: And "Everyone of the children were sick?"

DW: "Yetzliche aensichte fon deh kinder iss vahre krank."

AS: "They are the children to whom I gave candy?"

DW: "Det vahre de kinder vet de kendy, ya."

AS: And "One shouldn't spank children too hard?" (Laughs) It doesn't say you shouldn't spank them.

DW: Ah...not to spank....we'd say...."schlaech." "Nichta hartt schloane?" "Mann soll die kinder nicht so hart schloane." I guess. ..... the way I would phrase that.

AS: OK. And "We have three girls in all?"

DW: "Vee haba drae maekes in awlla."

AS: "He wants a boy?"

DW: "Hae villa younk."

AS: OK. "See those boys?"

DW: "Zets daenna younge?"

AS: And "They have a little baby?"

DW: "Dae habe klaena kint."

AS: And "Now there a couple of babies in the neighborhood?"

DW: "Noon sinn a poor klaene kinder in der nachtberschafft."

AS: "His son is a fine fellow?"

DW: "Haen saena iss a schoener..........youngk?" Nice boy, I don't know how to say fellow.

AS: And "His sons are all working?"

DW: "Da youngs oorbeita saens oorbeita alle."

AS: And "Where is your daughter?"

DW: "Vo iss deena dochder?"

AS: And "How many daughters do you have?"

DW: "Vee fel daechter haast du?"

AS: "Her grandson stays with her?"

DW: "Aen gross _________brusst mit ihr."

AS: "My grandfather and grandmother are both dead?

DW: "Menae grossfodher un grossmutter zinn beid doat."

AS: How would you say, "He died?"

DW: "Hae schtoaff."

AS: That died in the past?

DW: "Hae iss g'schtorba." He is dead.

AS: And "Your older brother was here?"

DW: "Denn elder broader vaet here." "Eleder."

AS: All right. And "He went along with my two brothers?"

DW: "Hae geet mit meena zwae braeder."

AS: "His younger sister is still in school?"

DW: "Haena yingere scwaasder iss noch in schoal."

AS: And "She came with my younger sister?"

DW: "Sie kahm met meenae yingere schwaastre."

AS: Do you have any word for all you brothers, your brother and sisters together...instead of saying, "My brothers and sisters?"

DW: I don't believe so.


DW: Unless you can give me a clue .

AS: Something like "geschwester."

DW: "Geschwester" Well that's, that's Schwaebisch.

AS: I was just wondering if you might have one. How would you say, "She's your cousin?"

DW: "Sae ist aen cousin."

AS: And "He is my cousin?"

DW: "Hae iss mean cousin."

AS: And "Two of my cousins were here yesterday?"

DW: "Zwae von meena cousins vaere heer yestreh."

AS: "Her husband bought her a new coat?"

DW: "Ehr mahn kofftera eh neegha yekittle."

AS: And "Their husbands are good friends?"

DW: "Ihra mahnner zinn goada friind."

AS: "His wife went to school with me?"

DW: "Zeena frew yingt mit me in schoal."

AS: "Their wives are always fighting?"

DW: "Dah veeva tronke? sich immer."

AS: Why do say "froh" one time and "veeva" the next? Is there a difference?

DW: "Seena frew. " That's his wife. But wives "sinn veeva." I don't know...."senn veef."

AS: Normally you'd say "frow?"

DW: "Zeena veef oder zeena frew." Its the same thing. Sometimes one used and sometimes the other.

AS: How would you say "There is a woman. There are two women?"

DW: "Dort iss n'frew unn ...a veef unn zwae veeva?"


DW: But you can say....."frew," I guess specifically is German for wife, isn't it..."frew." But the German is "frau." You know.
I guess that is where that comes from.

AS: The Schwaebisch do that too by saying ________,_______, veeva.

DW: "Veeve, ya."

AS: They say the same thing.

DW: They say "veip" won't they?

AS: "Veeva." They say the same thing. How do you say, "She's a widow?"

DW: "Essna vittfrew."

AS: And "He's a widower?"

DW: "Haes a vitmaahn."

AS: OK. "Is that a man or a woman?"

DW: "Iss det a maahn oder ah veef?"

AS: And "My mother-in-law visited us?"

DW: "Meena schveegermutter ah kahm and visikeh." That would be came to visit us.

AS: And then "Her father-in-law is our neighbor?"

DW: "Haen schweegerfodder est uns nochtbuhr."

AS: And "Where does your brother-in-law live?"

DW: "Wo wohn daen schooghe?"

AS: And "I know your sister-in-law?"

DW: I knew you were going to ask.......(Laughs) "Aene schvaegertzeh." What was the question?

AS: "I know your sister-in-law."

DW: "Ae kaehn deener schvaegertzeh."

AS: "He is my son-in-law?"

DW: "Dets meanh schweegertzaen."

AS: And "Is this your daughter-in-law?"

DW: "Es deena schveegerdochder?"

AS: And what do you say..... Baptists don't have godfathers.

DW: No, we don't.

AS: But did you ever hear a term for it? Were all of the Katschuba there Baptists or were they mixed?

DW: No, they were mostly Baptists...I think....ya.

AS: I was just wondering if you ever heard a word for a godfather or anything like that.

DW: Not that I can recall.

AS: OK. It's not part of your background. That's why I was wondering.

DW: No...

AS: And then.........some on church and that?


AS: "He is courting her?"

DW: "Haer yeat mit ihr."

AS: OK. And "She jilted him?"

DW: Well, this is not the right way to say that but ....."Sae jachund da paahs." (Unclear)

AS: OK. That's what I was expecting. Then I've heard it when they were they say, "Sie hatt ihm den korb gegeben." She e him the basket. And "They want to get married?"

DW: "Zee veve freeyeh." (Unclear)

AS: And "They will soon get married?"

DW: "They verta bald freeyeh."

AS: And "They put it all together."

DW: "They hava ovavadet....." I can't think of the word.

AS: OK. Its no problem. And "The marriage ceremony was performed in the church?"

DW: " Se date an nech troo inna kirch." "Sie lassen sich trauen en der Kirch."

AS: And "They were married in this old church?"

DW: "Ze freedeh en they .....sae verde getroot en dae olla kirch."

AS: "And he didn't know if he should go or not?"

DW: "Hae goofta if hae goona doha oder nich."

AS: And "We do to church on Sunday?"

DW: "Ve goon ana kirch ahn zinndach."

AS: And "Afterwards we go home."

DW: "Vann kirch oof iss go veenah hoos."

AS: And "The pastor preaches a sermon?"

DW: "Da prediger praeadich."

AS: And "He preached a good sermon?"

DW: "Hae praedicht aber goat."

AS: "Who teaches in your school?"

DW: "Ver haltt youna shoal?"

AS: "He is learning to write?"

DW: "Hae laeit schreebeh."

AS: And "He learned to figure," the numbers and that.

DW: Umm..that I don't know.

AS: "Rechnen?"

DW: "Reakneh," we called it.

AS: "He's learning to figure?"

DW: "Hae laehrt raekneh."

AS: If you told a child, "Don't whistle?"

DW: "Peet nich."

AS: And "Why don't you obey?"

DW: "Warum vest yo nich ye hoolasa?" (Unclear.)

AS: And "I'll have to scold you?"

DW: "Ich macht dee schempah."

(Note: It appears that the following story was recited by DW during a break in the phrase and vocabulary study. It appears she was asked to recount what her previous day was like.)

"Gestr obend oona dat vaer schraklic mooggy bute yestre un de vedere voord reaghneh. Aber aek zo maid ae think bed anyway. Ohn....det bledzd un et donnert aber ek schtont nich opp. Aek said Steffie so det etcht det schtorm morke, un sae sagt opp at zwae uhr heeta morgah.. Ze said hade tornados forecast det vaer grood emste von uns, un the vint so achtzig mile des schtunde. Aber zee kahm nich un voken opp un vee schlaefed velched alles. Aber der vint vaer nich so schtaark. Aber det raeghn sehoen un vir brugged it sehr, really draegh. De gordeh konnt it really usa. Un dann heedeh morgha schtunt ik opp wascht klaeder un ik plaad toke one Vo da beste het raema mae hoos un, den varet bolteet an supper mocha un ak daenk haena anna oaffa. I said Steffie no go runa von bohna flekka vom gourda. Un han ve bohna un (kolta) ...ya da sopper.
Un dan ying er der ut der schoen berut ahn daak. Un balt et vie stannu _______peet coming baad gonna. Good night."

(An approximate translation: "Last evening it was extremely muggy and it appeared yesterday that we would have rain. However, I was tired and went to bed anyway. It there was lightening and thunder but I didn't get up. I spoke with Steffie in the morning and she said they were up at two o'clock this morning. The said they had tornadoes forcast just to the east of us and the wind was strong...eighty miles an hour. But they didn't come up to wake us and we slept through it all. But the rain was good. It's been dry. The garden could really use it. So this morning I got up and did the laundry, did some ironing and picked up the house. Soon after that it was time to get supper started and went to the stove. I told Steffie to run out to the garden and pack some beans. So we had beans and (kolta?) lettuce for supper. And they we went ________nice day. Soon thereafter we got up and went to bed. Good night.)

Interview resumes:

AS: Just a few more words. "One egg, two eggs?"

DW: "Aen eye un zwae eyer."

AS: And then "One carrot, two carrots?

DW: "Aen yahlmere un zwae yalmere."

AS: How do you sat "beet?" "One beet, two beers?"

DW: "Aene baete un zwaene baete."

AS: And how do you say, "meat?"

DW: "Flaesch." And "kartoffle" for potatos.

AS: So you say "kartofflah?"

DW: "Kartofflah."

AS: And the others say, what "Krumbaehra?"

DW: Yah, that's the Schwaebisch. They say "krumbaehra" and we say, "kartofflah." (Laughts)

AS: Thank you!

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