Monday, November 27, 2006

Sprechen Sie Texas German?

Elizabeth Behrend is one of about 10,000 people who still speak the Texas German dialect of their ancestors.

"People could not believe that we could still speak German," said Behrend, a 78-year-old fourth-generation Texan. "They invited their neighbors to hear us speak because they were so amazed by it, and so were their neighbors. They thought we spoke like their grandparents."
The dialect has survived despite efforts during the World Wars to discourage its use.
Growing up in Fredericksburg, Carol Latta remembers, children from this German town weren't seen as cool in the eyes of their English-speaking peers in other towns. At high school football games, the Fredericksburg team brought its own announcer to pronounce the multisyllable surnames. [Link]

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