Texas German/Texas-Deutsch

Annggargoon’s language of the week is North Texas German. Article in the Houston Times, and site of Texas German Dialect Project (TGDP) with sound clips.

Texas German is a unique dialect of German that is spoken by the descendants of German immigrants who came to Texas beginning around 1830. Widely spoken across central Texas for more than 150 years, Texas German is in the process of dying out because it is not passed on to younger generations.

Professor Hans Boas is working to preserve the dialect (is it a dialect?). It is not free of English influence. To quote the newspaper article:

Here are a few phrases and words distinctly Texas German: • die Stinkkatze: “the skunk;” literally: the stinking cat; standard German: Stinktier , meaning stinking animal • mitaus: a direct translation from English “without” (with: mit; out: aus); standard German: ohne • für sicher: “for sure,” direct translation from English; standard German: na klar , or sicherlich • der Blanket: “the blanket;” standard German: die Decke • Das hat mich gebothered: “that has me bothered”; “that bothered me”; standard German: das hast mich geärgert • Online: To hear Texas German and read more about the University of Texas project, visit www.tgdp.org Source: Hans Boas, University of Texas at Austin

4 thoughts on “Texas German/Texas-Deutsch

  1. In this case, it’s relatively old, and he’s about to do a new one, which could be very interesting as a comparison after twenty years.
    If the book were newer, you still have the problem that such a book is unlikely to make much money, and you may get more readers this way.
    Not quite the same situation is that of a blogger like ‘Tom Reynolds’, whose blog Random Acts of Reality reports on life as an emergency medical technician in East London. His book ‘Blood, Sweat and Tea’ can be bought as a paperback, or the whole thing can be downloaded free of charge.

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