English Dialects | German Dialects | Links | Searchable Database | Home


The speaker is a 69-year-old White woman with a college education from Lititz, Pennsylvania; she was recorded in 1967.





County: Lancaster
State: PA

Commentary:
Lititz is a town in Lancaster County, about seventy miles northwest of Philadelphia. It was settled in the mid-1700s by members of the Moravian Church who were fleeing persecution in Bohemia (now known as Czechoslovakia). For the first century of the town???s existence, only Moravians were allowed to live there. Lititz is home to the country???s first hard-pretzel bakery and Linden Hall, the nation???s oldest boarding school for girls. The current population is approximately 9,400. In this segment the speaker talks about alternative ways of healing common ailments.
Inf: Well suppose someone had a uh, a uh, an acne condition or a bad case of rheumatism or, uh, something in that order and they haven???t had much success with the doctors. They???ll go to a man at the powwow. And he will ask them for an article that they carried with them. He might give him a pencil or a knife or something. And eh, he uh, makes mysterious movements and says mysterious words over the ailment, if it???s the knee that???s bad, or the elbow that???s bad. He???ll make sort of um, gestures and mumbo jumbo, and, uh, then he tells them to go home and he says, ???At six o???clock tonight, you???ll definitely feel better.??? Or he???ll say, ???At three o???clock this afternoon, you???ll feel a sharp stab in that pain. Don???t get worried. That???s part of the treatment. Now you come back in three days, and, uh, let me see how you???ve gone along, and if necessary we???ll, we???ll powwow some more.??? He daren't charge, but they-

FW: Oh, he does that???

Inf: No, he daren't charge. That would be illegal, but he is allowed-, he will accept a gift.

FW: I see. Do they usually give gifts?

Inf: Uh, as a rule, yes.

FW: Good ones, or, I mean is it???

Inf: Well, that???s up to the individual.

FW: Uh-huh. They give it after they???ve seen if they???ve cured them, or???

Inf: Yeah, yeah. After they???

FW: Does it really work, do you think? [talking in bkgd]

Inf: Well, there are firm believers in it. And uh, some people will swear it works [FW: Really?]. Some people will go for a bad, uh, corn or a, uh, a big wart that???s on the hand or something. ???Course there???s another superstition, you have a bad wart on your hand, you uh, you tie a knot in the thread and put it in your pocket. And you forget all about it. And you go about your business in your coat pocket or your pants pocket and you pull out your change and so forth. And one day you find that that thread is gone. And then you look at your hand and you???re not-, your wart is gone [FW: Huh].


The speaker is an 83-year-old White woman with a college education from Manheim, Pennsylvania; she was recorded in 1967.



County: Lancaster
State: PA

Commentary:
Located in southeastern Pennsylvania in Lancaster County, Manheim has a current population of around 5,000. The town was founded in 1762 by a German settler, Henry William Stiegel, who wanted to establish a center for glassmaking. In 1764 he founded the Manheim Glassworks, later known as the American Flint Glass Manufactory. In this segment the speaker talks about her vision problems.
Inf: That???s very clever. No, my eyes are giving me trouble. I don???t know what I???m gonna do next [FW: Yeah]. They uh, he looked at it. I felt all the time the thing was crooked. So this week, let???s see, what is today? [clock chiming] [FW: Wednesday.] Monday I was down, to see him, and he straightened it. And of course it???s a little tough because the ear uh phone is attached, the Beltone [=hearing aid] is attached. He got it straightened, but I still uh, I???m not satisfied with it. I thought maybe I should have reading glasses. But he said he couldn???t give me anything better. So I guess I???ll just have to-, he said, ???Live with it.??? Guess I???ll have to learn to read???

FW: Well do you think that uh, do you think that he might give you two pairs of glasses, one???

Inf: That???s what I wanted. I wanted this because it???s very fine for distance, see it???s a bifocal [FW: Mm-hmm]. And it???s fine for distance. But I can???t read with it. And I thought he???d give me a pair of uh, reading glasses, you see. Wouldn???t improve it. Wouldn???t help. So he suggests I buy one of these uh, reading glasses. Maybe that would do it [FW: Magnifying]. A magnifying. Yeah. I have to do something because uh-, uh, this is very annoying, especially at the shop, can???t read the prices of things. They bring me a card, I don???t know whether it???s twenty-five or thirty-five, see. It???s-, you know how the cards are marked?

FW: Yes, on the back.

Inf: And way down at the bottom [FW: Uh-huh], just little, very fine num-, numerals. And I can???t tell which, whether it???s two or a three [FW: Mm-hmm]. So uh, I have to try this reading, this magnifying glass, see what I can find. ???Cause I can???t find it in Manheim, I don???t believe so.

FW: Oh, I think that that???

Inf: Do you think I can?

FW: That the???

Inf: Probably the bookstore.

FW: Yes, I???m sure the bookstore.

Inf: Maybe they would [FW: Mm-hmm]. They might, or they might get me one [FW: Mm-hmm].


The speaker is a 41-year-old White man with a high school education from New Holland, Pennsylvania; he was recorded in 1967.



County: Lancaster
State: PA

Commentary:
About 55 miles northwest of Philadelphia, New Holland is a town in Lancaster County with a current population of just under 5,400. Settled in the early 1700s by German immigrants, the area now called New Holland was formerly known as Hog Swamp, Earltown, and New Design. The town still has a large Amish and Mennonite population who speak their heritage language, Pennsylvania Dutch. In this segment the speaker talks about local use of the Pennsylvania Dutch and German languages.
Inf: This is all in German. This is all in, eh usually when the minister speaks to his congregation, he???ll speak to them in Pennsylvania Dutch. And when he reads to them out of the Bible, he???ll read German.

FW: This is High German, so he???

Inf: Yes, he???ll read it as, as it???s written in the Bible, in High German.

FW: And they can understand the High German?

Inf: Uh, yes, a great number of them can.

FW: Probably because they???ve read it so many times, I would imagine.

Inf: They???ve read it so many times, and they also have their German???English, uh, Bibles. Are you running to an end here? [FW: No, go ahead, I???ll just flip it over and finish.] And they can follow him pretty well because, like you say, they are familiar with it, and, uh, they???ll catch enough of the High German words to know exactly what he???s reading, what he???s quoting to them. But it is sort of strange when you sit and you listen to a fella and he???s talking to you in Pennsylvania Dutch and just that quick he???ll go into a quotation and flip up into the High German and then come back to an explanation or, an explanation of what he had quoted by memory.

(Side change)

Inf: Huh-, it???s uh, like I was saying, it???s a little strange to hear a man talking to you in Pennsylvania Dutch and then, all of a sudden, switch right up into the High German for a Biblical quotation and then come back to the Pennsylvania Dutch. I have trouble following them sometimes when they do this. And, uh, at first, it, it confused me completely because I just couldn???t, I just couldn???t keep after the man, you know.

FW: You speak the Dutch.

Inf: I speak it fairly well [FW: An-, and understand]. And understand it fairly well by the same degree.

FW: Yeah. Now this is something, you said, you picked up as a child.

Inf: At home, yes, my [FW: And they-] mother and father, are Pennsylvania Dutch people.

FW: They speak [Inf: Mm-hmm]. Um, were, in school, did you have a great deal of Dutch spoken among the children?

Inf: No, we didn???t have much Dutch spoken by the children in school. Very, very little. And this is what I had said to you earlier about the younger generation is not picking up the Dutch like uh, even from my generation on. Uh, we eh did not pick up the Dutch from our parents like, let???s say the older children did, before us. And in school, we had trouble. Our German teacher used to go half crazy with us because we???d sit there and we???d be trying to read German and uh, at the same time, we???d be thinking in [talking in bkgd] Pennsylvania Dutch and English.

Back to US English Map
back to American Languages home