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Super OT: Texas German

4,909 Views | 45 Replies | Last: 1 day ago by steme08
West Point Aggie
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As a relatively new resident (SA area) I find the whole Texas German language/dialect fascinating. If you have family or roots in Indianola, Schulenburg (sp?) New Braunfels, Comfort, Kerrville and Fredericksburg, do you or anyone in your family speak Texas German? If you do are those traditions still strong or fading some?
Ag4coal
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My grandparents (both sides) taught my parents. Mom didn't really retain any of it. Dad can get it back if someone else is around to speak it with him. But, as far as our family goes, it's dying with them. We were never taught
TexanJeff
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I thought this was going to be about Ifedi...
greg.w.h
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TexanJeff said:

I thought this was going to be about Ifedi...
I thought it was going to be about Germans........
Mule_lx
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I knew a few words growing up, and my dad didn't really retain it. My grandma knows some, but my great grandma spoke it. I'd always heard the word "stinkkatze" and thought it was made up until reading an article about Texas German. Apparently, a lot of the dialect is because they didn't have words for things like skunk.
riverrataggie
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West Point Aggie said:

As a relatively new resident (SA area) I find the whole Texas German language/dialect fascinating. If you have family or roots in Indianola, Schulenburg (sp?) New Braunfels, Comfort, Kerrville and Fredericksburg, do you or anyone in your family speak Texas German? If you do are those traditions still strong or fading some?


Still strong. Father an Opa at Wurstfest.
West Point Aggie
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Thanks...interesting.

I met some really interesting Fredericksburg locals who speak some and some actual German tourists who came to explore ot
Birdbear
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Most of the locals in Fredericksburg over the age of ~70-75 spoke German as their first language. They banned it in schools at some point and it tapered off pretty quick from from there. The only vestige left with younger generations are a few words/phrases ("stinkkatz" is a common one) and a semi-German accent that you might have heard when you spoke to those locals.
BigfootYancey
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Look into and visit Castroville. This is a great paper about Texas Alsace. There are still speakers there today. They took a group back to Alsace and had them converse. Interesting because words that didn't exist like 'car' when they came over they invented English or Spanish sounding words for.

https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/12972/Texas%20Alsatian.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Meximan
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Tex-Deutsch
BigfootYancey
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Also highly recommend this book. Frederick Law Olmstead was a surveyor (meaning explorer) before becoming the landscape architect who designed Central Park amongst many other great public spaces. This is his trip through Texas in 1855 and has incredible descriptions of the settlements at that time.

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-through-Texas-Saddle-Trip-Southwestern/dp/0803286201/ref=nodl_
F4GIB71
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Moved to Comal County five years ago. Wanted to embrace the German culture and heritage. I've been taking a weekly German class for over three years and enjoy it greatly. That said, I am very disappointed that New Braunfels is losing its German culture. I find very few who speak even minimal German. Even Wurstfest, which is great fun, gives only a token nod to the heritage. Stood in line for food. Two items on the menu listed in German. Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus oder Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus und Wurst (Potato pancakes with applesauce or potato pancakes with applesauce and sausage). Both same except one had the word Wurst. They said they didn't speak German. Didn't even seem interested in attempting to understand.

Cross Lutheran has a German Christmas service in mid December every year. I've had letters published in the Herald Zeitung encouraging anyone with even passing interest in the heritage to attend. One could speak no German and would still be blessed hearing familiar Christmas songs sung in German but attendance should be better.

There are a few pockets of preservation but am afraid it will all be gone in the future. One of my classmates' family were original immigrants and settled in Blanco. He spoke German first as a child but even herhast lost a lot of it.
F4GIB71
Federale01
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You might appreciate this then.

https://tgdp.org/



I read an article about the guy who started the project. He was amazed when he was in Fredericksburg and heard them speaking Texas German because there were bits of dialect from different parts of Germany all jumbled up together.

My Mom's family is from F-burg. All my great Aunts and Uncles spoke it when they got together. I took german in high school and college so I could join in and speak german with my grandmother. It never worked. She could not understand High German. It was way too different.

The only one left who can speak it is my Great Aunt Polly. There are folks in her church she can still speak it with, but very few are left. All my relatives from there still have the accent though. it's very unique.

Interesting story. When I went to visit my great grandmother in the nursing home in fredericksburg, there was a list of common german phrases taped to her roomates bed. We asked the attendant if the woman spoke no English. She explained that she did, but as some patients got older, they reverted back to german and stopped understanding english. They used german exclusively as children and they reverted to that as they lost mental acuity. She said it was quite common. Anecdotal, but it fascinated me.
Meximan
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It is sad that Tex-Deutsch is slowly fading out as a culture and language, but such is the way of cultural growth... you can see it happening with Spanglish and chicano culture and how the line is blurring between the American influences and Mexican influences; some traditions are so blurred, in fact, it's hard to figure out if it was originally Mexican, American, or whether it came about uniquely on its own.

Tex-Deutsch is like that; it became an amalgamation of two cultures, but slowly it's just become a thread in the local fabric of heritage. There are some influences that have become a simple part of Texas culture, though: one I've noticed is "scheisty". In German, scheiss means "s***", but Americanizing it, it's become part of Texan language. Scarface notably used it in one track. Likely users don't even realize the original German root, they just use it, in the same way Americans don't realize some common Mexican slang isn't actually Mexican.
agneck
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It's called assimilation.
Cstrickland05
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F4GIB71 said:

Moved to Comal County five years ago. Wanted to embrace the German culture and heritage. I've been taking a weekly German class for over three years and enjoy it greatly. That said, I am very disappointed that New Braunfels is losing its German culture. I find very few who speak even minimal German. Even Wurstfest, which is great fun, gives only a token nod to the heritage. Stood in line for food. Two items on the menu listed in German. Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus oder Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus und Wurst (Potato pancakes with applesauce or potato pancakes with applesauce and sausage). Both same except one had the word Wurst. They said they didn't speak German. Didn't even seem interested in attempting to understand.

Cross Lutheran has a German Christmas service in mid December every year. I've had letters published in the Herald Zeitung encouraging anyone with even passing interest in the heritage to attend. One could speak no German and would still be blessed hearing familiar Christmas songs sung in German but attendance should be better.

There are a few pockets of preservation but am afraid it will all be gone in the future. One of my classmates' family were original immigrants and settled in Blanco. He spoke German first as a child but even herhast lost a lot of it.



No offense, but it's been the flood of auslanders like yourself that have taken away the German heritage of New Braunfels. Growing up there in the 80s when it was still a small town, you could go to the original Krauses and hear the old men in there speaking nothing but German. I'll give you credit for trying to learn some German culture, but the New Braunfels you thought you were moving to is lost forever, all in the name of progress.

The German side of my family came in through Indianola in the late 1840s, and the Czech side has been here just as long, but we don't have records of how they got here. My grandma and great grandparents spoke fluently. I took German my senior year in high school(we got to go to Wurstfest during school hours) and picked up a lot, but have lost a lot due to lack of practice.

West Point Aggie
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BigfootYancey said:

Look into and visit Castroville. This is a great paper about Texas Alsace. There are still speakers there today. They took a group back to Alsace and had them converse. Interesting because words that didn't exist like 'car' when they came over they invented English or Spanish sounding words for.

https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/12972/Texas%20Alsatian.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y


Before the whole stay in place stuff kicked in I took my mom (who is visiting from New England and here now for a bit longer) there...we went to the Alsace bakery. I never pass up a bakery!
Federale01
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It's hard to blame it all on the outsiders. The children of the natives let it die as well. None of my Mom's generation learned it. It's what happens in America, assimilation. In fact, we kind of demand it. And it didn't just happen here in Texas. It's died in places like Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Wisconsin as well.
PFG
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One of my favorite things since moving to the NB area is listening to locals cry about the loss of "their town".

When pressed for more info, it always comes down to 2 things: too much traffic, longer beer lines at Wurstfest.

Lol

No one actually gives a damn about losing the German heritage. Folks just want a quicker drive across town and less people at the town festival that raises money for so many local organizations.
F4GIB71
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No offense taken on the Auslnder comment. I've always said Texans are welcoming to people moving here if you want to acclimate and embrace our values. When I left Active Duty and went back to Houston area in 1977, there were lots of black license plates from Michigan. Most were happy to be there but some complained about everything. Told them I had friends and we could help them pack. I worry about that today with Californians.

Some of the culture loss started with my generation. Baby Boomer and too close to WWII where people whose parents spoke German didn't teach their children.
F4GIB71
TX_Aggie37
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WTF is this doing on the football board
West Point Aggie
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TX_Aggie37 said:

WTF is this doing on the football board


There's soooooo much football to talk about, right?

Every other board except 16 is basically DEAD...or moribund, and 16 kills too many brain cells...want a football thread? START ONE!
VikingNik
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Birdbear said:

Most of the locals in Fredericksburg over the age of ~70-75 spoke German as their first language. They banned it in schools at some point and it tapered off pretty quick from from there. The only vestige left with younger generations are a few words/phrases ("stinkkatz" is a common one) and a semi-German accent that you might have heard when you spoke to those locals.


Hmmmm. What could have caused speaking German to die out 70-75 years ago?
100yearlegacy
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My family was one of the founding families in Comfort. My grandfather (class of '48) grew up speaking only German and didn't learn english until the 4th or 5th grade.
Raptor
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Thought you knew about an Offensive Tackle named Texas German!

Now I'm sad.

However, my father's grandparents were pioneers of Comfort, Texas. My dad could cuss me out in 3 languages. English, German, and Spanish.
This post is for Cretaceous Level Subscribers only.

5-2 Stew 84
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My great great grandparents came from Germany through Indianola to San Antonio in the mid-1850s. My grandfather spoke fluid German.
They purchased land in 1869 that we still own.
5-2 Stew 84
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How about Germans and Aggie football.
5-2 Stew 84
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5-2 Stew 84
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These are from some of the bowl games we've been to.
My favorite bowl game was a 1977 Sun bowl.
100yearlegacy
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Raptor what's yalls family name?
dcbowers
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5-2 Stew 84 said:




Danke.

Why did you keep the 2005 Cotton Bowl pennant? That was the game that I realized that Fran would never amount to anything.
dcbowers
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swimmerbabe11
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My grandfather did that. I was the only one who really learned German, so it was interesting that I was the only person in my family who could talk to him...kinda nice for me in a way.
army79
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Wait a minute! Let's talk about the firepower in that photo!! Tell us about it - DGB
ABATTBQ87
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5-2 Stew 84 said:


I have that 50th Cotton Bowl pennant, and the 51st Cotton Bowl Pennant (marched halftime of both)

I also have a Texas A&M pennant from 1975, it was purchased at the A&M/TCU game in Fort Worth.
5-2 Stew 84
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We do world war two reenacting (College Station and Austin).
I have a Sdkfz 222 german armored car replica, a kubelwagen and a
motorcycle with sidecar and a MG 34.
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