THE FATE OF DUTCH IN AMERICA.

Martin Langeveld, an occasional LH commenter, has started a blog for papers presented at the Monday Evening Club of Pittsfield, Massachusetts (where I lived for a couple of years before moving east to Hadley), and his essay “Why we don’t all speak Dutch: Language extinction and language survival” has now been posted. He starts off talking about the Dutch of New Amsterdam and the odd persistence of their language:

The Dutch lost control of their colony in 1664, when the English took over, without firing a shot, during one of the periodic Anglo-Dutch wars of that century. However, the Dutch did not go away after the English takeover, nor did their culture fade away. In fact, despite the fact that only a tiny minority of immigrants to the New York region after 1664 came from the Netherlands, the Dutch language continued to be widely spoken in the New York region for over 200 years. Not until 1764 was English used to preach in New York’s Dutch Reformed churches. President Martin Van Buren (born in 1782 not far from here in Kinderhook and elected in 1836) spoke Dutch at home with his wife. The first 20th century president, Theodore Roosevelt, grew up hearing his grandparents speak Dutch at the dinner table in New York City in the 1860s. Sojourner Truth, the anti-slavery orator and associate of Frederick Douglass, was born as a slave in Ulster County, New York about 1797, and grew up speaking nothing but Dutch until she was eleven years old. Dutch was spoken in parts of Brooklyn into the mid 1800s and is quite likely the origin of the so-called Brooklyn accent.
Closer to the present, the Jackson Whites, a clan of mixed black, Indian and Dutch heritage still live in the Ramapo Hills of New Jersey. They spoke a bastardized form of Dutch, which still had some 200 speakers in 1910. This Jersey Dutch died out sometime between the 1920s and 1950s, although some Dutch-derived expressions apparently survive among their elders. Researchers in 1910 as well as in recent years found that some of them still knew a nursery rhyme called Trippe Trappe Troontjes, which was also mentioned by Teddy Roosevelt as the one piece of Dutch he remembered learnning from his grandmother; and on one of his African trips Roosevelt discovered that it was also known by the South African boers who had carried it there from Holland 300 years before.
In the early 20th century, Dutch researchers found other surviving pockets of Dutch descended directly from that of the colonial settlers of New Amsterdam, in the Hudson Valley as far north as Schenectady. I have found at least anecdotal evidence of families in the Catskills who spoke Dutch on a daily basis into the 1940s or 50s. So the language survived nearly three full centuries after the end of Dutch influence in North America. And who knows, it seems quite likely that somewhere in New York or New Jersey, there still lives a geezer or two who learned, on their mother’s knee, a smattering of that colonial Dutch.
Although it eventually died out, the survival of Dutch over such long time against all odds raises some interesting questions. Why did Dutch hang on, when the languages of other immigrants, like the Germans, Italians and Poles, typically disappear within a generation or two?

He discusses the issue in the light of the linguistic situation of Papua New Guinea; in the process he remarks that “as a child I also learned a Dutch dialect that is virtually extinct today. Official Dutch is really an artificial amalgam, codified in the 19th century, that bridges most of the dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium. The dialect I learned is virtually useless outside the old-age homes on the island of Texel, and Dutch itself is a language that’s pretty useless outside of the Netherlands.” Much food for thought there.

Comments

  1. “Why did Dutch hang on, when the languages of other immigrants, like the Germans, Italians and Poles, typically disappear within a generation or two?”
    I would suggest Dutch survived because it the language of a community that was confined to one portion of the country (the New York/New Jersey area) which traced its roots to the period before English was established as the lingua patria and had had enough members to be both demographically substantial and to increase the rate of endogamy.
    German also survived for a long time after the major waves of German immigration in the mid 19th century, and a major contributing factor were the two World Wars–which rendered German the language of a major enemy and made anyone who preferred it as their mother tongue seem an enemy alien.
    There was also no pressure to assimilate in the case of the Dutch heritage, as there was in the case of the language communities that emigrated in later eras. My grandparents were immigrants; their mother tongue was Yiddish. Yet they maintained a home in which English was the only language used, with the result that my mother knows less Yiddish than I do (which isn’t terribly much). This was in Boston, with my mother born just at the start of the Depression. Amusingly, as a teenage I noticed that my grandfather had taken on his adopted language to such a degree that while he spoke English with a slight Yiddish accent, he spoke Yiddish with a Boston accent.

  2. rootlesscosmo says:

    When the Symbionese Liberation Army was in the news 35 years ago, it crossed my mind that its leader, Donald DeFreeze, might be descended from people named DeVries.

  3. Thanks for the link to Martin’s blog post. It gave me another opportunity to contest the commonly-held belief that Māori is moribund.It was, and is still not perky, but the patient is reviving.

  4. marie-lucie says:

    This is very interesting. I agree with Kishnevi’s explanation of why the Dutch, unlike other immigrants, kept up their language until recently. The pattern of loss is also typical: at one point the grandparents still speak it at home but not to their children, who only have a passive knowledge, and the grandchildren may understand a little but can only recite nursery rhymes or sing a few songs, without necessarily understanding them.
    Stuart,
    A language is not dead until all its speakers are dead. It is not dead if people keep speaking it to the new generation of babies. If enough Māori speakers raise their children (or grandchildren) in the language, then the language still has a chance, otherwise it does not. But it is very difficult to switch from one language to another in addressing the same person, which is why it has to start with babies (as in the “language nests” in Hawaii, which I think have an equivalent in NZ). Babies can be brought up bilingual if different persons speak to them in different languages. (This is not to dismiss the efforts of younger adults to learn or relearn the language in order to speak it to their parents/grandparents and to their future children).

  5. as in the “language nests” in Hawaii, which I think have an equivalent in NZ)
    Actually, it’s the other way round. Hawaii’s Punana leo are modelled on the Kohanga Reo (Māori “r” is Hawaiian “l”) which started here in Aotearoa. The Kohanga Reo model has been adopted by many threatened indigenous languages since its inception in the early 80s.
    For more on this, see my comment at Martin’s blog. It includes a link to a study that I was involved with on the health of the Māori language.

  6. I’m from Schenectady, which was settled by the Dutch; many place names are either from one of the Indian languages or Dutch. I don’t know how many families continued to speak Dutch, but I wonder if in general the phenomenon is connected with class. In Schenectady the founding families became the rich and distinguished families; the Dutch Reformed Church in the Stockade was and to some extent still is the high class church in town. In the same way that, say, the Russian aristocracy kept up Russian at home while the Russian peasants did not, perhaps the Dutch were kind of the local aristocracy? The Polish and Italian immigrants to the area were peasants, and so assimilated more quickly?

  7. marie-lucie says:

    as in the “language nests” in Hawaii, which I think have an equivalent in NZ)
    Stuart: Actually, it’s the other way round. Hawaii’s Punana leo are modelled on the Kohanga Reo (Māori “r” is Hawaiian “l”) which started here in Aotearoa.
    Oops, I goofed. I wrote without double-checking. Apologies.

  8. Thanks Hat, for this post. I was just trying to forget that I spent the last 20 years of my life learning an almost useless language ;-)

  9. From the blog:
    It’s hard to find a person in Holland who does not speak one or two foreign languages fairly fluently. In Holland, speaking several languages is a fact of life, a requirement for economic survival.
    In my part of the Netherlands (Groningen, which is by no means inside the expat belt of Holland proper) “everyone” can speak serviceable Engleesh, but the extrapolation to “several” languages – which we hear fairly often from non-residents – is far from sound.
    There are certainly some people who can get by in Cherman (although the Dutch mostly make a point of speaking Cherman badly when they do it at all), and plenty who can order bread on campsites in France, but it’s really just mostly Engleesh.
    (This is one of my pet peeves about American idealisations of “Europe”, for sure. N>2 multilingualisme in non-immigrant languages is probably more common here than in the FDR, but it is not really widespread.)

  10. I’ve posted a lot of this on French survivals here before, but it’s on-topic.
    “Old Mines” Missouri is the site of a French enclave north of Louisiana which was healthy until WWII — old French-speakers can still be found. (The name “Old Mines” has no apparent legal status).
    More.
    Old Mines Music.
    More (church photos.
    Kenneth Rexroth:
    When I was a boy, during the First World War, I took a canoe trip down the Kankakee River from near Chicago to the Mississippi. We passed through many villages where hardly an inhabitant spoke a word of English and where the only communication was the wandering tree-lined river and a single muddy, rutted road out to the highway. There is a book about it, Tales of a Vanishing River, and there was a popular humorous dialect poet, Drummond, who used to recite his poems in high-school assemblies and on the Chautauqua Circuit (a kind of pious variety tent show for farmers, now vanished) back in those days. “I am zee capitain of zee Marguerite vat zail zee Kankakee.” This was not off in the wilds somewhere — it was a long day’s walk from the neighborhood of Studs Lonigan. Link

  11. I’ve posted a lot of this on French survivals here before, but it’s on-topic.
    “Old Mines” Missouri is the site of a French enclave north of Louisiana which was healthy until WWII — old French-speakers can still be found. (The name “Old Mines” has no apparent legal status).
    More.
    Old Mines Music.
    More (church photos.
    Kenneth Rexroth:
    When I was a boy, during the First World War, I took a canoe trip down the Kankakee River from near Chicago to the Mississippi. We passed through many villages where hardly an inhabitant spoke a word of English and where the only communication was the wandering tree-lined river and a single muddy, rutted road out to the highway. There is a book about it, Tales of a Vanishing River, and there was a popular humorous dialect poet, Drummond, who used to recite his poems in high-school assemblies and on the Chautauqua Circuit (a kind of pious variety tent show for farmers, now vanished) back in those days. “I am zee capitain of zee Marguerite vat zail zee Kankakee.” This was not off in the wilds somewhere — it was a long day’s walk from the neighborhood of Studs Lonigan. Link

  12. I might add that the non-English languages that have survived are mostly conquered languages — this land was once native American, Spanish, French, or Dutch territory too.
    Delaware Swedish died out, but that colony was tiny and short-lived. I don’t know much about Alaskan Russian, but outside Alaska I think that there were just military outposts.
    I’ve heard many stories about immigrants whose home country was something to forget or something they hated and wanted to get away from, and America was a new beginning. The grandchildren often regret that they didn’t learn their grandparents’ language because their parents barely knew it themselves.
    In the case of German and to a lesser degree the Scandinavian language, even before WWI there was nativist opposition to German-language (etc.( schools.

  13. I might add that the non-English languages that have survived are mostly conquered languages — this land was once native American, Spanish, French, or Dutch territory too.
    Delaware Swedish died out, but that colony was tiny and short-lived. I don’t know much about Alaskan Russian, but outside Alaska I think that there were just military outposts.
    I’ve heard many stories about immigrants whose home country was something to forget or something they hated and wanted to get away from, and America was a new beginning. The grandchildren often regret that they didn’t learn their grandparents’ language because their parents barely knew it themselves.
    In the case of German and to a lesser degree the Scandinavian language, even before WWI there was nativist opposition to German-language (etc.( schools.

  14. A.J.P. Cornbread says:

    But the only opposition to American Spanish is from non-speakers of Spanish, not from people trying to ‘forget’.
    Everyone in Norway learns English quite thoroughly, although they only studies it as much as Norwegian or maths from the age of nine or ten, I think. They embark on a third language at thirteen, but they never get into it to the extent that they do with English. My daughter chose Spanish, because it’s easier — or so she was told — than French. We (I) wanted her to do a Latin-based language and not German. Unfortunately there’s no provision for someone like her who already speaks English and has reached (Norwegian) university standard already at 14. She does projects on her own now. It’s not perfect, I think.
    And now, back to regular programming…

  15. des:
    Your points are well taken, but I’m not sure I said anything that contradicts them. “It’s hard to find a person who does not speak one or two foreign languages fluently.” That agrees with your point that in Groningen, the one foreign language is usually English. And “several languages”, including Dutch, is inclusive of that Dutch+English group. I didn’t extrapolate to N+2, nor to the rest of “Europe.” But I agree that “everyone” is a generalization; a recent survey (cited at Wikipedia “Netherlands”) found that of the total population (I assume adult population) in the Netherlands, 70 percent speak English, 55-59 percent speak German and 19 percent speak French. Outside of truly bilingual cultures, I doubt if that level of foreign language knowledge is exceeded in many countries.

  16. Martin: Two is an unusually small value of “several”, but with that clarification I have no real objection to your claims. (Where “one or two” is predominantly one, and “fluently” is interpreted loosely.)
    Which is not the case for that survey: if 55-59% of Dutch adults really speak German, I really am the Holy Roman Emperor. (I assume these were self-reported competences, which are only marginally better than nothing.)

  17. des (your highness!): Yes, self reported competencies. When I was growing up in the Netherlands in the 50s, folks in my parents’ generation, who were perfectly fluent in German, but had lived through the war, would often pretend not to be able understand German visitors. I imagine that tendency has worn off, but maybe that German-speaking percentage still reflects a bit of it. They have the ability, but prefer not to use it. Or in a nice Dutch phrase, ze vertikken het.

  18. My Dutch ancestors drifted south from New Netherlands to New Jersey, then the Carolinas. Once in the South, they started intermarrying with the Scots-Irish, ca. 1800.
    So, there’s a long period of non-assimilation in the 17th and 18th centuries, and assimilation in the 19th.

  19. My hypothesis is that many of the children of the 50s never became as fluent as their parents did, what with one thing and (especially) another, and many of the parents of the 50s aren’t as alive as they used to be.
    In the interests of unscience, I should admit that much (but by no means all) of my data comes from family gatherings: my younger (Dutch) brother-in-law is engaged to a German woman, and at family gatherings involving her relatives there is plenty of non-fluent interaction across the Dutch/German linguistic border. (And with my wife having married an Englander, my father-in-law has had to develop an antipathy to the French.)

  20. caffeind says:

    Dutch survived because it was already established in rural enclaves that then stayed relatively undisturbed. Establishing linguistic enclaves that are separate enough to hold their own also works in the other direction, for languages that are expanding. It worked for Greek and then Arabic in the Middle East, for English in Britain, and is working for English in Africa and elsewhere, not to mention Shenzhen, founded from scratch in 1979 and the only Mandarin-speaking city in southern China. In contrast, arrivals who lived as a minority in contact with even a subjugated native population shifted to their language within a few generations: Germanic invaders of the Roman Empire, Norman invaders of England, most invaders of China.
    New York Dutch’s history has a funhouse mirror image: Suriname passed from English to Dutch control in the same war, and though the initial English colonization was only from 1630 to 1666, English-based Sranan Tongo is still the lingua franca today.

  21. Concerning Dutch people speaking German: at least, that number exceeds by far the number of Germans speaking Dutch. My parents have a shop near the border (in Ostfriesland) and many Dutch customers, who mostly speak German very well, and in my experience Dutch coming to that area for shopping almost always speak German. Germans going shopping to the Netherlands don’t speak Dutch – the shop ownwers and employees there all cater to Germans by speaking German. There is also almost no Dutch language instruction in German schools, even in the states that border on the Netherlands.

  22. A.J. P. Crew says:

    Doesn’t anyone — Dutch or German –speak Plattdeutsch there?

  23. “Dutch survived because it was already established in rural enclaves that then stayed relatively undisturbed.”
    Not according to the article — Dutch was spoken in NYC and other cities.

  24. Sometimes we go shopping in Ostfriesland – it is the closest place you can get Ostfrisian tea, to which we are very partial – or more specifically in Bunde, the first motorway exit after the border.
    The Lidl/Aldi there has a sign on the door in (good) Dutch reminding Dutch shoppers that their debit cards won’t work, so it is cash only.
    I do generally find that some people are indeed speaking Platt. Gronings (the indigenous ‘lect of Groningen) and Ost-Frisian are recognisably pretty much the same flavour of Low Saxon, and it is a thing I regret quite a bit that I know neither. (In my defence, it is not much spoken in my suburb or my professional circles, and they even took the Gronings weather bulletin off of the local TV channel.)
    So we always end up speaking German, in so far as supermarket shopping really involves the need to speak at all.
    These days there are quite a few German students at Dutch universities, and Groningen university, at least, takes it upon itself to teach them enough Dutch from scratch in a few weeks in the summer before they start their courses. (I took a super-advanced Dutch class at the university and encountered a few such Germans adding some finishing touches. Given that I’d sweated for a couple of years to be at that standard I was simultaneously impressed and jealous.)

  25. The dry leaf is sometimes full of tawny-colored tip, like Yunnan. Extremely tippy Assam is always beautifully manufactured and can taste unusually fruity. As far as one can tell, there are no poor crops or years, although for some reason Assam is rarely sold as First Flush or Second Flush.
    Any Assam will produce a sturdy, pungent liquor, orange-red to dark red in color, which takes well to milk and sugar because of its unusual astringency. This is why the better Assam teas are prized, especially in Germany’s Ostfriesland on the coast of the North Sea and in U.S. blends for Irish breakfast teas. Both the Ostfriesian and Irish Tea traditions exalt milk tea, of which Assam is perfect. Milk turns Assam a bright red-brown, in contrast to the bright golden color that Ceylon teas become with the addition of milk. When milk is added to Darjeelings, they take on a grayish cast and they are generally unfriendly to milk anyway.

    Without Des I would not have learned about the geographical distribution of the exaltation of milk tea.

  26. The dry leaf is sometimes full of tawny-colored tip, like Yunnan. Extremely tippy Assam is always beautifully manufactured and can taste unusually fruity. As far as one can tell, there are no poor crops or years, although for some reason Assam is rarely sold as First Flush or Second Flush.
    Any Assam will produce a sturdy, pungent liquor, orange-red to dark red in color, which takes well to milk and sugar because of its unusual astringency. This is why the better Assam teas are prized, especially in Germany’s Ostfriesland on the coast of the North Sea and in U.S. blends for Irish breakfast teas. Both the Ostfriesian and Irish Tea traditions exalt milk tea, of which Assam is perfect. Milk turns Assam a bright red-brown, in contrast to the bright golden color that Ceylon teas become with the addition of milk. When milk is added to Darjeelings, they take on a grayish cast and they are generally unfriendly to milk anyway.

    Without Des I would not have learned about the geographical distribution of the exaltation of milk tea.

  27. “But the only opposition to American Spanish is from non-speakers of Spanish, not from people trying to ‘forget’.”
    On the West Coast there are plenty of Mexicans – Mixtecs and Zapotecs from Oaxaca, who are dropping whatever Spanish they know as fast as they can. For them it’s the language of peonage, and besides, they never had more than one coat of paint on it anyway.
    Des, clarify something for me – You say Gronings os Low Saxon, and obviously Low saxon borders to the east – I read somewhere that standard Dutch was in the Frankish group of dialects. What exactly is the situation?

  28. Dear Caffeind,
    It is a far stretch to call Sranan Tongo English-based. What English is in it is, in the first place, “steenkolen-English” ( cf. Pidgin ) the international mixture of seafarers’ speech (mostly) in the Carribean and Pacific.
    Further, the language contains at least as much Dutch and Spanish – and West-African! Don’t go mistaking “Mi lobi joe” for what it looks like or sounds like through English eyes or ears. How about this verse from a song:
    “Te wi si wan nyun dey broko en na sonskijn gi grontapoe
    wi mu taki Gado tangi bika dati na Ing wani.”
    Many languages in there!
    Thirdly, a large part of modern English is itself Dutch-derived from days of old. Some instances: terms to do with ship design and sailing, with windmills and navigation are very often from dutch descent. The reason is obvious: both arts were learned from the Dutch. The centuries of close encounters across the North Sea have intermingled both languages to a considerable degree. War was the exception, trade the rule; intermarriage and two-way immigration common.
    In all directions, there is a gradually sliding scale from the heartland’s language to the “foreign” language. Even in Northern France a Dutch dialect is spoken, always has been. Ostfriesland, mentioned by Hans above, is another fine example. Saksen / Sachsen and het Rijnland / Rheinland still more.
    Let’s put it this way: National borders say very little about the languages and dialects spoken. This holds for the Netherlands and probably for any state, certainly for those in Europe.
    Back to Sranan: Modern kids use ever more Sranan words in the streets, and not only those from Suriname! “Gimmi doekoe” is one of the most prevalent: “Give me money,” because “Mi no habi doekoe,” “I have no money” (Or: “I have no ‘doekje,’” Dutch for ‘rag, piece of cloth.’ It’s an ongoing and fascinating process!
    Finally, a question to you all: years ago I read a history of the USA which mentioned that English was chosen as the state lagage of the new republic by a very small margin; the runner-up was….. German!
    Sounds familiar?
    Allemaal de groeten and I consider this site and thread a great find. Bookmarked!
    Thank you all!

  29. Dutch was spoken in NYC and other cities.
    But it didn’t survive in Manhattan; the areas in which it lasted longest appear to have been the rural ones. (And much of Brooklyn was rural into the twentieth century.)

  30. years ago I read a history of the USA which mentioned that English was chosen as the state lagage of the new republic by a very small margin; the runner-up was….. German! Sounds familiar?
    Very familiar, but I’m afraid it’s a myth. As David Crystal put it in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (page 367):

    Probably the best-known myth in the history of language planning is the story that German nearly became the national language of the US in the 18th century, losing to English by only one vote in the legislature (the “Muhlenberg” legend). In fact, all that was involved was a request, made by a group of Virginia Germans, to have certain laws issued in German as well as in English. The proposal was rejected by one vote, apparently cast by a German-speaking Lutheran clergyman, Frederick Muhlenberg (1750-1801). But the general status of English as the majority language was never in doubt. (After S.B. Heath and F. Mandabach, 1983.)

    I’m glad you like LH, and I hope you’ll stick around!

  31. A.J. P. Clam says:

    I drink nearly as much tea as George Orwell did, though mine is fresh. Darjeeling is gnat’s piss, with or without milk. i can only get Earl Grey and Twining’s English Breakfast in Norway as loose leaf and I drink the Earl Grey in the afternoon, like Bertie Wooster did, switching over at lunchtime. I’ll look out for Assam, you never know. That Irish tea is very strong, I don’t drink that unless I’m suffering from shock.

  32. A.J. P. Conch says:

    “These workers don’t suffer–they don’t even speak English.”
    Actually, many people still think this way about animals.

  33. dearieme says:

    The New Zealanders (there’s half Dutch for you) seem to drink mainly Ceylon tea, with milk. But their milk is rather insipid, homogenised stuff.

  34. Jim: The simple answer is that Gronings didn’t start out as a dialect of Dutch, or of the Old Low Franconian usually given as the ancestor of Dutch. It started out instead as a branch of Low Saxon, albeit with a Frisian substrate since Frisian was (very) previously also the language of the province of Groningen.
    Indeed, Gronings (or rather Nedersaksisch, including also Twents and at least one other flavour) has legal recognition of this status: it is classified by the government as a “streektaal” (regional language) rather than a dialect, and thereby qualifies for slightly more special treatment. (In practice, this is largely indistinguishable from not receiving such special treatment.)
    For completeness: the other acknowledged home-grown non-Dutch languages of the Netherlands are Limburgs, about which I know approximately nothing, and Frisian, which has a fancier special legal status as a minority language and is actually doing OK for itself.
    None of this should be taken as an endorsement of legal status or Stambaumisme as approaches to linguistic facts on the ground, however.

  35. And I’m so naturalised by now that I consider it normal to drink tea weak and black, whatever its provenance. If it wasn’t for John, I’d never have guessed the Ost-Frisians were milkers, although my vestigial Englishness certainly exalts them for it.

  36. A.J. P. Con says:

    Oh, never mind. Assam IS English breakfast tea.

  37. marie-lucie says:

    The link recommended by MMcM is excellent.
    Language attitudes: Some people are upset by hearing strangers speak other languages because What if they are talking about us? If I am on the bus or in other public places I never think that other people speaking Chinese or Arabic or whatever must be talking about me, they are minding their own business just as a friend and I sitting next to each other would hardly ever think about talking about the other passengers, but this attitude seems to be widespread among English speakers (I have heard the phrase live and also read it in books, but don’t remember meeting it in French). Once a friend and I talking on a bus in Vancouver (and getting a bit loud for some reason) were admonished by the bus driver to speak English (we just lowered our voices).
    When I first came to (English) Canada I discovered that there was a lot of anti-French prejudice in some places, especially anti-French-Canadian, so after a while I refused to say where I was actually from: let them take me on my own merits. A friend of mine, an anglophone from Ontario, used to teach French in a rural high school in New Brunswick (the only officially bilingual province, with Acadian French spoken by a third of the population), and found that many of her neighbours in the all-English community were suspicious of her because of that fact. The status of French has greatly improved since then but some of the prejudice against “frogs” still remains.

  38. Then there’s Yorkshire Tea http://www.yorkshiretea.co.uk/, the preferred tipple of British builders. It’s not strong enough unless the teaspoon stands up straight …

  39. rootlesscosmo says:

    @marie-lucie:
    When I first came to (English) Canada I discovered that there was a lot of anti-French prejudice in some places
    When I visited Montreal in 1969 the Star was running a series about life in the prairie provinces. The writer reported said that on more than one occasion, when he tried speaking French to people in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, he was brusquely ordered to “talk white”–a nice illustration of the social construction of “race.”

  40. In practice, this is largely indistinguishable from not receiving such special treatment.
    As I understand, this is the present status of the Swedish nobility outside the royal family, which gets free tabloid publicity from the likes of Des. Swedish nobles have the right to be regarded as receiving some sort of special treatment indistinguishable from not receiving special treatment, and any commoner falsely claiming to have this right can be sued.
    This is a a beautiful example of Wittgenstein’s “wheel that can be turned though nothing else moves with it”. It can be seen to be quite useful in this case, making the nobility feel noble at very little cost to anyone via a purely contentless noble status consisting entirely of the enforcement of the distinction from otherwise identical nobles. I wonder if Lacan has covered this.
    Some say that Wittgenstein’s useless wheel might have been a fly-wheel in some contexts, making everything I’ve ever said about it wrong.

  41. In practice, this is largely indistinguishable from not receiving such special treatment.
    As I understand, this is the present status of the Swedish nobility outside the royal family, which gets free tabloid publicity from the likes of Des. Swedish nobles have the right to be regarded as receiving some sort of special treatment indistinguishable from not receiving special treatment, and any commoner falsely claiming to have this right can be sued.
    This is a a beautiful example of Wittgenstein’s “wheel that can be turned though nothing else moves with it”. It can be seen to be quite useful in this case, making the nobility feel noble at very little cost to anyone via a purely contentless noble status consisting entirely of the enforcement of the distinction from otherwise identical nobles. I wonder if Lacan has covered this.
    Some say that Wittgenstein’s useless wheel might have been a fly-wheel in some contexts, making everything I’ve ever said about it wrong.

  42. marie-lucie says:

    when he tried speaking French to people in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, he was brusquely ordered to “talk white”–a nice illustration of the social construction of “race.”
    That was not just in those provinces, where there are few French speakers, it was also a common insult on the part of anglophones in the province of Québec. In 1968 two well-known pieces of literature addressed the topic of the lower social status of francophones, Speak White, a poem (in French), and Nègres blancs d’Amérique, later translated as “White Niggers of America” (the right translation in this context, although in France at least the word nègre was not nearly as offensive as the N word in the US). You have to be aware of how bad things still were at the time in order to understand the push for self-determination and even independence in Québec.
    Older documents refer to the French and the English as “the two founding races” (“race” being equivalent to what we would now call “ethnicity” in those contexts).

  43. “from otherwise identical NON-nobles.” Damn, damn, damn.
    Given that the French were in Minnesota before the Anglophones, I think of them as Original Peoples, relatively speaking. Some, in fact, were Metis originally.

  44. “from otherwise identical NON-nobles.” Damn, damn, damn.
    Given that the French were in Minnesota before the Anglophones, I think of them as Original Peoples, relatively speaking. Some, in fact, were Metis originally.

  45. Hat, I’m just speculating — hadn’t thought about this until this post, although you can’t grow up around kills and not be aware of the Dutch influence where I’m from. Do we know for sure that Dutch survived mainly in rural areas? (Define rural areas.) It appears that it survived in Schenectady well into the 19th century, and that was, in 19th century terms, a city — in fact, something of a boom town. Of course, it might have been an exception, and if it was, my hypothesis is that it was because of class and wealth. (speculation)
    Still, if I understood the posting correctly, the point was that Dutch survived well beyond one or two generations. Certainly there were pockets of non-English speakers in rural areas who switched to English more quickly. Why did the Dutch hold on?

  46. Later (19th century up ’til 1910) Dutch immigration brought the Dutch language to a number of communities in the Midwest–Sheboygan County, WI, Sioux County, IA, etc., where it also hung on for a good long time.
    A professor of mine who grew up in Sheboygan County told stories of his mother being required to memorize her catechism in Dutch during the Depression era (even though she did not speak it.) And Dutch-language services were de rigeur in Sioux County, Iowa well into the 1950s. English services began in earnest during the the ’30s, but were still secondary in a number of churches until the ’50s and ’60s, when many churches slowly dropped the Dutch services.
    One church in Sioux Center, however, still had a monthly Dutch service as late as 1990 (when I left the area–for all I know, they still do.) And many Dutch-Americans in the area still use Dutch phrases as a matter of course–”benauwd” and “fies” are two that come to mind.

  47. A.J. P. T. says:

    Yorkshire Tea for Hard Water – A special blend of teas that work particularly well in hard water.
    How terribly thoughtful of them to make special tea for Londoners.
    Yorkshire Gold – Our luxury blend with even more character and flavour.
    I for one would try their luxury tea with added character, but they don’t sell it here. Stuart can try it, they sell to New Zealand. In Holland they sell it in Za Breukelen, would that be Brooklyn?

  48. My grandfather grew up in the Dutch colony in Iowa, specifically Orange City. Pella and Grand Rapids MI were other densely Dutch areas, and also Melrose MN, and scattered pockets up this way from Melrose. I have a bunch of oral histories and genealogies from my mother’s cousins.
    My grandmother’s family was all German, and as a result my mother never learned either language except scattered words. She was raised Congregationalist rather than Lutheran of Reformed, whereas my father’s family was old Congregationalist, and I am Lutheran, and my son is nothing.

  49. My grandfather grew up in the Dutch colony in Iowa, specifically Orange City. Pella and Grand Rapids MI were other densely Dutch areas, and also Melrose MN, and scattered pockets up this way from Melrose. I have a bunch of oral histories and genealogies from my mother’s cousins.
    My grandmother’s family was all German, and as a result my mother never learned either language except scattered words. She was raised Congregationalist rather than Lutheran of Reformed, whereas my father’s family was old Congregationalist, and I am Lutheran, and my son is nothing.

  50. In truth, Dutch, Germans, English, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Icelanders all pretty much the same goddamn thing in the big picture.
    But not Finns.

  51. In truth, Dutch, Germans, English, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Icelanders all pretty much the same goddamn thing in the big picture.
    But not Finns.

  52. A.J. P. Thing says:

    Lots of Finns are Swedes. Swedes go with Germans, but I’m not sure they go with the others except in the same sense that Normans are Vikings.

  53. Do we know for sure that Dutch survived mainly in rural areas?
    Well, I certainly don’t! As always, I welcome input from anyone who knows more.

  54. Stereotyping science has found the Finno-Swede chimera to be a tough nut to crack.
    “Sure, we feel the same way about Finns that you do about black Americans. But it’s true about the Finns”.
    That statement was reported to me first-hand by a competely peccable source, a source as peccable as I myself would hope to thought to be.

  55. Stereotyping science has found the Finno-Swede chimera to be a tough nut to crack.
    “Sure, we feel the same way about Finns that you do about black Americans. But it’s true about the Finns”.
    That statement was reported to me first-hand by a competely peccable source, a source as peccable as I myself would hope to thought to be.

  56. Iceland-Americans say “this” and “that” like normal people. Fact.
    Not “dis” and “dat” like the lumpish immigrants from the other Norman countries.

  57. Iceland-Americans say “this” and “that” like normal people. Fact.
    Not “dis” and “dat” like the lumpish immigrants from the other Norman countries.

  58. Or “zees” and “zat” like the quasi-Normans.

  59. Or “zees” and “zat” like the quasi-Normans.

  60. A.J. P. Card says:

    ‘Peccavi’ for ‘I have Sind /I have sinned’ was given (in a dictionary, when I was young) as an example of what? I’ve been trying to think of the answer to this for months now.

  61. Re Dutch and German: Consider Zwartboek, Paul Verhoeven’s wartime story set in Holland. By now you can find English-speaking actors even in France (even in Russia, for that matter). But a full cast of German-speaking actors outside the German-speaking world? I’m sure the Netherlands is the only place where a director could have pulled such a trick.

  62. A.J. P. Condo says:

    USA

  63. rootlesscosmo says:

    ‘Peccavi’ for ‘I have Sind /I have sinned’ was given (in a dictionary, when I was young) as an example of what? I’ve been trying to think of the answer to this for months now.
    I heard of it, from a forgotten and probably unreliable source, as the word-saving telegram sent home by some British Army officer to report his victory in part of what’s now Pakistan.

  64. Oddly, Britain was not at war with Pakistan at that time, and the officer was cashiered. Afterwards he said that the pun had been worth it and that he had no regrets.

  65. Oddly, Britain was not at war with Pakistan at that time, and the officer was cashiered. Afterwards he said that the pun had been worth it and that he had no regrets.

  66. Hat: Dutch surivived in Manhatten at least into the 1980s. I used to work in the Boston University Libraries, and there was an academic journal published by an association of New York Dutch descendants, according to which there were two elderly sisters alive in Manhatten in the 80′s who still spoke New York Dutch learned in the 1920s. It seems they were the end of the line. It seems there was a Dutch language school in Manhatten in the early 1900s, but it closed before WWI.
    In North Jersey, the Jersey Dutch became the background “townies” of Bergen county. I can’t count the number of Van Houks and Van Dykes I went to High School with in Teaneck. There were a lot of them…

  67. mollymooly says:

    That Irish tea is very strong, I don’t drink that unless I’m suffering from shock.

    I like week tea myself. One Barry’s Gold Blend bag gives four large mugs. Mmmm.

    ‘Peccavi’ for ‘I have Sind /I have sinned’ was given (in a dictionary, when I was young) as an example of what?

    Macaronic pun?

  68. mollymooly says:

    I like weak tea. 10 seconds’ steeping, tops. Week tea, I like not so much.

  69. Dutch surivived in Manhatten at least into the 1980s.
    *boggles*

  70. zaelic, you sent me that info via some channel when I was researching this paper (either MetaFilter or here on LH, I think); I didn’t use it because I couldn’t find substantiation, either of the academic journal or the school. And it’s one thing to have a school teaching Dutch as a second language (like, say, Hebrew schools do), and another to have it taught as a language survival through the generations since the 1600s. Still, any further details would be much appreciated.
    My anecdotal evidence of original Hudson Valley Dutch survival into the 1940s and 50s comes from online discussion group posts which I could probably dredge up, but any more direct evidence would be of great interest as well.
    Thanks all for your input on this topic!

  71. Ken Clark says:

    “Why did Dutch hang on, when the languages of other immigrants, like the Germans, Italians and Poles, typically disappear within a generation or two?”
    No, not German. German is still holding strong in the United States, in the form of the Pennsylvania German dialect, with 250,000 speakers if Wikipedia is correct. (It’s often called Pennsylvania Dutch, but ‘Dutch’ in that context is more-or-less a corruption of ‘Deutsch’ as explained in the Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_German_language.)

  72. In the case of Pennsylvania German, the explanation is clear so its survival is easy to explain — the Amish are a separatist sect.
    There are at least two German dialects spoken be Anabaptists in the US — the Hutterite dialect is distant from the Amish dialect.
    The Amish around here are jollier and friendlier than I would have expected.

  73. In the case of Pennsylvania German, the explanation is clear so its survival is easy to explain — the Amish are a separatist sect.
    There are at least two German dialects spoken be Anabaptists in the US — the Hutterite dialect is distant from the Amish dialect.
    The Amish around here are jollier and friendlier than I would have expected.

  74. A.J. P. Crown says:

    The Amish in Pennsylvania are very nice too.

  75. Martin, you might check out both the Schenectady Country Historical Society and the Schenectady Museum, as well as the First Reformed Church in Schenectady. I think there are also serious local historians at Union College. BTW the SCHS acquired the Mabee farm awhile back — the house was built at the end of the 17th century. One Dutch family lived there for almost 300 years and they never threw anything out — they just shoved stuff in the outbuildings (including slave quarters). Even last year they were finding 17th century Dutch books tucked away in the attic.
    In poking around I discovered that there was something called Mohawk Dutch, a creole of Dutch and Mohawk. There are also references to Knickerbocker Dutch (I assume the Dutch spoken by the first settlers — a particular dialect?) and Low Dutch (ditto?).

  76. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Macaronic pun?
    Wow. Nice try, Molly. Thanks.
    But I’m beginning to think it maybe wasn’t in the dictionary at all, and I’ve simply confused it in my memory with a derivation of ‘laconic’ in Spartan lore, which, I know, was in the dictionary.

    One famous example [of Spartans being laconic] comes from the time of the invasion of Philip II of Macedon. With key Greek city-states in submission, he turned his attention to Sparta and sent a message: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” The Spartan ephors sent back a one word reply: “If.” Subsequently, both Philip and Alexander would avoid Sparta entirely.

  77. John Skinner says:
  78. A.J. P. Crown says:

    “Peccavi” is by the way attributed to the Irish C. in C. in India, General Napier.

  79. Macaronic: Why is there no caboose on a French freight train ? Because it’s a fourgon conclusion …
    (with acknowledgement to the creator, Anton Eve, circa 1965)

  80. In poking around I discovered that there was something called Mohawk Dutch, a creole of Dutch and Mohawk.
    My god, how I love this stuff. And they want us all to give up our incredible diversity and speak One World Language!

  81. marie-lucie says:

    And not just One World, some people would like One Dialect!

  82. Yeah, that’s intriguing, isn’t it? Apparently the Dutch Schenectadians intermarried with the Mohawks (much to the irritation of the folks down the road in Albany). Don’t know what’s known about the Creole now.

  83. Sparta was not walled. The whole Spartan philosophy was “a good offense is the best defense”. They were also rather conservative about starting wars, but relentless and all-out once the war began.
    Sparta still exists, though I think it’s a sleepy countrytown now. A Greek-American friend of mine moved there decades ago; I have no idea where she is now. (A friend named Melita. Hi, Melita! — there’s a bare chance that she might show up here sometime).

  84. Sparta was not walled. The whole Spartan philosophy was “a good offense is the best defense”. They were also rather conservative about starting wars, but relentless and all-out once the war began.
    Sparta still exists, though I think it’s a sleepy countrytown now. A Greek-American friend of mine moved there decades ago; I have no idea where she is now. (A friend named Melita. Hi, Melita! — there’s a bare chance that she might show up here sometime).

  85. German by one vote urban legend
    Thanks, language hat and MMcM, especially for the link. Another myth busted!

  86. This is presumably unrelated to the issue of Colonal Dutch survival, but Dutch-speaking Dutch Reformed churches in Northern New Jersey were a phenomenon of the late 19th century also – there was quite a bit of Dutch immigration to that area – or at least it was highly concentrated immigration.
    The North Jersey church my Zuid-Holland immigrant grandparents and US-born father attended (one of many in the area) was built in 1892 and held Dutch-language services into the 1950s. The services might have continued even longer, but they lost their Dutch-speaking pastor, who went to Canada to serve a new immigrant community there – Zeeland Dutch displaced by the great North Sea flood disaster of 1953.
    As zaelic noted, Dutch surnames are quite common in NJ’s Bergen and Passaic counties, but by no means all of them date to the Colonial era.
    (My father, who passed away last month, spoke “church Dutch” as his second language, so this thread brought back fond and poignant memories – thanks.)

  87. Dutch is really “Dgutch” or “Ngedegonds”. In other words, YOU HAVE TO BE GUTTURAL ! (Or, g-Gut-g-ural !!!)

  88. A.J. P. Creosote says:

    “A city is well-fortified which has a wall of men instead of brick.”
    The thing about being laconic is you can end up just sounding like a smart ass. If I’d been Greek I’d have been an Athenian, but I’d have aimed to die before 431.

  89. dearieme says:

    “”Peccavi” is by the way attributed to the Irish C. in C. in India” – but wrongly. It was actually a joke made by some sweet young maid in Punch, attrib to the gen. Someone will provide a link.

  90. The link. But Snopes is more fun.

  91. A.J. P. Crown says:

    And this just in…
    WE HATE THE SWEDES (according to my daughter). They said something RUDE about Crown Princess Mette-Marit, the Norwegian equivalent to the man who is to marry Sweden’s heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria. They said he was a lot better (in some way). Bastards. I told you Swedes were Different.

  92. dearieme says:

    I say, I say, I say “What has Sweden got that Norway hasn’t?”
    “A good neighbour.” Boom, boom.

  93. A.J. P. Crown says:

    (I’m sure my daughter likes Artifex Amando, though).

  94. A tousand Svedes ran troo ta veeds chased by von Norvegian.

  95. dearieme says:

    My father always claimed that I was bounced on Dutch and Norwegian knees before ever I met an Englishman. Citoyen du Monde, me.

  96. Etienne says:

    Some comments and questions, in no particular order:
    1-On Mohawk Dutch: if such a mixed language or pidgin or creole existed, there is (to the best of my knowledge) no record of it (quite a pity!). While the Dutch were indeed the first europeans to come into contact with the Mohawks, I believe that there are no known/identifiable Dutch loanwords in Mohawk: if there indeed aren’t, it does make it likelier that Mohawk Dutch never existed.
    2-To vncc: to call Sranan English-based is accurate, *diachronically*, as a description: it is clear that Sranan Tongo first started life as a Creole whose vocabulary was chiefly English, and that the bulk of non-English words (and indeed many non-English structures) entered the language at a later date.
    3-About Sparta not being walled: I read the same thing about Pella, the capital of the kingdom of Macedonia. Were both Pella and Sparta unwalled cities? Certainly, judging from Philip’s and Alexander the Great’s careers as generals, “A good offense is the best defense” seems to be a slogan the Macedonians lived by…
    4-Sparta has left a linguistic legacy: Tsakonian, the only dialect of Modern Greek in Greece which derives from an Ancient Greek dialect rather than the koine, and wherein such gems as (quoting from memory here) /a mati/ “the mother” are found.

  97. Very interesting post, this is why I read LH every day!
    Regarding Dutch immigrants, the situation in New Zealand seems to be rather different. I am about to teach Dutch to New Zealanders with Dutch (grand)parents, who immigrated to New Zealand in the 50s and 60s and seem to have not passed on the language at all, other than words like oma en opa. There’s an interesting article about this called
    Invisible immigrants, inaudible language: Dutch and the Dutch in New Zealand by Koenraad Kuiper.

  98. David Marjanović says:

    How much I’ve learned in the last couple of minutes…

  99. marie-lucie says:

    Koenraad Kuiper is a Dutch linguist who has been living in New Zealand for decades. He should know that he is talking about.

  100. I am about to teach Dutch to New Zealanders with Dutch (grand)parents, who immigrated to New Zealand in the 50s and 60s and seem to have not passed on the language at all, other than words like oma en opa.
    Lissa, here in Hawke’s Bay it seems that every 10th house has lace curtains on the windows, delft on the sills, and klompen at the doors, but the really intersting linguistic quirk of the Dutch influence (setting aside the unfortunate irrelevance of this country’s name, a wrong that should be righted) is the way that oma and opa have been adopted in Māori English. At least here on the East Coast, they are quite commonly used, often for great-grandparents as well as grandparents. When I first met my wife, of Ngāti Porou descent, I was floored to hear here whanāu using “oma” and “opa”, but I have since learned that it is definitely not uncommon.

  101. J. W. Brewer says:

    Going back to the original question, is the length of survival of Hudson Valley Dutch more impressive than the case of Louisiana Cajun French (which to be sure came under Anglophone rule about 140 years later)? Of course, in the Hudson Valley, Dutch was itself a factor in the disappearance of French. E.g., the language of church services in New Paltz (founded c. 1690 by Huguenots as a Francophone enclave) switched over from French to Dutch c. 1750 and then ultimately to English c. 1810. The language of Sunday services was presumably a lagging indicator of what was being spoken during the week.

  102. marie-lucie says:

    in the Hudson Valley, Dutch was itself a factor in the disappearance of French
    Was there that much French spoken in the Hudson Valley then? I know there were some Huguenots who emigrated to America, but were there that many? And “New Paltz” does not sound very French to me.

  103. “Oma” and “Opa” are darn good names. The German is quite similar.

  104. “Oma” and “Opa” are darn good names. The German is quite similar.

  105. J. W. Brewer says:

    @marie-lucie, New Paltz was named by its twelve Huguenot founding families (“La Douzaine” [sp?]) after the bit of Germany that’s now encompassed in Rheinland-Pfalz, whose Protestant rulers had given initial refuge to many fleeing France in the 17th century. It and New Rochelle may have been the only places in Colonial New York where Huguenots were for a time a local majority, but NR was close enough to Manhattan that the assimilation there was to English rather than Dutch. A fair number of Huguenots went to South Africa at around the same time, where their descendents similarly were assimilated linguistically by the more numerous Dutch settlers (although a lot of Afrikaaners still bear French-derived surnames). I don’t know if there are any traces of French in Afrikaans.

  106. marie-lucie says:

    JWB, yes, of course, New Rochelle: named after the port of La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, which had been given to the Protestants by Henri IV as a stronghold of their own until the deal was cancelled by Louis XIV. I had noticed the French name years ago but failed to connect it with a French population (la Douzaine is right).
    Some of my (Occitan-speaking) ancestors were among the ones who did not leave France and were subjected to ill treatment by the king’s soldiers, sent for the purpose of harassing them into converting.

  107. In answer to J.W. Brewer’s question: as far as I know there is no significant French influence on Afrikaans: we do have, however, at least one early Afrikaans text containing specimens (parodies?) of what seems to be poorly-mastered Afrikaans spoken by (still francophone) Huguenots: one of its features was the replacement of Afrikaans /x/ by /k/ (which is definitely the sort of substitution a native French speaker would make).
    (Please don’t ask me for an exact reference, as this would involve an archeological dig by my desk).
    As for “oma” and “opa” now being in wide use in Maori English…what can I say except, to quote my favorite American proverb, “who’d'a thunk it?” After all, “basic” vocabulary (like kinship terms) isn’t supposed to be borrowed that easily. It looks like the Maoris who adopted the Dutch terms had never read any introductory textbook on language contact.

  108. A.J. P. Cone says:

    It’s interesting that you New Zealanders use the US ‘immigrated’ rather than the GB ‘emigrated’.
    I thought the French influence in South Africa came from Belgians rather than from Huguenots, who I think of as existing in an earlier phase of Francophone history, but I can’t say I’m much of an expert on SA.

  109. michael farris says:

    Actually in US usage they emigrated from the Netherlands and immigrated to NZ.
    If you’re going to use one it depends on where you’re concentrating on the origin country or destination country.

  110. A.J. P. Cruddy says:

    Yeah, I get it. But no one in England uses ‘immigrate’ as a verb, though they might talk about ‘immigration’, and no one in America uses ‘to emigrate’.
    *Pauses for Americans to say how they used ‘to emigrate’ only this morning, while arguing, at breakfast.*

  111. A.J. P. Cove says:

    Dearie: “”Peccavi” is by the way attributed to the Irish C. in C. in India” – but wrongly. It was actually a joke made by some sweet young maid in Punch, attrib to the gen.
    I don’t think this is proven either way, but it does seem a remote chance that Sir Charles Napier (nice garden) would be the same person both to have the ability to capture Sind(h) (anyone today should be able to imagine the difficulty of doing that; I can’t see Gen. Petraeus going in there) and then be able to make an unbelievably clever Latin pun about it, one where both meanings are a consequence of his military action. He was quite a clever and important fellow though, he was a (much, much younger, presumably) cousin of Charles James Fox and died, in 1853, after catching a cold while acting as a pallbearer at the Duke of Wellington’s funeral.
    Has Stuart said anything about the Hawke’s Bay city of Napier being named after him? (“The suburb of Meannee commemorates his victory in the Battle of Miani,” according to the fairly unreliable Wiki article) Perhaps one of Stuart’s ancestors fought there? His great-great-grandmother?
    All this was before Napier got “the acting bug” and started doing voiceovers for ‘The Incredible Hulk’.

  112. A.J. P. Condominium says:

    Named after Napier, obviously. If it had been named after Stuart it wouldn’t be called ‘Napier’.

  113. A.J. P. Coop says:

    Now here’s something interesting. I just saw it in one of my wife’s emails: Subway betyr bare undergang på engelsk. Pa amerikansk betyr det T-bane. I didn’t know that Norwegians (like the French, according to Marie-Lucie) talk about the ‘English’ and ‘American’ languages. Do all foreigners do that?

  114. A.J. P. Cod says:

    Subway betyr bare undergang på engelsk. Pa amerikansk betyr det T-bane.
    Translation.
    Subway means only underpass in English. In American it means underground train.

  115. “Doesn’t anyone — Dutch or German –speak Plattdeutsch there?”
    There are paople on both sides of the border who speak Platt, but at least on the German side, it is spoken less and less. What you hear in the streets and shops is mostly colloquial Standard German with a regional accent and some Platt words and expressions thrown in. If you hear real Platt spoken, that’s mostly by people in their fifties and above.

  116. A.J. P. Plod says:

    Well isn’t anyone doing anything to revive it? What about you and Des bringing it back, it’s the least you could do.

  117. “I didn’t know that Norwegians (like the French, according to Marie-Lucie) talk about the ‘English’ and ‘American’ languages. Do all foreigners do that?”
    “Amerikanisch” is used as shorthand for “Amerikanisches Englisch” in German, e.g., you can find the note “Übersetzt aus dem Amerikanischen (= Translated from the American)” in German editions of books by American authors. Similarly, you’ll find “brasilianisch” meaning “Brasilian Portuguese”.

  118. “Well isn’t anyone doing anything to revive it? What about you and Des bringing it back, it’s the least you could do.”
    Nice one. My family moved to the area when I was a kid, and in the beginning we even tried to speak Platt, but people quite quickly made us understand that if you’re not a native Platt speaker, better don’t try. Platt used to be low prestige and at the same time a badge of identity, so people weren’t used to outsiders speaking it; if you tried, you were taken for an impostor or for someone trying to make fun of the natives. Therefore, I understand Platt quite well, but don’t actively speak it. (And I anway don’t live in Ostfriesland any more.) In the last decades, there has been some official promotion of Platt, including making it part of the curriculum in some schools etc., but I’m afraid that this comes too late.

  119. it is spoken less and less. What you hear in the streets and shops is mostly colloquial Standard German with a regional accent and some Platt words and expressions thrown in. If you hear real Platt spoken, that’s mostly by people in their fifties and above.
    Well, that’s depressing. I understand the reasons for the ever-increasing homogenization of the world, but I deplore it anyway.

  120. marie-lucie says:

    Opa / Oma borrowed into the native language of Aotearoa:
    These words are not exactly “kin terms” like grandfather / grandmother, which are “terms of reference”, they are “terms of address”. For instance, a grandmother might be called different names depending on the family, such as Granny, Grandma, Nanny, Nanna and others (including foreign terms preserved in families of recent immigrant origins, and terms reflecting a small child’s pronunciation, preserved in the family), while still be referred to as the standard, common grandmother in normal conversational or written contexts. And while it is true that basic or primary kin terms (especially father/mother) are rarely borrowed, most secondary kin terms in English are borrowed from French, wholly (cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle) or partly (the grand in grandmother/father or great in great-aunt/-uncle), even though there must have been terms for those relatives in Old English. Alternate terms of address too are much more likely to be used with grandparents than with parents, and to differ in individual families.
    Without knowing anything about the situation in Aotearoa I can think of several general reasons there might be for adopting foreign terms of address for close kin in a language: they might be shorter and easier to say for small children than the normal terms of reference, they might circumvent a taboo on using the kin terms under some circumstances (in which case they might continue native usages), they might provide unambiguous alternatives for ambiguous terms (in many languages, there are identical terms for reciprocal relationships so that the same word or term of address is used for both grandparent and grandchild), and in this case they also provided novelty while avoiding English terms.

  121. marie-lucie says:

    Norwegians (like the French, according to Marie-Lucie) talk about the ‘English’ and ‘American’ languages.
    I did not say that the French “talk about” two languages, only that translated works indicate whether the original language is “English” or “American”, a practice which seems common in other European countries as well, according to the comments.

  122. I’ve never actually noticed – what do French and German publishers do with translations of books written by Australian, New Zealand or Indian authors?

  123. @Etienne
    I was just reporting several mentions of Mohawk Dutch; I have no idea if they are right. But as I understand it, the Mohawk speakers today are in the far west of NY and in Canada. Couldn’t it be possible that Mohawk Dutch was only spoken in the eastern part of the state, and that those speakers died out?

  124. I mildly regret the decline of the local low-German, also, but it never looked like delivering any of the things I look for in a language to learn, most of which are a newspaper.
    And given that “Dutch itself is a language that’s pretty useless outside of the Netherlands” I’m already doing my bit for endangered languages just speaking that.
    The successful language-revival movements I am aware of (Welsh, Frisian, “Cornish” in so far as that is a success) come intertwined with micronationalisms, and having little enthusiasm for the latter means I rarely get very enthusiastic about the former.
    When one successfully gets off the ground on the manifesto that putting in a great deal of work, building a great deal of infrastructure (publishing, newspapers and other media, schoolbooks and other resources) and exluding those you do not especially wish to exclude from interactions they would otherwise expect to be able to take part in, is just the sort of thing one might do in the name of good clean fun then I’ll sign up, for sure*.
    There is a 3-minute daily segment on local TV in and allegedly teaching Gronings, but it is in fact annoying and useless and I tend to shun it. I miss the Gronings-speaking weathermen, though. (They got canned last year.)
    * This is in fact by no means sure.

  125. J.W. Brewer says:

    Re “Mohawk Dutch,” a remote Huguenot ancestor of mine was employed by the Dutch West India Co. at Ft. Orange (now Albany) and was at one point supposedly loaned or seconded to the Mohawks to serve as their French translator, since they lacked skills in that tongue (they were headed up to Montreal to negotiate a prisoner exchange). I don’t know whether he communicated with his clients in Dutch, Mohawk, or some sort of intermediate pidgin/creole, although I’d think a good history of the 17th century fur trade might indicate what language was generally used for such contacts. Once the Mohawks were located as a political and military matter in between Anglophones and Francophones, keeping up with a third European language seems like it might have been excessive.

  126. marie-lucie says:

    It sounds like at least some of the Mohawk delegation spoke English, and so did your Huguenot ancestor.

  127. Has Stuart said anything about the Hawke’s Bay city of Napier being named after him?
    No, but he is one of many figures from the Raj memorialised here in Hawke’s Bay. I live in Hastings, and bewtween Napier and Hastings is the hamlet of Clive. There are streets named after Lucknow and Simla, among others, and a Scinde Island.
    Thanks, too, to maire-lucie for that explanation of the difference between terms of kinship and terms of address. It made a great deal of sense, and I might be able to add a little to the situation here. There is a very common Māori term of address used for “grandfather”, koro, but I’ve never heard a Māori tern of address for “grandmother”. Nan is probably the most commonly used in Māori English and, like oma and opa, it’s clearly a borrowing.
    There’s also the possibility that the use of oma and opa in Māori English is a regional quirk. I only learned recently that the word I thought was standard Māori for “ancestor” is actually an East Coast dialectal variant. Perhaps something similar has happened with the adoption of oma and opa.

  128. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Norwegians (like the French, according to Marie-Lucie) talk about the ‘English’ and ‘American’ languages.
    Marie-Lucie: I did not say that the French “talk about” two languages, only that translated works indicate whether the original language is “English” or “American”
    I’d say in this context that ‘talk about’ means ‘indicate’ which ‘language’ was being used. I certainly didn’t mean to imply anyone might be gossiping.

  129. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Stuart, when I looked up Napier on Google Maps I see that one of the main streets, flanked by Dickens and Tennyson Streets, is Emerson Street. Is he really that famous over there?

  130. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Regarding the difference between terms of reference and terms of address, once when I lived in Germany we made a schematic design for a building that we later made variations on; the original was known as the ‘oma’ — I think the English would be ‘grandma’, not ‘grandmother’.
    The big reason to keep as many names as possible going for grandparents is to distinguish between the two pairs. In Norwegian there is a good system: you call your mother’s mother ‘mormor’ and your father’s mother ‘farmor’ (and then there’s ‘morfar’ and ‘farfar’ for grandfathers).

  131. A.J. P. Crown says:

    I’m really sorry about the Plattdeutsch situation, but in fairness to Hans and Des I can see that they’re going to need help to save it. They could always take out a loan.

  132. Emerson Street. Is he really that famous over there
    Who’s Emerson? That would be a pretty common reaction here these days. Most people don’t give any thought to the themes used for naming streets. Near my street we have Outram, Allenby, Norton, Lawrence and Wavell, but I doubt the common element is widely known by people living in those streets. I fear that Emerson has suffered a similar fate.

  133. “The big reason to keep as many names as possible going for grandparents is to distinguish between the two pairs. In Norwegian there is a good system: you call your mother’s mother ‘mormor’ and your father’s mother ‘farmor’”
    This is interesting to me because Hindi and Punajbi do likewise, with naanii(maa) and daadii(maa) for the 4 grandparents, but until today I hadn’t come across the distinction in other IE languages I’ve bumped into. Any idea why the Northmen have kept it?

  134. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Wow, that’s interesting.
    No, I don’t know why, but I’ll try and find out, though. I expect the Swedes do it too and the Danes, but I don’t even know that.

  135. marie-lucie says:

    AJP: The big reason to keep as many names as possible going for grandparents is to distinguish between the two pairs.
    Yes, there is also that reason, although the NZ case was not referring to that.
    In my family, our two grandmothers looked quite different: my father’s mother was a petite woman, my mother’s mother was a tall, large one, so while we addressed them both as Mémé, we referred to them as la petite Mémé and la grande Mémé respectively. My two grandfathers were about the same size, but we referred to them by terms parallel to the ones for their wives, le petit Pépé and le grand Pépé, as well as Pépé + last name when we were a little older. When my sister became a grandmother, her son and his wife did not like Mémé, so they suggested several alternatives and let my sister pick the one she liked best.

  136. A.J. P. Crown says:

    That’s very funny. Children can get away with frankness (if you’ll pardon the expression) that adults would be far too embarrassed to express.

  137. marie-lucie says:

    AJP, it was not a matter of “children’s frankness”, our parents used those terms too in speaking to us. The word grand(e) means “tall, great”, not “big”. It would have been different if we had called our taller, bigger (although not huge) grandmother la grosse Mémé “the fat Grandma”, which would indeed have been offensive.

  138. Okay, I really have to get down to my day job, but found this, from a history of Schenectady written in 1869:
    “.. [near Schenectady]the hills were known as the “Yau-ta-puch-a-berg,” which is a mixture of Indian and Dutch, meaning “John-ear-of-corn-hill.”
    Yautapuchaberg. Cool.

  139. Zwedish does indeed have “farmor” and “farfar” and all the rest. (I don’t know about Danish, but I know which way I’d bet.)
    Our household, meanwhile, has a fairly simple system for grandmothers: one “oma” and one “grandma”. (Not that Boris has even managed first-order kinship terminology yet.)
    And of course I am very willing to board any Platt-related gravy-trains, subject to gravy.

  140. A.J. P. Crown says:

    Le petit Pépé doesn’t sound that deferential to me, Marie-Lucie, but I expect you called him ‘vous’.
    Aha, we’ve been lacking Swedish competence around here. The other Dutch granny thing is Rem Koolhaas’s architectural firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, or OMA.

  141. marie-lucie says:

    Le petit Pépé doesn’t sound that deferential to me, Marie-Lucie, but I expect you called him ‘vous’.
    We (and our parents) referred to him as le petit Pépé, we addressed him as Pépé just like our other grandfather. And we did not call him “vous”, any more than we did other members of our family.
    When we visited our other grandparents (the Occitan ones), my mother seemed to know everyone in their native village and be related to most of them. Our way of identifying relatives was simple: if my mother said tu, they were relatives (and we could do the same), if vous they were not relatives. This broke down occasionally when my mother used tu with someone who was simply a friend, and we children should have said vous.

  142. Lots of “too”s:
    Zwedish does indeed have “farmor” and “farfar” and all the rest. Yes, Danish too. But the Danes also have “bedstefar” and “bedstemor”, which is nonspecific. Makes it more convenient for the grandkids to talk about shared grandparents, if nothing else.
    But a full cast of German-speaking actors outside the German-speaking world? The Danes have that sometimes, too. (I’ve seen it!)
    In my family, our two grandmothers looked quite different… That happened in my mom’s family, too!–Little Grandma and Big Grandma.
    And to come to the original topic–both women were Swedish, so mormor and farmor should have worked perfectly well, but my mom’s generation was raised with only a little Swedish. Like some nursery rhymes, which were used for my generation, too. (Rida rida ranka, anyone?)

  143. Oma and opa is nothing. If you want borrowing of kinship terms, try Kwarandzyey (Korandje) – yəmma “mother”, yəmma-ħənna “grandmother”, `ammi “paternal uncle”, xari “maternal uncle”, ləlla “aunt”, aḍəbbəṛ “male in-law” and tsaḍəbbəṛts “female in-law” are all variously borrowed from Arabic or Berber, and these are all the unmarked and only words for the concepts, not terms of address or anything. “Father” (əbba) is probably borrowed too, though the case is less clearcut. Pretty much only “brother”, “sister”, “son”, “daughter”, and the suffix for “step-” are retained from Songhay.

  144. Etienne says:

    Marie-Lucie-
    Thanks for explaining the distinction between kinship terms of reference and terms of address. But even acknowledging that the Maori English terms are instances of the former, it is certainly remarkable: French kinship terms which made their way into English are but a tiny subset of a flood of French loans found in English (as is the case, I believe, for the Arabic and Berber terms in Korandje Songhay: do correct me if am wrong on this, Lameen), whereas in the case of Maori English I am sure there are very few Dutch loans: that among these we find these kinship terms is rather unexpected.
    Mab: “Yau-ta-puch-a-berg”/ “John ear-of-corn hill”. Apart from “berg” I don’t recognize anything, but then I am no Dutch or Mohawk specialist: I do know, however, that labial stops or do not exist in Mohawk (save in recent French and English loanwords), making me wonder where the third word, “puch”, comes from. As for the first word: handwritten “u” and “n” are often hard to tell apart, and so I am wondering whether this isn’t “Yan” instead of “Yau”, in which case Dutch JAAN would seem a likely-enough etymology.
    I have a family connection to this too: an ancestor of mine was a French migrant to New France who, in the mid-seventeenth century, was taken captive by Mohawks raiding the island of Montreal and sold into slavery to the Dutch in New Amsterdam: he managed to escape from his captors a few years later. If there was a Mohawk-Dutch contact language of some kind he may very well have been exposed to it during the initial stages of his captivity…

  145. David Marjanović says:

    “Oma” and “Opa” are darn good names. The German is quite similar.

    Or identical, depending on… probably the region.

    at least one early Afrikaans text containing specimens (parodies?) of what seems to be poorly-mastered Afrikaans spoken by (still francophone) Huguenots: one of its features was the replacement of Afrikaans /x/ by /k/

    Afrikaans does seem to have reversed /sx/ to /sk/: “the skull” is die skedel in Afrikaans, der Schädel in German, and therefore presumably de schedel in Dutch (I’m reconstructing here).
    In case you wonder about my choice of vocabulary, all Afrikaans I’ve seen was in the titles and abstracts of (otherwise English) papers on the plentiful Permian fossils of South Africa by authors with names like Lieuwe Dirk Boonstra.

    After all, “basic” vocabulary (like kinship terms) isn’t supposed to be borrowed that easily.

    Well, French oncle, (t)ante, cousin, cousine swept over just about all of Europe in the 18th century, apparently in a pretty short time…
    (With complications. For example, German simply lacked terms for all of these — it had four independent words for maternal/paternal uncle/aunt, and AFAIK none for cousins; and cousin/e has arrived in Russian, but still not in BCSM, where “brother/sister” is still used instead.)

    undergang [...] underpass

    Hmmm. A Czech/Polish situation, methinks. German Untergang: 1) the act of the sun setting; 2) the act of a ship sinking; 3) the act of the world ending; 4) the act of an empire or similar falling — the movie Downfall is Der Untergang in the original, and there’s always Oswald Spengler’s wonderfully erudite and wacky book Der Untergang des Abendlandes (1930s through 50s in various editions), which predicted the end of the Occidental Civilization™.

    My family moved to the area when I was a kid, and in the beginning we even tried to speak Platt, but people quite quickly made us understand that if you’re not a native Platt speaker, better don’t try. Platt used to be low prestige and at the same time a badge of identity, so people weren’t used to outsiders speaking it; if you tried, you were taken for an impostor or for someone trying to make fun of the natives.

    In my last year of school in Linz, there was a Hungarian in my class who had arrived at age 6 without speaking German at all, but meanwhile spoke not just the standard but also the dialect like a native. However, anyone above that age is really not supposed to learn it (unless if natively speaking a similar dialect) — despite the lack of low prestige of dialects in Austria except Vienna. The diglossia situation means that Standard German is spoken to outsiders, period.

    But a full cast of German-speaking actors outside the German-speaking world? The Danes have that sometimes, too. (I’ve seen it!)

    Wohl den Dänen und denen, denen die Dänen wohl sind!
    (Not original — I’d have expanded it to wohl denn den Dänen… –, though I’m not sure about the source. Also, the pun doesn’t work somewhere in northern and/or western Germany, where they have a separate /æː/.)

  146. marie-lucie says:

    Etienne:
    French kinship terms which made their way into English are but a tiny subset of a flood of French loans found in English … , whereas in the case of Maori English I am sure there are very few Dutch loans: that among these we find these kinship terms is rather unexpected.
    I agree, but if they are indeed from Dutch it could be because they filled a gap in the native system, or the native language tolerated a lot of variation in nicknames, or they came from one particular area where there was Dutch family whose children became friendly with some Maori children, or whatever reason, but these terms (easy to say in terms of Maori phonology and small children’s abilities) somehow spread, while there was no reason to adopt other Dutch terms (presumably, by the time there was some Maori-Dutch contact there had long been much more pervasive Maori-English contact).

  147. marie-lucie says:

    David M: French oncle, (t)ante, cousin, cousine swept over just about all of Europe in the 18th century, apparently in a pretty short time…
    I think that was due to the cultural prestige of French at that time. When I was a student I read Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister in German and I was astonished at the number of French words in the text.

  148. marie-lucie says:

    p.s. Besides, those terms are not “basic” kin terms like those for parents and children but “secondary” terms, for other relatives.

  149. My mother referred to her Danish grandfather as “bestefar”. His wife died young so there was no grandmother to talk about. I think the Norwegian side was all gone by that time too–everyone’s parents seemed to die early in those days and they were taken in by relatives whose own parents had died young, so not much was remembered from the old country.

  150. Etienne — very interesting. I’m really enjoying all these ancestors stories.
    Since I don’t know Mohawk or Dutch, I have no idea if that quote sounds likely. And it was written in 1869 (and scanned into a computer), so it might be off. Can anyone else out there comment?

  151. A.J. P. Crownstra says:

    names like Lieuwe Dirk Boonstra.
    Friesian.

  152. bruessel says:

    @ David:
    Here’s the version I’ve heard:
    Das Leben meint es gut mit Dänen und mit denen, denen Dänen nahestehen. (I think it was in a TV portrait of the Danish actress Vivi Bach).

  153. Most sources do indeed give Yan-.

  154. marie-lucie says:

    Mohawk language: I found the following contact on Wikipedia::
    kor @ korkahnawake.org Kahnawà:ke Cultural Center

  155. Christophe Strobbe says:

    Why did Dutch hang on, when the languages of other immigrants, like the Germans, Italians and Poles, typically disappear within a generation or two?

    I’m not in the least surprised. After all, Dutch was the language of Adam and Eve, at least according to Goropius Becanus. ;-)

    It’s hard to find a person who does not speak one or two foreign languages fluently.

    I remember a Eurobarometer survey (referenced from the EU’s Language Learning pages) that was discussed in the newspapers: Flemish journalists were surprised about the finding that the Dutch had better foreign language skills than the Belgians. I think two explanations were offered:
    (1) the survey made no distinction between Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia (according to another survey, foreign language skills were significantly better in Flanders than in Wallonia);
    (2) the survey was based on self-reported competences, and people in Flanders are less confident about their language skills than the Dutch.
    So…

    But a full cast of German-speaking actors outside the German-speaking world? I’m sure the Netherlands is the only place where a director could have pulled such a trick.

    Try Flanders ;-)

  156. I believe you mean “according to Goropius Becanus.”

  157. marie-lucie says:

    LH, I tried both links, and unfortunately in yours it is not possible (at least for me) to access Jim Bisso’s other comments. But readers not familiar with GB can get information either at the link in Christophe Strobbe’s comments, or at Wikipedia.
    Language Log’s Goropius Becanus Prize does not seem to have been attributed of late, unless I have missed a lot.

  158. David Marjanović says:

    I think that was due to the cultural prestige of French at that time.

    Of course.

    Friesian.

    Of course (the surname).

    Das Leben meint es gut mit Dänen und mit denen, denen Dänen nahestehen.

    This totally threw me off, because it requires that Dänen/denen rhymes with stehen — but, actually, it does in much of Germany, where people have no problem with a syllabic /n/ following a non-syllabic /n/.

  159. Christophe Strobbe says:

    I believe you mean “according to Goropius Becanus.”

    *blush* Sorry, LH, I had missed that blog post.
    PS By the way, people from Antwerp sometimes jokingly say that their dialect is a world language.
    PPS I’m not from Antwerp.

  160. *blush* Sorry, LH, I had missed that blog post.
    Don’t be silly, there’s no reason you should have known about it! But I’m quite fond of my first post, and I take what rare opportunities I get to link to it.

  161. John Emerson says:
  162. A.J. P. Crown says:

    If you know English, German and Norwegian you may as well just say you can speak Dutch too. I might even try a whodunnit.

  163. Christophe Strobbe says:

    Hi John,
    That reminds me: at secondary school, our Latin teacher also gave us some of Janus Secundus‘ Basia to read, even though it wasn’t part of the standard curriculum. I think we also read more Catullus than we were supposed to.
    I assume he sometimes thought of those curricula as straightjackets: he later quit his job as a teacher and became editor of the cultural journal Ons Erfdeel.
    For those who are interested in the culture of the Low Countries: Ons Erfdeel also has a journal in English (The Low Countries) and one in French (Septentrion).

  164. John Emerson says:

    It doesn’t strike me as implausible that some of the neo-Latin poets ca. 1600 might be great poets.

  165. I tried, without success, to locate the article in BU’s collection of De Halve maen which zaelic remembers. There is an index, but they don’t have it. Their run ends in the mid-80′s, though The Holland Society appears to still be going strong.
    I don’t doubt that something was there. As well as multi-page articles, there are lots of single paragraph mentions of members and somewhat longer obituaries.
    What I did find mostly confirmed the overall narrative. In “Story of the Low Dutch Language, I” (Vol. LVI, No. 3), Van Cleef Bachman (someone has listed another article of his, “What is Low Dutch?” in LT), says:

    Very few children learned Dutch anywhere much after 1850.

    In “Survival of the Dutch Language in New York and New Jersey” (Vol. LVIII, No. 3), Charles Gehring says:

    Unless there are still speakers of Laeg-Duits living in some isolated region of the Catskills, the only remains of the language survive in a handful of words adopted by American English and the nursery rhyme “Trippa, Troppa, Trontje.”

  166. There is a Wikipedia article on Mohawk Dutch. Mostly, it’s just a link to a few pages in a GB Full View book in a somewhat rambling footnote.
    In addition to a possible creole, the term seems to also just mean the dialect of Dutch spoken in the Mohawk Valley, and so contrasted with Jersey Dutch.
    In that “What is Low Dutch?” article, Van Cleef Bachman does mention some possible Lenape words in Jersey Dutch: hespaan, tekym, and part of spanbontrok. And Iroquois in Mohawk Dutch: part of tjonniedaag, akwiejas and snikendas. (I have no particular clue what any of those words means.)

  167. hespaan and suikerdas (miscopied in my list above, sorry) mean ‘raccoon’.

  168. John Emerson says:

    Has no one mentioned Rip Van Winkle yet? This avoidance of the obvious cliche is terribly elitist.

  169. Was he Mohawk?

  170. A.J. P. Hkroun says:

    The actor Rip Torn is a cousin of Sissy Spacek and is married to Geraldine Page.

  171. Is he Mohawk??

  172. A.J. P. HkCo says:

    No, of course not. Sissy Spacek isn’t a Mohawk, either. Nor is Geraldine Page. They are, of course, Maori.

  173. David Marjanović says:
  174. “The Flemish Bastard (also known as Smiths John) was a Canadian Mohawk chief from 1650 to 1687. He has been described as an astute diplomat and he has been considered the primary spokesman for the pro-French faction of Canada.”
    The things you learn around here!

  175. michael farris says:

    “Sissy Spacek isn’t a Mohawk, either. Nor is Geraldine Page. They are, of course, Maori”
    And not Dravidian after all?

  176. the Flemish bastard
    This goes against everything I have been taught about native American history. Supposedly the French were the only benevolent nationality in the dealings with the tribes. They trapped for a couple of years, married someone Indian, then when the area was trapped out they moved on, sending their children to be educated in France. Some of the early Indian leaders were supposed to have been half-French and half Algonquin, educated in Europe and with enough understanding of European ways to have held off the encroaching population pressures, in the case of the 5 or 6 Algonquin tribes, for close to a hundred years.
    Now in the space of a few days, I find out that not all Dutch and English had an extermination policy towards the Indians. Apparently one of my illustrious ancestors was an Englishman who married an Algonquin woman and now we have the offspring of a Dutchman and a Mohawk.

  177. marie-lucie says:

    Nijma,
    The policies of governments are not necessarily in step with the lives of individuals.

  178. A.J. P. Iffy says:

    I had to google that, Marie-Lucie, to see if it was a quotation; but it isn’t, apparently. Well done, it’s a jolly good line.

  179. marie-lucie says:

    Well no, it is not a quotation, otherwise I would have given some indication of it.

  180. “The policies of governments are not necessarily in step with the lives of individuals.”
    Now it’s a quotation!

  181. marie-lucie says:

    Yes, but now you are quoting, I wasn’t.

  182. The policies of governments are not necessarily in step with the lives of individuals.
    It’s all coming back to me now. The pronouncements of certain unnamed government(s) about what individuals were expected to do (or not do) in order to keep their positions…and the remarkable ability of certain Jesuit priests to keep their mouths shut about what ceremonies they had performed….

  183. marie-lucie says:

    Nijma, just what are you implying with all those dots? If you have something to say, just say it.

  184. I have heard that certain individuals employed abroad by certain governments are forbidden from marrying, or perhaps just from marrying foreign nationals without permission, which is rarely granted. There are probably very good reasons for this. There are also *probably* people who circumvent these rules. Love will find a way.

  185. You may recall I did teach ESL abroad for several years.

  186. marie-lucie says:

    I am beginning to see what you are probably talking about, but your earlier posting what cryptic to say the least.

  187. marie-lucie says:

    oops! … was cryptic …

  188. John Emerson says:

    Dead thread presumably, but in 1917 Minnesota had more than 100,000 kids in German-language public schools, and more in German-language Catholic schools. It was an enormous political issue, and the negativity had to have an impact.
    In my grad class in 1964 there were at least German speakers out of 70 kids, and my town (at the edge of the German bloc) was only 1/3 German at most.

  189. bruessel says:

    “The actor Rip Torn is a cousin of Sissy Spacek and is married to Geraldine Page.”
    Geraldine Page died in 1987. Rip Torn is married to Amy Wright now.

  190. John Emerson says:

    “in my HS grad class in 1964 there were at least two German speakers among the 70 graduates (3%).”

  191. No thread is dead until I personally drive a stake through its heart.

  192. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Rip Torn is married to Amy Wright now.
    I didn’t know that. Is she Mohawk or Dutch?*
    *I’m only asking for Language

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