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The boundary between "us" and "them": readers and the non-English word in the fiction of Canadian Mennonite… Janzen, Beth E. 1993

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The Boundary between "Us" and "Them"Readers and the non-English wordin the fiction of Canadian Mennonite WritersbyBeth Ellen JanzenB.A., The University of Guelph, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREEMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of English)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1993© Beth Ellen Janzen, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of Enty 1;6 IL  The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Serie444 fa ,28-; DE-6 (2/88)AbstractThis study asks whether the use of non-English words in thenovels of Canadian Mennonites perpetuates a cultural binary, andconcludes that it does not. The use of the non-English word,rather than enforcing a binary between "us and them", ultimatelyreveals that cultural boundaries are permeable and unstable.Recent reader-response theory, which sees the reader as alwaysinfluenced by a context, is central to this inquiry. Analysis ofreaders' responses in the form of questionnaires constitutes partof the support for my assertions, while an examination oftypography, orthography, interlanguage, and theme in three novelsby Canadian Mennonites provides the balance.Chapter one lays the theoretical framework for theinvestigation. It discusses: reader-response theory and theimpossibility of accessing a stable textual meaning coincidentalwith the author's intention, the challenge of the non-English wordto the concept of universality, and the distinction between proper"English" and non-institutional "english". Chapter two examinessome readers' responses to non-English words and finds that"inside" readers have interpretations in common with "outside"readers, and that variations exist between the interpretations of"inside" readers. A binary model is too simplistic to encompassthe range of contexts frOm which readers read. Chapter threediscusses typography, orthography, and interlanguage in relation to(Low) German, and suggests the importance of these features to adiscussion of the texts. Chapters four through six examine RudyWiebe's The Blue Mountains of China (1970), Anne Konrad's The BlueJar (1985), and Armin Wiebe's The Salvation of Yasch Siemens (1984)respectively. Each novel's thematic concern with culturalboundaries serves as a framework for interpreting its physical andlinguistic features. Chapter seven concludes by examining theinfluence of my own fragmented identity on the development of myargument, and revisits the issue of authorial intent in ourpolitically less-than-perfect world. A lengthy appendix serves asa pluralistic glossary to the texts, and contains the responses tomy questionnaires. A brief section outlines some of the Appendix'sinteresting patterns and trends. An index to the appendix isprovided since the appendix is not arranged alphabetically.ivTable of ContentsAbstractTable of Contents^ ivAcknowledgement1: Reader-response Theory and the Non-English word^12: Readers' Responses to the non-English word 143: Orthography, Typography, Interlanguage^ 234: The Blue Mountains of China by Rudy Wiebe 285: The Blue Jar by Anne Konrad^ 376: The Salvation of Yasch Siemens by Armin Wiebe^477: A Reader's Response^ 54Works Cited^ 58Works Consulted 62Appendix: Readers' Responses^ 67The Salvation of Yasch Siemens^ 69The Blue Mountains of China 101The Blue Jar^ 108The Missing Child 119Final comments 119Comments on the Appendix^ 121Index of Non-English Words and Phrases^ 124AcknowledgementI would like to thank Professor Krtiller for her supervision of thisthesis, and for the stimulating discussions we shared while I wasdoing the reading course which led up to this study. I would alsolike to thank Professor Ricou and Professor Smith, the othermembers of my committee, for their participation and input.I would like to point out that this thesis was written WITHOUT theaid of potato chips, chocolate, sugar, or in fact any junk food(not even Zwieback), and that any of its shortcomings can probablybe attributed to this sad fact! Due to the aforementioned dearthof interesting edibles, I was a particularly difficult thesis-writer to be around; I therefore appreciate(d) the support of myfriends and family all the more. Thanks to Catherine, the othermembers of BECK (Kathy & Elaine), Gabi & Julie & Nancy for alwaysbeing there for me--and for having faith in me when I had none, tomy Aunt and Uncle for all the help, and to Mom and Dad for theircontinued love & support (beyond the call of duty) and for the time& energy they put into helping with this project. And thanks,Jamie, for putting up with so much thesis-whining, for picking upmy organic vegetables, and for being such a wonderful friend andpartner.1I: Reader-response Theory and the Non-English wordW.J. Keith, in a discussion of non-English words in RudyWiebe's The Blue Mountains of China, observes: "One should.. .havefaith that if Wiebe (or any other responsible writer) [feels] thatthe meaning of any word [is] essential, it ...[will be]...explainedin some way" (Keith, "Where" 96). Keith's comments reveal a beliefthat a "responsible" author makes a contract with the reader; heor she promises to make his or her "meaning" accessible, ready tobe discovered. This belief assumes first of all that a text hassome objective, stable meaning; and second, that this meaning issomehow related to (or coincidental with) the author's intentions.Keith, in his discussion of his reaction to non-English words inWiebe's novel, is responding to an argument made by Hildi FroeseTiessen that foreign words in the literature written by CanadianMennonites constitute a boundary that alienates "outside readers"(Tiessen, "Stranger" 50).1 Keith and Tiessen disagree aboutwhether a knowledge of German and/or Low German is essential to anunderstanding of the "meaning" of the texts in which words in theselanguages appear. In other words, are the texts "accessible"?Keith rejects the suggestion that Wiebe would write a text which isnot "universal" (universally accessible to everyone). Even ifWiebe intended to write a universally accessible text, however,(which is a reasonable assumption according to Penelope Van Toorn'spersuasive argument in "Rudy Wiebe and the Historicity of the1 She expands this argument in "Mother Tongue as Shibbolethin the Literature of Canadian Mennonites." The second article isthe one to which Keith is specifically responding.2Word"), it does not mean that Rudy Wiebe's intended message(evangelical or otherwise) will be understood by all readers.Keith's essay is marked by the interests of reader-responsecriticism. Reader-response criticism is "a term that has come tobe associated with the works of critics who use the words reader,the reading process, and response to mark out an area ofinvestigation" (Tompkins ix). Keith frames the debate betweenhimself and Tiessen in terms of reader-response. In reference toTiessen's argument that Mennonites have traditionally used language"to effect separation from and nonconformity to the world" (Tiessen"Shibboleth" 182), Keith comments:Now I have no wish to dispute that argument. It seems to mea perfectly valid point to make--and an extremely interestingone so far as I am concerned, since I hadn't thought of thematter in these terms. But I do feel the need to observe thatthis argument itself represents a decidedly Mennoniteperspective (and is valuable because of this). As a non-Mennonite, however, I look at the matter very differently.("Where" 95)I find this exchange intriguing enough to refer to it at somelength. Keith's reader-response strategy sets up an "us and them"binary between himself and Tiessen; this binary is precisely whatTiessen proposes that Mennonite writers are perpetuating in theiruse of non-English words (Tiessen, "Stranger" 50). Presumably, anon-Mennonite could assign the same significance to non-Englishwords in these texts as Tiessen has. The fact that Mennonites havetraditionally used language as a barrier is clearly explained anddramatized in Rudy Wiebe's novel Peace Shall Destroy Many (1962).3Although Tiessen's reading is influenced by her culturalbackground, no essential ethnic component controls and createsTiessen's reading of the text. Keith is arguing that bothMennonites and non-Mennonites have equal access to the "meaning" ofthe text, but at the same time he is making a gesture towardTiessen's "Mennoniteness", her ethnicity, and thereforedistinguishing her interpretation on this basis.On the topic of the binary component in ethnic identity, IrenePortis Winner states:Ethnic identity arises from the universal situation thatcultures are not isolated. They are either pluralistic,composed of ever-changing interrelated subcultures, or atleast they are in contact with other cultural groups. Themembers of a particular culture or subculture considerthemselves as "We" as opposed to, and differentiated from, the"other". Thus an ethnic group exists only in opposition tosome other ethnic group. (412)Winner's point that cultures are composed of "pluralistic ever-changing interrelated subcultures" emphasizes that although membersof a group see themselves as defined by their differentiation frommembers of another group, relationships are always changing. Noessential2 difference exists between ethnic groups; ethnicity isa cultural construction. "Ethnic" is usually defined as being incontrast to a dominant culture. The dominant culture sees itself2^I use "essential" as an antonym to "constructed".Essential as essence.4and its values as "universal".3 When it comes to a discussion ofliterature, "ethnic literature" is often seen as being inopposition to "mainstream literature". But mainstream literatureis, of course, ethnic literature as well. Perhaps in response tothis social and economic pressure, reviewers of Mennonite writerssometimes find it necessary to assert that the texts they arereviewing are "universal".4Early reader-response theorists like Stanley Fish, forexample, thought that criticism should focus on the readingexperience. But he posited a reader who reads according to aparticular set of codes which Fish sees as universal: "the readerreacts to the words on the page in one way rather than anotherbecause he operates according to the same set of rules that theauthor used to generate them [my italics]" (Tompkins xvii). Thenon-English word, however, foregrounds the fact that authors andreaders cannot wholly operate according to the same sets of codes.In "Literature in the Reader", Fish talks about the application ofhis theories in the classroom; he teaches his students "torecognize and discount what is idiosyncratic in their ownresponses" (Fish 99). The idiosyncrasies of an individualresponse, however, are an expression of the context of the reader.3 From the Oxford English Dictionary, meaning 3.a.: "Of orpertaining to the universe in general or all things in it;existing or occurring everywhere or in all things; occas., of orbelonging to all nature."4 For example: "Thus a narrative poem like Patrick Friesen'sThe Shunning has as its theme a particular Mennonite beliefpractice, but its appeal is universal" (Loewen, "Witness" 113).Peter Pauls' review of another Friesen volume makes the same claim:"In Unearthly Horses Friesen describes his own personal spiritualjourney but it is one that is also universal" (166).5The use of non-English words in Mennonite writing draws attentionto the context of the reader's ethnicity because the form of LowGerman called "Plautdietsch" is closely associated with aparticular ethnic group, the Mennonites; the reader is unlikely toknow the language through scholarship although he or she may knowHigh German.5 As Harry Loewen writes in his article about thereception of Mennonite literature, "It goes without saying that thereception and interpretation of Canadian-Mennonite literaturevaries, depending in part on the background from which the criticis writing" (Loewen, "Mennonite Literature" 126).Jane Tompkins' excellent introduction to reader-responsecriticism traces a chronological movement. The movement beginswith a critical interest in a reader's interaction with a meaningwhich is present in the text, and develops into the criticalposition which asserts that meaning resides with the reader, orthat the reader creates the text by reading. Keith and Tiessenboth work from the position which posits the author's intentions asthe repository of a text's meaning. If this position is abandonedin favour of the later developments in reader-response criticism,however, a more interesting exploration of the significance of non-English words is possible.6 Walter Benn Michaels' article "The5 However, a course in Low German exists at the University ofWinnipeg. Also, I do not mean to suggest that to be Mennonite youmust speak Plautdietsch (Low German). See Why I am a Mennonite fora range of opinions on this issue.6 Logocentrism "involves the belief that sounds are simply arepresentation of meanings which are present in the consciousnessof the speaker. The signifier is but a temporary representationthrough which one moves to get at the signified....And the writtenword is an even more derivative and imperfect form: it is therepresentation of a sound sequence which is itself a representation(continued...)6Interpreter's Self: Peirce on the Cartesian 'Subject'" discusseswhy abandoning the pose of neutrality in interpretation does notrelease anarchy in the realm of criticism. He shows that "sincethe self is already an interpretation as well as an interpreter, itis not radically impose its own meanings on any and alltexts (Tompkins xxiv). The self is not "free to assert itssubjectivity" (Michaels 198). Michaels sees the illusion ofobjective neutrality or free subjectivity as "simply the flip sidesof the context-free self, active and passive; one generates anyinterpretation it pleases, the other denies that it interprets atall" (199) He goes on to say:...the self is already embedded in a context, the community ofinterpretation or system of signs. The rhetoric of thecommunity of interpretation emphasizes the role readers playin constituting texts, while the rhetoric of the self as signin a system of signs emphasizes the role texts play inconstituting consciousness--the strategy in each case is tocollapse the distinction between the interpreter and what heinterprets... .The most we can say is that we can choose ourinterpretations but we can't choose our range of choices.(199)6 (...continued)of the thought. Interpretation by this model, is a nostalgic andretrospective process, an attempt to recover the concepts whichwere present to the consciousness of the speaker or writer at thetime of writing. And of course for logocentrism, as indeed is thecase with Saussure, the sign is the fundamental unit; phonemes andletters are simply convenient devices which in combination can beused to represent the essence of the sign, which is the signified....meaning should not be something that we simply recover butsomething that we produce or create; interpretation shouldtransform the world, not merely attempt to recover a past...."(Culler, Saussure 109).7In other words, we interpret the texts in a particular way becauseof our contexts: we are never freely independent readers. Thetext also constitutes how we look at our self as a sign. Do wethink of ourselves as "outsiders" or "insiders"? The non-Englishword foregrounds the necessity for examining the context of thereader. Similar interpretations of texts exist because some peoplelearn to read and interpret literature according to similar codes:they read from similar contexts. A reader's context is clearly thekey to his or her interpretation of non-English words, in mattersof meaning and of significance; a reader's context is thereforethe key to his or her interpretation of the text.The concept of ethnicity is a cultural construction. Winnerexplains that ethnic identity is based on a binary between "we" and"they". But she also points out that relationships are alwayschanging. The boundaries between different cultures andsubcultures are permeable and unstable. A collection like Why I ama Mennonite illustrates the range of opinions about the category"Mennonite" and who belongs in it. Tensions exist in the groupbetween those who see "Mennonite" as a primarily ethnic categoryand those who see it as a religious category (or want torevolutionize it so that it will be one). Historically, it was ofutmost importance for Mennonites to maintain a distance betweenthemselves and the outside world to avoid corruption and"worldliness".7 Language is a key site of theological upheaval;it is a battleground for resisting assimilation. German was used7 But linguistic differences also prohibited the conversionof the people in the surrounding cultures to Christianity, or toMennonite doctrine. This tension is dramatized in Wiebe's firstnovel Peace Shall Destroy Many.8as a barrier to keep Mennonites separate from the culture aroundthem. The fact that "cultures are not isolated" (Winner 412) meansthat separatism must be used as a conscious strategy to preventassimilation, or, for the more fundamentalist groups of Mennonites,as a strategy to avoid contamination from more liberal Mennonites.The differences between the Kanadier8 (Mennonites who immigratedto North America before 1900) and Russlander (Mennonites whoimmigrated later) are of this kind. The differences between thesetwo groups is also a linguistic one as my relatives and parentshave pointed out, and as Rudy Wiebe has illustrated in The BlueMountains of China. Keith regards the non-English word as "amysterious sign that establishes connection or otherness dependingupon the reader's origin" ("Where" 96), but the plurality ofMennonite groups reveals that the categories are not as simple asa binary between "us" and "them". Mennonites are not a monolithicgroup or culture. As Margaret Loewen Reimer writes:No two groups [of Mennonites] are quite alike. On the otherhand, there are many similarities and it is often difficult tounderstand •and appreciate the multitude of splits andbreakaways which have occurred. (6)Eugeen Roosens states, " ethnic group is first of all, a formof social organization in which the participants themselves makeuse of certain cultural traits from their past, a past which may ormay not be verifiable historically...." (12). Roosens claims thatgroups give themselves markers of difference and choose which8^Different spellings of "Canadier" exist as well."Kanadier" is a more German version of the word.9things will define themselves as members of that group.9 Thenumber of subcultures within the Mennonite group makes consensusdifficult.1°In her introduction to Acts of Concealment Tiessen suggests:Post-colonial literary theory may well prove to be instructivein any future study of the development and place of theliterature of the Mennonites in Canada in so far as it hasfocused on how language and writing in post-colonial cultureshave been appropriated for use away from a "privileged norm"or dominant cultural centre.... (12)The Empire Writes Back claims that the post-colonial author makesuse of particular strategies to mark his or her text as differentfrom the dominant culture. "Cultural difference is not inherent inthe text but is inserted by...strategies" (Ashcroft 65). The textdoes not display these markings as an expression of some kind ofgenetic ethnicity. The non-English word is "metonymic of culturaldifference" (Ashcroft 52). According to this argument, the use of(Low) German words by Mennonite authors could be interpreted as adeliberate strategy to mark a text as different from the dominantculture. Fish comments that readers and writers operate accordingto the same code. The non-English word, however, is part of adifferent kind of code which might be called "english" according toAshcroft et al. and their theory of writing. Ashcroft and his9 Obviously, the same thing happens in the larger culture.The larger culture decides which traits they will characterize anethnic group by.10 In this context it is important to mention the work of theMennonite Historical society, who, through its translation andpublication of documents pertaining to Mennonite history, createsa version of history which can become institutionalized.10collaborators make a distinction between "English" and "english":We need to distinguish between what is proposed as a standardcode, English (the language of the erstwhile imperial centre),and the linguistic code, english, which has been transformedand subverted into several distinctive varieties throughoutthe world. (8)I propose to use the same distinction throughout this discussion."English" will denote the English of dictionary meanings, while"english" will be synonymous with the non-official language use.When I refer to the "non-English" word, then, I am referring to aword that is unlikely to show up in the OED, or any otherdictionary of "proper" English.English is increasingly seen as a "universal" mode ofcommunication.11 Whether using non-English words, or using thevernacular in prairie poetry (Cooley), each constitutes a challengeto the universal status of English, and rather emphasizes that manyenglishes exist. Naomi Schor argues in her book The Theory of theDetail that inclusion of specific details in the evolution ofpainting and sculpture was seen as a challenge to the platonicideal of universal beauty and forms: "The censure of theparticular is one of the enabling gestures of neo-classicism, whichrecycled into the modern age the classical equation of the Idealwith the absence of all particularity" (Schor 3). Merle Good, anAmerican Mennonite writer comments on the traditional antagonismbetween novelist and religious fundamentalist in similar terms:11 Magdalene Redekop argues that the difficulty Jakob Friesenencounters at the airport in The Blue Mountains of China indicatesthat English is increasingly becoming a "lowest common denominator"("Translated" 113).11"In telling stories, we assume that if you want to communicate anidea like forgiveness, the less specific it is, the more universalit will be. And I think the church has quarrelled with this overthe centuries" (Pinsker 60). Of course universality can never beachieved. Even Jesus' parables are culturally marked; theyreflect the culture in which they were written. The presence ofnon-English words in a text, by foregrounding the "particular", isa challenge to the concept of universality itself.This challenge to universality does not create a stableboundary between minority culture and dominant culture, however.Rather than enforcing a binary between "us and them", the use ofthe non-English word in the texts of Canadian Mennonites ultimatelyreveals that the cultural boundaries between "us" and "them" arepermeable, ambivalent, unstable. 12 My discussion will be basedprimarily on three quite different novels by Canadian Mennoniteauthors: Rudy Wiebe's The Blue Mountains of China (1970), AnneKonrad's The Blue Jar (1985) and Armin Wiebe's The Salvation ofYasch Siemens (1984). In choosing to call these authors"Mennonite", I am side-stepping the question of identity andfollowing Hildi Tiessen's definition of a Mennonite artist", sinceit is she who asserts that Mennonites are producing "an insiderliterature" ("Stranger" 51). Reader-response theory is importantI am not arguing that this "message" is the intent of theauthors, or that it will be evident to all readers.Actually, Tiessen provides a definition of Mennonite art:"...Mennonite literature and art consist of work which has beenproduced by individuals who were nurtured within a Mennonitecommunity, who--especially during their formative years--had accessto the inside of the Gemeinschaft. Whether they chose later towithdraw in part or in whole from the Mennonites is--for mypurposes here--irrelevant..." ("Role" 237).12to my investigation for several reasons. Examining readers'responses to features of these texts reveals the binary between"us" and "them" to be arbitrary. Readers from the "outside" groupsometimes interpret unfamiliar words in a similar way to those inthe "inside" group, despite their cultural difference. And readersfrom the "inside" group produce a surprising diversity ofinterpretation. Thus, while cultural contexts are integral tointerpretation, the construction of an "us" and "them" binary isnot an adequate model. Reader-response theory is also importantfor situating my own interpretation of the texts' features.Ethnographic discourse is present in these texts along with variousforms of direct and indirect glossing; the strategy of glossingseeks to enforce the idea that stable boundaries exist betweencultural groups. Typography in texts, however, plays an importantrole in signalling both difference through italicization, andambivalence through inconsistent usage. The technique of blendingtwo languages (interlanguage) is present in these texts, and isimportant to my discussion of the permeability of boundaries.Finally, the novels have thematic concerns with the permeability ofboundaries which can be interpreted in tandem with the otherstrategies to reveal a fundamental ambivalence about language andethnic identity.Tiessen challenges Canadian Mennonite writers to "augment theaudiences, diminish the ambivalences, and raise the readers'awareness of who the Mennonites were--and who they continue to be"(Tiessen, "Stranger" 51). An exploration of the fiction ofCanadian Mennonites reveals a great deal of ambiguity, but giventhe plural identities of readers, and the shifting nature of the13debate surrounding Mennonite identity (and more generally, ethnicidentity), ambiguity is not only necessary, but desirable in theliterature.142: Readers' Responses to the non-English wordThe Saussurian gap between the signifier and the signifiedmeans that the relationship between a word and its referent isarbitrary. No objective meaning resides in the text for the readerto access. Readers use cultural codes to interpret texts: the waypeople have been institutionally taught to read determines to acertain extent how they will decide upon an acceptableinterpretation. The non-English word foregrounds the fact that thewriter and the reader do not interpret the world using identicalcodes. How do readers figure out what is obviously unknown tothem, what is not included in their conventional code ofinterpretation? In Under the Tumtum Tree: From Nonsense to Sense,Marlene Dolitsky presents her investigation into readers'strategies for interpreting nonsense words as a "key to thephenomenon of linguistic comprehension" (Dolitsky 1).^In herconcluding chapter she summarizes the strategies of readers:When the meaning of neologisms in a partially understandabletext is asked for, interpretation will begin by associationthrough phonetic and orthographic resemblance and may dependon a semantic probability element where meaning must be inagreement with the words in the immediate environment of theneologism as well as in accordance with the frame of the texttaken as a whole" (103)Readers begin with homonyms and rely heavily on context.In the spirit of Dolitsky's work, I have undertaken a small-scale idiosyncratic study of readers' responses to non-English15words in the texts that I am studying (see Appendix A). 14undertook this task partially out of curiosity, but also because Ifelt that a range of answers would be forthcoming, and would serveas a necessary contrast when juxtaposed against my owninterpretations of unfamiliar words in the texts.15 As might beexpected, I found that my readers (myself included) rely heavily onphonetic associations to produce meaning. Dolitsky found that:The participant, when presented with a free morpheme,immediately matches it to a conventionally coded homonym whosemeaning is known, which is then assigned to the 'unknownslot'.^Unknown linguistic signs are associated with andautomatically translated into known linguistic signs. (20)Homonymic strategies are key to hazarding a guess at a word'smeaning. As a reader who understands a little High German throughUniversity training and no Low German, I use homonymic strategiesto relate foreign words to English ones. The fact that English isa Germanic language cannot be ignored; it probably affects myinterpretations of texts and ensures a reasonably satisfactoryinterpretation of unfamiliar words. The homonymic strategy isquite useful in hazarding interpretations of words in Armin Wiebe'sI do not pretend that my questionnaires were in any wayobjective or scientific. As such, the responses have satisfied mycuriosity and been extremely helpful in the definition of mybeliefs about readers' responses to texts. Dolitsky's study,although it is presented in a scientific framework of linguisticexploration, is constructed from her subjective assumptions andinterpretation of her data. Unlike Dolitsky, I provide the readerof this study with my questionnaires and the responses in anappendix for him or her to peruse and contemplate; Dolitsky, forthe most part, only presents her reader with her conclusions.15 See "Comments on the Appendix" (page 121) for furtherinformation.16The Salvation of Yasch Siemens. For example, "Christlich" (17) iseasily recognizable as "Christlike"; and "gruelich" (78) Iconstrue as similar to the English word "gruesome". The Low Germandictionary gives a meaning for "griilijch": "fearful, frightful"(Rempel 48). Another example: Yasch says, "my heart starts toclapper real fast". The clapper of a bell serves as a homonym forme in English; I imagine Yasch's heart swinging back in forth inhis chest. What I understand him to mean is that he is excited ornervous. Other readers use homonyms in other languages. One uses"kleppern", "to rattle" (Appendix 86). Another responds,"'Claupaht we'd say in Low German. Rattling would be thetranslation" (Appendix 86). The point that I want to make here, isthat I can understand the phrase reasonably well although I do nothave the linguistic advantages of the two respondents who knowGerman and/or Low German. The word does not create a stableboundary between "insiders" and "outsiders".Homonymic strategies can lead both "insiders" and "outsiders"astray, however (see Appendix). As Dolitsky claims, local contextand larger context is of utmost importance in the interpretation ofthe unfamiliar word. In fact, it is difficult to separate thehomonymic strategy from the contextual one. Words do not havemeanings except in context. A local context is helpful accordingto a non-German-speaking reviewer of The Salvation of YaschSiemens: "...the context always makes clear the meaning of Germanwords. Can't you just hear grandfather 'knacking' sunflower seedsand see him 'qwauleming smoke' from his pipe?..." (Martens)16.Please note that page numbers are not available forspecific quotations from Martens' review.17Martens assumes that when we "hear grandfather 'knacking' we willimagine something similar to what she imagines. She is relying onthe similarity of our interpretive strategies. A larger context isuseful for figuring out a repeated word such as "hartsoft"."Hartsoft" appears throughout Yasch Siemens as a kind ofintensifier word. Rempel in his dictionary of Plautdietsch glossesthe word's meaning as "with force or might" (49). My ownunderstanding of the word is enhanced by the homonymic associationsof "heart" and "soft": something that makes a heart go soft mustbe powerful. My parents 17 , however, who lack the context of thenovel, figure out a similar meaning based on its presence inseveral of the sentences presented to them in my questionnaire(Appendix 87). My father and my Aunt point out the homonym "hard"from the German (Appendix 82). Similarly, I interpret words like"schultenbot" (68) and "hof" (13) in Rudy Wiebe's The BlueMountains of China with some patience by taking note of repetitionand context. The ultimate point of the comparisons I am making17 It might seem odd that I use my father and my mother asreferences in this thesis. By referring to them in their familialrelationship to me, I am continually emphasizing that I am a readerpositioned within a framework, a context; I am not an objective,neutral commentator (nor does this beast exist). It might seemsomewhat unprofessional to use them as sources of information, butother authors writing in the same subject area do not refer toanthropologists' texts on the behaviour of Mennonites (andanthropologists are not objective either...), but to their ownexperience. Some authors give this information as fact while some(like Magdalene Redekop) highlight the personal basis of theirtheoretical positions. It would not make my work any moreobjective if I referred to my father as Edward G. Janzen and mymother as H. Susan Janzen. Likewise, I do not apologize for theidiosyncrasies of the exercise, because under the conditions itwould be beyond the scope of my work to PRETEND to an objective"scientific" study on reader-response. And close inspection of thelinguistic study of Dolitsky reveals her biases clearly, andindicates that the information gleaned is not necessarily"objective fact".18between my interpretationp of words and those of my respondents isthat despite my ignorance of Low German I manage to come up withinterpretations which I find acceptable for producing meaning, andwhich, in many cases are similar to the interpretations of myrespondents who know the languages in question.But I must return to Keith's assumption that if "any...responsible writer...[feels] that the meaning of any word [is]essential, it ...[will be].. .explained in some way" ("Where" 96).Surely I am satisfied with my navigation of the texts because it isthe intent of the authors that I should understand the meaning ofnon-English words? Certain phrases, however, are not easilyunderstandable through a direct gloss, an indirect gloss, obvioushomonyms, or context. Stanley Fish asserts that a simple sentencegives the following message:Because [an easy an comprehensible sentence] gives informationdirectly and simply, it asserts (silently, but effectively)the 'givability', directly and simply, of information; and itis thus an extension of the ordering operation we perform onexperience whenever it is filtered through our temporal-spatial consciousness. In short, it makes sense, in exactlythe way we make (i.e. manufacture) sense of whatever, ifanything, exists outside us; and by making easy sense ittells us that sense can be easily made and that we are capableof easily making it. (75)What message then, is given, by a sentence which is not easilycomprehensible? A phrase from Sandra Birdsell's The Missing Child(1990) mystifies me (but might make perfect sense to some other19reader). 18 The unglossed phrase must be interpreted like mostliterary meaning, from the wider structure of the text using theinterpretive codes and strategies that the reader has masteredculturally and institutionally. "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"appears in Birdsell's The Missing Child in italics. I am intriguedby the possible significance of these words, but can only figureout that they might be an obscenity, which would supply a contrastto the speaker's apparent angelic knowledge of scriptures. Or itcould be another Biblical invocation which foreshadows the doom ofJacob and the valley. Or it could be words he picked up as he andhis mother fled from Germany. I gather that they might be Germanbecause the words are italicized, and because they sound vaguelyGerman to me. Also, the speakers are supposed to be talking inGerman. My respondents have trouble with this phrase, given tothem out of context. My mother writes, "My, My (name) ?" (Appendix119). She makes a guess based on the interpretive codes on whichshe draws. Another respondent hazards "Menetekel--warning"(Appendix 119). Does this response confirm my feeling that thewords might have something to do with a warning or is it simplyanother way of asymptotically approaching the "meaning" of thetext? The words "Tekel" and "Upharsin" might in fact be unfamiliarBiblical allusions.19 By now I am unsure which language thesewords belong to, if any. The boundaries between languages areThe only other "foreign" phrase in the novel is "schnell"(161) which I for one recognize from watching too many Hogan'sHeroes reruns as a child.19 Prof Kr011er comments on my first draft: "You do know it'sthe proverbial writing on the wall, don't you?" See New BibleDictionary, page 760. Dn. 5:25.20blurred. Because I do not know the meaning of these words, they donot necessarily act as a barrier, especially because I cannotpinpoint someone who might easily interpret them, but can also actas a site of fantasy as Dolitsky discovered in her study ofchildren's reactions to nonsense. "It is obvious that, asconventional linguistic code markers are taken away, something mustfill the vacuum to decode the message" (Dolitsky 104). 20 Codes ofliterary interpretation that I have learned institutionally step into fill the gap. The coincidence of my interpretation of thisphrase with Sandra Birdsell's authorial intentions depends uponsimilar codes of interpretation, (in this case institutionallyaccepted literary interpretation) not on my inclusion as an"insider" in one of her ethnic groups.21Another example of a context-dependent phrase which is noteasily understandable comes from Armin Wiebe's novel. When Sadieasks Yasch if he is "taking Oata with", he responds, "Chinga freowmet sukka bestreit" (103). This phrase is quite confusing to me,but I assume from the context that it is some parting shot toSadie. My respondents translate each word in the phrase but cannotmake sense of the whole; my Aunt, however, writes:Children questions with sugar sprinkled—the reply we weregiven when adults didn't want to answer our question. Always20^Dolitsky's use of the phrase "decode the message" impliesthat one message, the "meaning", exists for a text.^Herinterpretation is based on the assumption that literary texts arecommunications between the author and the reader. She points outthat authorial intention is the key to participant interest.Participants must feel that the words have some meaning or valuefor the emitter of the message (14-15).Sandra Birdsell's mother is Mennonite and her father isMetis.21frustrating because the saying made no sense. (Appendix 84)Although several of my respondents know Low German, only oneresponds with recognition, highlighting the fact that readers comefrom many contexts. Not all of the "insider" readers can makesense of the phrase.Thus the binary configuration of "insiders" and "outsiders" toa culture proves to be too simplified a model. The idea of theideal Mennonite reader who can fully understand the "meaning" (astable objective meaning) of the text is not feasible. Theexperiment that I conducted with my readers reveals that theyrecognize some words and not others. Differences exist betweentheir interpretations despite the fact that they grew up inreasonably close proximity to each other and attended the samechurch. The importance of context is paramount. My father doesnot know the exact usage of a certain word "Hingst", something todo with a horse. My mother's comments indicate that she (who grewup on a farm) knows the word (Appendix 70). My father recognizesand glosses the word "zirks" because of his interest in mechanics,while my mother does not recognize the word at all (Appendix 100).The cultural context is important to the reader, but many othercontexts are equally important: Russlander versus Kanadier (myparents and relatives are Russlânder), farmer family versus teacherfamily, and male versus female. My mother comments at the end ofthe exercise that she feels that The Blue Jar is written by awoman, just by the kinds of words that I ask her to gloss. She hasthis impression because the other word lists include crude, earthylanguage (Appendix 120). Magdalene Redekop comments on the Datarhyme:22It is what we would call prust--very crude--and it ends withOata tasting a bit of what she thinks is an Easter Egg, onlyto find that it is excrement. I always find that I can hardlybear to read the rhyme to myself and I certainly cannot readit aloud to my students--this despite the fact that it is ina strongly ironic context. (Redekop, "Madonna" 124)Who is the ideal reader? Unlike Fish, I believe that readerscome from so many different contexts that there is no genericreader, despite the similarities between the ways that people read!No generic reader exists to discuss. My own interpretation is amélange; my critical practice is a collage of my own reading mixedwith critics' readings and comments from relatives. A contrasteven exists between myself as a first reader and myself as a secondreader, almost a year later, with that much more knowledge of mysubject matter. Dolitsky found that children use texts to furthertheir own fantasies and aims; they use the text to say what theywant to say. I hope that my interpretation will be more text-basedthan the interpretations of children, but as Francesco Lorrigioasserts, theories are integrally linked to the texts upon whichthey are built (54-5).233: Orthography, Typography, InterlanguageThus far, I have not suggested that any features of the textsthemselves contribute to ambivalence surrounding the separationbetween cultures, but only that the nature of readers generates thepermeable boundaries. I have chosen three texts in which toexplore these ideas further: Rudy Wiebe's The Blue Mountains ofChina (1970), Anne Konrad's The Blue Jar (1985), and Armin Wiebe'sThe Salvation of Yasch Siemens (1984). The use of the non-Englishword in each text acts as a marker of ambivalence toward theseparation of languages and boundaries. E.A. Levenston's analysisof the "stuff of literature", the physical aspects of texts,asserts that form is integral to interpretation of literature. Inthese three texts, orthography, typography and interlanguage22contribute in varying degrees to the creation of a text which isambivalent about cultural boundaries. The novels are thematicallyconcerned with the boundaries between "us" and "them"; thephysical aspects, therefore, act in concert with theme to producethis ambivalence.Levenston begins his chapter on spelling with the observationthat "the history of English spelling records a process of ever-increasing standardization. From a time when men spelled as theyspoke, and were thought none the worse for so doing, we havereached a state of near complete uniformity...." (33). High22 Levenston's discussion of interlanguage falls under thecategory of "spelling". Spelling is obviously an important part ofinterlanguage, especially for the discussion of Armin Wiebe's work,but generally, my discussion will be more concerned with thesyntactical fusion between languages.24German, of course, is standardized in a similar way. In contrast,Low German is a language that exists in many forms: "The LowGerman language does not exist in a standardized form, but innumerous dialects, Plautdietsch being one of them" (Reuben Epp 67).Even the name for the language is not used by all; Rudy Wiebe usesthe term "Lowgerman".23 I use the two-word form along with themajority of commentators. The lack of standard orthographyintroduces another marker to indicate the plurality of thislanguage. Reuben Epp explains the history of the decline ofwritten Low German:..when a people sees its culture and language disintegrate, itbecomes more receptive to the language and culture of a moresuccessful people. Low German gradually ceased being theoverall written language and yielded to the High German of thesuccessful South. It continued for a long time in writtenform as a disdained second-rate language to be used only injest, in ridicule and for amusement" (Epp 63-4).High German became the language of church and legality while LowGerman remained as a mainly oral language to be spoken at home.24Variations exist, then, between authors' spellings of the same LowGerman word. As Magdalene Redekop comments, "Low German isessentially an unwritten language and the spelling of words, being23 Wiebe uses this term in The Blue Mountains of China, but"Low German" in Peace Shall Destroy Many.24 Epp comments on the widespread opinion of Low German as adegraded language; this opinion was/is certainly shared by myrelatives. My father, however, writes on his questionnaire: "Iloved the exercise...I learned to love the low G words because theywere so efficient in expressing exactly what I 'know' theymeant....I grew up with a low opinion of the low G language. Thisexercise changed my mind and I see what I missed" (Appendix 119).25phonetic, is as varied as the number of people who try to write it"("Translated" 121). Low German dictionaries exist, but they didnot prove useful in my investigations because of the variations inspelling. Armin Wiebe opts for English modes of spelling whileother authors opt for German orthographic rules. The variationbetween spellings reduces the chance that even "insiders" to thelanguage will consistently recognize Low German words as beingfamiliar to them. My mother comments, " took some time toremember. low German is not easily read...would have to say theword or words out loud" (Appendix 120). Similarly my father says,the combination of vowels and consonants used by the authors tosound a word took some work. It helped if I said it again andagain breaking the word at different places. Sometimes it clicked.Sometimes it didn't" (Appendix 119). Dolitsky: "It wouldseem...that the ability to call on strategies to assign wordmeaning is not a faculty that is equally distributed among thepopulation" (Dolitsky 36).When Dolitsky has her participants attempt to interpretconcrete poetry in a foreign language, she concludes that form isintegral to interpretation:Certainly when words are comprehensible, the role of form isdiminished.^However, the important effect of form oninterpretation when the words give little to go on impliesthat a form factor contributes to text meaning. (Dolitsky 90)In the case of typography, the italic font indicates otherness.The non-English word is usually presented in an italic font, aconvention widely in use by the end of the sixteenth century(Levenston 93). The MLA Style Manual instructs:26Some titles are are...foreign words in anEnglish text. The numerous exceptions to this last ruleinclude.. .foreign words anglicized through frequent use.Since American English rapidly naturalizes words, use adictionary to decide whether a foreign expression requiresitalics. (2.2.8.)What is significant about these guidelines is that even if a phraseis found in an "American" dictionary, anglicized or naturalized, itis still considered a "foreign expression". The difficulty comeswhen it is time to decide if a phrase has been "naturalized throughcommon use" or not. The only way of figuring out if something isEnglish or not is by referring to a dictionary, which is aninstitutionalized set of conventions: there is nothingintrinsically "English", only a group of words which haveinstitutionally been declared "English". Diversity betweendictionaries indicates the constructed nature of the concept"English". All three texts display idiosyncrasies andinconsistency in the typography of the non-English word, whichultimately indicate the permeability of the boundaries betweenEnglish and other languages.The most obvious blending of languages in these texts comesfrom the use of "Interlanguage". 25 •Ashcroft describesinterlanguage as the "fusion of the linguistic structures of twolanguages" (66). The term comes from studies of the learningprocesses of students of a second language. A student's use ofinterlanguage is marked by erroneous usage according to theThe term "Interlanguage" was first used by Larry Selinkerin his article "Interlanguage" I.R.A.L. 10.3 (1972): 209-231.27standards of the target language, but displays a "certainregularity, a systematic use of language forms that lie somewherebetween two languages" (Levenston 50). Ashcroft insists that aninterlanguage is a "genuine language system" (67). In the textsunder discussion, interlanguage is both a genuine language systemand a marker for dialogue in a foreign language, represented inEnglish. The actual grammar and syntax of the interlanguagebetween Low German or German and English, however, acts as a symbolof the mixture between cultures that occurs.These physical aspects of the texts (orthography, typography,and interlanguage) act in tandem with thematic concerns about theboundaries between cultures to signal to the reader that boundariesbetween languages and cultures cannot be perceived as stable.There is no true boundary between "us" and "them".284: The Blue Mountains of China by Rudy WiebeMy discussion will begin with Rudy Wiebe's novel because it isThe Blue Mountains of China that forms the subject of the debatebetween Keith and Tiessen. Rudy Wiebe is the best-known CanadianMennonite writer, and therefore his use of language has beendiscussed more widely than the other two writers with which thisstudy is concerned. Van Toorn advances the theory that "byunveiling the...question" of "social injustice" in the lastchapter, Wiebe "reaccents the entire text retroactively" (123). Toa certain extent, my reading of Armin Wiebe's novel has done thesame to my interpretation of both The Blue Mountains of China andThe Blue Jar. Features apparent in The Salvation of Yasch Siemensand also in Anne Konrad's novel, are also present in Rudy Wiebe'stext, I would argue, but not in the same way. The other novels'use of typography and orthography, for example, is moresignificant, but all three texts use interlanguage as a device.The question to be answered, however, is whether Wiebe's use ofnon-English words perpetuates an "us" and "them" binary. I wouldargue that it does not when examined within the context of thenovel.The Blue Mountains of China is a departure in style from RudyWiebe's first novel Peace Shall Destroy Many. Peace Shall DestroyMany does not contain any non-English words because it was writtenas an M.A. exercise for a professor who did not encouragelinguistic experimentation (Keith, " Where" 94). The tension betweenlanguages and cultures forms an integral part of the novel. InWapiti, language is used as a barrier. As Pastor Lepp explains to29Thom, "There's nothing Christian about the language itself....Thefact is, it's a barrier between us and the worldly Englishsurroundings we have to live in. There is merit in that, for itmakes our separation easier; keeps it before us all the time"(88). It is ironic, then, that the debate about language shouldcome to us in English (Keith, "Where" 88). The language barrierhas not proved to be effective in maintaining a boundary around ametaphorical "Wapati". In an ethnographic passage, which Keithtakes as evidence that Wiebe is not writing with a mainly Mennoniteaudience in mind ("Where" 89), Wiebe's narrator explains thelinguistic practices of the Mennonite community:They [talk] in Low German. The peculiar Russian Mennonite useof three languages [causes] no difficulties for there [are]inviolable, though unstated, conventions as to when each [is]spoken. High German [is] always used when speaking ofreligious matters and as a gesture of politeness towardstrangers; a Low German dialect [is] spoken in the mundanematters of everyday living; the young people [speak] Englishalmost exclusively among themselves. Thought and tongue[slip] unhesitatingly from one language to the other. (20)In this passage, the narrator would have us believe that theboundaries between English, Low German, and High German are stable,almost palpable.^No one ever mixes up the languages or thecontexts in which they are appropriate. The noted Mennonitehistorian H.S. Bender has a different version of this polyglotbackground. He argues that "the speaking of several languages isprobably only an enrichment for 'highly intelligent persons' whileothers suffer from 'confusion of vocabulary and ideas, undesirable30carry over of idioms from one language to the other...andundesirable foreign accents'" (Redekop, "Translated" 122-3). InThe Blue Mountains of China, Wiebe explores the "confusion ofvocabulary and ideas" and the "carry over of idioms from onelanguage to another".Wiebe does not make use of any uncommon typographicalstrategies in his use of the non-English word. Words like"schluss" (7), "hauptcheuik" (11), and "dummheit" (204) appearthroughout the text in italics. Wiebe makes use of both German andLow German words. The non-English word is effectively separated bythe use of italics. "Campo" (97), "kolkhoz" (127), and "droshky"(127) are not italicized, though they seem just as "foreign" as theother words just mentioned. A trip to the dictionary reveals,however, that these must be "foreign words anglicized throughfrequent use" (MLA 2.2.8.) .26 So far the typography revealsnothing about the specific text, but only reinforces my previousknowledge of the historically situated and institutionallyreinforced creation of English through the institutions ofdictionaries. A few (Low) German expressions escapeitalicization, like "Muttachi" (16), "Mutti" (13), and "Na ya"(27). Of course, "Uhhhhgg" (14) and "Yuck" (24) are notitalicized; but then, they cannot be said to belong to a non-English language. These slight typographical inconsistencies aremagnified in Anne Konrad's text; in The Blue Mountains of China Imust look to other techniques to see the permeability of the26 campo: "A large, grassy South American plain withoccasional bushes and small trees". droshky (also drosky): "Anopen, four-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage once common in Russia."kolkhoz: "A Soviet collective farm." Webster's II 1984 ed.31boundaries of "us" and "them".At the beginning of the novel, the reader encounters non-English syntax within a few sentences. This German syntax reflectsthe German word order; Frieda Friesen is speaking in Low German,one would assume, but no guide, like the ethnographic descriptionin Peace Shall Destroy Many, is given for the reader.27 Redekopasserts that Frieda's "syntax and vocabulary evoke the sounds ofthe Low German which can be heard, simultaneously, as one reads theEnglish" ("Translated" 98). Redekop calls this technique"oversetting", a well-known term (to Mennonites) also mentioned bymy Aunt in her response to my questionnaire. Redekop goes on tosay that "the interpolated Low German words.. .ensure that thereader will be forced into activity--moving constantly betweenseparate worlds" ("Translated" 100). Are the boundaries betweenthese worlds stable? The yoking of English and German into aninterlanguage of "english" suggests that they are not. Wiebe'stext shows his characters struggling with the boundaries between"us" and "them" and argues that a truly Christian vision woulddiscard such boundaries (Van Toorn 12).In "The Well", the emphasis is on the boundaries betweencultures, the needless schisms that exist between different groupsof Mennonites. Anna Friesen's dangerous attraction to a Russlanderis the topic of this story. The Russlander are seen as different;they are less conservative, and, significantly, they speak27 I believe that the first example of the use ofinterlanguage as metonymy, in this case for, Pennsylvania "Dutch",in Canadian Mennonite literature is The Trail of the Conestoga byB. Mabel Dunham. (Toronto: MacMillan Co., 1924). For example,Christian says, "I was chust thinkin'....mebbe till next winter weare in Canada already" (3).32differently. This passage is written from the Kanadierperspective:They [Russlander] [speak] the same Lowgerman as the Kanadier,though with a very different accent, with some unheard-ofwords. And they emigrated only once for their faith. (100)The man who enchants Anna at the well speaks to her, "the Lowgermanvoice slightly off-accented" (103). The passage suggests thatlanguage can somehow embody culture, and carry its religiousfreight. The arbitrary boundaries between culture, class andhemispheres is also emphasized in "Over the Red Line". In thisstory Liesel ventures up to the deck for First Class passengers onthe ship that is taking her people to South America. She hearslanguages which she considers beautiful; even the High German is"refined" (81). Low German is associated, in her mind, with "theheavy feltboots some men still [wear], so stinking when they[schluff] by" (81). Liesel "suffers from linguistic as well associal claustrophobia" (Van Toorn 130). To Liesel the boundariesbetween "us" and "them" seem unbridgeable, though ironically, theblack shawl which she ties around her middle so that she canachieve the effect of a trailing long skirt (74) is coveted by oneof the first-class passengers (85). The hand-made shawl isjuxtaposed with the artificiality of the tourists on the upperdeck. Each seems to want something that the other has. Thecultures are not so exclusive as they would first appear.The arbitrary nature of boundaries between classes ishighlighted in the book's second chapter "Sons and Heirs". Thenarrative thrust of the story suggests that the two maincharacters, Yascha and Escha, have much in common despite their33class and linguistic differences. When Escha first comes to theFriesen household looking for work, the only Low German word thathe knows is "awbeide" (the Low German version of "Arbeit"). Jakob(the son and heir) scornfully reflects that his father probablyknows Russian better than the Russian peasant does (19). In otherwords, language mastery is not a cultural marker but a marker ofprivilege in this context. The ethnic and religious differencesbetween Escha and Jakob are erased, however, when Jakob returnsfrom prison to a different reality. Fragmented Bible verses keepappearing in Jacob's head; now that the hierarchical structure ofdiscipline (the father and the community of "fathers") is gone heknows only the words; they are empty for him.28 When Escharefuses to stay in the barn, when he crosses the perceived boundarybetween the animal and the human, Jakob cannot ignore theanimalistic side to himself (Van Toorn 142). Van Toorn (and othercritics) see Escha and Jakob as parts of the same personality. Theplural title "Sons and Heirs" suggests that Jacob's fall is hisfailure to perceive the boundary between himself and the lower-class peasant as arbitrary and fragile; "the border between selfand other is problematic" (Van Toorn 139).Certain characters in Wiebe's novel suggest a "vision ofuniversal human kinship" (Van Toorn 155). Frieda Friesen's storyenvelopes all the other stories with the force of her kinshipbonds: "her family expands so greatly as to raise the question,28 The question about the spiritual relevance of repetitionand recitation of the words of the Bible comes up in SandraBirdsell's The Missing Child in the ambivalence surroundingHendrick's "gift". It is also relevant in The Blue Jar when anindex of spirituality is correlated by the community with thenumber of Bible verses a child can memorize (99).34who is not kin to Frieda?" (Van Toorn 155). She crosses socialboundaries between Kanadier and Russlander, rural and urban, andalso moves between continents, finding family and friendseverywhere (Van Toorn 155). The story of "The Vietnam call ofSamuel U. Reimer" also questions the arbitrary boundaries betweenself and other.29 In his debate with the pastor Reimer asks:"Okay. My kid deserves to live more than a Vietnamese?""Well, in theory, of course--no but--" (177)The obstacles of the geographical location of Vietnam, theboundaries between East and West, are nothing compared to those Samencounters at home. The text asserts that these human boundariesshould be subsumed and erased in a "true" christian spirit.The same theme is emphasized in the last story when everyonemeets in a ditch, and they discover that they are all related.They all speak Low German and come from the same culture, but howdifferently they live their lives! Elizabeth (Liesel) Driedger, ismaster of many languages, and acts as interpreter and goodsamaritan for Jakob Friesen. When she finds that they are bothMennonite, they switch from Russian to Low German, but she isinitially disturbed: "She [laughs] a little, pushed quite off-balance the impossibility of now speaking to him as acomplete stranger" (189). Friesen is technically still a"complete" stranger, but the boundary between them has suddenlybeen shattered by a name (his recognizably Mennonite name). Thesignificance of language in the construction and diminishment ofboundaries is also illustrated in the figure of Dennis Willms.29^It also questions the socially constructed boundariesbetween sanity and insanity.35Whims has anglicized his surname, disguised it as "Williams" and"sold out", it is implied.30 When he speaks Low German to JohnReimer, the man carrying the cross, Willms thinks that he isspeaking privately in a minority language that not many people arelikely to know; later he is surprised to find that the languagethat he is using to exclude, to alienate a segment of his listeners(and to upbraid one of his group), is not private at all. "Doeseveryone in this ditch speak Lowgerman?" (208), he finally asks.Everyone in the ditch speaks Low German, but the same cannot besaid for Wiebe's readership. The unexpected kinship of thecharacters, even though they disagree, shows how interconnectedtheir lives are despite the fact that they have not met each other.Redekop: "Beginning with young Jakob and Escha, we have been ledto discover kinship in apparent foreigners....The pluralism oflanguages and voices is.. .defined against a backdrop of ultimateunity..." ("Translated" 117). Keith goes so far as to assert thatthe group in the ditch is "not only a representative group of theMennonites of 1967 but (as the centenary date suggest) a microcosmof Canadian society--and even of the contemporary world as a whole"(Keith, Introduction 5). Alan Wald's critique of the "ethnicityschool" of criticism points out the problems in subsuming raceunder the rubric of ethnicity, and I see similar problems withKeith's assertion that this group of Mennonites can truly representa cross-section of Canadian society, let alone the world. I wouldargue that the kinship and paradoxical plurality in the ditch showsthat the boundaries between foreigner and family, self and other,30 Or more accurately, exploited his own people during the war(Blue Mountains of China 149).36are surprisingly flexible.In his introduction to the NCL edition, Keith comments thatThe Blue Mountains of China is "admittedly a difficult novel" (2).13ut as Redekop asserts, it is not the non-English words that makethe novel difficult:Although the absence of a glossary is a possible irritationfor many readers, it indicates that the interpolated LowGerman words have, in themselves, no arcane significancewhich, if glossed, might provide the key to the novel's oftenbaffling complexities. ("Translated" 99)The presence of a glossary, however, would not put all readers onthe same ground. The reader's context is still of the utmostimportance, and as I have tried to point out, the plurality withinthe community of proposed "insiders" means that they are notreading homogeneously. Leaving words untranslated, according toAshcroft, "is a political act, because... glossing gives thetranslated word, and thus the 'receptor' culture, the higherstatus" (66). Discarding glossing releases language from "the mythof cultural authenticity" and demonstrates "the fundamentalimportance of the situating context in according meaning" (Ashcroft66). Discarding glossing allows the boundaries between "us" and"them" to be more permeable and less predictable.375: The Blue Jar by Anne KonradAnne Konrad's novel can be found in the juvenile section ofthe library; the connected short stories centre on the perspectiveof Annchen (Anne) Klassen as she grows up. Clara Thomas discussesthe novel as a telling of "the childhood", and comments that "TheBlue Jar might be sub-titled 'Elegy to a simple, hard, Godly--andlost--way of life'" (135). Its linguistic strategies seem to belinked to its audience. Konrad uses appositives to gloss herforeign words clearly: "the SprUche, those sheets of perforatedcards each with a picture of birds, flowers, butterflies." (2) Sheeven provides an etymological purpose to her definitions; thenarrator explains that a Spruch is a bible verse. The foreignwords are usually glossed parenthetically in an invasive manner orsometimes explained in a more elegant contextual manner.Generally, interpretation of the language is direct. The narratoreven clarifies for her audience that her family is "German-speaking" and the next word is a German word to emphasize thatthese italicized words are in that language (7). The glossingtechnique serves to highlight the differences between cultures byexplaining the meanings of words in an ethnographic (nostalgic)context. The function of glossing, "to form a bridge between the'centre' and 'margin', simultaneously defines their unbridgeableseparation" (Ashcroft 57).The aberrations in the typography, however, undermine thesense of "unbridgeable separation" between cultures. Ashcroftmaintains that "the word in the bracket is ironically given thestatus of 'the real'" (62) in glossing. In one instance, however,38the text reverses this convention: "head cheese (Zilkase)" (92).I would not argue that the typographical features of the text whichundermine the exclusiveness of the various languages are Konrad'sintentions; perhaps the idiosyncrasies of the text show a sloppyediting process. After all, Queenston House Publishing is notMcClelland and Stewart, which is the publisher of Wiebe's The BlueMountains of China. Nevertheless, the inconsistencies highlightthe confusion between languages that I experience when I read TheBlue Jar. Sometimes "Tante" is italicized and sometimes it is not.The same is true of "zwiebach" and "Leiter". Occasionallyitalicized words are placed in quotation marks as well! Theinstability of the typography (though probably not deliberate)undercuts the one-to-one translations and explanations offered bythe narrator, and confuses the boundaries between English and (Low)German.Interlanguage is used in Konrad's text as well. Thecharacters in the novel speak German most of the time; theirdialogue in German is represented by impeccable English. When theGerman immigrants are trying to communicate with their Norwegianneighbours, however, they speak a stilted English, an interlanguagewhich is marked by irregularities of pronunciation represented byaberrant spelling. This interlanguage builds community: Annchenrecounts an incident which all the immigrants find funny;"everyone at Beaverdam [laughs] in bush-English" (8). 31 Here isan example of the mother speaking with her next-door Norwegianneighbour, Mrs. Helderson, about the new-born twins:Incidentally, I don't get the joke.39"You tink de live, Mrs. Helderson?""Ja, sure dey live.""Not drink, de boy. I.. .not yunuf milk?" (18)It is easy to figure out what these people are saying to oneanother, but most words are not italicized. These words belong tothe lower-case english interlanguage rather than to English; butthe words are english according to the typography. Note that theword "ja", however, remains italicized because it comes from adifferent language. And yet, a few lines later Father says, "Italk mit Mama" (18). "Mit" is the German "with", and not adistortion of some English word. This example is just one of manyambivalences and contradictions that the text displays when itcomes to the divisions between languages. These ambivalences andcontradictions make it difficult to assert that Konrad's use oflanguage reinforces a boundary between "insiders" and "outsiders".These linguistic aberrations occur in a text which is stronglyconcerned with the boundaries between "us" and "them". Annchenexplains the divisions this way:The pupils at Poplar Hill School [are] divided betweenMennonite children and "Englische". Englische [is] a generalterm for the Fowlers, Howells, Sanderquists, Torgersons,Larsens, Johannsens, in short, anyone not one of us. (32)The italics reinforce the strength of the division between "us" and"them" in this passage. "Englische" not only stands for those ofBritish origin;^it encompasses everyone.^Maintaining theseboundaries is difficult, however, especially when the Norwegianneighbours of the Klassens are kinder to them than the hypocriticalMennonites who should look after their own. Again and again the40theme of hypocrisy and betrayal comes up when Mennonite communityis discussed. The friendliness of the Norwegians is not anadequate substitute for the support of one's own people, somestories suggest. Annchen's mother tells her the story often abouthow Annchen almost became Norwegian. The opening to this tale isquite ambivalent about the division between ethnic groups:Then, and later, my parents always spoke very warmly about ourNorwegian neighbours, but it was understood that they weren't"us". Had I not been saved in the nick of time from becomingNorwegian? "You'd be talking Norwegian now and not even knowus," Mother would tell me. "I wouldn't. Of course I talkGerman and English, " I'd protest.... (15)If the Norwegians are not "us", Mennonite, then how is it thatAnnchen could have almost become Norwegian? The first phrase seemsto indicate that an essential difference exists between theNorwegians and the Mennonites, while the later sentences imply thatthe-acquisition of language is the important thing. There is aconnection: if Annchen had grown up speaking Norwegian, she wouldnot have known her own genetic family. The young Annchen is givento some Norwegian neighbours to care for while her mother recoversfrom the birth of twins. Mrs. Helderson's sister-in-law ischildless, in contrast to the Kinderreich (7) Klassens, and wantsto keep Annchen. Mrs. Helderson tells the Klassens: "My sister-in-law, she hopes.... Lars says your Annchen talks Norvegian. Maybeyou tink about it...?" (19). Father goes to the household andwaits for Annchen to wake up. When she does she cries:"Mama...(Norwegian)" (21) according to Konrad. The parenthetical"Norwegian" is not clear. I would suppose that it means the child41is crying out in Norwegian, but the author cannot provide theNorwegian word for "Mama" and so provides the English. FatherKlassen wins the baby back by speaking to it in German:"Annchen," Father [says], "What are you doing my child?" He[speaks] it in German.^Annchen [looks] unsure...."Kind,Liebes Kind, hast du vergessen..."^He [talks] to her inGerman until slowly the child [looks] away from ChristineHanson and [studies] father. He [picks] her up.... (21)The German phrase has no direct or indirect gloss in the text. Ithas a Biblical echo, especially since father is speaking in HighGerman and not Low. Father seems rather God-like in this scene,winning an erring lamb back. Do these words mirror Christ's on thecross asking God if He has forsaken him? (My mother comments onthis phrase: "I don't know where it's from", as if it should befrom somewhere.)32^The German language is made to bear thecultural burden of religious morality. When the child looks towardthe man speaking German, father picks her up...not before. It isthe familiarity of his language that wins Annchen's attention. Andyet, the possibility that Annchen could have become Norwegian showsjust how permeable the boundaries can be between families andcultures.The boundaries between "us" and the "Englische" are challengedthroughout Annchen's narrative. The mortality of the flesh is agreat leveller in The Blue Jar. In the first chapter, in whichAnnchen describes her childish confusion at the death of an oldersibling, she is surprised to see "Levalton the Norwegian...sitting32 Prof. Kr011er comments that it "sounds like a folksong tome, actually."42on the men's side [of the church]." She asks herself, "Why [is] hein our Mennonite church?^Mrs. Helderson [sits] beside him.[Doesn't] she know women sit on the opposite side?" (6).^Theboundary between "us" and "them" has been crossed.^And Mrs.Helderson does not respect the boundary that the Mennonite churchtraditionally enforces between men and women. At a differentfuneral Annchen remarks that her non-Mennonite schoolteacher lookslike a "stranger" because of her lipstick and short skirt. AboutMiss Smith's appearance Annchen thinks:"Worldly." How often Preacher Hiebert [has] warned thecongregation, "Be not like this world."Yet she cried at Susie's funeral. (68)The evidence of Miss Smith's humanity, her compassion, makesAnnchen question the religiously upheld division between theMennonites and the "Englische". While Miss Smith's tears make hercloser to Annchen in an attractive way, the discovery that anotherschool teacher (they are always "Englische" teachers [69]) is alltoo human in an earthy way destroys the boundary in a moredevastating manner. The chapter entitled "School" begins with adescription of how the beautiful schoolteachers bring the world tothe isolated students, and stimulate their imaginations (69). Inthe spring, however, the children find tin cans with "brownlump[s]" in them around the teacherage and discover that MissWaterford was "too scared to go to the outhouse" during the winter(74). Annchen:I [stare] at the rust-edged cans and suddenly [feel] very sad.[Is] she just like us then, my teacher, my perfectteacher... .Velvet plush boots and lace collars, when it43[comes] right down to the important questions, like shadows atnight, or fear and alone in the dark, [is] she just like me,her pupil? No magic? No answers? [Is] that all there [is]?Tin cans? (74)The fact that Miss Waterford is not different dashes the hopes ofAnnchen the child, who is enchanted with the "magic" of the"Englische", with King George, Queen Elizabeth, Renfrew of theRoyal Mounted, and Christmas cards. The destruction of theboundary between "us" and "them" leaves Annchen with nothing tohope for. When Annchen's older sister Tina becomes baptised shelooks for evidence of a change in her sister. Will she suddenlybecome more holy? (171). Everywhere Annchen looks for the evidenceof real boundaries and does not find it.The Mennonite churches create and support boundaries betweenthemselves, not just between themselves and the worldly"Englische". In "The Kirchliche", Annchen discusses thedifferences between the religious rules of two Mennonite groups.Annchen sums up the difference between them as a linguistic one(and shows that the gap between signifier and signified is also oneof context):Their fathers smoked; some even drank wine or beer and theydanced at their weddings. For them it was "fun"; for us itwas "sin". (152)The quotation marks surrounding the words "fun" and "sin" show thatthe narrator is marking a linguistic equivalence between them,based on (in this case) a religio-cultural context. Annchen'sfriendship with Flora who is "Kirchliche", shows that she can crossthis boundary, but when Flora's sister wants to marry someone from44outside her church, the marriage is never announced because itwould mean that one person in the couple would have to switchchurches. The results of the switch, however, would be quitedrastic. The defector would be shunned by his or her own familyand congregation: "In German shunning [is] ausgeschlossen and thatword by itself [has] the ring of eternal damnation" (155).33 Theboundary between these groups must be maintained with extremevigilance, it seems; the seriousness of shunning reflects how muchis required to conserve the boundaries between "us" and "them".Annchen and the other children, however, are the generationwhich desires to assimilate, to fit into a new land. They do notperceive the interlanguage "english" as acceptable. Annchen andthe other children mercilessly mock a Bible school teacher whocannot master the correct code of English. He invites the childrento "Summa Bible School" and the children react with incredulity:"A grown man with a huge moustache and he [cannot] say his 'r's'!"(98).34 Julius Schier teaches the kids to sing: "It is summatimein my hat" (101). (I assume it should be "Summertime in myheart".) The concert for the parents turns out to be a fiasco whenthe children sing the words with Julius Schier's accent: "Theparents [sit] stunned. Even German-speaking Mennonite parents[cannot] be fooled by so blatant an imitation of Julius Schier's33 I found it interesting that my relatives did not identify"ausgeschlossen" as "shunning" (Appendix 116). Obviously it doesnot carry the ring of eternal damnation for them! For probingexploration of the custom of shunning see Patrick Friesen's book bythe same title. For a hilarious folk tale about a young widow'sexploitation of the custom, see Sara Stambaugh's, "How Lena Got SetBack" in Liars and Rascals.34^See my father's comments on pronunciation under"Fudderingham" (Appendix 76).45voice" (107). By imitating his improper English, the children arein a way criticizing the "bush-english" of their own parents; theyare rejecting their past. The crowning touch comes when Schierinsists that "Precious" should be spelled "Pretcious" as it says inhis teaching manual (104). The extra "t" in "precious" stands forthe cross of christ in an anagrammatic recitation. The absence ofthe cross is not possible for Schier; he won't suit himself to thecodes of English that the children try to teach him. Hisdifference earns the scorn of both children and parents by the endof the story.35 The children's ability (or desire) to adapt to theEnglish ("Englische") culture better than the older generation isa repeated theme in Konrad's book. When Annchen's sister Tina getsmarried, for example, she insists on many English customs. Herbrothers make a banner at the church saying "Wilkommen" and Annchensurmises that "Tina would [like] it better if it were English..."(193).Anne Konrad's novel focuses on a child's perceptions ofboundaries. Annchen's opinions of boundaries are always beingrevised by her life experience. The boundaries between right andwrong, between English and Mennonite, and between languages areshown to be permeable. Within this thematic context, theambiguities in the typography, and the presence of interlanguagereinforce the idea that Konrad's use of the non-English word doesnot contribute to an "us" and "them" boundary or alienate a non-35 Dolitsky points out in her study that the younger thechild, the more rigid his or her conception of the rules oflanguage: "Younger, less mature children were more stronglyattached to conventional word-to-meaning associations and could notbreak away from what is for them a fixed preordained code" (72).Mennonite audience.46476: The Salvation of Yasch Siemens by Armin WiebeArmin's Wiebe's novel has an epigraph which clearly alerts thereader to expect language play:My God, how we adored this buggering up of our lovely languagefor we felt that all languages were lifeless if not buggeredup a little.Armin Wiebe's epigraph announces his novel's project, and points tothe source of his novel's spirit. The language spoken by thenarrator Yasch Siemens, is primarily interlanguage. He uses Lowgerman words and English words; he uses English words in Germanword order; he conjugates Low German words according to Englishgrammar, and sprinkles the text with neologisms. The orthographyof the text is anglicized: an effective blend of the languages.My Aunt comments that the Low German words are "bastardized, so tospeak, forced to sound more English" (Appendix 120). This'buggered-up' language is not, however, that difficult tounderstand, much like "Jabberwocky" seems intelligible because itis grounded in English syntax. The reader is able to determinethat a certain word is a verb or an adjective based on therecognizable English morphemes in the sentence. Whether theinterlanguage in The Salvation of Yasch Siemens is symbolic of theLow German language, as it is in The Trail of the Conestoga or TheBlue Mountains of China, is a matter for discussion. E. Dyckassumes that the characters are speaking in Low German, notEnglish. But I am more inclined to think that Yasch is speakinghis version of english. My father points out that this word orderis quite familiar to him, that Mennonites indeed speak in this way48(Appendix 77). The language in the novel, although it has the ringof authenticity, only seems to be an approximation. Literarydiscourse is "always a matter of invention and construction"(Ashcroft 55).Because the text does not use italics to separate English fromLow German, the reader is not able to distinguish between LowGerman, neologism or idiomatic usage. By abandoning theconventional use of italics, the boundaries between languages areerased. Italics are used only several times in the novel toindicate "foreign" words: the words are "schmallen Lebensweg (35),"allein" (47), Jugendverein (121), Juide frei (121), andWehrlosigkeit (163). These phrases are High German; the divisionbetween High German and Low German still seems to be operating forYasch (although the languages overlap, obviously). The fact thatthese words are italicized suggests that all the other words are"english", at least for Yasch.This exchange between Armin Wiebe and his editor atconference only increases the ambiguity surrounding the"accessibility" of the text:Armin wanted a glossary; I refused it. Armin said people whodon't know Low German will miss the joke. [Comment from ArminWiebe: 'Dave, you've got that wrong,.'] Well, it doesn'thave a glossary. [Armin Wiebe: 'I supplied David Carr witha glossary for publicity purposes after the book came out.']Oh yeah, yeah. You wanted a glossary. The truth is [Commentfrom the audience: 'Half Truth!']'ve got to handlethem like children; they forget everything. (Arnason 220)As a reader unfamiliar with Low German, I still found the book49humorous. From an examination of the names that my respondentsglossed for me, it seems that the humour of the novel is definitelyenhanced by the understanding of the names of character in thebook. I knew that these names had significance for severalreasons. Book reviews by speakers of Low German refer to thenames. Also, clues are present in the text which point to thesignificance of the names. Yasch comments at one point aboutShaftich Shreeda: "it is easy to see that Shreeda isn't shaftichtoday" (5). This is a cue to the reader that the names of thecharacters are significant in another language. The first time Iread the book I had no idea that they "meant" something. There area few nick-names which are recognizable English too, like "HulaHoop". Are these the real names of the characters, nicknames, ornames for a moralistic fable? My father comments that nicknamesare more popular with the Kanadier than with the Russlander, andthat everyone has a nickname among this group (Appendix 69).Understanding the names creates another kind of reading of thetext, but it is not a hierarchically better one because it is an"insider's" view. Again, the responses of my helpers were notconsistent. Names are a way of having plural identities. Thereare German, Low German and English versions of first names andsurnames, just as there are nicknames. This practice again pointsto the fragmentation of the self, the lack of boundaries, and thedefinition of the self through texts and language.Armin Wiebe's novel contains direct glosses as well asindirect ones. Context is always important, both local andgeneral. New Year's Eve church is glossed almost directly in thetext for Sylvesterabend (17), but Yasch himself is unaware of the50significance of the title: he makes a pun on "Sylvester theCatlicker". Catlicker can be interpreted as a humorous homonym forCatholic. Yasch's question, "Now why would the people call the NewYear's Eve church after a cat in the comics?", reveals hisignorance of his people's own traditions. Is Wiebe illustratingthat Yasch has no more knowledge about the real meanings andsources of his community's traditions than an ignorant reader?Just as most readers have enough urban experience to laugh atYasch's ignorance in Winnipeg, his "translation" of everything intofarm implements36, most readers would correctly assume that theGerman holiday is not named after Sylvester the Cat. Yasch is cutoff from his own past. This chapter (the Brummtup chapter)foregrounds Yasch's alienation by contrasting him with Bova Jake'sgrandfather who knows all about the past traditions. When thegrandfather is dumped from the truck rides, the young people goacross the border toward the U.S., and toward the T.V. tower,source of the siege of "Canadian culture" by American massculture. The lack of any references to Mennonites, only to FlatGermans is " indication of the progressive secularization ofthe Mennonites, who here distinguish themselves from the majorityonly through their linguistic otherness" (Strauss 103).As Michael Strauss points out in his article "A Second Look atYasch Siemens", "the clearest indication of the decreasinginfluence of the Mennonite world view on Yasch and his increasingassimilation into Canadian context is evident in the development ofhis language" (Strauss 112). Yasch's language changes throughout36 Yasch's description of the "bale loader stairs" in Eatons(107) is one of my favourites.51the novel. The big threat to the elimination of the Flat Germanculture is not "mainstream" Canadian culture, but the Americanculture that lies just over the border at Gutenthal. The crossingof boundaries is a key theme in the novel. In the first story,Yasch's sexual initiation takes place while going over the borderto the States. He thinks that maybe he should save this for FleedaShreeda instead of Schups (whose name might mean "push" accordingto several of my respondents [Appendix 70]). But the boundarybetween the countries is not guarded though; there is only a ditchthat the couple walk over (11). The permeability of thisparticular boundary is the problem. The T.V. tower transmits massAmerican culture to its audience. At the end of the novel Yasch isnot going to get a colour T.V. and a satellite dish, because "inthese troubled times you have to watch out" (176). Ironically thefact that his language has calmed down indicates that he hasalready lost what (perhaps) he was trying to preserve. Yasch'sson, Doft, calls him "Papuh" (170), not "futtachi", which is theendearing term for a parent that Yasch used with his father. After12 years Yasch has been changed by mass culture.The invasion of American values is also represented by the"States women" who visit Knibble Thiessen and result in histhinking a little too highly of himself:Knibble Thiessen is getting to be a real spitz poop. His signdoesn't say 'Bone Setter'; it says 'Knockenartzt' in Germanletters, and then 'General Massage'. (35)"Bone setter" would be good enough for the Flat Germans around toknow what his occupation is. Thiessen's use of High German (andgothic characters) is meant to impress both the Flat Germans and52the States Women for whom the ethnicity of Knibble Thiessen mightbe a drawing card. (Ironically, Thiessen's newest addition of footmassage is a skill that he learned in California. [36])37Michael Strauss laments that Armin Wiebe's novel is not morewidely accepted:Unfortunately The Salvation of Yasch Siemens is considered notonly as an ethnic novel but as regional fiction, because it isonly fully accessible to a 'germanophile-anglophile' public.A further limiting factor is the profound knowledge of theBible which is required of the reader to understand thetext...." (Strauss 113).As I have tried to assert throughout this exploration, the lack ofa stable, objective, "correct" interpretation to the works inquestion puts the question of accessibility in a different context.The more relevant knowledge that a reader has, the more satisfiedhe or she might be with his or her interpretation. Yasch'sinterpretation of "Twa Corbies", however, may serve as a hilariousmanual for interpreting the novel. Sadie is attempting to37 The fact that Knibble Thiessen refuses to call himself a'bone setter' (which would probably appear simply red-neck to theStates women rather than exotic) is significant in light of JackThiessen's Low German story (trans. into English by A. Schroeder)called "Bonesetters". It begins:What is a Mennonite you ask? I mean a real Mennonite, anunmistakable Mennonite? Well, that's a tough question, a verytough question. . . .A Mennonite is this: a person of the humanpersuasion who speaks Low German and who patronizes abonesetter. (64)According to Jack Thiessen, Knibble Thiessen is refusing toacknowledge his own "Mennoniteness"! The narrator of this storyalso singles out T.V. as the enemy to a good folk tale: "But thatisn't answering your question, which I'll do forthwith, if you'lljust turn off the TV and give me a moment of your time..." (64).The Low German word for Bone Setter (which Thiessen/Schroederchoose to spell "bonesetter") is "Trajchtmoakasch" according to theThiessen collection.53understand the Scottish Ballad and enlists Yasch's help. Heexplains, "You see, this poem is like it was made up from FlatGerman mixed up with English" (46). Here is his extendedinterpretation:Alane is like allein in German. I herd two corbies making amane. Mane could be like a horse's mane or it could be theMain street. Anyways, the crows are making a mane. The taneunto t'other say. The tane, that's the one with the bigtooth, and he says to the other one, Where sail we gang anddine today? Sall is like zell in Flat German and gang is likegang in German, only it means not the place between the houseand the barn like they have in the old darps. See these crowscan talk and one asks the other one where they shall eattoday. (47)Yasch's mixed-up interpretation of the poem comes out all right inthe end. It is as if the text is telling us to use all theresources that we can muster; English homonyms in combination withcontext bring comparable results to German ones when it comes tointerpretation. Anything goes. Some of the children in Dolitsky'sstudy were reluctant to hear the "meaning" of the foreign languagepoems that they had discussed because "it would ruin their personalrepresentations of it; it would force them to see a reality thatwas not theirs. And for some of them, this could only be adisappointment" (Dolitsky 87). And like Sadie, who is somewhatdisappointed to hear that the poem is about "how these crows planto eat this dead guy that is lying behind this old full ditch..."(47), we are invited to hold onto our own interpretations.547: A Reader's ResponseIt may seem contradictory to assert that the ultimate effectof the non-English word in an english text is to highlight thesocially constructed nature of ethnicity itself. I originallybegan this project with a prospectus that strongly implied that thepresence of non-English words in a text provokes the label "ethnicwriter" by the reviewers. Now I have come to claim that thepresence of these words in texts questions the binaries of "ethnic"versus "mainstream", "us" versus "them". The personal nature of myresearch and my own position as both inside and outside of theMennonite community38 contributes to my development of a theorythat asserts that the boundaries between cultures are permeable andsocially constructed. Walter Benn Michael's summation ofinterpretation hold true: we can choose our interpretations, butnot the range from which we choose (199).Given that my interpretation is fuelled by my own sense of afragmented identity, are there other reasons to explain thesepatterns in the texts of Canadian Mennonites? Magdalene Redekopargues that the language techniques of Rudy Wiebe stem from hisbackground in a polyglot community:In Canadian Mennonite communities of the recent past, English38 Both my parents grew up as Mennonites, but my brother andI grew up outside of the Mennonite community, not speaking German(although my parents tried to bribe us into learning it when wewere children), and not attending a Mennonite church. Am I aMennonite? The problem of the identity of the later generations ishighlighted in Rudy Wiebe's "The Black Vulture" in Blue Mountainsof China and also in the introduction to a book produced by theMennonite Literary society in part to preserve Mennonite heritageand designed to "appeal [to] a new generation of Englishreaders...." (Al Reimer 3).55was the language of education and literature; High German,the language of the Bible was for use in the church, and LowGerman was for everyday life. According to George Steiner,this sense of languages simultaneously available for use indifferent contexts is what distinguishes the polyglot from thebilingual experience of knowing a second language".("Translated" 98)The authors whom I discuss straddle many cultures39. Di Brandt'scomments illustrate some of the contexts from which writers write:"i hate having to choose between my inherited identity & my life:traditional Mennonite versus contemporary Canadian woman writer,yet how can i be both & not fly apart?" (183). The polyglotexperience of Rudy Wiebe, Anne Konrad, and Armin Wiebe is evidentin their novels' use of language. But as Di Brandt's commentssuggest, the marriage between cultures, the permeability ofboundaries, is not always easy. My comments on the background ofthese authors, their polyglot experience, is a return to thequestion of authorial intention. Authors, however, become readersof their own work, along with the public.40 Memory itself is re-construction of the past, imperfect; and the self is alwaysembedded in a context. Memory cannot be treated as objective,absolute truth.° I agree with Culler that "interpretation should39 I use the word "many" because gender, ethnicity, class,etc. can be considered different "cultures" or "subcultures".40 I read my journal entries and old essays and cannot recallhaving written phrases in them. Can I then absolutely interpretwhat I "intended" by them?This assertion can lead to difficulty in a legal case. ButI am not saying that memory is "untrue", and therefore unreliable,but that it is reconstructed in the present.56transform the world, not merely attempt to recover a past...."(109).I disagree, however, with Arnason's arrogant claim thatauthors need to be treated like children (220). Theirinterpretations should not be hierarchically placed above those ofother readers; nor should they be placed below. The identity ofan author is important. According to Lorrigio, the author'ssignature is the only way of identifying an ethnic work: "anethnic work is a work written by someone who, in a particularsociety, is perceived to be ethnic" (55). Authorship is asignificant code along with the rest of the text. We never writeor read from a position which is objective: "...there is never amoment when we are not in the grip of some value-system, never astatement we make that is not value-laden" (Tompkins xxv). In theideal world, a democracy of interpretation and readers would exist.This world, however, is certainly not ideal. Thus, the opinions ofauthors who "in a particular society [are] perceived as ethnic"should be examined in light of social prejudices and hierarchieswhich already exist. Mennonites have been persecuted andMennonites have persecuted. They have tried to maintain boundariesand they have tried to abolish boundaries. I do not claim that theliterature of contemporary Canadian Mennonites is "universal" (Ihave tried to show that "universality" does not exist) but onlythat the literature reflects the interpenetration of cultures, andthe fragmented nature of identity. I do not deny that a language,"Plautdietsch", exists, that people can understand it andcommunicate in it, but I do affirm that its use in MennoniteCanadian fiction does not produce a binary split between cultures.57This language strategy, the fusion of languages, creates a"text of bliss" from the Barthesian perspective:Text of bliss: the text that imposes a state of loss, thetext that discomforts,...unsettles the reader's historical,cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his[or her] tastes, values, memories, brings to a crisis hisrelation with language" (14).These texts may not bring every reader's relationship with languageto a crisis, nor will every reader find a crisis, no matter whatkind, desirable. In addition to the question "Kjenn jie nochplautdietsch?", these texts ask the reader the (perhaps) morediscomforting question: "do you know english?"58Works CitedAchtert, Walter S. and Joseph Gibaldi. The MLA Style Manual. NewYork: The Modern Language Association of America, 1985Arnason, David.^"A History of Turnstone Press."^Acts ofConcealment:^Mennonite/s Writing in Canada.^Eds. HildiFroese Tiessen and Peter Hinchcliffe. Waterloo, ON: WaterlooUP, 1992. 212-222.Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. The EmpireWrites Back: Theory and Practice in Post-ColonialLiteratures. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.Barthes, Roland. The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller.New York: The Noonday Press, 1975.Birdsell, Sandra. The Missing Child: A Novel. London: VintageU.K., 1990.Brandt, Di. "Personal Statement." Prairie Fire 11.2 (1990) 183.Cooley, Dennis.^"The Vernacular Muse in Prairie Poetry." TheVernacular Muse: The Eye and Ear in Contemporary Literature.Winnipeg: Turnstone, 1987. 167-222.Culler, Jonathan. Saussure. Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press,1976.Dolitsky, Marlene. Under the Tumtum Tree: From Nonsense to Sense,A study in Nonautomatic Comprehension. Praqmatics and Beyond1. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.,1984.Douglas, J.D. Ed. The New Bible Dictionary. 2nd Ed. Leicester,England: Inter-varsity Press, 1982.Dunham, Mabel B. The Trail of the Conestogas. MacMillan, 1924.Dyck, E.F. "The True Colours of Plain Speech." Books in Canada17.7 (1988):^19-22.Epp, Reuben. "Plautdietsch: Origins, Development and State of theMennonite Low German Language." Journal of Mennonite Studies.5 (1987): 61-72.Friesen, Patrick. The Shunning. Winnipeg: Turnstone, 1980.Fish, Stanley. "Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics."Reader-Response Criticism:^From Formalism to Post-Structuralism.^Ed. Jane P. Tompkins.^Baltimore:^JohnsHopkins UP, 1980. 70-100.Keith, W.J. Introduction. The Blue Mountains of China. By Rudy59Wiebe. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1992. 1-6.---. "Where Is the Voice Going To? Rudy Wiebe and his readers."Acts of Concealment: Mennonite/s Writing in Canada. Eds.Hildi Froese Tiessen and Peter Hinchcliffe. 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Coward.Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP for Calgary Inst. for theHumanities, 1989. 13-20.Winner, Irene Portis.^"Ethnic Culture Texts as Narration."Literary Anthropology: A New Interdisciplinary Approach toPeople, Signs and Literature. Ed. Fernando Poyatos.Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamin, 1988. 127-140.67Appendix: Readers' ResponsesAlthough I have argued that a reader is free to interprettexts without the aid of a glossary, the aim of this appendix is tocreate a pluralistic glossary for the curious, those interested inthe contexts and readings of others. In this interest, I haveattempted to tabulate the results of my questionnaires. I gave my"volunteers" lists of words, some in context and some not. Eventhough some words and phrases were glossed directly in the text, Iwanted to see how my respondents would "gloss" the words. Pleasenote that two versions of the questionnaire exist. I felt free tofoist an extremely long version on my parents, while the rest ofthe respondents received a shortened version, which also has morewords displayed in contexts. My questionnaire is displayed in BoldCourier type; responses are displayed in Roman unbolded type. Thenumber on the far left indicates the page on which the word first(mostly) appears in the text. My editorial efforts are marked withsquare brackets to indicate omissions and/or changes to protect theinnocent. After all, I am not sure that my respondents knew whatthey were getting into!Respondents:(A) My father (Edward G. Janzen):^knows Low German(Plautdietsch) by ear, but never actually spoke itbecause High German was considered the language ofeducation. His parents spoke Low German to each otherbut High German to the children.(B) My mother (H. Susan Janzen): spoke Low German in her68teen years while attending high school and staying witha family that spoke mostly Low German. She thinks thatLow German is the language of adults, that children werespoken to in High German.(C) Father's sister (Winona Rempel) and her husband (WilliamRempel) (my Aunt and Uncle): My Aunt spoke Low Germanwhile staying with a family who spoke mostly Low German.Her parents spoke Low German to each other but HighGerman to her. My Uncle has spoken Low German since hewas a child.(D) Helpful Friend (G. Helms): German national who does notknow Mennonite Plautdietsch but is familiar with otherforms of the language.Note: All of my respondents know High German. My mother andfather did not talk about the questionnaires with each otheruntil they were finished.My responses to the language do not appear as part of thequestionnaire, but rather as the substance (in part) of this study.My own background: I lack a knowledge of Low German and have alimited knowledge of German through University study.Please explain what the following words and phrases mean, andinclude any associations that they have for you if any. If youdon't recognize the word or half-recognize it, please say so, andthen guess at its meaning if you can. Indicate what language youthink it is in, if it isn't in English. If you think that the wordshould be spelled differently, mention this point, and hazard aspelling. Please note that ANY responses that you make are usefulto me whether you think they are "right" or not. Some of thefollowing references aren't language references but historicalreferences that might have significance to you. Use the back ofthe page if you need to! Don't use the dictionary! (Unless youfeel you must, then indicate which words you looked up!)69The Salvation of Yasch Siemens(C) We've both read it some years back.Names:^Do these names mean anything? Do they seem normal,strange?(A) These names are mostly "nick-names" joined with the last nameof the individual, like Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Jackthe Ripper. I don't know why nick-names are created often firstfor children and then/also for adults e.g. my nickname as a childin early grade school was EDDA. I don't know where it came from.My childhood name was Eddie which my family called me. We calledyou Bethy-mow sometimes but I don't know why. [....] This is how Iremember nick-names among the Mennonites. Among us (Russlander) itwas rarely apparent but among the Canadia who spoke much more lowGerman it was always there. My friend [H. K.] loved to createthese stories which pointed fun at someone particularly with nick-names. Some stories (and poems) were vulgar and pornographic. Iremember only one (see later). I guess nick-names might arisebecause of some incident, some habit or skill, some attribute etc.Some individuals might like their handle; other[s] likely not.[....](B) They are all low German. [...] they are rhyming names whichcould be descriptive but not complimentary.1^Shaftich Shreeda(A) Shreeda is the name Schröder or Schroeder, a german last namefairly common in some Mennonite circles. It itself means to shred,grind or pulverize. Shaftich is much more difficult to translatealthough I know the meaning well in the low German: able toaccomplish things, active, bustling, comes from work, or working,able to work, and in particular has the wherewithall to work thingsout.(B) low German. Shaftich indicates he was a happy man.2^Shtemm Gaufel Friesen(A) Friesen is the last name Friesen;^Shtemm means voice orpitch; Gaufel is fork; thus "pitch fork Friesen" but morecorrectly "tuning fork Friesen". Maybe this Friesen (probably Mr.)was able to get a pitch for singing from a tuning fork (not a meanfeat in itself) perhaps for the church choir [...] for thecongregation. Maybe he was the "Fursanger" elected by the churchmembership to lead the singing. If there was no piano, or nopianist someone would have to strike a pitch. The tuning forkwould be useful to someone who knew how to use it.(B) low German--meaning "tuning fork"--perhaps he was versanger--aperson who would give the pitch for the songs to be sung in church.(C) L.G. Tuning fork Friesen; probably related to his beingdirector of a choir3^Yut Yut Leeven(A) Leeven is Loewen or LOwen a german Mennonite last name. Ihave no idea what "Yut Yut" is. Not a clue. YUTA or YUTTA was awoman's name which I think means Katie.70(B) low G--is how you pronounce the letter J. J.J. Loewen(C) L.G. J.J. Loewen; j is pronounced or called "yut" in LowGerman.(D) (? good life)3^Shtramel Stoezs(A) Stoezs probably is a last name, StOzs, but I have never knownanyone by this name. I don't know what Shtramel is. In highGerman "Shtram" is good looking or well-dressed. I can't get aconnection to decide whether this may fit.(B) low G. Shtramel means strip or very thin.3^Shups Stoezs(A) Stoezs, SOzs is a last name. Shups was something women wore.I think it was a bun of hair on the back of the head--a braid woundaround a center held together with pins? Were these a couple--Shtramel Stoezs and Shups Stoezs?(B) low G. "Shups" means to push. Stoezs is the name.(C) L.G. Shups is the bun on the back of a woman's head; alsogiving someone a "shups" is giving a push rather abruptly.(D) "Push" (SchuBsen, stoi3en)3^Hova Jake(A) Jake is the first name of a guy. Hova is oats so I guess Jakewas known to be a good oats grower.(B) low G--"Hova"--oats, just a nick name.(C) L.G. Oats Jake8^Hingst Heinrichs(A) Heinrichs is a last name; Hingst is a male horse I think, astallion?^On the next page is the word "Kunta" but I can'tremember the exact meaning of these words. I think they are bothmale horses but maybe one is castrated like not every male cow isa bull. "Hingst" or "Kunta" were never explained to me because anexplanation would involve sex (I guess) and since I didn't grow upon an animal farm it passed me by. My guess is the combination"Hingst Heinrichs" had some special meaning. The obvious would bethat he owned a male horse capable of mating with a female horse(mare I guess). Whether Heinrichs was himself as virile as astallion is an interesting thought. Is there a connection between"Hingst" and "well hung"?(B) low G. "Hingst" is a male horse--Heinrichs probably took hisstud around the community servicing the mares when needed.10 Fortz Funk from Puggefeld(A) Funk is a last name (my good friend whose girl-friend andSusan were room-mates in Wpg when I was in Normal School was calledBernie Funk) Forz means to fart; thus farting Funk!(B) "Fortz"--fart. "Puggefeld"--frogfield. Imaginary name.16 Penzel Panna(A) Panna means Penner. Penzel means brush. Somewhere I think Iremember "penzel" being used somewhat for mild ridicule, not asstrong as "stupid" but more like absent-minded, fuddle-headed,foolish, immature, something like that. Also I think it could mean71real thin and lanky but I'm not sure about this.(B) Penzel—pain[t] brush. Panna is Penner. Just rhymes well.16 Kunta Klassen(A) Klassen is a last name among Mennonites. I would like to notethat some names are given here as in low German but some are as inhigh German; Klossi would be the low German pronunciation ofKlassen. Similarly Panna is low German, spelled the same way inboth languages I guess but it is pronounced a little differently.How to show the difference? Funk low German is pronounced furtherback in the throat. Funk high german is said with a smaller mouthmore forward towards the teeth! Shreeda is low German; Schröderis high German. Leeven is even more interesting. True low German(I think) would be Leuva. Now the Canadia had some differences intheir pronunciation of the same low German words. They added an"n" to the end of certain words, here Leeven where we Russlanderwould say Leeve or Leuva. Loewen is high German.Kunta is male horse I think. Maybe this one is the castratedone to keep the animal more docile? I don't know for sure.(B) Kunta may be a wagon or something.(C) L.G. Kunta is a gelding or castrated stallion16 Laups Leeven(A) Leeven is Canadia low German for Loewen. Laups is a younglad, youth or some young male who hasn't grown up yet, at least asjudged by someone.(B) Laups is sort of slang name for young irresponsible boy.16 Pracha Platt(A) Platt is a last name in high German. Pracha means to beg;hence Mr. (probably) Platt has no hesitation to beg or borrow as intools, implements, feed, seed or even money.(B) "Pracha"--beg(C) L.G. Beggar Platt(D) flat21 Hauns Jaunses' Fraunz(A) Frauntz is low German for Frank (My English); Jaunses' isJanzen's (in English); Hauns is Hans or John all in low German.This usage is meant to mean relationship or translated: Frank isthe son of John Janzen's family.(B) Hans Janzen's Franz23 Zoop Zack Friesen(A) Friesen is a last name in high German. Zoop means to drinkbut used not for normal liquids but for alcoholic beverages;"zoop" definitely means to drink rather regularly. It does notimply "alcoholic" since I don't think that term was known toMennonites in the medical sense in the early days. Zack meanssack; thus Friesen drank as if the liquid went into him like asack.(B) Soup sack Friesen.24 Beluira Bergen(A) Bergen is a Mennonite last name in High German. Luiri or72Beluira (it took me a while to get [it] around my tongue) means towait; I guess Bergen was chronically late. Always someone had towait for him (or her). (I don't think women were given nick-names))(B) Beluira I [am] not sure.24 Bulls Buhr(A) I think Bulla is a first name in low German and Buhr is a lastname spelled the same in either low or high German but pronounceddifferently. The "r" is rolled in the high German.(B) --just two names [...]25 Willy Wahl(A) Willy is a first name for William in either German. Wahl isa German last name in high German.(B) Willy--William32 Haustig Neefeld(A) Neefeld is low German for Newfeld or Neufeld a commonMennonite German name. Hastiq means quickly. Neefeld was alwaysrushing or even more interesting made decisions too fast (and oftenmade the wrong choice).^Mennonite men were supposed to bedeliberate, act in measured steps and give lots of thought to allactions before making choices. "Toe haustig" or "too quickly" wasa common phrase used almost with pity when someone "jumped beforehe looked".Since I don't know "The Salvation of Yasch Siemens["] (JackSiemens) I don't know how intentional the following is, but itcertainly is obvious: Shaftich Shreeda--both words start with Sh,the same sound. [....] Is this a kind of poetry in prose? I likeeven better the rhythm of sounds inShtemm Gaufel FriesenBova JakeZoop Zack Friesenetc. The combination of consonants and vowels almost sounds likea jingle. I assume it was intended by the author. Wonderful.(B) Haustig--fast Neufeld32 Nobah Naze Needarp(A) Needarp is low German for Neudarp (in high German, I think).Nobah means neighbour and Naze or Naz means nose. The strongimplication is that Needarp is a nosy neighbour!(B) "Noba" neighbour. Naza high G for nose. Needarp for Neudarpwhich is a family name.(C) L.G.^Nobah is neighbour, Naze is nose.^Nosey neighbourNeedarp.32 Zamp Pickle Peter(A) Peter is Peter in high German; Peta would be low German.[....] Zamp I think means mustard, so mustard pickle Peter (?)(B) "zamp" mustard.33 Schlax Wiebe, the himmelshtenda(A) Wiebe is a last name in high German; Wieb in low German.Schlax is difficult. I think I remember this to mean a long lanky73frame in a young man. Mabye himmelshtenda has something to sayabout reaching the sky since himmel means heaven or sky; "the" isEnglish of course. Oh yes, Shtenda means a wooden scaffolding tosupport something. So Wiebe is so long and lanky that he actuallycarries or supports the sky or heaven. (?) What do you think aboutthis?(B) "Schlax" is a slang for no-good male.^Himmelshtend--skystand, means nothing.33 Schneeda Giesbrecht, the steermaker(A) Giesbrecht is a high German last name; Schneeda I think is atailor or seamstress; steermaker is a maker of something but Idon't know what.(B) Tailor. I don't know what Steermaker is--needs more context.34 Ha Ha Nickel(A) Nickel is a last name in either German; Ha Ha I don't knowexcept to guess it means to laugh as in Ha! Ha!(B) high G family name.(C) L.G. Letter "H" is called "Ha" in Low German. H.H. Nickel(D) -making fun, laughing34 Knibble Thiessen(A) Thiessen is a last name in high German;^Thiessi in lowGerman. Knibble is something to eat I think but I don't know what?kind of dough fried?(B) low G slang for Knochen Artzt or chiropractor.(C) L.G.^Knibble^is^to^rub/probe/massage,^a mix^ofmassure/masseuse/chiropractor.(D) meticulously (knibbeln)36 Shuzzel Shroeder(A) Shroeder is a last name in high German. Shuzzel I don'tknow.(B) don't know. low G family name.37 Winkle Wieler(A) Wieler is a high German last name. Winkle is an angle. Howan angle applies to a person I could only guess. I never heard itbefore.(B) high German family name--Winkle could be descriptive but Idon't know its meaning.39 Schacht Schulz(A) Schulz is a German name either in high or low. Schacht Ithink means chess[....] Thus Schulz plays chess.(B) low G (I'm not sure) to shaft someone.62 Schallemboych Pete(A) Pete is short for Peter in low German. Schallemboych is lowGerman for Shellenberg or Schellenberg (Dick Toews family name onhis mother's side); Thus Peter is the son of the Schellenbergs.(B) low G. family name.64 Tiedig Wiens74(A) Wiens is a Mennonite name in either German. Tiediq meansearly; thus Wiens always was early before he needed to be there.Our church had members who always came early; likewise there weresome who always were late. We tended to be the latter!(B) low G for early.66 Trudy Teichroeb's(A) Teichroeb is a high German last name. Trudy is a nice versionof Gertrude.(B) Teichroeb is a family name.70 Irene Olfert(A) Two names. Irene (English); Irani in high German maybe.Olfert a German last name. I don't know it as a "Mennonite" namehowever!(B) it's a name.80 Milyoon Moates(A) Ok this is funny. Moates is Martins in low German. Millyoonis million in low German. Thus rich man Martins as if he hadmillions of dollars!(B) low G--"million" Moates (Martens) refers to a rich man.80 A.M. Kuhl and P.M. Kuhl(A) I don't get this one. Kuhl I guess is a German last name.I've never heard it among Mennonites. A.M. and B.M. [I confess totypologically complicating the issue.] are initials for two names?(B) just proper names which I don't recognize.80 Yelttausch Yeeatze(A) Yeeatze is low German for Geortzen, a German Mennonite lastname. Yeltausch or Yelttausch means money pocket; so Mr. Geortzenhad a pocket full of money, always, not sometimes but always!(B) low G for purse or wallet. "Yeeatze" low G for Goertzen Rape Rampel(A) Rampel means Rempel in low German but I don't know what Rapeis.(B) Rampel is low G for Rempel and the Rape--I don't know aboutthat word.80 Barley King Barkman(A) Barkman I guess is a German name but I don't know anyRusslander with that name. This sounds English as does "BarleyKing".80 Gevitta Ginter's widow(A) widow is English. Gevitta is thunder and lightening in lowGerman, Ginter is high German last name; so this means the husbandwho died was called Gevitta Ginter (why a mix of low German, highGerman and English?)(B) low G for thunder.81 Lectric Loewen75(A) Lectric is short for Electric; so Electric Loewen in highGerman.(B) low G for electric (as in light) Loewen family name.82 Klaviera Klassen(A) Klavier is piano; so the businessman who sells pianos iscalled Klaviera Klassen (why Klaviera--I would think KlavierKlassen would be more correct?)(B) nKlavier" is high/low G for piano--so perhaps she was pianistfor the church.119 Forscha Friesen(A) Forscha means sort of fat, big, well padded, staulky;Therefore fat Friesen.(B) low G--very sturdy(C) L.G. Research Friesen; probably used in this context in thebook, but Hforschn can also mean big/fat.(D) brisk, unrestraint (forsch)123 Fuchtig Froese(A) Fuchtig is an explicative like terrible, awful, disgusting,stinking; therefore maybe an unbearably smelly Friesen!(B) low G--sly124 Susch and Tusch(A) I don't know. I guess Tusch does not mean Tusch as we knowit, one's seat. Susch I don't know.136 Gnurpel Giesbrecht(A) Giesbrecht is a last name in high German. Gnurpel is like ajoint, something in meat as tough as grizzle. It may also meanlike a bump or wart or disfigured part of a limb. It may mean anornery person (?)(B) low G--for the hard parts of meat (not bones)(C) L.G. HGnurpelnis adhesions/cartilage, the stuff in meat thatcan't be bitten through; gristle.141 Dola Dyck(A) Dyck is a Dutch Mennonite last name with high Germanpronunciation. Dola, or Dol means angry; thus angry Dyck.(B) Dola--low G--dollar150 Yasch Siemens(A) Siemens is a German last name in high or low. Yasch is lowGerman for Jake or Jack.(B) just a name but HJaschn is not formal.(C) L.G. Jake/Jacob/Jack Siemens161 Doft Siemens(A) Doft is deaf I think or could even mean a little out of yourmind since perhaps a deaf person appears a little stupid until itis known that he is deaf.(C) L.G. David Siemens165 Lowt Leeven76(A) Leeven is Loewen in Canadia low German. Lowt means to praise,compliment or recognize. It does not seem to fit but it could alsobe a first name.(B) low G for late.166 Puch Panna(A) [....] Puch means to boast in low German. Thus Penner tendsto boast, again a tendency among German people but definitely notconsistent with Mennonite "humble" doctrine.(B) low G for show-off169 Yeeat Shpanst(A) Shpanst is a Mennonite name I guess but I don't know anyone bythis name, only in my Janzen story. Yeeat is low German forYeerat, or Gerhard or George. My mother always called my fatherYeeat--and how this brings back memories from long long ago--sheloved him so when she said Yeeat.(B) low G--shortened version of Gerhard. Shpanst is family name.(C) L.G. Gerhard Shpanst. Your grandma Janzen called grandpaJanzen "Yeeat".175 Another newspaper man with a funny name like Fudderingham(A) This kind of expression I have heard before--newspaperman. Mydad called the mechanic garageman (see my Manitoba Memories I).Fudderingham is of course Fotheringham because Mennonites likeauthentic Germans cannot say the "th". My father worked hard topronounce the English correctly. Our high school teachers Mr.Lohrenz, Mr. Schaefer, Mr. Peters who were not born in Canadaalways said Fudderingham.(B) Is this a referal to Fatheringham in Macleans?53 Gopher Goosen(A) Goosen is a common German Mennonite name in high German andEnglish; Goosi in low German. Gopher looks English to me as inprairie dog.(B) just a nick name108 Fuchtich Froese(A) Froese is probably high German; Froes in low German (?).Fuchtich was rarely used in our house if at all. I think it meansconfrontational, full of fight? I don't know.(B) low G means sly--"Froese" just being the last name.Places: Do these places really exist? Do the names "mean"anything?2 Neche(A) I don't know(C) E. Little town just south of Gretna in U.S.--just south ofborders. Exists.9^Puggefeld(A) Sounds like a name of a place but I don't know a place myselfby that name. Does the author make up this name?(B) low G--no--interpreted to "Frogfield"77(C) L.G. Not exist. Frog field.(D) ...field9^Prachadarp(A) This means literally translated, beggar's village. This wordcould be a depricating term for a type of village. I've neverheard of such a place by name. It's low German of course.(B) low G--no--means "Beggar village".(C) L.G. Not exist. Beggar village.16 Dietschlaund(A) This means Deutschland or Germany in low German and is anactual place, a country.(B) low G--yes Deutschland or Germany.16 Hullaund(A) This is low German for Holland or the Netherlands.(B) low G--yes--Holland52 Panzenfeld(A) I know of no actual place by this name but it could be avillage I guess. I don't know the meaning of the word. It [is]either low or high German(B) high G--It could have been a real place.(C) L.G. Not exist. Big Belly field. I heard it as referred toman's belly. Bill says Panz usually ref ered to big balooning cowbelly.(D) ...field77 Yanzeed(A) Interesting. This word means the other side, or the beyondside. Thus it's not an actual place, in low German.(B) low G. means Other side.(C) L.G. East reserve of Mennonites largely settled by Mennos in1874.143 Altwiese(A) This is high German meaning old meadow. It could be a placebut I know no town or place myself by that name.(B) High G. this is probably a real name of a place interpretedas "Old meadow".(C) G. (sounds more German). Old way. We know of no existingtown of this name.(D) "Old lawn"20 "Pauss up that nothing squirts out!"(A) This is the first example of mixing low German with English,a common occurrence among Mennonites. "Pauss up" means watch out,but more interesting perhaps, "Pauss up" was used a lot inconversation for many things even in Religion so that the devildidn't trick you into doing bad things!(B) low G. "Pauss up" means "be careful".(C) L.G. Be careful nothing squirts out.(D) Watch out that nothing comes out7820 "Holem de gruel! Where did you get that thing?"(A) Mennonites had their cussing words just like other people."Holem" was used in various ways. I guess like "Holy" in English:Holy Cow. I don't know the meaning of "de gruel" but grueli meansto scare. Maybe this means "Holy smokes this really scares me!" or"Scary, eh?"(B) low G. "Holem de gruel" is an exclamation of big surprise.I am not sure about "gruel" (a fright) but it means "something willget you or something like that--(C) L.G. Get the scare. Or "get the porridge." Opa says anunattractive woman looks like a "haisch gruel"--millet porridge.22^"Vowt vell ye met me?"(A) This translated means "What want you with me?" in low German.Also note ye means either a group or the formal version of you(like sie in High German). It could have been "Vowt vellst du metme?" which is directly you.(B) low G. What do you want with me?(C) L.G. What want you with me?23 "Vua rum best du nich en ne Choyck? Angst die nich dowtkullde Zoyck?"(A) Translated is: Why (Vua rum) are you not in the church? Fearyou not the cold coffin? Obviously a warning to those lazy aboutattending church!(B) low G. Why are you not in the church? Aren't you afraid ofthe cold grave? or coffin.(C) L.G. Why aren't you in church? Frightens you not the coldgrave?(D) ? Why aren't you in ...? Don't you have that cold stuff?23^"Portzelcke, Fortzelcke, Shpecka Droats Tien!^Sylvesterchempt met dei Fortz Machine!"(A) Translated is : "Portzelche" (deep fried raisin dough ballsusually prepared at New Year's), "Fortzelche" (rhymes withPortzelche but begins with Fortz a fart), Shpecka Droats Tien (Idon't know); Sylvester comes with the farting machine. I guessthis is a vulgar rhyme chanted by children (?)(B) low G--a pretty crude chant or rhyme about Sylvester."Portzelcke--new year's cookie, Fortz--using the word "fart" torhyme--barbed wire "Tien" (I don't know) Sylvester comes with aFart machine.(C) L.G.^Raisin fritter, fart...made to rhyme with 1st word,barbed wire Tina. Sylvester comes with the fart machine. A rhymenot used in our circles.(D) [chempt met del.] kommt mit de.23^"Opp en desh doa shteit ne buddel bae'a, Vaae doa von drinktdei shrinkt!"(A) Translated: On the table (desk) there stands a bundle (someamount) of beer; who from it drinks he shrinks.^I guess themeaning is clear.(B) low G. On the table stands a bottle of beer, whoever drinksfrom it will shrink? I don't exactly know what "shrinkt" means.(C) L.G. On the table there stands a bottle beer, who from it79drinks will schrink. Also unfamiliar.(D) On the table there is a bottle of beer, who drinks from itwill shrink.34 Knibble Thiessen is what we Flat Germans call a gooseberryboor.(A) Knibble Thiessen is a name with a nick-name; "Flat Germans"means people who speak low German a lot (maybe Canadia) sinceanother name for low German is "plat deutsch" (in high German) andplat means flat.^In low German we would say "plaut deetschu.Gooseberries were grown as a shrub by Mennonites or hedge but theberries are very sour except when ripe (reddish). The fruit andits products like jam, were considered low value food, not as goodas plums, or even as apples, pears of peaches. Hence a derogatoryterm for Thiessen, namely a boor, simple, insensitive.(B) I guess Flat Germans means "low G"--Knibble could refer tomassaging.(C) Not familiar--doesn't make sense to us. Flat Germans?--welllow German is flat and not tall, hence Flat German.35 Even the Flat German ones have often learned themselves awayfrom the schmallen Lebensweg.(A) Overall meaning is that even those Mennonites who speak lowGerman a lot, have accepted enough schooling to veer way from thenarrow life's highway; learned themselves away are three wordswhose sequence comes from direct translation from German toEnglish. This backwards sequence was common among Mennonites whodid not have formal English training.(8) low G. I can only speculate what it means--low German isoften equated w. less educated. The "schmallen Lebensweg" refersto the straight and narrow or the right way--higher education meantto be taken away from the straight and narrow.(C) Direct oversetting. Flat Germans were often very fundamentalin religion & uneducated. It was thought education confused peopleand drew them away from their simple belief. But even theselearned themselves away from the "narrow life road".(D) "schmalen"--narrow path of life35 Knibble Thiessen is getting to be a real spitz poop. His signdoesn't say 'Bone Setter'; it says 'Knockenartzt' in Germanletters, and then 'General Massage'.(A) "Spitz poop" is of course a term for a dandy, someone inflatedwith himself. "Knockenartz" is bone doctor. Of course some ofthese men and women had no formal training but became self-proclaimed chiropractors or "Traichtmochasch".(C) Spitz poop is unfamiliar, but probably means high falutin.Knockenartzt is "bonedoctor".(D) "Spitzbub"--rascal^"Knochenarzt"--bone doctor45 Dievel, Deivel, Dunna, and Schinda! Mustard Boar!(A) Again a cussing phrase by Mennonites (also my father used tosay "Donner Wetter" or "Thunder Weather" as an explicitive). Here"Dievel" [...] is devil; "Dunna" is Thunder; "Schinda" I don'tknow; "Mustard Boar" I don't know but might mean a Mr. Boar witha nick-name Mustard.80(B) Devil Devil thunder and Scheister.^angry and disturbedexclamation.(C) [Mustard Boar] absolutely no idea. Not used in our circles.Devil, devil thunder and skinner. Bill thinks refers skinninganimals in slaughterhouse. We also heard "Go tein Schinda", almostlike go to hell.(D) Teufel (devil)48 Himmelfahrt(A) Himmelfart is high German for journey to Heaven, Heavenward.(B) low G. Jesus' Rising into heaven.(C) G. Religious holiday--Ascension Day(D) Ascension Day15 Sylvesterabend(A) Sylvesterabend is a special day in the year. I've forgottenexactly which one but it's around New Year. Maybe the eveningbefore New Year's day?(B) high G. New Years Eve.(C) G. New Years Eve, spent in church being hauled over the coalsfor all one's sinning during the year. One last good whack fromthe preacher.(D) New Year's Eve56-7 Oata, OataOssentoataPesst em WoataTruff emn KoataTruck sich dann bei Becksi ootFunk doa einen brunen KlootHowd sich dann ne groute FreiDocht dowt yeah emn Ouster EiSchmeickt seh eesht emn kleenet BeetYowma me dowt ess blous Sheet(A) This is a scatological poem, or rhyme which translated goes asfollows. Oata, Oata (I don't know) Oss en toata (I don't know buttranslated could be, like a theatre (doesn't make sense) Pissedinto water Hit a cat (probably a male cat) Took his then thepants off Found there one brown clod Had himself then the greatjoy Thought that was an Easter egg Tasted him first one smallpiece (Woh is me) that is only shit^Comment: Scatological orvulgar or pornographic poems or rhymes or stories were not commonlycirculated among the Russlander. I never heard any in my entirelife, although Bill might know some. The Canadia I met had manyexamples all in low German of course.^eg. [H.K.]^I can onlyremember part of one; it ended like thisdunkel es daut Loch^dark is the hole [...]grot es de Pruntel big is the post [...]Oba nen mut de doch but go must it anywayChaucer (unabridged) had some poems like this, but not quite asvivid perhaps.(B) A very crude poem I guess we never had that kind ofentertainment in our home--maybe the boys did? I don't know. Iwas reading this while eating a sandwich and it had an adverseeffect on my appetite-- Oata-- is a womans or female name.81Ossentoata--just an uncomplimentary rhyme word.^Pisst in thewater. Struck a male cat. Took off her pants. Found a brownchunk. Had herself a big happy surprise. She thought it was anEaster egg. Tried a small piece. Mercy me that was just shit.(C) L.G. Oata, Oata^Oxenpuller (or carrier)^pisses in waterHits a tom cat pulls herself then the pants off^Finds therea brown clooter^Had herself then a big delight Thought itwas an Easter egg^Taste she first a little bit^Complainerme, it is just shit.(D) that is was an Easter egg^tasted first a little bit60 Schmauntzup(A) (low German) translated means, "cream soup". We never had anyat our house. This was low grade food for Russlander!(B) low G. Cream soup60 glumms(A) (low German) translated is cottage cheese. Glumms was nevereaten straight in our house. It was OK if fixed into somethinglike fried with some spices maybe. Then we called it "glummskoeki"or cottage cheese cookies (but not cookies).(B) low G. cottage cheese.60 verenichi(A) Translation is not possible. These are cottage cheese indough boiled until firm but not too hard in either low or highGerman. Sometimes fruit was used instead of cottage cheese, likecherries.^I can't remember whether this is one of the itemslearned from the Ukrainian population around the Mennonite villagesin Russia. In Canada the Ukrainians also have potato verenechiwhich they call perogies. You might know that the Mennonite Germanlanguage was considerably influenced by the Ukrainian language (itis important to note that the Mennonites like the Ukrainians butnot the Russians).^The influence came because the Mennonitefarmers who could afford it (most of the RUsslander farmers werewealthy in Russia) hired Ukrainian workers both male for outsidework and female for inside work like cooks. Hence a Ukrainian cookmight try her own recipes on the Mennonite family. With largefamilies mother had enough to do looking after the brood I guess.Certainly this was the case in the Dyck (Susan's parents) andJanzen families or the Janzen family on my side. [My mother'smother's maiden name is Janzen.](B) low G or High--perogies60 I don't even like to eat glumms, except when they are inverenichi.(C) L.G. & R. Cottage cheese, in our day dry curd used to filldough pockets. Ukrainians call them perogy. Our moms all madetheir own, placing sour milk on the back of the warm stove.62 They would play old songs from the Evangeliums book(A) Evangeliums is the evangelic collection of songs. Selectionof songs to sing which everyone would likely know would be oldchurch songs.(B) High G. Evangelic song book82(C) G. Evangeliums (book) (Buch) is still around.^Our churchdisdained to use it. The hymns in there were very bouncy, wordssimple and often gory, & theology fundamentalistic.(D) gospel65 snuddernose(A) This was a combination of a low German word snudder, snot andEnglish, nose meaning snotnose;^in low German it should besnuddernclz(B) low G. snot nose.73^...the half ton is schwaecksing from side to side on theslippery mud....(A) The half ton is a small truck like a pick up; the chassiz forour Suburban is 1/2 ton.^Schwaecksing is a bastardization ofschwank, or to sway and an English ending "ing".^Schwach isactually "weak" but this is not to meaning.(B) low G. slipping.(C) L.G. slipping from side to side, especially the back end whenthe back wheels are pushing, making an [squiggley] design acrossthe road.(D) ? "schwingen"^pendle77^"...the nurse at the front was my Muttachi's second cousinfrom Yanzeed who is such a pluida zack that I knew for surethat before the sun went down me and Oata would be marriedwith thirteen grandchildren."(A) This is a combination of low German and English.^[....]Muttachi is mother, said in a loving way, as if small as a child.Yanzeed is from yonder or yonderside; pluida zack is gossip sackwho of course the nurse at the front is; apparently Oata issomeone's name (which I know from the scatological poem!)(B) [Muttachi's] low G mother (Mumsy's).^[Yanzeed] Perhaps avillage called "the Other side". [pluida] Gossip low German(C) L.G. "pluida zack" is a "gossip sack". She works so fast thatby sun down the gossip being spread will have it that not only arethey married, had children, but also already grandchildren.81 Oata nutzed me out.(A) Nutzed has many meanings but all around "used up", "tiredout", "took advantage of", ."all pooped out", "worn out". Again acombination of German (either high or low) and English.(B) "nutzed" low German and high G for using a person.(C) L.G. To be nutzed out, is to be used.(D) Oata exploited me "ausnutzen"6^"Dunner and blitzen it is raining hartsoft again and I canhardly see to the house from the barn."(A) "Dunner and Blitzen" is an explicative cuss phrase sort ofallowed among Mennonites. Hartsoft I don't really know. My guessit means "heartily", "vigorously"; I don't think it means hard-soft! The phrase "to the house from the barn" is nice "GermanEnglish". It brings back memories!(B) Obviously it means v[ery] hard--I think it's low G. because ofhow it is spelled.83(C) G. & L.G. Thunder and lightening, it is raining heartilyagain.(D) [hartsoft] hard.^"Donner und Blitze"^Thunder andlightening...89 "And when I tickled her roll of fat by her belly while she wasstanding there by the washing up pan, she threw the tubdewk atme and hit me right in the face."(A) This is lovely, beautiful--I like it. I can see it. [....]tubdewk is wash cloth: tub is tub dewk is actually cloth covercomes from diack, a blanket; however tubdewk is low German withthe Canadia accent (the w makes it so); RUsslander would probablynot have a w sound: more like tubduke (like Duke of Windsor).Tubdewk is a lovely word. I never thought there was so much beautyin the low German language.(B) [tubdewk] wash cloth low G.(C) Direct oversetting & L.G.^[tubdewk] direct translation:tubkerchief. Actually, dishcloth.90 "But that would laugher everybody just as much and Oata wouldmaybe throw the drankahma at me."(A) "laugher" would mean "provide enjoyment", a nice use of laugh(I) and drankahma is low German for slop pail; since houses didnot have plumbing, a big pail would be placed under the sink. Ourhouse had one; it was my job to empty it outside. The slop pilehad a special smell.(B) [laugher] make someone laugh it's low G. Spelling should be"lacher". [drankahma] low German for slop pail.(C) direct oversetting & L.G. In Low German laugh is "lach", & ifyou say it made you laugh, you say "lachat" (soft ch as in Bach).In direct oversetting (as we used to call it) then, it laughersyou. The drankahma was a horrible pail--the slop pail.92 hova grits(A) hova is oats in low German; grits is porridge in high German;low German would be hova gretts.(B) low G--Oatmeal. Hybrid of low & English G. hova (low G)grits (English). grits is short for Gritze (Oatmeal).95 "They said you were so old and such a dow-nix too."(A) dow-nix, I think means do nothing but I'm not sure.(C) L.G. We would not use this expression, but say "De dowgt yinuscht"--He/she is worth nothing.(D) "Tu-nix" / nichts --do nothing102 That kammers you nothing(A) kammers is a bastardization of "cummer" or "ciimmern" from highGerman which means to pay attention to, or be concerned about, butin the negative it means it shouldn't bother you, or it's none ofyour business.(B) low G. none of your business, it's half English and 1/2 low G.tjemmert(C) Direct oversetting & L.G. Englisized low german word as somany of these are. We used "tchemat". That is none of yourbusiness.84(D) ? "kimmern" That doesn't bother you103 Chinga freow met sukka bestreit(A) Chinga freow I'm not sure but could mean "children's woman",freow is woman or wife; with (met) sukka (sugar) bestreit (spread,sprinkled). If my translation is right, a nice woman who loveschildren (?).(B) low G children ? with sugar spread(C) L.G. Children questions with sugar sprinkled--the reply wewere given when adults didn't want to answer our question. Alwaysfrustrating because the saying made no sense.(D) mit Zucker bestreut^early sprinkled with sugar106 I almost fuhschluck myself because it will cost so much(A) fuh schluck is low German for "misswallow" a word not used inEnglish but means, coughing from something going down the wrongway. This is a marvellously descriptive word commonly used inGerman.(B) low G. chocked(C) L.G. Taking a breath and swallow at the same time in surprise& almost having the liquid going down the wrong throat.(D) "verschlucken" choke115 "I am you so good"(A) Lovely. It means "I like or love you"--somewhere between likeand love.(B) a direct translation from "Ich bin dir so gut" I love you somuch.(C) direct oversetting. No word for love in Low German--maybe"lave" but not used as in English. So "Eck sie die goat" is theclosest to I love you, or "overset" as above, I am you good.(D) ? Ich bin dir gut. I like you ?115 "you are me so good"(A) Lovely.^It means "You like or love me"--again somewherebetween like and love.(B) a direct translation from "Du bist mir so gut".(C) ditto. There is also no word for depression in Low German!121 Jugendverein(A) Literally this means translated, youth organization; mostMennonite churches had or were supposed to have a youth activity.The young people would get together, learn some songs to present,maybe some poems or readings: this was presented maybe once amonth on Sunday afternoon:^Jugend is young people;^vereinactually means together or togetherness, both in high German.Church functions were formally read in high German.(B) Young adult's club usually associated with the church.(C) H.G. Jugendverein or Youth club/organization or? Later wecalled it Young Peoples' Sunday evening service of song and poetryprepared & presented by youth. Often we would present the programin other Menno churchs.(D) Youth group121 Juide frei85(A) I don't know this one. Juide might be Jude, a word for Jew.frei of course means free, but I don't know the expression.(B) low G. translated--Jew free but I have no idea of where theterm comes from.(C) L.G. Jews free153 Sadie and Pug Peters are having a hurry up shroutflint weddingnext week.(A) shrout flint literally translated is: crushed grain.(shrout),flint is gun. This is a shotgun wedding, usually because somebodyis pregnant!(B) low g. shotgun.(C) L.G. Shotgun wedding (shrout is actually ground up grain)(D) "schrotflinte"--shotgun163 Wehrlosigkeit(A) Wehr losig keit is literally "defense less ness", or notwilling to defend one.^This term is a mainstay of Mennonitedoctrine, pacifism, conscientious objector (CO). This term is highGerman.(B) High G.^"Wehrlos" means nothing to fight with. The worddescribing the Mennonite issue of not going to war.(C) G. ...all full of pacifism(D) --helplessness defencelessness172 Buttered out(A) Buttered out means worn out. Origin is interesting. In lowGerman "ut ye buttart" is common for used up or worn out. Butwhere does "butta" come from? I don't know. Is it the sound of amachine endlessly going butta-butta-butta-butta-butta-butta-butta-butta?(B) I don't know--perhaps worn out.(C) Direct oversetting L.G. "Dot yi buttad" is all pooped out.1^heista kopp(A) heista kopp means "heads over heels" in high German or lowGerman. Origin? heista might mean "high over"; thus high over thehead".(B) low G. stand on your head or head over heels.2^shluhdenz(A) shluhdenz means stupid or foolish person.(B) low G--sloppy person2^feemaesich(A) I don't know this time. Maybe it will come to me later (?)3^fortzes(A) The only meaning I know is farts for fortzes 3^Muttachi(A) Muttachi is a loving term for mother or Mutter (high German)or mutta (low German) in low German.(B) low G. Momsy endearment term for mother but I'm not sure.864^knacking sunflower seeds(A) knacking is low German for "cracking"; knack could also behigh German.(B) low G cracking(C) Direct oversetting L.G. Cracking sunflower seeds, a greatMenno pastime. In one side of the mouth & shells out the other.(D) "knacken"--crack4^qwauleming smoke from his cigarette(A) cmauleming must mean huge volumes as in English quaff?forgot but Dictionary for quaff says large volumes of liquid!(B) not familiar with that word.(C) L.G. belching or just coming out in clouds of smoke.4^clapper(A) I don't have a clue except clapper in English.(B) noise maker?(C) L.G. "Claupaht" we'd say in Low German. Rattling would be thetranslation.(D) "kleppern" rattle4^beckhouse(A) Probably beckhouse means back house or the outside toiletalways in the back of the yard so that smells and flies were as faraway as possible.(B) don't know but perhaps the backhouse or outside toilet.(C) Direct oversetting, Pidgeon English.^Flat German'd"backhouse", the biffy or outdoor privy.(D) ? Backhouse--Bakery4^Futtachi(A) Futtachi is a loving term for father or Foda in low German orVater in high German.(B) high G. some kind of pocket.5^dukkat(A) Dukkat is a nice word describing the situation when something(like a Fridge) isn't level and you can wiggle it, or tilt it backand forth.(B) a coin.(C) [what the dukkat] L.G. Not used by our people. Sort of like"what the heck".9^I am trying to gribble out(A) gribble out; I'm not exactly sure. We never used it. Iguess it could be to nibble out information or maybe just to getalong, make do, mellow out?(B) I have no idea.(C) L.G. Gribble is thinking, figuring out.10 darp(A) darp is low German for village; dorf in high German.(B) low G village10 faspa87(A) faspa is low German for the coffee and cake/zwiebach snack inmid afternoon between lunch and supper; fesber or fesper in highGerman.(B) low G. tea time in afternoon(C) L.G. Bill's favourite meal. Best known is Sunday aft 4:00coffee, tweback, or some bread, cheese, jam & then cookies, cakes.Like a fancy coffee break. Some people had them every day & thensupper later.12 It sure seems like a hartsoft long way yet(A) Here is the word hardsoft again; I guess to be consistentwith my meaning for the heavy shower, hardsoft must meanconsiderable, substantial, quite a bit.(B) We never used this word that way--but it seems to mean "very"(C) L.G. ....a hearty long way to go yet.15 Brummtupp(A) Literal translation is "humming top", a top which makes asound when it spins in low German; it means a person who complainsquietly, complains wines a lot in low tones maybe to himself orherself.(B) low G--complainer--winer(C) L.G. (if someone called you this as a child you were acomplainer or whiner.) We know of these only as to their use inthe book.(D) brummen--growl, hum15 Rommelpot(A) I don't know this one; noisy pot maybe, again referring to aperson.(C) ditto [We know of these only as to their use in the book.]15 Reibtrommel(A) I don't know but Reib means to rub; trommel is a drum. Arethere drums you play by rubbing?(B) high G--something for rubbing against?(C) ditto [We know of these only as to their use in the book.](D) "reiben" rub^drum15 Rubbeltrumm(A) I don't know Rubbeltrumm either.(C) ditto [We know of these only as to their use in the book.]15 Brumm(A) Brumm could mean to complain, mumbling complaint.(B) to complain(C) A person who couldn't keep a tune was a Brummer.15 Rummel(A) Rummel I don't know except a noisy sound like a low roar withno distinct features, rumbling thunder maybe?(B) not familiar with that word.(C) ditto [We know of these only as to their use in the book.](D) fuss, lots going on, noisy8815 Fortz(A) Fortz I don't know other than fart or farts.(C) L.G. fart.(D) ? "Furz"--fart15 Dummheit(A) Dummheit is a stupid thing in high German.(B) high or low G. stupidity15 Sylvester the Catlicker(A) Sylvester is a name and catlicker is English for catlicker Iguess!(B) some one who loves cats?--I don't really know.(C) E. Could come from a comic strip called Sylvester.15 Russlaund(A) Russland is Russia Land in low German.(B) high and low G--Russia15 Russiche dummheit(A) This means Russian stupidity in high German, or a stupid thingof Russian type.(B) high and low G--Russian stupidity16 badels(A) Badels are young lads, somewhat derogatory: "daut sent dummebadels" in low German; those are stupid boys.(B) low G. a do-no-good.16 Stookey House(A) Stook was a group of sheaves standing up, but I don't knowanything about Stookey House.(B) I have no idea.(C) Men's residence at MCI Gretna.17^Friewilliges [I admit to a typo--should be "Freiwilliges".](A) I have a problem with this. In high German it should beFreiwilliges;^in low German more Friewelliges.^This meansvoluntary contributions^like in Jugendverein. (Youthtogetherness).(B) high G--voluntary contribution to a program or concert.(C) G. That presented at programs, 25 anniversaries etc of thefree will, e.g. poems, comments, music, solo etc.(D) "Freiwilliges"--S. th . out of free will17 Christlich(A) This [is] high German for Christlike.(B) high G--Christlike or Christian.18 even the calendar is trying to nerk you(A) nerk you, maybe means to fool you, deceive?(C) L.G. tease.20 Holem de gruel! [repeat](A) Holem de gruel we had before is like Holy Cow, Scary eh?89(B) low G. Unpleasant wish for someone used as an exclamationwhen something extra-ordinary happens or is done--20 You mean shoevanack like on Hallowe'en?(A) Shoevanack is a practical joke or prank like on Hallowe'en orApril Fool's day. However Mennonite boys might play practicaljokes on anyone at anytime. Young men were tempted sometimes too.(B) shobanack--low G. for tricks.(C) L.G. We said it shobanack--mischief21 Hauns Jaunses' Fraunz(A) We had this one already(B) low G. John Janzens' Franz2^that brummtupp is rummeling hartsoft loud(A) That humming top is making a rumbling sound quiet loudly,would be my translation, at least to be consistent with my earliertranslations?(B) "hart"--high G for hard.22^"Vowt vell ye met me?" [repeat](A) We had this before.(B) low G. What do you want with me? What are you going to do tome?22^"schmuynge"(A) Wow; I don't know but maybe this means to smootch in Englishschmustre or schmusta means to smerk or smile, which is where I gotmy guess from.(B) I really don't know but it's probably low G. perhaps it meansto butter someone up.(C) L.G. smooch22 Fraunz blinkers his eyes(A) Fraunz is Frank, blinkers means blinks his eyes I guess.Actually Blinkers means the side shields harnessed horses have toprevent startling from the side.(B) blinks his eyes.24 Her ears will shring(A) shring means to buzz, maybe because someone is talking abouther!(B) Probably her ears will burn because someone's talking abouther.(C) L.G. Someone talking about you and your ears ring or get redor something.24 What is purple gas?(A) I don't know?(B) I don't know.(C) Farm gas, to be used only for agricultural purposes.31 schemmel cow(A) Schemmel is spotted I think or maybe a spotted color likebeige?90(B) low G. I thought Schemmel was a male horse.31 footwear: four-buckles(A) four-buckles may be overshoes we used in winter, black rubberwith 4-snapbuckles; richer people had sippered overshoes.(B) probably overshoes w. 4 buckles--they used to have metalbuckles.(C) Overshoes that are half way to knees with four buckles toclose up front. Men's wear.31 flyclapper(A) flyclapper may mean a fly-swatter?(B) fly swatter.31 Booker stove(A) Booker stove was used by many (included is our family--see myold car stories) which used small sized coal pieces, booker coal.(B) Booker is a trade name for a very popular stove used as aspace heater burning low grade coal. We had two--one in the L.R.and one in the large D.R.(C) Had a problem of emitting some acrid stink, but could bestoked with coal for overnight slow heating. We had one, almosteveryone did for awhile.31 narsch(A) narsch is rear-end like in ass in high German, norsch would below German.(B) high G. for bum as in anatomy32 Is you the bearing loose?(A) bearing means bearing, and loose, maybe loose or worn out.(B) Poor translation from German or mixed up English--Have youlost a bearing? Meaning "you're out of your nut".32^...I got stuck on the field and he had to borrow Zamp PicklePeter's 4010 to pull me out.(A) Zamp Pickle Peter we had already--and 4010 was probably atractor.(B) "Zamp" low G for mustard.(C) L.G. [zamp] mustard. [4010] John Deere tractor32 I swear at the cluck(A) cluck probably is clock used in low German expressions.(B) "cluck" low G old hen33 Oh, thousand, I have the Steinback Post forgotten(A) Should be Dowsent not thousand; this was an acceptable cussword Steinbach Post is a newspaper; again backward German English.(B) Translation of the low G. word "Doozent" meaning thousand butused as an exclamation of frustration--the rest is a directtranslation from German.34 footlicking(A) Footlicking I don't know except to imagine it as groveling.(B) comes perhaps from the custom of washing feet--doing a service91for reward.35 rightmaker(A) rightmaker may be someone who made things right (?)(B) I don't know but sounds like a word to describe someone whocan make wrong into right--a mediator--35 knibble(A) knibble I don't know. We never used this word. Maybe nibble?(B) Could refer to massaging36 Huy Yuy Yuy(A) This expression is still common (Winona says it) to meanexclamation, surprise, wonderment, but approving surprise.(B) High or low G. Boy oh Boy oh Boy! used when someone is indeep trouble.37 outcallers(A) outcallers, I don't know.(B) I can only guess--one who calls out at an auction.37 Himmel-shine(A) Himmel-shine; could it mean sun-shine?(B) "himmel": low G for heaven.37 a little bengel boy(A) a little bengel boy; a young, youthful, lanky, immature(B) low G for a naughty boy.38 katzen-jammer(A) jabbering and whining like cats-meowing, waiting for milkshould be more like katzen-yammer (C) G. cat yowling. There was a comic strip called Katzen Jammerkids.(D) --depressed mood, feeling sorry for yourself, sometimes for ahangover39 Corbies...Twa Corbies(A) Twa is two in low German; thus two Corbies but what isCorbies? A name? I don't know.43 fire evening(A) fire evening is high German with English; fire-abend is fullyhigh German meaning free evening like holiday or special evening.It can also be fire-tag or special day or holiday. Where the wordfire comes from I don't know because it does mean "fire" (inEnglish) as well. Candles in church service a long time ago? Oris it free evening as in nothing planned or nothing to do?(B) low G. "Fieur ovend" meaning resting in the evening.(C) Pidgeon English. Englisized German word Feirabend. Saturdayevening when folks quit working & prepared themselves in quitemediation for Sunday.(D) "feierabend"--time after work43 you don't have to string yourself on92(A) I think it should be "you don't have to streng yourself on" inboth Germans there is the phrase "an strengen" (high) or "aunstrenge" (low). It literally means to strain yourself or exertyourself. Thus "you" don't have to exert yourself ("string"yourself) on. The "on" comes again from the German "an strengen"(high) or "aun strenge" (low)(C) direct oversetting. Aunstrengi--to put effort into work orwhatever.(D) "sich anstrengen"--try hard45 flutzed [my error: should be glutzed in later questionnairesthis word was corrected for (C) and (D)](A) I don't know this one; flooded maybe?(C) L.G. [glutzed] stared.(D) "glotzen"--stare45 Penzel(A) we had; this is a paint brush.(B) low G. for a person who is preoccupied or forgets everything--a bit irresponsible.45 Dem dry bones, I hear de word of de Lord (like the BlackwoodBrothers)(A) Mennonites and Germans cannot or will not or do not say "th"sounds. Should be "Them dry bones, I hear the word of the Lord".(C) Negro spiritual48 This come back again burro sits down(A) This is another example of backwards English based on German."Come back again" adjective can be one word in German:"zurlickgekommene"48 Himmelfahrt [repeat](A) This means heaven wards, to go to heaven, journey to heaven(in High).49^"I didn't know you was a france hose"(A) france hose is spoken together;^franscose meaning Frenchperson.50^"he drove all over his farm ... looking for the cowfoot so Icould stamp the earth down around the posts."(A) Translated, "he looked all over for a tool called a cowfootwhich would pack the earth around the posts he was placing in theground in his farm."(B) I think a cowfoot would be some tool or was he actuallylooking for a cow.(C) Bill calls it a "crowfoot". We have one--about 6 ft tall onein. diameter steel bar, very heavy, slightly flatted on the bottom,used for pounding around fence posts to solidify their stance.52 laugher themselves(A) they were laughing to themselves(B) high G word where laugher comes from is "das lachert mir"means that makes me laugh.93(C) Direct oversetting. making themselves laugh55 Danny Orlis books(A) Danny Orlis' books, I guess.(B) I don't know who he was.(C) On Menno radio station CFAM Southern Manitoba used to be everymorn (maybe still is) "Back to the Bible Hour" run by Theodor Epp.Sat. morn they had kids program with (soap) story of Danny Orlis &gang. I guess there were also books available.56 oabeida(A) could be "over each one"? I don't really know.(B) low G--workers (employees)56 knecht(A) knecht is a male servant, usually young male servant.(B) high G--servant(C) G. servant(D) --labourer / (slave)57 onioning her eyes out(A) since onions make eyes water, she was crying her eyes out.(B) crying because of cutting onions58 a klunk of earth(A) A klunk of earth, would mean a chunk of dirt.(B) chunk59 my stomach is hanging crooked(A) it was a common saying among Mennonites (women?) that theiraches and pains are due to a stomach hanging crooked!(B) probably means stomach is empty.(C) Too empty--hungry individual(D) "Mein Magen hAngt sclief."--My stomach is upset60 washcumb(A) cumb is a basin, a bowl; washcumb would be low German for awashing basin.(B) low G. Basin for washing.(C) E & L.G. washbasin. Low German would be vauschcumb.60 Evening in Schanzenfeld perfume(A) Schanzenfeld is a village in Southern Manitoba I think.(B) [Schanzenfeld] substitute for Paris.60 proost(A) proost:^Germans say when they raise their glass, like"cheers", "here's to your health".(B) low G--very simple or crude.60 My nose sucks in a sinus-full of Evening in Schanzenfeldperfume and I proost so hard that one gob of mucus membranesizzles on the muffler.(C) L.G. This type of description was what turned many Russlaender& their kids against the book--it was not the kind of thing they94would say--too crude. Proost is sneeze. We would say "Proosti".(D) "prusten"--snort60 panz(A) Danz, probably pants but I don't know;^panzer is a warmachine like a tank.(B) low G--I think is a name for a man's stomach which protrudesbut I really don't know.61 ovenside of the chicken barn(A) ovenside may mean on the side of the yard where the outdooroven was? I don't know.(B) ? unless it's the warm or sunny side.(C) I suppose the outdoor oven was on one side of the barn.61 snudder(A) snudder is snot, combined snudda (low German) with English(er).(B) snot61 consequentlies(A) means consequently I guess, but it could mean more, like thosethings which comes as the consequence of something--interesting.63 she tells me not to be so shittery(A) I think here shittery may mean jittery, not a derivative ofshit but I would have to have the context to know better.(B) perhaps scared.(C) direct oversetting.^In Low German we loved to use"sheeterich", describing someone with loose bowels, easily scared.63 footfeed(A) footfeed, I don't know.(C) excelerator.64 Wynola(A) I think Wynola was a cola drink carbonated like Coca Cola?(B) must be a name of a person?(C) How I hate the word. They'd have a hard time with a name likeWinona (Mennos knew only MaryHelenAnnaMargaret) & often it wouldbecome Wynola, a cola drink.64 klingers (the little bell klingers)(A) someone ringing a bell(B) is an adapted word to describe the little strikers in bells.66 nip (a type of food)(A) was nip a chip like a french fry? I've forgotten(B) We called hot dogs "nips" when we were young but it was anEnglish word I thought.66 Huttatolas(A) does this mean a kind of sect like the Hutterites?(C) Hutterites.9566^"[she]... rutches herself over to the middle of the seat."(A) rutches means to slide both in high and low German.(B) low or high G slides over.(C) L.G. pushing, keeping contact with the seat; slides.(D) (herliber)--"rutschen"-- slide (over)67 •those penzels(A) those guys or daft guys, or dumb guys or those characters(B) a name used for men or boys usually who forgot something ordid something foolish or stupid.67 she shteepas herself(A) she shteepas, means to support herself, shteepa, low German.(B) low G. braces.(C) L.G. braces--shteepat68 shnuitsboat(A) I don't really know.(B) I have no idea.(C) L.G. Direct translation: nosebeard. "Shnuits" is comic termof nose. We said "schneerboat". What "schneer" means I don'tknow.68 what the hund(A) there is a cuss phrase which is "want de Hund" meaning "whatthe dog"; here's combined with English(B) German for dog--an exclamation for exasperation or "what theheck"71 fuschels(A) I don't know(B) low or high German for whispering.(C) L.G. whispers.72 your Foda(A) your father; Foda is low German for father(B) food low G.72 spitz(A) spitz is point(B) high G meaning either sharp or a clever thief "spitzboob"72 the lamplight funkles in her brown eye(A) funkle means twinkling;^again a German (low or high)combination with Eng.(B) low G--twinkles73 schmaus(A) I don't know--it sounds like something I should know.(B) high G----a snack--I think.74^schluffs off(A) ab schluffen (high) means to do a poor job of; scimp; shoddyworkmanship, cut corners; hence schluffs off (B) low G. something done sloppily.9675 clawed out of there(A) an animal like a cat clawing in to get traction for more speedto get away.(B) using hands to get something out of a hole or tight spot.75 mensch(A) mensch is a human in German (high or low); now in German Ithink mensch means a very positive opinion of a human being; likea real person(B) low or high G. person Menschen--people.75 kompliziet(A) this kompliziert means complicated(B) low G spelling Kompliziert meaning complicated75 fruemensch(A) frue means female, woman or wife but fruemensch probably meansa female human.(B) low G for female75 hackelwire(A) hacke (high) or hauk (low) means hook in German; thus hookedwire or barbed wire; German/English combination hack el wire (B) not sure but it could be barbed wire.75 mist-acre(A) I don't know; maybe a funny way to say mistake?(B) high G for Manure. perhaps were they took the manure from thebarn for fertilizing.(C) G. & E. manure acre(D) --? Mistacrer manure field77 pluida zack [repeat](A) We had this one: a gossip sack(B) low G for gossip.(C) L.G. gossip sack(D) --"Pludepack" wide bag78 angst(A) angst means fear.(B) low G. or high G. scared or frightened.78 gruelich(A) grue lich is terribly scared, or very frightened(B) low G--terrible78 shtollt(A) comes from shtellen or stellen (high) to steal shtollt is lowGerman for stealing(B) low G. proud.(C) L.G. proud(D) --? "stolz" proud78^frie(A) frie is free or marry in low German97(B) low G--free79 Omchi(A) (beautiful) Omchi is an older, pleasant, plump, mangenerically speaking maybe like me now at my age 99797(B) low G--older man.80 what would have freid Nobah Naze the most(A) frei in low German is to make happy; frei (low German) d(English ending)(B) "given joy" low G.(C) L.G. to make happy--what would have "happyfied" Nobah Naze....(D) en/ "freuen"" --pleased81 she wobbled her head(A) wobbled means shook I guess(B) shook her head probably but I don't know if it has a germanorigin.82 my necktie was schneering my throat(A) schneer means to rub because something is too tight: aunschneere (LOW) tighten the belt or corset to make a small waist(B) high and low G. chocking my throat.83 soldot, soldoten(A) soldot is soldier in low German; soldoten is plural in low G.(B) low G--soldier, soldiers.83^"Nun Danket Aller Gott"(A) Should be "Nun Danket Alle Gott" Now thank everyone God, asong I think with this title.(B) high G--name of a hymn(C) G. "Nun Danket Alle Gott" Hymn often sung in church "Nowthank we all our God."(D) ? alle --Now all thank the Lord83 bedoozled(A) My mom used to say this a lot meaning just a little dizzy sayafter a nap or getting up quickly in the morning; could also bebefuddled by something else like a persuasive salesman, courteor,or alcoholic beveridge; mixed up as in loss of direction.(B) low G. confused.84 The Dank for the food(A) Dank is thankyou as in danken (High G)(B) low G--Thank85 schwaecks [repeat?--no comment from dad](B) I don't know(C) L.G. sway/swerve90 schuzzel(A) schuzzel is probably saucer or plate; schUzzel (high German)(B) low G--for bussel in a woman's gown?9898 I hear the shtrulling sound(A) shtrulling--I don't know(B) low G--not sure--when liquid (as in milking cows) hits thecontainer.98 zoop zack [repeat](A) Had this already(B) Low G. "soup sack"(C) L.G. a drunk, zoop is impolite term for drink, & "zack", sack.99^"I'm all full of mist!"(A) mist is fog; I guess I'm foggy headed? I've just come backfrom page 21 #148 reminded me that mist also means manure; I'm allfull of manure or shit. It could be on the clothes from workingwith manure--yeh!(B) High G. for manure. Perhaps if he had worked in cleaning thebarn that it would mean he was soaked with it.102 That kammers you nothing [repeat](A) Had this already(B) it's a cross between low and high G. low chemet or highkimmert--meaning doesn't concern you(C) That is none of your business. Low German word is changed,Englisized as I call it. Made to sound English.(D) kiimmern --bother102 I am a bit bedutzed about that(A) bedutzed, also means befuddled, but more on the stupid side,screwed up.(B) low G--confused and surprised103 Honey wagon(A) door-to-door salesman with a honey wagon? I don't know.(B) I don't know(C) E.^Hog barn liquid manure pumped into tank on wagon &dispersed on fields.105 Winnipeg in the cellar(A) I don't know.(B) I don't know.(C) E. Eatons basement bargain centre.110 don't be so dupsich(A) dupsich comes from dups which is ass, as in rear end of us,hence don't be an ass, don't be a shit-head (although a little toostrong)(B) not sure but it's low G--"dups" means bum as in anatonmy--Iguess "don't be such a bum" could fit111 frindschoft(A) low German for relations (uncles, cousins, aunts etc.);freundshaft in High G(B) low G. relatives117 fromm99(A) fromm means holy, righteous, good, humble, nice, gracious(B) low and high G. religious(C) G. Our evening bedtime prayer was: Lieber Heiland mach michfromm, Das ich in dem Himmel komm.^Make me (holy) good;righteous, pious.(D) --pious119 schmooz(A) I don't know(B) don't know(C) L.G. smooch(D) schmusen--to cuddle119 glutz(A) I don't know(B) low G "klutz" is a big piece of wood--but I don't know whatglutz is.125 schluks(A) schluk means swallow, as in drinking and swallowing(B) low G--a swallow as in drinking126 flitz(A) flitz might mean to flit about?(B) low G--very fast as in a split-second127 shmuyng(A) I don't know(B) I would guess it was low G but I don't know how to use it.129 But I lawve her(A) lawve is love(B) I'm guessing the word is love--but I don't know why--(C) E. Flat German "love".(D) love?136 What the shinda(A) This is a cuss phrase, but I don't know what shinda is; Ithink shinda is a non-reputable person, bad bad, a small crook.(B) low G. for a horse--"what the devil?"(C) L.G. Expression such as "What the heck" only "Schinda" was notnice to say.136 becksishetta(A) (Low German) becksi is pants sheeta is someone who shits;hence literally a small baby who still shits in his/her pants, butalso used to describe someone who is young but immature, or who isnot thought to be very grown-up, or ridiculed for being too proudbefore his age.^I have only heard this used for males, notfemales.(B) low G--someone soils their pants--a derogative name calling.136 ganz geviss(A) high German meaning completely (clanz) certain (creviss)(B) high German--for sure100(C) G. completely for sure(D) "ganz gewi13"--for sure137 schwengel(A) (Low G.) schwengel is something that swings, a hinge maybe,hook and eye?(C) L.G. schwengel, bengel are interchangeable....young guy midteens immature kind of rascal.(D) ? Bengel--rascal137 shaubelkopp(A) shaubel is bean; kopp is head; thus a bean-head, not toosmart.(B) low G--bean head(C) L.G. same as above. Direct translation "bean head".(D) kopf--head --some sort of "Dummkopf"137 Hingst yuckers himself like crazy(A) "yuckers" is a lovely word with no direct translation. It isapplied to cases where someone works too hard; overworked himself,a common Mennonite trait.(B) hingst--low G being a male horse--"yuckers" coming from theword "yucken" (high G) which means itching.139 schaps(A) schaps I don't know. Schnaps is whiskey(C) L.G. same as above. [schwengel and shaubelkopp]144 shtimm(A) shtimm is voice, pitch, or agree, or plumb as in carpenterwork where boards are vertical or horizontal exactly or parrellel(B) high G. for agree or voice "shtimme"(C) G. Voice. This not Low German (Schtem) but high German(D) Stimme--voice148 Then it slowly seepers into my head(A) seepers literally means seeps into my mind(B) I don't know the origin but it definitely means dawns on me 148 a load of junk by the mist-acre(A) mist-acre, may mean the field or acre where the manure pilewas(B) high G for Manure--I am not familiar with the term "mist-acre"--we always talked about mist "haufen" hill.150 eltesta(A) Church congregations elected men (now men and women I think)to be eltesta or elders, like in the Presbyterian Church (I was onein Athens Georgia) they had leadership responsibilities in thechurch.(B) low G. for senior (in rank) minister in the church."eltester" would be high G.(C) L.G. bishop151 pumping all the zirks full101(A) Zirks are grease inserts where one can pump grease into tolubricate surfaces of machines; this is done when you get a greasejob on your car.(B) don't know.(C) grease nipple162 I'm Yasch, not Jack(A) Yasch is Jack in low German(B) low G name for Jack(C) L.G. Same as saying, "I'm Karl, not Charles."172 Buttered out(A) -we had this-(B) Worn out--I'm not sure--depending on the pernounciation of theU--it could be low or high--the shorter sound being low G. comingfrom the word butter.The Blue Mountains of China7^Urgrossmuttchi(A) low German: Great grandmother in loving terms "chi"(B) high G--an endearing word for Great grandmother(C) L.G. Great grandmother(D) "UrgroBmutti"--great grandmother7^it was time to make schluss(A) schluss (low G) comes from schliessen (high G) to close, orlock; here it means to end(B) high and low G--to end the speech or do the closing.(C) G. an end.(D) "schluBmachen"--to finish7^Bashkir hut(A) I don't know(C)^?8^froutzen(A) froutzen is an ugly face in low . G(B) low G--making faces(C) L.G. faces (funny or horrible)(D) "Fratzen" (plural)--funny faces / grimaces8^fritz(A) Fritz is a name but fritz I don't know(B) nick name for Fred [...]8^friedlich(A) friedlich is peaceful in high G since Frieden in peace(B) low G or high--peaceful(C) L.G. peaceful(D) --peaceful1028^grout estov(A) groute stove is big room in low G(B) low G--Big room or Living Room(C) L.G. great room--living room8^betchla(A) betchla is low G for bachelor, single man(B) low G for bachelor(C) L.G. batchelor(D) ?--"bachelor"9^Die deutsche Fibel(A) in high G translated, The german primer book(B) high G--the German book that teaches children to read German(C) G. We remember it. German primer.(D) German primer10 bone fixer(A) A chiropractioner, a common "medicine man" (or women) amongthese people(B) refers to a bone setter if you have a sprain or something likethat--(C) E. chiropractor10 Waisenamt(A) Weisen amt Weisen is orphan. amt here means organization orcontrol or office(B) --AMT is a position as in a job(C) G. amt=position.^Committee/organization to take care ofwidows or orphans.(D) Orphan office11 hauptcheuik(B) I don't recognize this word at all except for "haupt" whichmeans main as in part or most prominent(C) ?11 verlobta(A) verlobta means engaged as in a couple planning to marry in lowG, I think the male since ver lobt a(B) low G--one who is engaged to be married or [verlobt]er--highG.(C) L.G. The engaged one (to be married)(D) Verlobter--someone engaged11 verlobung(A) verlobunq is high G which is the actual engagement event(B) high and low G--the engagement ceremony(C) G. the engagement(D) engagement13 hof(A) hof is yard in low G(B) low G for yard of a home(C) G. yard103(D) "Hof"--yard13 Zentralschul(A) zentral schul means central school in low G. schul is low G.Schuhle is high G.(B) low G--college. schule--high G.(C) G. Highschool in Russia14 sommastov(A) somma stov is summer room in low G(B) low G for summer room(C) L.G. Summer room, often a little building not insulated usedonly in summer to cook & serve food, thus keeping the main housecooler.16 ackstov(A) ack stove is corner room in low G(B) low G for corner room(C) L.G. corner room19 "...knowing one Lowgerman word: awbeide, awbeide.(A) awbeida is work in low G(B) to work(C) L.G. Work work. Yes that's what our childhood & teen yearsat home seemed to be composed of.19 schlunga(A) schlunga may mean lanky good looking slim boy I think fromschlank maybe in low G20 cosheet(A) cosheet is cow shit. co sheet in low G(B) cow shit? low G.(C) L.G. cow shit20 nuscht(A) nuscht is nothing in low G(B) low G for nothing(C) L.G. nuscht(D) ? nischt/--nothing --nichts26 atje(A) atje may mean corner but ackstov (above) was spelleddifferently. this could be plural, many corners in low G(B) low G for corner(C) L.G. several... .or some, but what? [... ]31 schwengel [repeat](A) we had this; swinging hinge or hook(B) long stem w[ith] a knob to grab it like a gear shift31 So let your schwengel nose around--nobody's watching!(C) L.G. A schwengel is a handle or leaver.^Used alsointerchangeably by some with bengel10434 Fri edenstimme(A) Frieden stimme is Free voice or Peace voice in high G(B) high G--Peace voice but I don't know how it's used.(C) G. must be some Menno paper, unfamiliar to us.68 Die Post(A) Die Post could be the mail or the name of a newspaper in highG.(B) high G--the post. De Post--low G.(C) G. Paper--weekly published by Derksen Printers in Steinbach.(D) --common newspaper title68 schultenbot(A) schulten bot I think this is the person elected in the villageto serve on the Mayor's Council, like Alderman maybe in low G(B) low G--meeting of some kind(C) G. Meeting of elders (who had a village position)73 On this sad earth I am a pilgrim,And my journey, o my journeyIs not long.(A) A good Mennonite doctrine that we lease but temporarily hereon earth; it all is better on the other side(B) sounds like a hymn in high G.(C) E. Sounds like a hymn (much like "This world is not my home,I'm just passin' thru." Yeah tell me about it.74 Methuselah(A) I guess this means Metusala(B) you know better than I who that was--the oldest person in thebible?(C) From the Bible--someone Very old.77 schundt(A) A despicable act or person I think? I don't know(B) low G for junk(C) L.G. junk(D) schund--rubbish79 Liesel, Liesel,Dried'ger's spriesel,Uppity and thin as a measle,(A) Liesel is a girl's name, from Liese, Betty I think is Liesa?Driediger is a last name; spriesel I don't know. Should this be"thin as a weasle"? I don't know more than what it says.(B) [Liesel] is a female womens name in high or low G.Dried'ger's is the possessive of a family name--spriesel lisprienmight mean chaff as in straw--it's just a rhyme w[ith] no specialmeaning.(C) L.G. [spriesel]--whirlwind, dust devil87 Come now and dig my grave,For I am weary the wandering;From earth would take my leave,For I am weary the groaning.105For I am called by the holy peaceOf angels, whose rest can never cease.(A) nice hurtin' verse. What can I say? It speaks for itself(B) Is it a poem written by someone who is ready to die(C) Sounds like a translated hymn88 twieback(A) low G for zwiebach, or double buns Mennonites make(B) low G for zweiback(C) L.G. Two cheeked bun.(D) ? Zwiebach--? biscuit88 etiskauste(A) etis kauste eti is to eat in low G, kauste is chest as inmoney chest, or money bank, treasury.(B) eti kauste--low G for eating box(C) L.G. eats box93 Gently falleth the snow;Still and white rests the sea;Woods glisten under the moon;Joy to thee^Christchild comes soon!(A) Sounds like a verse for a song just before Christmas(B) A christian hymn(C) Translation of one of my favourite German Christmas Carols.(D) Leise rieselt der Schnee^Still und starr ruht der SeeWeihnachtlich glanzet der Wald,^Freue dich's Christkind Kommtbald --Christmas song96 Names of towns:(B) all in high G96 Schoenbach(A) schoen/bach probably a town meaning nice brook(B) beautiful stream(C) G. Beautiful brook. Don't know if it exists.(D) nice creek96 Gartental(A) Gartental a town or village meaning garden valley but "tal" isa broad valley or plain.(B) garden valley(C) G. Garden valley. Don't know if it exists.(D) Garden valley96 Blumenau(A) Blumen/au means flower, a town or village(B) flower meadow?(C) G. Flowermeadow. Don't know if it exists.(D) Flowers meadow96 Rosenfeld(A) Rosen feld means rose field, a town or village(B) rose field(C) G. Rosefield. Exists in southern Manitoba106(D) Roses field96 Friedensruh(A) Friesens ruh means peaceful rest, a town or village(B) peace rest(C) G. Peacerest. Don't know if it exists.(D) Peace quiet99 Kirchenbuch(A) high G for church book, Kirchen buch probably the official(B) high G--church book(C) G. Church book. Church register.(D) church register101 tschmaking(A) tsch making, tsch is table in either high or low G and English"making" a carpenter who makes tables.(B) schmaking--low G--making noise when one eats--101 Those Russlander certainly knew nothing about tschmaking, asthey called it in the Chaco.(C) L.G. We said it "tschmaking", but it means smaking & makingnoise while eating. Russlaender were more refined & had bettermanners.103 song: "Kommt emn Vogel geflogen"(A) translated directly: comes a bird flying(B) high G. Comes a bird flying. I recognize the song--we didsing it when I was growing up.(C) German song sung to little children. Grandma Janzen sang itto Tees & Mart often.(D) children's song119 Liebche(A) Lieb che means someone you love(B) low G for loved one I think119 toem schinda noch immol(A) this is a cuss phrase quite serious or high level in low Gtranslated: to schinda (something bad) once again (schinda is badbut what it is I don't know)(B) [she adds exclamation marks to the phrase] low G. Go to theDevil! would be a good interpretation in English. [schinda] onlyis a derogatory name but not devil.(C) L.G. Not nice to say. In our family not used. Kind of "ToHell with you!"(D) zum...noch mal --damn it!120 schatz(A) schatz is treasure, also a person we treasure or love(B) high G--a special friend of the opposite sex(C) G. Treasure. Used for little kids and lovers.(D) term of endearment "darling, love"121 schlarafenland107(A) high German schlarafen land; schlarafan is sloppy, absent-minded, scattered person. Thus a place for lazy, unorganized,laid-back people.(B) high G--Never Neverland(C) G. Never, never land(D) Schlaraffenland--land of milk and honey--from a children'sbook121 bulchi(A) bulchi is bread in low G, brat is bread in high G(B) low G--bread(C) L.G. or maybe R. bread127 kolkhoz(A) I have heard this word by RUsslander and has something to dowith the Ukraine or Russia, maybe means Cancisis a region insouthern Russia?(B) don't know(C) a grouping, commune farm in Russia. Russian word127 droshky(A) droshkv is a horse drawn wagon, but I can't remember how manywheels it had, two or four, and how elegent simple or ordnate?(B) Ukrainian word for a kind of wagon or buggy(C) R. Two horse buggy used mostly in Russia128 Schinda noch immol(A) As above--cuss phrase(B) !! low G. Angry exclamation(C) L.G. It seems to me perhaps "shinda" was someone alreadydamned by his/her sinfulness. After reading the term severaltimes, somehow I thought I remember it as such---????136 Bengel [repeat](A) A young strapping lad(B) low G a young boy who has misbehaved(C) L.G. Bengels are immature guys(D) Bengel--rascal142 butzas(A) in low German butza s is a young boy around 7 years old or so,mabye Slavic not German? I keep thinking its when boys have veryshort hair cuts in summer.(B) low G--young hefty boys and lively too.179 what was loose over there(A) loose comes from high G, was ist los, what is the matter overthere, except the word has been change to the English loose as ifnot right but which is not too bad for an adulterated expressioneither!(B) happened. was los in high G(C) Direct oversetting. Was ist los? What is loose is directlytranslated. What is the matter over there?(D) Was war da los--what was going on over there108187 That blonde maedele(A) Maedele is girl, that blonde girl in high G(B) high G--girl190 woat derchfaul(A) woat is becomes, is, will be...derchfaul is diarrhea.derchful could also mean failure as in an business.(B) low G. woat what derchfaul used for diarrhea(C) L.G. [woat] ? diarhea191 fiera(A) fie era is the front of something in low G(B) low G--for leader(C)^?197 darp(A) village in low G(B) low G--village(C) L.G. Menno village. To call someone "darpsh" is to say theyare somewhat simple, slow, crude, perhaps even.204 dummheit(A) stupidness in high G. dumm is stupid; heit is some propertyof.(B) high G--stupidity205 A halunk in the ditch(A) halunk is a clotz, stupid person with connotation big, largebum in low G(B) low G--a bum(C) L.G. stupid guy, dumb jerk.(D) Halunke--rogue, rascal211 foada(A) foada is father is low G(B) low G--cattle feed(C) L.G. fatherThe Blue Jar2^Sprliche(A) Spruch is a verse from the Bible that children are tomemorize. SprUche is the plural of that in high G.(B) high G--Bible verses(C) German. Poems, also verses from the Bible which had to belearned by memory for Sunday school(D) --sayings3^Feierabend(A) Feierabend is a holiday. feier to celebrate abend is evening to celebrate in high G.(B) high G--time for rest in the evening(D) --time after work1096^Tante Reisen(A) Tante is Aunt, hence Aunt Reisen in high G.(B) Tante Auntie or women if Reisen is a family name. Tante meansMrs.7^Rinderreich(A) Kinder is children; reich is country, land, region, all inhigh G(B) high G. Childrens world or kingdom(C) G. Children kingdom. Could be rich in children, but thatwould be two words^(D) World for kids9^Der Bote(A) Der Bote is the Mennonite Newspaper out of Winnipeg; Susan'sUncle used to be assoc. editor or something.(B) high G--is the name of a Newspaper that circulated among theMennonites also written by Menno. also religious stuff abouthappenings in churches etc--(C) G. Bill still receives this weekly paper.(D) Common title for newspapers--"Messenger"9^Mennonitische Rundschau(A) Mennonite Rundschau is the other Mennonite newspaper also outof Wpg. Der Bote means the message. Rundschau means to lookaround. Rund = around, Schau = look or show(B) high G. was also a paper which came every week a little moreinteresting to read. Both came to our house. I found both quiteboring.(C) G. The General Conf. German paper--not published anymore.12^"There they come, the Relief - Fraiters."(A) Fraiter could mean free loading eaters but I'm not sure(B) a cross between low G. origin and English too--Fraite is averb used to describe animals eating so if used in context w[ith]people it would mean more gobbling than mannerly eating.(C) E & L.G. Fraita; fraitash (many) eaters, but impolite term.13^strain(A) Stram is high G for good looking, well-dressed, well-groomed.(B) very trim and well dressed--high G.(C) G. shtram--pretty, dressed-up(D) Stramm--tight, straight13 Frauenverein(A) Frauenverein is women's gathering, togetherness, like Jugendverein we had earlier.(B) high G--women's club in church(C) G. Ladies Aid.(D) women's club15^"prips" coffee in sealers(A) prips was cold coffee but even more probably was the roastedgrain substitutes like Postum which we drank during the WWII sincecoffee was not available. Sealers are the preserve jars which had110a lid you could seal.(B) [prips] like postam--low G--a type of coffee made not fromcoffee beans I believe--coffee in "sealers" were the canning jarsor sealers you could seal.(C) weak coffee made of roasted [no more]15 zwieback buns(A) zwiebach is two backed literally, the double buns we knowMennonites make in high G(B) high G. means the double buns made by the Mennos.21^"Kind, Liebes Kind, hast du vergessen..."(A) "Child, lovely child, have you forgotten" in high G(B) high German "Child, loving Child have you forgotten" I don'tknow where that is taken from.(C) G. Child, loving child, have you forgotten....(D) Child, dear child, have you forgotten24^"vaspah"(A) "Vaspah" is the snack break between lunch and supper in low G(B) low G--for afternoon coffee/tea time(C) G. faspa, that glorified 4 p.m. coffee break.28^"Jugendverein" [repeat](A) young people's gathering--we had this before(B) high --youth club in the church they would perform usuallyonce a month in the eve., songs poems, or plays for thecongregation.31 I could read the Jerry and Jane primer.(A) Jerry and Jane were the boy and girl in early school textbooks I guess but I though it was Dick and Jane. Primer is firstbook.(B) a book which is used teaching reading.(C) The-book I learned to read in in grade I32^"Blitzkrieg"(A) Blitz krieq was Hitler's sudden air attacks on London forexample. Blitz means lightening; krieg means war in high G(B) high German--has to do w. World War I perhaps meaning alightening war--I remember hearing that word but I am not sureexactly what it referred to--(C) G. Uproar. Even that happened in Germany during W.W.II(D) --war (short, intense)32 The pupils at Poplar Hill School were divided betweenMennonite childrean and "Englishe". [note: should be"Englischeu](A) children; is it really childrean? Enqlishe is low G for theEnglish. [I admit to the error!](B) low G--the English(C) G. The Brits. The nonMennonites.(D) englische (adjective form)39^"lutsch"111(A) lutsche is to suck; lutsch could be the soother babies suckon either low or high G I think.(B) high G--suck as in candy or a finger(C) G. pacifier used by babies. lutsch = suck(D) "lutschen"--suck42 Kinder(A) Kinder is children in high G.(B) high G--Children46 Katers(A) Katers are the last name I think.(B) a family's name?(C) E & L.G. Perhaps meaning male cats. Yes! In L.G. Kotash.One is a Kota. Such is Tobi's [my aunt and uncle's cat's] name:Tobias D'Kota50 Ich Krieg was. Ich Krieg was(A) translated means:^I'm getting something;^I'm gettingsomething: I get something literally in high G.(B) high G--What a child might say when he/she is excited aboutgetting something "I'm getting something"(C) G. I get something. I receive something.(D) Ich krieg was.--I get something54 Prediger Franz(A) Prediger is preacher, preacher Frank in high G.(B) high G--Pastor Franz(C) G. Preacher Franz(D) preacher55 Fromm(A) Fromm we had means holy, good, righteous, in high G(B) high G--religious or pious56 Kinderfest(A) translated means children' fest, or celebration, in high G.(B) childrens' celebration(C) G. Children festival(D) children's party61 Kirchof(A) Kirch hof is a church yard, sometimes the cemetary I guess inhigh G(B) high G--church yard63 Krebs(A) Krebs is cancer in high G(B) high G or low--Cancer or crabs(C) G. cancer(D) cancer64 Begrabnismahl(A) Begrabnismahl is a funeral in high G; it comes from prab isto dig, or grave, begraben is to bury in a grave, the funeral112service included an afternoon meal maybe fasba or a little morelike a small dinner hence Begrabnis mahl (meal). All in high G(B) high G--funeral meal(C) G. Funeral meal.(D) meal after a funeral65 Rakavashakie candy at Christmas(A) only at Christmas were some of these wonderful imported candyavailable and Rakavashakie was one of these, red pillows containinga peanut butter like hard candy inside.(B) they were Christmas candy imported from Europe--made w.peanuts--shape of humbug but red w. black stripes--we always hadthem at Christmas--(C) R. Yes! Red, crumbly pillow about 1 1/4 in. long, tasted kindof like Crispy Crunch.66 My great uncle, Ohm Gheet(A) Ohm means an older gentleman. Gheet probably means Yeet orYeat we called Gerhard before.(B) low G.--Ohm used as Mr. Gheet is low G--for Gerhard--(C) L.G. the senior, the old man Gheet, could be as I would spellit Yeat, the short name of Gerhard.72 Forstei(A) Forstei means the forest where CO's were sent to work inRussia during WWI, hence Mennonite boys cut trees for a governmentjob. Susan's Dad spent some time in the Forstei I think, high orlow G(B) was an alternate service in Russia for conscientiousObjectors--my father was not conscripted because he was to smalland low in weight but my Uncle served there.(C) Both G & L.G. Russian organized forestry work for the MennoC.O. (Conscientious objectors)75 Norweger(A) Norweger, someone from Norway in high G(B) high G for Norwegian--from Norway75 Lehrer Zeiting(A) high G. Lehrer Zeitung translated is Teacher Newspaper (ifits Zeitung) zeiting maybe. Zeit inci where ing is English!(B) high G--Teacher's newspaper87 Rollkuchen(A) Deep fried dough previously rolled hence Roll (rolled) kuchen(cookies) in high G; these were a Mennonite speciality.(B) high G for deep fried pastry(C) G. Yum! Deep fried kind of thin biscuit dough (thin as inbatter).(D) .../cake88 Verschelpt, Mother said(A) literally translated means dragged--high G--ver schlept Ithink; lost in exile, never heard from again, this is a commonending for many in my father's generation--men only.113(B) high G--lost or during war and revolution taken awayinvoluntarily.(C) G. Fer-dragged. Taken away against ones will.89 bubbat(A) bubbat is the dressing inside a chicken or turkey, a raisindough in birds in low G--very tasty.(B) high or low G--a kind of bread used in poultry dressing w.raisins--could be baked as a meat dish w. sausage.(C) L.G. could have Russian roots.^Soft biscuity slightlysweetened dough laden with dried fruits, esp. prunes & raisins &baked in & beside roast chicken.89 pluma moos(A) plumma (plum or plums) moos a fruit soup, a thick sweet soupin high G(B) low G--a sweet soup made from dried fruits often made forSunday brunch and served w. cold meats because they could beprepared ahead.(C) L.G. Fruit soup (pluma = plums) served cold.^I make withdried fruit mix, add 1/2 unsqueezed lemon, 1/2 squeezed orange, halfjust thrown in and brown and white sugar to sweeten and somecornstarch to slightly thicken. Also cinnamon stick & whole staraniseed to flavour.89 Schinkenfleisch(A) High G. Schinken (is ham, hip, one side of rear end) fleisch is meat as in a slide of pork ham; sometimes also applied tohumans who have substantial hips.(B) high German for Ham smoked(C) G. ham(D) ham meat89 Porselky(A) low G for a kind of dough ball cooked in deep fry fatcontained raisins, apple or other fruit baked to celebrate NewYear's day.(B) Ukranian fritter deep fried w. raisins eaten only at New YearsDay(C) R. New Years fritters. Made with yeast dough & raisins.Very slightly like Robins Donut Shops raisin fritters.89 Niejohschskuke(A) Nie johschs kuke means New Years Cookies in low G(B) low German for the above--New Year's cookies(C) L.G. Same thing as above.89 Paska(A) in low G, paska is Easter bread, the sweet dense loaf Mom usedto make with icing sugar, decorations, chocolate bits, M & M's etcetc.(B) low and high G. Ukranian Easter bread(C) R. Mine is made with 7 eggs & potato water & stuff & is sotender and yummy (4 loaves)11490 the huge cast-iron kettle we called the Miagrope.(A) When hogs were slaughtered the big cast-iron kettle on theyard was used to boil off the fat and make other large amounts ofproduct like grubbeln or Greben (see below) which was a fatty porkmeat which would look like ground beef. [....] Mia (from mehr whichmeans a lot, big) Grope (a big pan, shallow pot, big tub).(B) it's already described--used over an open fire outside insummer to heat water for washing clothes or cooking whatever neededto be cooked in big quantities.(C) L.G. Cast iron kettle standing on brick enclosure on thefloor. The fire box was built in underneath; holding about 30gallons it was huge. We had one in our church kitchen. There theborscht was made for big church gatherings. Big lid went over top.91 wurst(A) sausage in high G(B) high G. sausage92 Greben(A) Mennonites liked this and even spread this on bread--but lard,fat, cholesterol city! Wow.(B) high G--for chitlins? I have forgotten the English word theymake down South Beth--out of fat of a pig--they are salty and purefat--like bacon but no meat.(C) L.G. Pork crackles.92 Zilkase(A) Zil kase high G I think but I don't know Zil ???? kase ischeese.(B) high G--I think a pate made from tongue of a cow or calf.(C) G. Head cheese(D) / Käse--cheese92 Grebenschmalz(A) As explained earlier Greben is the fat plus small pork pieces;schmalz is fat, lard, grease all this in high G.(B) high G--lard "Schmalz" Greben would be what gets too hardlittle particles when cooking the fat of a pig in a coldron or"Miagrope" and the rest would be used as lard.(C) G. Porkfat with a smattering of pork crackles here & there.This was a spread for many--never us. Bill says it was a sandwichfilling for school lunches--says it tasted okay with honey. Yuk ismy reaction.(D) fat94 Summatime(A) means summertime but summa is low G. This word combines a lowG word with English.(B) part low G and part English. Summa is sommer(C) I don't know--summertime?(D) summertime96 Leiter(A) Leiter is a leader in high G or a ladder as well(B) high German for leader as in choir leader or director11597 Reiseshuld(A) the debt Rlisslander had for the boat-fare across the Atlantic;the trip debt is direct translation for Reiseschuld. I remember myfather still having to pay Reiseshuld when I was a boy. In high G.(B) high or low G.--travel debt that the Menno. incurred when theycame from Europe(D) ? Reiseschuld ? travel guilt97^...Beute ist mit uns Bruder Julius Schier von Black Creek,die People's Bible Institute...."(A) This is a typical introduction to a visiting speaker for thechurch congregation in high G. Brother Julius Schier(B) The 1st part is high G--an introduction--Today we have with usBrother Julius Schier from-- "die" the(D) With us today is brother...106 Kinder! Kommt sofort her!(A) translated: children, come immediately here in high G.(B) high G. Command children Come here immediately!107 Perishky(A) perishkv is the wonderful pastry which is a long snakelikehollow with fruit pie dough [....] in high G.(B) I believe a Ukranian name of a pastry dish usually fruitwrapped in pie dough either in squares or long tube like--alwaysmade for Sunday for Vesper time(C) R. Pie dough (I use) rolled out cut in lengths. In middlechopped fresh apples, or peaches, or rhubarb (real good) with sugar& flour to thicken. Dough pinched shut on top gives long as cookiesheet round cylinder. When baked cut into shorter pieces.128 Schnetke(A) schnetke is also a food.^Is it dough fried?^I don'tremember. low G(B) low G--biscuit(C) L.G. Rich biscuits, made smaller, folded over.130 Kluters(A) I don't know.(B) low G--balls of mud. "Klieter" noodles(C) ? Could be lumps as in gravy?132 Klose(A) I don't know; maybe also a kind of dough, cooked or fried?(B) high G--noodles(D) ?^KloB / Klöse -- dumpling137 Was ist los(A) high G what is the matter? is a direct translation(B) high G. What is the matter "los" means loose in english(C) G. What's wrong?(D) What's up?152 Kirchliche(A) translated in high G to church like, church character.116(B) high G--church like(C) G. General conference as opposed to Mennonite Brethern.(D) (adjective) church153 Tauffest(A) Tauf means to duck under, submerge. fest is celebration inhigh G hence this was baptism in the Bruder Gemeinde (BrotherCongregation) by submerging candidates.(B) high G--baptism(C) G. Baptism service(D) baptism154 Gemeindestunde(A) high German. Gemeinde is congregation. Stunde is hour butwas meant to be more a study session for members rather than abusiness meeting I think.(B) high G--meeting of the church members?(C) G. Meetings for decision making or problems or concerns ofcongregation or just a meeting to study together.(D) parish group154 Scheune(A) Scheune is a grainary, a building for storage of grain orimplements.(B) high G--granary(C) Machine shed--was of larger size.(D) barn155 ausgeschlossen(A) schlossen is locked, guarded, protected, sealed. geschlossenmeans locked up; aus geschlossen means to lock out in high G maybeexcommunicated, locked out.(B) high G--locked out as in church(C) G. locked out(D) locked out (fig.) impossible159 Taufling (Tauflinge)(A) Taufling is the young person just baptized by emersion usuallybut also applied to baptism by sprinkling in high G. Tauflinge isplural. It was considered that everyone was young in the journeytowards salvation just after the baptism.(B) high G--persons being baptised(C) G. [nufling, Tauflinge] the one to be baptised & several ofthe same.(D) the one to be baptized (plural)160 Gott is gegenwartigLasset uns anbeten...(A) Translated means in high G God is here (gegend meanssurrounding region) w&rtig is genuine, worth something. God isactually surrounding us.^Lasset (lets) uns (us) give prayer(anbeten). beten is pray; anbeten is more, do homage like prayingto a God on your knees but can also be used for Emperors, Lords,Kings, Queens...(B) high G is a well known German hymn. God is here....117(C) G. God is present--beginning words to well known hymn. Let uspray to him(D) gegenwartig God is present Let's pray to...^church hymn163 Ach, du lieber Augustine, Augustine, Augustine,Ach, du lieber Augustine,Alles ist hin!Hut ist weg....(A) This we used to sing when we played games among us youngpeople (dancing was not allowed). I will translate in high G: Ohyou dear Augustine, Everything is done (finished) Hat is gone. (Ithink this signified that everyone had to sit down or something--Iforgot--I remember only holding many strange wonderful girls hands.(B) a folk song in high G.(C) G. Ditty we all know(D) Everything is gone/over Hat is gone... (stupid/silly) --song164 Alles weg...alles weg...Stock is weg.(A) Everything gone. Everything gone, Stick is gone.(D) Everything is gone.. .stick's gone166 Stiefel(A) Stiefel is boots, as in big black rubber over boots used onthe farm to do farm work in high G(B) high G--boots(C) G. Rubber boots which Bill went to buy this week.(D) Boot171 The Jugend(A) the young people in high G(B) high G--the Youth175 Weihnachtsmann(A) Weinachts is Christmas; mann is man or Christmas man or SantaClaus in high G.(B) high G--Santa Claus or the Christmas man(C) Santa Claus(D) Santa Claus180 verlobt(A) means engaged in high G(B) high G--engaged to be married180 verlobung(A) verlobung is the engagement event in high G(B) the engagement ceremony181 Wie Perlen an der Schnur(A) translated: as pearls on the chain in high G(B) high G--like Pearls on a string(C) G. As pearls on a rope/string/belt.(D) like pearls on a string181 Vorsanger(A) vor s&nger means before singers in high G. These men were118selected to lead the congregation in singing. They had a strongvoice and could keep a tune and find a good pitch.(B) high G. they would be a group of men who had a good musicalsense and would sit usually elevated up front facing thecongregation and be leaders for singing and learning new songs--(C) G. They (always men 3 or 4) sat in the front row & decidedwhich hymns the congregation would sing, loudly speaking the pagenumber & then beginning the hymn (not too high, not too low inpitch).(D) principal singer181 Schnoor(A) Schnoor I don't know.(B) high G or low--like on a string as in beads.(C) L.G. rope/string/belt182 Jesus Christus herrscht also Ronig [my error: should be"als"](A) high G, translated Jesus Christ rules as king; als should be;if also it means as an explanation.(B) "als" --high G--hymn(C) G. Hymn--[KOnig] Jesus Christ reigns as King.(D) "Ktinig" reigns King?186 Heiratsfieber(A) Heirat is wedding; fiber is fever in high G. Means hot totro[t], in a fever to get married.(B) high G.--marrying fever(C) G. Getting married fever.(D) -fever / urgency to get married193 Wilkommen(A) high G for welcome or literally will comen (will you come in?)(B) high G--welcome196 boutonnieres(A) I never saw this before--I guess it is buteniers as in aflower for men? I don't know.(B) --this has stumped me! Sorry. unless of course it refers toflowers worn in a buttonhole.198 Herz und Herz vereint zusammenSucht in Gottes Herzen Ruh(A) Heart and heart bonded together. Search in God's heart restor calm, solitude, translated form high G.(B) high G--hymn appropriate for a wedding--search for peace inGod's heart(C) G. Heart & heart joined together search in God for hear peace.Hymn.(D) Heart and heart together^seek peace in God's rest201 Nachochzeit(A) I don't know yet. It might come to me.(B) high G--post wedding--usually held at the parents of the brideI think the day after to view gifts and perhaps to support the119parents in the loss of the child in a way.(C) G. Day or sometimes a week later wedding celebration (usuallyevening) or sometimes 2,3 days in a row. (Bill says like yoursnext morning)(D) Nachrochzeit--after wedding201 Nochast(A) No Chast is the celebration after a wedding in low G literallyafter wedding.(B) low G for Nachochzeit(C) L.G. Same as above.209 Schleusselbund(A) Schleussel (I don't know maybe a game where you are turnedaround blindfolded!) bund is a bond or union. Anyway this meantthe games played after a wedding. Here the young people could meetand touch hands in various games.(B) high G--translated as "key bond"--games played usually tomusic and in a large circle at the reception--(C) Circle games enjoyed at evening after wedding--time for youthto walk with partner of opposite sex. Instead of dance.(D) SchlUsselbund--keys on a chain? Bunch of keys210 Jugens, raus!(A) Jugend is high G for youth; maybe Jugens meant the same.raus means get out, go.(B) A command in High G--Boys, Out! Perhaps they misbehaved orwere too noisey.The Missing Child110 Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin(A) I don't know.(B) My, my, (name)?(C) R? ?(D) "Menetekel" -- warningPlease make some Final comments on the exercise. Was it difficult?Did you feel that certain words needed more context? Is there adifference in the types of words that the different books use?(A) 1. I loved the exercise; for me personally I learned to lovethe low G words because they were so efficient in expressingexactly what I "know" they meant. I also learned a lot about theEnglish language in my attempt to translate as correctly aspossible. The former is more significant because I grew up with alow opinion of the low G language. This exercise changed my mindand I see what I missed. Please help me to read these books. Itwas difficult. Maybe I tried too hard to give all I knew but I wasfrustrated with my lack of knowledge of the full vocabulary of thislanguage. Words in context I think I could understood better--butthe combination of vowels and consonants used by the authors tosound a word took some work. It helped if I said it again andagain breaking the word at different places. Sometimes it clicked.120Sometimes it didn't. But we never spoke low G. I never learnedit. Different spellings of low G words do come out in differentbooks. [....](B) Was it difficult? for me not exactly but it took some time toremember. Low German is not easily read would have to say the wordor words out loud. Yes at least for me some more context wouldhave been helpful but perhaps a bit much for you to supply. Hopethis is useful to you. I guess it's not too neat. Book #1 ismostly to entertain I guess and in low German but the exerciseevoked a lot memories--the language is pretty earthy--Book#2--hasof course a different purpose--not having read the book it's hardto see--it has more high German-- Book#3--Blue Jar uses words usedin connection w. church or religion perhaps more high German--Ifeel it's written by a woman--just from the words--(C) Interesting to note that Russian, German, & Low German wordsare used. Then especially in Yasch (Salvation of...) Low Germanwords are just bastardized, so to speak, forced to sound moreEnglish. They then aren't really Low German anymore, but a kind ofpidgeon Low German.^I've circled some of them in red.^The"Kanadia", those Mennos arriving before 1900 were not as educatedas the later Russlaender & their Low German was different. Theyended many words with n. We said "ate" (sound the e) for eating,they said "aten". For blue the color, we said blau, they saidblaev. Our Low German was pretty pure, the Kanadia, (so calledbecause they were several generation Canadian to our parents stillbeing born in Russia) mixed in a lot of Low German and English orvice versa. Then Kanadia didn't roll their r's as Russlaender didin speaking German or Low German, but pronounced them as English.They changed such a word as bed and spoke it as bad. Tho we also"flattened" the English language, never as drastically as theKanadia, & we thought they sounded absolutely ridiculous. Theirway of speaking was always a joke to us.When one knows two languages it becomes fun to speak in onelanguage as one would in the other. Those who know both catch thestrang[e?] sound which makes sense but sounds hilarious."Salvations of..." has a lot of that. English, German & Low Germanhave all been murdered with hilarious results. Well, it's beenfun. Brings back a host of memories & people one loved;situations, experiences happy & sad one is reminded of. I noticeI start writing & sounding like the stuff I'm reading & I'm notconcerned whether I'm writing good English or making completesense.The Kanadia was generally more crude & so "Salvation of...."was almost boycotted by Russlaender in the beginning. I think nowthe feeling has changed because so much is being written by Mennos,& there is more a feeling of pride than revulsion at present. Evenso, we (Bill & I) are still kind of surprised by the impudence ofthe author. Certainly in our growing up, much in that book wouldnot have been okay to say. Boy, am I sounding simple & dumb.Better stop before it gets worse.THANKS A MILLIONIIIIIIIIII1(A) OK It took 16-20 hours.121Comments on the AppendixAn analysis of the material contained in this appendix couldeasily fill another thesis if not two. In these notes, however, Iwill attempt to provide some context surrounding the birth of theappendix, and to note briefly some of the interesting trends in it.My thesis discusses the importance of the reader's context.My context as a student attempting to budget time and energy hasshaped this study. Thus, the sprawling shape of the appendix isdue, in part, to my lack of forethought before I sent out thequestionnaires. I wanted to know what the German and Low Germanwords meant to speakers of the languages, but I realized that theopinions of one respondent would not be enough; the result wasmultiple questionnaires. When I sent the questionnaires to myfamily I was not yet sure how I would use the results. I did notforesee the massive task of incorporating them into this document.Thus, the repeated items in the questionnaires are not necessarilydeliberate; the repetition has, however, yielded interestingresults. Because the questionnaires were not conceived of as an"objective" linguistic experiment, no one with a total lack ofGerman knowledge was recruited. I have used the comments by thereviewer Debra Martens, who claims to be ignorant of German, toillustrate the perspective of someone without knowledge of German(see page 16). At one point I considered polling a wide variety ofreaders for their responses, but abandoned the idea as anunrealistic one given the time factor involved.Many responses in the appendix surprised and intrigued me. Insome cases I was interested to note a surprisingly similarity in122responses when the readers had very little context to guide them.The wide range of responses to other items was equally interesting.For example, my father says that "Dola, or Dol means angry" whilemy mother responds, "Dola--low G--dollar" (Appendix 75). Thedifference between "praise" and "late" as responses to "Lowt" isalso a good example (Appendix 76).Context is important to understanding--for speakers of thelanguages and for non-speakers. My Aunt and Uncle respond to theword "proost" in context as "sneeze" and my friend says "snort";when the word is presented out of context, my father interprets"proost" as a toast like "to your health" and my mother says thatit means "very simple or crude" (Appendix 93). Context may explainwhy my mother recognizes "schwengel" the second time it appears inthe questionnaire but not the first time (Appendix 100 and 103).Orthography is also important to the respondents. Forexample, Dad responds to "Feierabend" with an etymology (Appendix108), but "fire evening" (Appendix 91) confuses him. Thedifference in spelling between "foada" and "Foda" provokesdifferent responses from my mother. In fact, due to the lack ofcontext, Mom fails to identify "futtachi", "foda", or "foada" as"father" (Appendix 86, 95, 108) .42 Also, Dad changes hisinterpretation of the word "fuchtich" depending on the context andorthography, while my mother responds with the same word "sly"(Appendix 76 and 75). Armin Wiebe himself varies the orthographyof this name between "Fuchtig Froese" (108) and "Fuctich Froese"42^I asked Mom what she called her Father and she said"Papuh". Likewise, my Father says he calls his father "Dad". Icall my grandparents "Opa" and "Oma" though.123(123), although presumably the narrator might be referring todifferent people.The spelling aberrations (which I have tried to preserve) aresometimes significant. My father spent 20 hours over a weekendworking on the questionnaire; his spelling starts to deteriorate,perhaps because of the German influence. See for example, "smerku(Appendix 89), and "sippered" (Appendix 90). Similarly, my Auntspells "shrink" "schrink" (Appendix 79) and my mother spells"pissed" "pisst" (Appendix 81). Immersion in the (Low) Germanlanguage affects English usage. As my Aunt comments at the closeof the exercise, "I notice I start writing & sounding like thestuff I'm reading & I'm not concerned whether I'm writing goodEnglish or making complete sense" (Appendix 120).124Index of Non-English Words and PhrasesA.M. Kuhl and P.M. Kuhl^.^. 74 cosheet ^ 103Ach, du lieber Augustine 117 cowfoot 92ackstov ^ 103 Dank 97allein  ^48, 53 Danny Orlis books ^ 93Altwiese angst  ^78,arbeit ^779633darp  ^86,darps ^Der Bote 10853109atje 103 Die deutsche Fibel^. 102ausgeschlossen^44,awbeide  ^33,badels ^11610388Die Post ^Dietschlaund Dievel,^Deivel,^Dunna,10477Barley King Barkman .^.^.^. 74 and Schinda!^.^. 79Bashkir hut 101 Doft Siemens 75beckhouse 86 dola  ^75, 122Becksi  ^80,becksishetta ^9999Dola Dyck ^dow-nix 7583bedoozled 97 drankahma 83bedutzed 98 droshky  ^30, 107Beet^.^.^.^.^....... 80 dukkat ^ 86Begrabnismahl 111 dummheit^.^.^.^.^30,^88, 108Beluira Bergen ^ 71 Dunner and blitzen^.^.^.^. 82Bengel^.^.^91,^100,^103,betchla 107102dupsich eltesta 98100blinkers 89 Englische^.^39,^41-43,^45, 110Blitzkrieg ^ 110 etiskauste 105Blumenau 105 Evangeliums book ^ 81bone fixer^.^.^•^•^•^• 102 faspa  ^86,^87, 110Booker stove 90 feemaesich 85boutonnieres 118 Feierabend^.^91,^108, 122Brumm 87 fiera 108brummtupp ^ 87,bubbat buddel baefa 8911378fire evening^.^•^•^•^91,Flat Germans^.^.^.^50,^51,flitz ^1227999bulchi 107 flyclapper 90Bulla Buhr ^burro ^7292foada  ^108,Foda  ^86,^95,122122Buttered out^.^•^•^85,butzas 101107footfeed ^footlicking 9490campo 30 Forscha Friesen ^ 75Chinga^freow^met^sukka Forstei 112bestreit^.^.^20, 84 Fortz  ^70,^78, 88Choyck 78 Fortz Funk ^ 70Christlich  ^16,clapper  ^16,claupaht  ^16,clawed out ^88868696Fortz Machine fortzes four-buckles ^Fraiters 788590109cluck ^ 90 france hose 92Come^now^and^dig^my Frauenverein ^ 109grave consequentlies 10494Frei^.^.^.^48,^80,^84,^85,freid 9797Corbies  ^52,^53, 91 frie 96125Friedensruh ^ 106 Honey wagon ^ 98Friedenstimme 104 hova grits 83friedlich 101 Hova Jake ^ 50,^70, 72Friewilliges ^ 88 Hullaund 77frindschoft 98 Huttatolas 94fritz ^ 101 Huy Yuy Yuy ^ 91fromm  ^98,^99,froutzen 111101I am you so good ^Ich Krieg was 84111fruemensch 96 Irene Olfert 74Fuchtich Froese ^ 76 Jesus^Christus^herrschtFuchtig Froese^.^75, 122 also Konig^•^• 118Fudderingham   44,fuhschluck funkles ^768495Jugend^•^•^84,^109,^117,Jugendverein^48,^84, 88,Jugens, raus 119110119fuschels 95 Juide frei   48, 84Futtachi^. 51,^86,ganz geviss 12299kammers ^ 83,Katers 98111Gartental 105 katzen-jammer ^ 91Gemeindestunde ^ 116 Kind,^Liebes^Kind,^hastGemeinschaft 11 du vergessen 41, 110Gently falleth the snow . 105 Kinder^•^•^39,^109,^111, 115Gevitta Ginter's widow^. 74 Kinderfest 111Gheet ^glumms 11281Kinderreich  ^40,Kirchenbuch ^109106glutz glutzed 9992Kirchliche  ^43,Kirchof 115111Gnurpel Giesbrecht^.^•^•^. 75 Klaviera Klassen ^ 75gooseberry boor 79 kleppern  ^16, 86Gopher Goosen 76 klingers ^ 94Gott is gegenwartig . 116 Kloot 80Greben ^ 114 Klose 115Grebenschmalz ^ 114 klunk 93gribble out 86 Kluters ^ 115groutestov gruelich   16,grflhijch ^1029616knacking  ^16,^17,knecht knibble^•^.^51,^52,^73,^79,869391Ha Ha Nickel hackelwire halunk 7396108Knibble Thiessen51, 52,^73,Knockenartzt   51,Koata 797980hartsoft^.^.^.^17,^82,^87, 89 kolkhoz  ^30, 107Hauns Jaunses' Fraunz^.^71,hauptcheuik  ^30,89102Kommt emn Vogel geflogenKommt sofort her^•^.^.^.106115Haustig Neefeld ^ 72 kompliziet 96Heiratsfieber 118 Krebs ^ 111heista kopp 85 Kunta  ^70, 71Herz^und^Herz^vereint Kunta Klassen ^ 71zusammen^.^.^. 118 laugher ^ 83, 92Heute 115 Laups Leeven 71Himmel-shine 91 lawve 99Himmelfahrt ^ 80,himmelshtenda  72,9273Lectric Loewen ^Lehrer ^74112Hingst  ^21,^70, 100 Leiter  ^38, 114Hingst Heinrichs 70 Liebche 106hof^•^•^•^•^17,^102,^103, 111 Lowt  ^75,^76, 122Holem de gruel^.^.^.^.^78, 88 Lowt Leeven 75126lutsch  ^110,maedele ^Mene,^Mene,^Tekel,111108Tien'Pracha Platt ^Prachadarp 787177Upharsin^.^19, 119 Prediger Franz ^ 111Mennonitische Rundschau . 109 Pretcious ^ 45mensch 96 prips 109Methuselah ^ 104 proost  ^93, 94, 122Miagrope 114 prust 22Milyoon Moates ^ 74 Puch Panna ^ 76mist  ^96,^98,mist-acre  ^96,mit  ^39,^78,^84,100100115Puggefeld purple gas ^qwauleming 70,16,768986Mustard Boar 79 Rakavashakie ^ 112Muttachi  ^30,^82,mutti  ^30,85101Rape Rampel Reibtrommel ^7487Na ya ^ 30 Reiseshuld 115Nachochzeit ^ 118,narsch 11990rightmaker ^Rollkuchen 91112Neche 76 Rommelpot 87nerk you 88 Rosenfeld ^ 105Niejohschskuke ^ 113 Rubbeltrumm 87nip ^ 94 Rummel 87Nobah Naze Needarp^.^. 72 rummeling ^ 89Nochast 119 Russiche 88Norweger ^ 112 Russl&nder^8,^21,^31, 34, 49,Nun Danket Aller Gott .^.^.nuscht  ^83,nutzed 971038269,^71,^74,^80,Russlaund rutches 81, 1068895oabeida ^ 93 Schacht Schulz ^ 73Oata rhyme 80 Schallemboych Pete .^. 73Ohm 112 Schanzenfeld ^ 93Omchi 97 schaps ^ 100On this sad earth I am a schatz 106pilgrim^.^.^.^. 104 schemmel cow ^ 89onioning her eyes out .^.^. 93 Scheune ^ 116Ossentoata   80, 81 schinda^.^79,^80,^99, 106, 107Ouster El ^outcallers 8091Schinda noch immol^.Schinkenfleisch 106, 107113ovenside 94 schlarafenland ^ 106panz  ^77, 94 Schlax Wiebe 72Panzenfeld ^ 77 Schleusselbund ^ 119Paska ^ 113 schluffs off 95Pauss up 77 schluks ^ 99Penzel  ^70,^71, 92 schlunga 103Penzel Panna ^penzels ^7095schluss schmallen Lebensweg ^30,.^48,10179Perishky 115 Schmauntzup ^ 81Pesst em Woata ^ 80 schmaus 95Plautdietsch^•^•^.^5,^17, 24, Schmeickt 8056-58,^60,^66-68pluida zack  82,^96pluma moos  ^113schmooz ^schmuynge Schneeda Giesbrecht . .^.^.998973Porselky ^ 113 schneering ^ 97Portzelcke,^Fortzelcke, schnell 19Shpecka^Droats Schnetke 115127Schnoor ^ 118 spriesel ^ 104Schoenbach schultenbot  ^17,schundt 105104104Sprliche  ^37,Stiefel stomach^is^hanging108117schuzzel ^ 97 crooked ^ 93schwaecks 97 Stookey House 88schwaecksing 82 stram 109schwengel^.^.^100,^103,seepers 122100string yourself on^.^.^.sukka  ^20,9184Shaftich Shreeda^.^49,^69,shaubelkopp 72100Summatime  ^44,Susch and Tusch ^11475Sheet  ^80,^103,shittery ^shluhdenz shmuyng 115948599Sylvester the Catlicker 50,Sylvesterabend^.^.^.^.^49,Tante  ^38,Tante Reisen 8880109109shnuitsboat ^ 95 Tauffest ^ 116shoevanack 89 Taufling 116shring 89 Tauflinge 116shrinkt 78 Tiedig Wiens ^ 73shroutf lint ^ 85 toem schinda noch immol . 106shteepas 95 Trajchtmoakasch 52Shtemm Gaufel Friesen . 69,shtimm 72100Trudy Teichroeb's ^tschmaking ^74106shtollt ^ 96 tubdewk 83Shtramel Stoezs ^shtrulling 7098Twa ^  52,twieback ^91105Shups Stoezs 70 Uhhhhgg^.^.^.^.^..^.... 30Shuzzel Shroeder ^ 73 Urgrossmuttchi 101snudder ^ 82,snuddernose 9482vaspah verenichi 11081soldot 97 verlobt ^ 117soldoten 97 verlobta 102sommastov ^ 103 verlobung  102, 117Songs Verschelpt ^ 112Ach,^du^lieber Vorsanger 117Augustine^.^.^. 117 Vowt veil ye met me .^. 78, 89Come now and dig my Waisenamt ^ 102grave ^ 104 Was ist los  ^107, 115Gently^falleth^the washcumb 93snow ^ 105 Wehrlosigkeit ^ 48, 85Gott is gegenwartig 116 Weihnachtsmann 117Herz^und^Herz what the hund 95vereint What the shinda ^ 99zusammen^.^.^. 118 Wie Perlen an der Schnur 117Jesus^Christusherrscht^alsWilkommen  ^45,Willy Wahl ^11872Konig 118 Winkle Wieler 73Kommt^emn^Vogel Winnipeg in the cellar^. 98geflogen^.^.^. 106 woat derchfaul ^ 108Nun^Danket^Aller Woata ^ 80Gott 97 wurst 114On this sad earth I Wynola 94^am a pilgrim^.spitz  ^51,^79,spitz poop   51,1049579Yanzeed  ^77,Yasch Siemens^.^.^iii,^11,17,^23,^28,^47,8216,50,52, 59-61, 69, 75Yeeat Shpanst ^ 76Yelttausch Yeeatze . • . ^ 74you are me so good . . ^ 84Yowma me  80yuck ^  30yuckers  100Yut Yut Leeven ^ 69Zamp Pickle Peter . . . 72, 90zell ^  53Zentralschul ^ 103Zilkase  38, 114zirks ^ 21, 100, 101zoop zack ^ 71, 72, 98Zoop Zack Friesen ^ . . 71, 72Zoyck  78zwieback ^ v, 110128


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