One of the endearing things about the Swartzentruber Amish I know is their accent. My son-in-law Harvey tries to hide his but, the language is entrenched in his brain now. He won't shake an accent any more than a person who daily spoke Chinese the first 18 years of his life then tries to speak English.
We chuckled when Harvey talked about "cubons." We had no clue what he was talking about . . . until he described the little pieces of paper I use to save money at the store. Recognize the word now?
Thought you'd enjoy knowing some of the nuances of Amish language - or Deutch - coming out in their English. Here are other words or expressions of speech:
Gut or goot = good
Sex = six
Lavin = eleven (my personal fave)
Aforenoon = before noon
Thursday next or Thursday a week = next Thursday
jurcj = church
Kits = kids
I don't care to = I don't care if.
The first time my daughter heard Harvey say, "I don't care to go to that restaurant," she thought he didn't want to go. The opposite was true. Harvey meant he didn't care if they went there to eat.
Last week, Sarah said to me, "I don't care to do your laundry." Was she was refusing? Fortunately, I knew Sarah meant she didn't mind doing my laundry. Wish she'd offer on a morning I have loads to do.
The "th" combination isn't a part of their native tongue. A name like Heather is pronounced Hedder.
Sometimes ex-Amish try to spell words phonetically but, their phonics has a German origin so the word isn't correctly spelled. They also have difficulty with similar words such as, right, write, and rite. My daughter, who is teaching English in Azerbaijan, says English is the most difficult language to learn and I believe it.
Ex-Amish who study and earn their GED have improved speech and spelling. And then, the rare few like author Ira Wagler, who went on to college, exceed in language skills.
See ya next week. ~ Brenda
(c)Copyright 2013, Brenda Nixon.