Teitsch Deitsch

The time has come, the ziegler said, to speak of many things, or perhaps just about Teitsch and Deitsch.

Yiddish borrowings — from Teitsch

Yiddish is a rendering of the German word Jewish — ‘Jüdisch‘.  This evening I took another look at it. A German might say ‘Such’ (but pronounce it ‘zook’) – ich suche einen neuen Look (I’m looking for a new look).

Where did you look, Bill? And, by the bye, we despise digression. And we’re easily unamused.

Among the less traveled crannies and nooks, under rocks or falling from trees. The usual haunts.

I’m the kind of person that spends moments thinking about the structure of German language — the gleanings of such squandered moments might help explain the resilience of languages based on German — things that Tiggers do best.


Here’s my tentative thesis: German is so god-awful complicated and rigid that it remains recognizable to the speaker of modern Deutsch, by dint of complexity.

So you posit that it is a durable language — rigorously so. 

The Engländer spoke a form of German brought from Saxony (Sachsen), but the proverbial original German was jostled so thoroughly by the Vikings that all the inflections fell off.

Well at least I’ve anchored that reference to ‘things falling from trees.’

Do you speak Yiddish, Bill?

I can very easily understand the transliterated and the spoken Yiddish, i.e. without the Hebrew letters. It’s as familiar as Swedish or Dutch subtitles for a German film. In fact, Yiddish adopts German sounds and word order. Take a look and listen to the Omniglot site for a timely example.


Profile of an Endangered Language

Might we have a piece of birther cake?

A word from our sponsor:

Beware the big lie, the humorless, the enforcer of arbitrary rules, the racist, maker of rules for jazz performers. In short, never underestimate the threat of fascism. Only 15% of its speakers survived the Holocaust. Of the surviving speakers 10% live in New York, many by way of Ellis Island.

Why doesn’t the current President of the United States ever laugh? Or is that a ludicrous question?

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program, in progress.

Do you speak Pennsylvania Deitsch, Bill?

Those immigrants from the 18th century brought their language of origin.  Deitsch is a spoken language with several transliterations to mime the sound. Yet, the structure, word order and vocabulary survive with amazing fidelity. Interesting stuff


Hiwwe wie Driwwe (a Deitsche newspaper)

On a related topic, what kind of beach books do you read?

Here is an out-of-print volume that I found at a local library discard sale for 50 cents.  

The World’s Writing Systems by Peter T. Daniels and William Bright


Here is that very book on archive.org

Thanks for reading.




Author: Bill Ziegler

I am a former resident of Delhi Township. These are memories of my life and times in that community during the 1950s and 1960s. A time capsule.

5 thoughts on “Teitsch Deitsch”

  1. Bill: If you could learn to read German with that God-awful Gothic typeface that Gutenberg introduced (and lasted far too long), you should easily be able to pick up Hebrew letters. (The other day I was trying to find a small point contained in a 18th century German work online at the Internet Archive. It was so exhausting trying to get through the jungle of ornaments on the letter I concluded that I really didn’t need to know the point I intended to find out.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My lack of the German language hasn’t hurt me none. That’s a revised take from the song Kodachrome, by Paul Simon, but I suspect you knew that.

    I think I mentioned somewhere that I was two years old when I landed in New York from Germany via Rotterdam. But it’s not like I remember any of it, mind. Just what they told me in later years. Anyway, my point, my mother, and father were insistent on learning English. So, at two I started picking up English, not German. Then sometime around 12 years old, she thinks I should learn the Mother language, but I had other thoughts. And so I spent many an evening after school in my room pretending to the study of German. And although my attempt was feeble at best, I might concur, it does seem, even to a native born German, a cryptic and difficult language. However, I can count to ten, though.


    1. Well, I don’t have a Nikon camera, but I do have a Yashica Mat 124-G twin-lens reflex from 1975. And Kodak is bringing Ektachrome back. It features very nice colors *and* I’m a Paul Simon fan 🙂 Simon still doesn’t get along with Garfunkel FWIW.
      German speakers have also been at the receiving end of hysteria hereabouts. The street that separated the German speakers from the English speakers in Cincinnati was called “Liberty St” because you could take “liberties” there. Municipal law did not apply there — so it was both wild and wooly. The population was evenly split. The town of Newport, just south of Cincinnati in Kentucky was also famous for its Italian immigrants. So there was English in the middle, Germans to the north and Italians to the south. I could go on and on (and probably will) about the borders here — climatic, geomorphic and glacial.
      There are only two of us who speak German in my extended family, and neither of us learned that language until university. My two kids did not have any interest in learning it and I’m not one who is known for forcing much on anyone. My nephew and I are the only persons in the family who can count to ten in German, und so — Willkommen in der deutschen Sprache 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kind sir, for following my writings. Complimenting my posts with a reblog is much more than icing on the cake. oldpoet56 is quite the diverse and intriguing blog, my friend. I look forward to delving through its depths 🙂


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