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Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

"Our folks in the Banat spoke "schwowisch"

Excerpts: DVHH Mail List thread referencing Danube Swabian dialect

"Schwowisch" simply means "Swabian,"
and the _correct_ German word for "Swabian" is "Schwäbisch," or "Schwaebisch"

From: "DVHH-Coordinator" < dvhh-Coordinator@att.net>
Subject: attention: Robert Evensen
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004

Robert,

I have a photo and article (in German) about Kathi Reiser in Gottlob, from the 1980 Volkskalender book. The article begins with "Die Reiser Kathi-Bäsl aus Gottlob, a Weib mit viel Humor, 1919 gebor un is seit 1957 Hochzeitskechin. Sie hat des Backe in Temeschwar gelernt, bei dem bekannte Zuckerbäcker Arendt un beim Salm."

Jody

From: "Alex Leeb" < ajleeb@shaw.ca>
Subject: Re: [DVHH-Villages-L] correction: Robert Evensen
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004

"Mrs Kathi Reiser from Gottlob (village) a wife with lots of humour, born in 1919, and is the cook for the weddings since 1957, She learned the baking in Temeswar, by the well known candy baker, Arendt, (name) and by Salm."

Alex

From: Robert Zink < bonsai@hrcreditunion.net>
Subject: Schwowisch dialect in print (Re: [DVHH-Villages-L] attention: Robert Evensen)
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004

Hi Jody,

You wrote: "Die Reiser Kathi-Bäsl aus Gottlob, a Weib mit viel Humor, 1919 gebor un is seit 1957 Hochzeitskechin. Sie hat des Backe in Temeschwar gelernt, bei dem bekannte Zuckerbäcker Arendt un beim Salm."

This passage is an individual's phonetic representation of the spoken word. Schwowisch is the German dialect as-spoken-by our Danube Swabians. Like all dialects, it is not a written language as such.

di·a·lect n
1. a regional variety of a language, with differences in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation
2. a form of a language spoken by members of a particular social class or profession
3. nonstandard spoken language
4. one of a family of related languages

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Since dialects vary all over the place, and since the writer isn't following any rules (there are none), it's no wonder that you would have trouble finding a suitable computer translation. A German speaker, and preferably a speaker of the Schwowisch (or similar) dialect is needed to read and understand writing like this.
--
Hope this helped, :)
Robert Zink
Rock City Falls, NY

From: "DVHH-Coordinator" < dvhh-Coordinator@att.net>
Subject: [DVHH-Villages-L] Schwowisch dialect in print
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004

What is the proper way to refer to our people's dialect Schwowisch or Swowisch or does it matter?

Thanks
Jody

From: Robert Zink < bonsai@hrcreditunion.net>
Subject: Re: [DVHH-Villages-L] Schwowisch dialect in print
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004

Hi Jody,

You asked:  What is the proper way to refer to our people dialect Schwowisch or Swowisch or does it matter?

Well, if I didn't know better, I might think you were trying to trip me up... :-)
Since a dialect is a nonstandard spoken language, and since the word "Schwowisch" itself is part of the dialect it represents, can there really be a "proper way" to spell it? This I defer to people with a formal education in the German language.

"Schwowisch" simply means "Swabian," and the _correct_ German word for "Swabian" is "Schwäbisch," or "Schwaebisch."

However, if you speak of "Schwaebisch," the reader will believe you are referring to Swabian in Germany, not Danube-Swabian. Therefore, the _correct_ way to refer to our dialect in the German language is "Donauschwaebisch" or the "Donauschwaebische Mundart," where "Mundart" means "dialect."

All that being said, a google search gives "Schwowisch" with 140 hits and "Swowisch" with 0. So I would say "Schwowisch" is a more generally accepted spelling than "Swowisch."
--
Cheers,
Robert

PS - There were 42 hits for "Donauschwaebisch."

From: "Nick Tullius" < ntullius@sympatico.ca>
Subject: RE: [DVHH-Villages-L] Schwowisch dialect in print
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004

Robert is certainly correct: Our folks in the Banat spoke "schwowisch" ("Mir rede schwowisch" or "Bei uns werd schwowisch gered't"). In my experience, the variation "swowisch", if used at all, would be to make fun of our dialect (yes, I have seen that too, practiced by some "Herrische" from Temeswar). Of course, I cannot speak for villages such as Saderlach that used an "allemanisch" dialect.

Note that in German these words are not capitalized, as they are not nouns.

As mentioned before, all appearances of the term "Swabia" should be removed from all DVHH sites. The term stands for a historic province in Germany and never for Banat Swabians (the majority of our ancestors did not even come from Swabia). A computer translation program may translate "Donauschwaben" as "Danube Swabia", but that is not an acceptable translation, just absolute nonsense!

Always trying to help...

Nick
 

[Published at DVHH.org 10 May 2014 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Heritage » Traditions » Language & Dialect » "Our folks in the Banat spoke "schwowisch"