Guten morgen Ingrid,
We great and great-great grandchildren are limited in our ability. Some of us only have had 4 years of high school German and live in the United States and read German POORLY.
Many Germans did not pass their language on here because of WWI and WWII , one grandpa had to change his last name to Simons and my other grandpa had his dog killed only because it was a German Shepherd and they thought great grandma was a Nazi. They both lived in high German born and German ancestry areas of the USA!! Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It was not until high school when I spent a summer living in Essen did I realize how German I was! Most of my class mates were all in culture shock living in a German run home. Not this girl. I was the grandchild always begging my grandpa to teach me German and he refused! "Grandpa, old Germans never die, they just because Saur krauts!" was my retort. If I was lucky he would say the Lord's prayer auf Deutsche.
I wish I could read it better and do not have the time to practice and be proficient above an elementary school age level. LOL
The Norwegians sites have both Norwegian and English options on their websites.
Trust me, if I find anything related to my Germans, I'm on it. I have plenty of Teutonic tenacity. Unfortunately most of what I'm looking for is probably on a Polish language site anyway, just because my folks were East Prussians. Very limited information available on my 1880's arriving relatives and in both families the past was the past, so not even stories to go on.
I have a hard enough time trying to figure out how to decipher that beautiful old German script!!
I do understand enough to know that even real Germans are having a hard time locating records, so I feel somewhat relieved and not such a failure.
If I see a site without any English, I feel like I'm intruding and do not want to ask a question in English and or expect everyone to know English. I hate that "America is holier than thou" attitude. I always try and write a little bit, so they at least know I'm trying to be culturally relevant.
That site just totally overwhelmed me. Thank you for your kind challenge. I will keep trying!!
Kelly Simons | Technical Liasion, Child Care Assistance Program
Minnesota Department of Human Services
651-431-4036 (w) | 651-431-7483 (Fax) | Kelly.Simons@state.mn.us
Healthy People, Stable Families, Strong Communities | mn.gov/dhs |