Male speaker interviewed by Glenn G. Gilbert, late 1960s, South-Central Texas

In Central Europe, German- and Czech-speakers lived for centuries in close proximity to one another, especially in the territories of Bohemia and Moravia. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several thousand Czechs (“Bohemians”) were part of a large wave of Europeans dominated by German-speakers who migrated to Texas. The German- and Czech-speaking areas in Texas overlapped to some extent, especially in Lavaca and Fayette Counties in the south-central part of the state. This Texas German speaker from north of Shiner, Lavaca County, recounts something of the ethnic and linguistic diversity that endures in this part of Texas to the present.

Dialect: Texas German, Texas German Dialects

Location: Southcentral, Texas


And are there also blacks around here?

Oh yes.

Can they speak German or Bohemian [Czech]?

Yes, there are some who know German and some who also know Bohemian.

German and Bohemian?


Are there also Mexicans here?

Oh yes, a large number of Mexicans are moving in to the whole valley. Many farmers move away and retire, and their places get sold, the land gets sold, to city people, and then the houses sit empty, and then Mexicans move in.

Oh, they’re renters.

Uh-huh. They move into the house and work somewhere else.