Posts Tagged ‘Umlaut’

Jasper is a town about an hour South of Bloomington. If you happen to find yourself there because you made a wrong turn off the highway, you may think you’ve been transported to a Bavarian village. The street signs are in German.   Here, State Street  is called “Staat Strasse.”  So, Strasse means street.  The annual festival where these disciplined, hardworking, law-abiding descendants of Germans allow themselves to make some major noise is called  “Strassenfest.”

Jasper people have names with lots of Umlauts, like Kluemper and Buechlein, which I helped them pronounce.  If it’s not the Umlaut, it’s the “sch” and “tz” clumps of consonants that catch your ear and eye.  For example, a restaurant called “Schnitzelbank.”  Say it. Have a Kleenex handy. Gesundheit!

I had the fortune to participate last August. (A little late in posting this, wouldn’t you say.)  Over a three-day weekend I drew and practiced my German for a total of eleven hours.  I was set up under the authoritative, majestic columns of the courthouse in the center of town.  The columns may have been majestic and authoritative, but my drawings, not so much.  With these jovial, good-natured Jasper folk sitting in front of me, my marker flowed easy and, well, jovially.  Let’s just say it was a blast!

Thank you, Heath!

More pictures in the next post.

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