Danish English Textbook


When my grandfather immigrated from Denmark he was very young.  He immigrated by himself at 20 years old and made his way to California leaving his brothers and sisters behind (many of them would also come to the United States at various times).  He only knew a few words of English so he brought with him a "textbook" so he could learn English.  My grandmother would tell me stories of him taking this book with him into the fields as he worked so he could practice his English.  While walking behind the horse and plow he would work on pronunciations that were very difficult.  For example the "w" in English is very hard for Danes to master.  When they say "work" it sounds like "verk".  He would constantly practice the hardest words and sounds until he was able to do it with very little accent.  He believed that if you immigrated to another country that language was the most important tool to have in order to get jobs and be successful.   He and my grandmother only spoke Danish when they were talking about things they didn't want the 3 kids to hear.

Place(s): Ronne, Denmark Fresno, California
Year: 1929

– Stasha Tiller

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant