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Have You Heard the Texas-Specific Dialect of Texas Silesian?

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Now that you know about Texas German thanks to TexasHillCountry.com, learn about Texas Silesian! Another Texas-specific dialect, one which developed from 1852 to present day, through arriving immigrants from Silesia and their offspring, Texas Silesian comes from the Slavic Silesian language.

Silesia is a historical area of Central Europe, situated mostly in Poland, with small portions in Germany and the Czech Republic. Much like Texas German, the dialect contains changes to pronunciations, as well as words for things only found here that were then unknown or unfamiliar to Polish Silesians from days gone by. Although highly endangered, Texas Silesian has maintained its presence due to the insulation of the Silesian community. One such site is Panna Maria.

Have You Heard the Texas-Specific Dialect of Texas Silesian?

Photo: envato elements

Panna Maria is a small community found southeast of San Antonio; it’s the United States’ oldest Polish settlement. Recruited by Franciscan missionary, Father Leopold Moczygemba, Upper Silesians from eastern Silesia began arriving, and the town was settled in 1854 on Christmas Eve after an outdoor mass. Panna Maria, which is Polish for Virgin Mary, became an isolated community for several reasons, including being bypassed by newly-established railroads and their tracks, and the community containing Union sympathizers.

Have You Heard the Texas-Specific Dialect of Texas Silesian?

Photo: envato elements

Other towns with Silesian Texan residents are Bandera, Cestohowa, Falls City, Inez, Las Gallinas, Meyersville, St. Hedwig, and Yorktown. In a Reddit thread discussion about Texas Silesian, one commenter noted to non-Polish speakers, Texas Silesian sounds like Polish; to Polish speakers, Texas Silesian may sound like Czech. Check out the two examples below.

Rattlesnake: Texas Silesian: szczyrkowa. Standard Silesian: [no word]

Peaches: Texas Silesian: plumzy, piczesy. Standard Silesian: fyrcichy

Texas is full of culture, history, and surprises! Do you know any Silesian Texans? Have you heard Texas Silesian being spoken? Keep an ear out next time you are in the communities of Panna Maria, Kosciuszko, Poth, Stockdale, Victoria, or White Deer.