and German are cognate languages. This means that they are related.
Both came from the same parent language. Compare the two sentences
Mutter und ich pflantzten sechs grüne Büsche in den Garten.
mother and I planted
six green bushes in the garden.
sentences mean the same thing. Although the words are not identical,
you can see how they are similar. German and English have many words
that are similar.
during both the First and the Second World War, anyone using the
German language in Canada fell under immediate suspicion. People
connected speaking German with supporting Germany. The reason was
simple. Germany was Canada's primary enemy in both wars. Canadians
suspected that German-speakers might still be loyal to Germany,
even if they had lived in Canada for a number of years.
the First World War, the government ordered German language instruction
and publishing to cease. Something similar happened during the Second
2003, Die Mennonitische Rundschau celebrated its 125th
anniversary. This Mennonite Brethren newspaper has published in
German since 1878. Roughly translated, its name in English means
“The Mennonite Perspective”. Its goal was and is to print Mennonite
news and religious instruction. Even so, outside suspicion and pressure
forced it to take an extraordinary step.
a number of months in 1940, the Rundschau published its
front page in English. The rest of the newspaper remained German.
the beginning of the war, the Rundschau published in German
with no problems. The only concession was in the 6 September 1939
issue, when the Rundschau published two pages in English.
This, of course, was a few days after England had declared war on
Germany. The Rundschau, like most other papers in Canada,
printed the text of speeches by English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain,
King George VI, and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King.
that, things were relatively quiet for the first few months of the
war. In fact, the period from September 1939 to April 1940 is known
as the “Phony War.” Germany had conquered Poland in the east, but
it was not until 4 April 1940 that it attacked western Europe. This
led to a dramatic rise in anti-German feeling in Canada. On 5 June
1940, Die Mennonitische Rundschau became The Mennonite
Review. It published in English – but only on the front page.
This step indicates the lengths to which this Mennonite publication
would go to show that it was not an enemy newspaper. More changed
than just the language. The content on the front page changed as
look at the front page for 29 May
1940, the last German front page. On the top is a Bible verse:
"Lasset uns fleissig sein zu halten die Einigkeit im Geist.”
In English, this means “Let us diligently uphold our unity in the
Spirit.” On the top left hand corner is a poem called “Ich wäre
so gerne wie Jesus,” or, in English, “Oh, how much I'd like to be
like Jesus.” The main article on the page was on “Die Liebe,” or
“Love.” Compare this religious tone to the front page news the next
week in the English
version. Suddenly, they don't mention anything religious at
all. Instead, they talk about “Trade and Commerce,” “Administration,”
and the “Canadian Honey Crop.” If it weren't for the title, you
could never have guessed that it was a Mennonite newspaper. The
second page was
in German as usual. Here the Rundschau began its regular
do you think that this newspaper changed not only the language,
but also the content?
months later, some of the tension had subsided. The Mennonite
Review changed its name and the front page back to German
and continued to be published as Die Mennonitische Rundschau.
more about the debate on the German