A monolingual country, like much of America today, is an historical oddity.
Let me shout out a big thank-you to my language consultants, Ewa Kapera (Polish), Steve Smith (German and Danish), Bill Zucker, (19th Century Danish), Christopher Norris, (Spanish), Anna Barnum (Dutch) and Rebecca Barnum (French). A fun language fact for those of you with German-speaking ancestors – High German and Low German are generally considered two languages, rather than two dialects, High from the mountains, the highlands, and Low from the lowlands. My ancestors who are the historical basis for the main characters of 1836: Year of Escape came from near Cologne and spoke a Moselle Franconian dialect. Paul Riesdesel generously shared his knowledge of local dialects, which varied from village to village. A monolingual country, like much of America today, is an historical oddity. If your own ancestors were immigrants to America, they probably had to navigate a new language or languages, not to mention accents and dialects. This, and my own love of language, were good reasons to salt my novel with expressions in other languages, adding to its linguistic richness and historical accuracy. I promise it doesn't make 1836 hard to read, just more interesting.