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). Fun language facts 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 plains, the lowlands. My ancestors who are the historical basis for the main characters of 1836: A Land Too Fabulous came from near Cologne and spoke Moselle Franconian – think of it as German with a French accent. A monolingual country, like much of America today, is an historical oddity. In most times and places, one had to be very sheltered indeed to hear and speak only one language. Like most immigrants to America, your own ancestors 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. Don’t worry! I promise that none of this makes 1836 hard to read, just more interesting.