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Language/translator?

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  • caerlam
    Excuse my ignorance...did those who lived in the BT speak Polish or Ukrainian? With the gravestones being in Cyrillic and my ancestors noting they spoke
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Excuse my ignorance...did those who lived in the BT speak Polish or
      Ukrainian? With the gravestones being in Cyrillic and my ancestors
      noting they spoke "Polish" on census records, I am confused.

      BTW, does anyone know of someone who can translate a Ukrainian
      church record and a few surnames? I am having a hard time finding
      info on certain relatives. The county has no record of births,
      marriages, death records provide no info, etc. I have written to
      the Ukrainian churches my family went to and I have had no luck. I
      think part of the problem is that the old records are in Cyrillic
      and whomever receives my request doesn't want to take the time to
      translate or can't translate my request from English.

      Thanks,
      Carol
    • Debbie
      Carol, This is a guess. I think folks living in the BT spoke Polish generally. However, it was different in the Greek Catholic churches themselves (during
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
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        Carol,

        This is a guess. I think folks living in the BT spoke Polish generally.
        However, it was different in the Greek Catholic churches themselves
        (during their masses) and I'm sure Ukes spoke Ukrainian in their homes.
        Considering how many inter-marriages there were, I'd expect that
        everyone had a common language.

        The reason you're not receiving a response is because you wrote in
        English. If the churches are in Poland, (Ukrainian church or RC church)
        you should write in Polish. When the church is actually located in
        Ukraine (today) you need to write in Cyrillic.

        Polish letter translation is made easy by using any the guides found in
        any of the following:
        _Polish Roots_ by Rosemary Chorzempa

        Polish Roots: The Polish Genealogical Resource:
        http://www.PolishRoots.org/
        Click on Reference.

        Polish Genealogical Society of America: http://www.pgsa.org

        Can't help you with cyrillic, sorry. There are guides that have the
        Cyrillic characters but I've not seen (though I haven't needed it) an
        actual Letter Translation Guide in cyrillic. Wouldn't that be nice for
        someone to publish?

        When you're trying to locate records in Poland a lot depends on when the
        events took place. The best place to start looking for records is in the
        churches. But the churches were supposed (operative word here is
        "supposed") to send their records to their diocese archives every 100
        years.

        At a point, the church had to start making copies of its records and
        turn them over to the government. Finally, the government started
        collecting their own records.

        How about if you list the churches and villages you're researching, as
        well as the years involved and the names. The more often you "publish"
        your surnames, the more likely you are to make a connection with someone
        else who is researching that same family.

        I believe Jonathan Shea, president of the PGSof Connecticut and the
        Northeast translates cyrillic. He is a professor of languages. Check out
        the society's web site for an email address: http://www.pgsctne.org/

        Debbie

        caerlam wrote:
        > Excuse my ignorance...did those who lived in the BT speak Polish or
        > Ukrainian? With the gravestones being in Cyrillic and my ancestors
        > noting they spoke "Polish" on census records, I am confused.
        >
        > BTW, does anyone know of someone who can translate a Ukrainian
        > church record and a few surnames? I am having a hard time finding
        > info on certain relatives. The county has no record of births,
        > marriages, death records provide no info, etc. I have written to
        > the Ukrainian churches my family went to and I have had no luck. I
        > think part of the problem is that the old records are in Cyrillic
        > and whomever receives my request doesn't want to take the time to
        > translate or can't translate my request from English.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Carol
      • Philip Semanchuk
        ... Carol, Poland ruled most of Galicia before Austria-Hungary took it over, thus Polish was the working language of Galicia. Local communities used their
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
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          On Tue, 2003-04-01 at 09:22, caerlam wrote:
          > Excuse my ignorance...did those who lived in the BT speak Polish or
          > Ukrainian? With the gravestones being in Cyrillic and my ancestors
          > noting they spoke "Polish" on census records, I am confused.

          Carol,
          Poland ruled most of Galicia before Austria-Hungary took it over, thus
          Polish was the working language of Galicia. Local communities used their
          native tongue -- Ukrainian for the Rusyn/Ukrainians, German in Galizien
          Deutsche communities, Yiddish and I guess Hebrew in Jewish communities,
          etc. But Polish was the language one used to get around both in Galicia
          and in the microcosm of the BT. For example, my grandfather was a
          Galizien Deutsche from a small village south of L'viv. His native tongue
          was Low German and that's what he spoke at home and in his village, but
          I am told that he spoke two other languages as well. I bet these were
          Ukrainian and Polish. I don't think he was particularly well educated.
          He was a farmer and I think he knew these languages in order to do
          business, much as the local Ukrainians probably knew a bit of Low German
          as well.

          If you think about it, a similar situation exists today in the former
          USSR with the Russian language -- not everyone knows it well or speaks
          it at home, but that's the language to know if you want to communicate
          with as many people as possible in that region of the world. Ditto with
          Spanish in South America.

          Add to the confusion the influence of the church which weighs heavily in
          genealogical studies since we spend so much of our time looking at
          church records. I am a little shaky on this point, but I think that when
          A-H took over Galicia the Catholic church decreed that all church
          records had to be kept in Latin. This included the Roman Catholics
          (mostly Poles) and Greek Catholics (mostly Rusyn/Ukrainians). This was
          harder on the latter group since they used the non-Latin Cyrillic
          alphabet. Names got transliterated
          <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=transliterate> and not always
          consistently which is why my name is spelled both Semanczyk and
          Semanczuk today in the BT.

          Does it now make sense to you why your Rusyn/Ukrainian ancestors a) kept
          records in both Cyrillic and Latin characters and b) spoke Polish?

          > BTW, does anyone know of someone who can translate a Ukrainian
          > church record and a few surnames? I am having a hard time finding
          > info on certain relatives. The county has no record of births,
          > marriages, death records provide no info, etc. I have written to
          > the Ukrainian churches my family went to and I have had no luck. I
          > think part of the problem is that the old records are in Cyrillic
          > and whomever receives my request doesn't want to take the time to
          > translate or can't translate my request from English.

          Are these churches in the USA or in Europe?


          Cheers
          Philip
        • caerlam
          Debbie, Thanks for the suggestions. The churches I am writing to are in NJ and PA. I am not at a point where I want to attempt writing overseas yet. Carol
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
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            Debbie,
            Thanks for the suggestions. The churches I am writing to are in NJ
            and PA. I am not at a point where I want to attempt writing
            overseas yet.

            Carol
          • caerlam
            ... Names got transliterated ... always ... That gets confusing too! I should search for the Polish, Ukrainian and Americanized version of my relatives names.
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
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              >
              > Add to the confusion the influence of the church which weighs
              Names got transliterated
              > <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=transliterate> and not
              always
              > consistently which is why my name is spelled both Semanczyk and
              > Semanczuk today in the BT.

              That gets confusing too! I should search for the Polish, Ukrainian
              and Americanized version of my relatives names. It's not that
              difficult with my Kramars from BT (changed to Kramer) but Nawrocki
              (from Hlibiw, Skalat, Ukraine) and Kowalchick (my ggm who I can't
              even find coming to the US and don't know where she is from) is a
              bit more challenging.


              > Does it now make sense to you why your Rusyn/Ukrainian ancestors
              a) kept
              > records in both Cyrillic and Latin characters and b) spoke Polish?
              >

              Yes, thank you.


              > Are these churches in the USA or in Europe?
              >

              USA. I have a few ideas. I could always ask for help at the
              Ukrainian church in my town. Also, my son starts pre-school in the
              fall and the school is run by Polish nuns who reside at a convent on
              the grounds. Surely, they would love to help me with any letters to
              Poland :o) especially when they see how much $$ I am willing to
              spend on their homemade Polish foods (not to mention the tuition-
              yikes)!

              Carol
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