Knud Remembers Hardships Caused by the Language Barrier
Knud Remembers Hardships Caused by the Language Barrier (Transcript)
Interviewee: Knud Larsen
Larsen (The Language Barrier):
Let me tell you what I didn't like the most was, I couldn't understand what they were saying. It's awful hard to understand what it means that you can't understand a word, what anybody says to you. And, I'll tell you, if anybody would have said, "I'll give you the money, and you can take the boat back to Denmark," I would have done it any day in the week. And it took me I would say just about a year before I conquered that, because it's hard to understand that you can't understand what people are talking about. Get up in the morning, you can't understand them, you go to work. They laugh at you when you say something because it's, I suppose it sounds crazy to them, and so you just go along.
Did You Know?
Although most immigrants processed at Ellis Island stayed between three and five hours, about 20% stayed overnight in dormitory rooms until their cases could be cleared. Many immigrants found these accommodations a big improvement over the severe conditions of traveling to America in "steerage".