Friday, January 13, 2012

Yiddish iz nisht dead

Once upon a time there was a very charming and expressive language, if not elegant, called Yiddish.
It was a very organic language that grew out of the reality of the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe. It went on to become the national language of our people both religious and otherwise.
When one hears an old man or women telling over stories "fin der heim" in Yiddish with all the inflections and subtleties that come along with it on can almost smell and taste the atmosphere being described.
These days, Yiddish feels very forced. Like it's a language we kind of need to speak if you're chassidish or really yeshivish. The flavor is gone though and slowly but surely the words are disappearing as well until what we're left with is English with Yiddish grammar rules.

Enter Exhibit A: The above advertisement appeared in a local rag a few weeks ago. For those that cannot read Hebrew lettering, it transliterates to REDY IN STOK TZI DELIVERIN. For those that don't know Yiddish that translates roughly into READY IN STOCK TO DELIVER.

Now the sidebar does have a Yiddish word "Etliche" which means Several but then is followed by SIZES and STYLES both of which have Yiddish translations.

Vut Kenn You Say?



Blogger FrumGirl said...

Sorry, I do not share your sentiment about the language. I think it is a language borne of the diaspora and it is almost repulsive to keep speaking it now, when its original language, German, clearly is a symbol of jewish hatred. We arent in the shtetls anymore.... And doesnt it say in chazal that the jewish people were redeemed from Egypt for not abandoning (among other things) their language? Sadly, many think the jewish language is Yiddish. No, it is Hebrew.

January 18, 2012 1:47 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I strongly disagree with you.

A language born organically out of the common experience of the group can be called the actual common soul of the group and has a holiness perhaps even more than a language given to us by God himself.

January 19, 2012 12:41 PM  

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