Yiddish language and culture enjoying a worldwide resurgence

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:32
Hebrew to English
A German dialect? Not quite, although it is very germanish/german(e)y? I'll stick with "germanic". Apr 22, 2013

I was going to say that I'm sure many will object to calling Yiddish "a German dialect", but I see they already have on the comments underneath. It does sound very Germanic though -to my ears- because I studied German for quite a while and I can't help picking out all the similarities it shares with German.

It will be interesting to see if any such "resurgence" will lead to a lasting survival (although I probably won't see the outcome in my lifetime) given that Yiddish has no official state to latch onto which might ensure its survival long-term.

[Edited at 2013-04-22 19:20 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seems excessively optimistic Apr 22, 2013

There is a difference between "manifestations of Yiddish culture" such as Klezmer music, reading of Yiddish literature in translation, and learning "fun facts" about the language in an internet article, on the one hand, and acquiring enough fluency in Yiddish to read and speak it proficiently, on the other. If "resurgence" is defined in terms of the latter criterion, then the term has to be seen as a gross exageration, as high proficiency in the language is generally limited to an ever-decreasing number of very elderly persons, members of small and highly insular ultra-orthodox sects, and an even smaller group of scholars, academics, and translators.

Add to this the fact that the promotion of Yiddish doesn't rank as a high priority of Jewish educational institutions, and you have a state of affairs that points to inexorable decline rather than resurgence.



[Edited at 2013-04-22 16:51 GMT]


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:32
Italian to English
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Language of my childhood Apr 22, 2013

I adore Yiddish and it was my dad's first language. However growing up in let's call it dualheritage dad (olav ha-shalom) Ashkenazi, mum Sephardic my Yiddish was sadly limited to nisht in front of the kinder.

With so many of my generation marrying out, I laugh at friends' SOs who think nothing of schlepping furniture around before settling down with a lovely schmalz sandwich. My own clamps my dad's yarmulka to his head at Pesach and dai ainoos with the best.

To learn Yiddish properly is on my bucket list!

Suzi


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missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:32
Member (2010)
English to Italian
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Fascinating culture and language Apr 23, 2013

Susanna Garcia wrote:

To learn Yiddish properly is on my bucket list!



My Yiddish vocabulary is very limited - Oy vey! / Chutzpah / Schmaltzy -, but I've always wanted to learn it; I even bought a "Teach Yourself Yiddish" book in Moscow, some 20 years ago.

Mazel tov, Susanna!


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