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Yiddish Language
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Sirrom
Posted 12/29/2007 4:25 PM (#6274)
Subject: Yiddish Language


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Posts: 646
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Hello Everyone,

I am a new member. I found this website by accident the other day and I have been reading the threads and have enjoyed the intelligent comments. Thank you.

On to my question. As a young boy my parents spoke Yiddish, as did everyone else in my extended family. I was able to understand nearly every word, but I did not often speak Yiddish. I was able to speak some simple phrases like Shana Madela, Shana Punim, and such, but really could not carry on a Yiddish conversation.

Now, I am in the winter of my years and you get to thinking of your youth and what was it that you liked and what you miss. I miss not being able to remember most of the Yiddish I had known. I do not mean just remembering how to say the words, but I can't even remember the words

I live in an area that has 190 Jewish people out of a population of 150,000. We have no synagogue and I know only one other Jewish person and he does not know Yiddish.

So, does anyone know how I can learn Yiddish again without going to college?

Any replies would be appreciated.

Respectfully,
Sirrom

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Mimi
Posted 12/29/2007 9:30 PM (#6285 - in reply to #6274)
Subject: RE: Yiddish Language


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 590
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Welcome, Sirrom,

Hmmm... a shvere kasha! (A difficult question.) Have you tried the bookshops for books and cassettes on language instruction? I do doubt that you will find it there, but it is worth a try.

A Yiddish/English dictionary might help you expand your vocabulary, but not that useful in teaching syntax and conversational usage.

Hopefully, someone else will have a better suggestion.
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Starjsr
Posted 12/31/2007 2:41 PM (#6319 - in reply to #6274)
Subject: Re: Yiddish Language


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Posts: 306
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Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Yivo although sadly far removed from Torah ideals is very into Yiddish as a language and culture and they have various classes for learning the language
http://www.yivo.org/max_weinreich/index.php?tid=56&aid=145
http://www.yivo.org/about/index.php?tid=57&aid=146 (this page has various links to other Yiddish related websites)

There is a Yiddish Dictionary Online which can be helpful http://www.yiddishdictionaryonline.com/ then there is this: http://www.yiddishlibrary.com/ where you can learn some common yiddish phrases, you may also find a learning partner for Yiddish through http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/Learn/Yiddish.asp

There are many versions of English-Yiddish dictionaries available for sale, also
the book Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Talk Now! Learn Yiddish CD-Rom and
Yiddish Talking Electronic Dictionary and Audio PhraseBook http://www.digitalgiftstore.com/ey800.html

I haven't tried out any of them so I can't give you specific advise.
Asach Hatzlacha!

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Sirrom
Posted 12/31/2007 7:45 PM (#6322 - in reply to #6274)
Subject: Re: Yiddish Language


Elite Veteran

Posts: 646
50010025
Thank you Mimi and Starjsr.
Although I do have a college degree I think I will first try the book 'Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish by Rabbi Benjamin Blech.' I do regret having let my knowledge of Yiddish become lost. I remember it as being colorful and many expressions contained a sense of humor. Perhaps it is just me but, I remember listening to my mother and father speak in Yiddish and I would often smile with amusement. I am not sure if my parents were funny or the expressions were funny. Never the less they are fond memories. The kind of fondness that brings a tear to my eye.
Ikh wintshung dir a gliklekh tog.
Sirrom

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