The meaning of the same sentence changes completely, depending on where the speaker places the emphasis:) ? According to Rosten, there are other linguistic devices in English, derived from Yiddish syntax, which subtly "convey nuances of affection, compassion, displeasure, emphasis, disbelief, skepticism, ridicule, sarcasm, and scorn." Mordant syntax: "Smart, he isn't." Sarcasm through innocuous diction: "He only tried to shoot himself." Scorn through reversed word order: "Already you're discouraged?
" Contempt through affirmation: "My partner, he wants to be." Fearful curses sanctioned by nominal cancellation: "May all your teeth fall out except one, so that you can have a toothache, God forbid." Derisive dismissal disguised an innocent interrogation: "I should pay him for such devoted service? Help keep Yiddish alive by learning new words and making them a part of your everyday conversation.
Yiddish offers more ways of identifying various kinds of "idiots" (with all their subtle variations) than Eskimos have for different kinds of snow.
It has a bountiful tradition of literature, film, theater and poetry, which reflect the collective Jewish experience in Europe, over centuries.
This list is by no means complete, but it's enough to get you started sounding like a Member of the Tribe.
Notes: "ch" is pronounced like the "ch" in the Scottish "loch," as if you're cleaning a phlegm from your throat, unless otherwise specified..
Before WWII, Yiddish was spoken by more than 11 million people.
Today, it is spoken by perhaps one tenth that many.
"r" is gently rolled, as the single "r" in Spanish or French.
(pronunciation guide added only to words whose pronunciation might be questionable from the spelling.
On their honeymoon night, he climbs on top of her then just lays there like lox. ' and used sarcastically used to say "Yeah, like THAT'S gonna happen! Such creatures can only be created by the most holy and learned men, because the power to do so is God-like.
Ruthie, in frustration, finally cries out: "Drek mit leber: literally, "shit with liver" What's worse than shit? "Less than nothing." When my husband was a kid and he'd whine and complain that he didn't like what his mother made for dinner, she'd say, "You know what you'll get to eat? There are many such stories in Jewish literature, the most famous of which is probably the Golem of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel who supposedly created his Golem to save the Jews of the Prague Ghetto from anti-Semitic attack.
I think, however, there IS something rather onomatopoeic about it. In Yiddish, generally the word for "shit" is "kock" or "cak.") Farshlepteh Krenk: (far-shlep-tah krenk) literally, a chronic illness. "Allow them to pass.")Gehockteh leber: (ge-hock-teh lay-beh) Chopped liver, both literally and in the sense of someone or something unworthy; beneath consideration.