Translation:Is the horse at yours?
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I'm English and I'm really surprised nobody has heard this before?! It's very common here, it's what we'd say to ask if something/someone was at another person's (usually) house. The "yours" being your place.
e.g. Did I leave my jacket at yours last night? Let's just go to yours.
We also use it in reverse, "mine" refers to my place. e.g. Why don't you come to mine this afternoon?
You are right. A rather long time ago, when we were all young, we were sitting at the table one morning and about to pour hot water into our cups to make instant coffee, my brother asked an American friend who was staying with us in Guatemala: -"You like coffee? You want? Up your cup!" Our guest couldn't help but bursting into laughter, although at the time none of us children quite understood why.
It is a literal translation from the Yiddish. In Yiddish we would say ״צי איז דער קאץ ביי דיר?״ . This a very common expression, and someone who grew up around Yiddish speakers might well use this in English. I have heard it many times. (It's not just in NY. I once even saw a button from Louisiana which said, in Yiddish-imitation lettering "How's BAYOU?" There are a number of other expressions from Yiddish which have become English in certain circles, which can be limitted or very large. For example: "Nu?" ״נו?״ "shmooze" ״ ,״שמועסa meshuggener" ״ער איז א משוגענער״ a shtik, a mamzer, a klutz, farklempt and many more. NY English is particularly adaptive with words from Italian "amore" "mamma mia" etc and from Spanish "amigo" and Japanese "sayonara". Some of these words have become such a part of English that we do not always realize they are borrowed, such as "gung ho" and "to kowtow to someone" both from Chinese.But Yiddish is probably the largest source of borrowed words in the colloquial English of Jews (and others) in NY and Hollywood.
I don't know where you grew up, but I grew up in a secular Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in the 40s-50s, and these expressions were used often, and at least understood passively by almost everyone there. -- On a deeper level, what do you mean by "bad English"? Unlike French or Spanish... or Hebrew, English has no academy with the authority to proclaim what is correct. What is considered correct grows out of usage and changes over time, as well as from place to place. Sometimes, it is used as a marker for class prejudice, so that the speech of the underclass is designated poor English. Sometimes, it reflects regional preferences. Or national differences ("Off the light" is correct English in Nigeria; "no left infiltration" is correct English in India (used in official government proclamations) People speak differently in South Carolina than in Maine, and certainly than in Scotland or Ireland. English is such a rich and varied language that no one can master it all, and the fact that you have "never heard" an expression is poor proof of anything. -- BTW, I went to college 90 miles from home and found upon my return on Winter break that if I talked on the streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood like I did on my Pennsylvania campus it would be poorly received. My conclusion was that language is not correct or incorrect but appropriate to a particular context or not. In my later career as a language teacher, I have seen this affirmed by linguists as well.
OK, I guess I should modify my statement: Some Jews use it. Mostly New York Ashkenazim, from my experience. I agree with you, it does sound like bad English. I never used it, myself. I didn't grow up in New York.
I saw a comment on a similar sentence from someone who said the syntax was familiar to them, more like German. Perhaps it would make sense to some Ashkenazim too?
(Didn't see this but again , NY Ashkenazi, I'm also surrounded by Yiddish speakers, maybe you heard it from a specific dialect? I've never heard it, I'll ask the family if they've ever heard it in Yiddish in Litvak or Galitzianer but I'd be really surprised, as I've heard most of the Yiddish expressions they use).
I don't understand this. I heard "by you" constantly from NY Jews with Yiddish ancestry. I have never heard it elsewhere. In fact, I claim there is a NY dialect of English with this and many other characteristics. (Many of the mistakes in this course come from the fact that some of the authors are speakers of that dialect.)
I don't know the specific backgrounds of those who use this phrase. But now that I'm on my fourth round with this sentence, I remember that my ulpan teacher explained אצל to the English speakers as "at ___'s place." She would have me translate this sentence as "Is the horse at your place?".
I am aware that others have asked about this wording already, but perhaps not when I was here last.
Hebronics is (Ashkenazic) Jewish English. Entire yeshiva courses are dedicated to the phenomenon in NYC yeshivot. Things like "You want I should eat by you?" (instead of "with you") or answering a question with a question, e.g. "How am I? How should I be with this fakachtah goiter?"
Hebronics is a misnomer. The examples you give have nothing to do with Hebrew. They are however typical of a native speaker of Yiddish in an only partly successful effort to change languages. "farkakte" is pure Yiddish, an expletive based on the colloquial Yiddish term for 'to defecate.' (cf. גיי קאקן אפן ים, - gey kakn afn yam). "by you" is a word-for-word imitation of ביי קיר - bay dir. etc . The common term for this is not Hebronics, a clear misnomer, but Yinglish. People also speak of a related phenomenon "Yeshivish".
Is that just a NYC phenomenon? Or, more specifically, of NYC Orthodox communities? Is the term a play on "Ebonics" for Black American English? Having spent my life in Jewish (but not Orthodox) communities across the USA, I'd never heard of it.
Answering a question with a question is stereotypically Jewish, but I don't think I've every heard anybody outside of New York say You want I should ... instead of You want me to ...
The English statement is incorrect. You
don't say that.
You have to add the word "place" after the possessive.
You must keep in mind that the expressio is colloquial and informal, which doesn't mean it is wrong. Just a matter of registers. Which reminds me of an embarrasing experience because of not realising there were such registers as a yioung person. I remember taken a lesson on programming to try and get a job with IBM when I was 17, here in Guatemala. I was asked by the instructor: "Where do you live?" "At my sister's", I answered. -"Your sister's what?" she asked, looking annoyed. -"My sisters place", I said. -"What do you mean? Does she live in a cobweb?", she asked, seemingly happy to make me feel stupid for having used what to me was an everyday expression.
I am convinced that as an instructor she was wrong for having done this. I never came back after tha, shy as I was.
But there again, it is good to be able to distinguish between formal and informal.
With yours, at yours, up yours. LOL. Somehow we know what these mean. I think you're right about the awkwardness of the phrase as presented in DL, but an exception is poetry (but poetry is always an exception): Bob Dylan's brilliant song "I'll keep it with Mine," and Paul Westerberg's "Knockin on Mine": https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xenq68
Thanks for chiming in here, which made me dig into this matter. Muraoka (Modern Hebrew for Biblical Scholars, xxxiv) writes that modern Hebrew uses an extremely large number of prepositions and prep. phrases. "One gets the impression of oversupply, a direct result of the symbiosis of multiple layers in ModH, namely BH, RH and ModH." [Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, and Modern Hebrew.] אצל, according to Giore Etzion (Routledge Introductory Course in Modern Hebrew, 192) also means "in one's possession" (in addition to "at one's place"). An example is הכרטיסים אצלך = יש לך הכרטיסים. Both mean "you have cards." So this sentence in Hebrew, הסוס אצלך, can mean "you have a horse," as a question, "Do you have a horse?" Etzion writes that this prep. typically follows a verb that describes things that you do at a place such as ללון, לבקר, להיות. Since there is no verb here, we aren't given any help about whether this prep. has the locative sense or possession sense.
In southern England it would be perfectly fine to say "....at yours" or ".....at your place". In other parts of the UK, or other English speaking countries, it may well be articulated in a completely different way. BTW, I am amazed at the extreme length of this thread. And I have just added to it!
Some people keep the miniature horses and pigs in their houses (or even in apartments). I would not do this. Some people even keep wild animals as lions in the house. Usually they are (sooner or later) maimed or killed by their pets. (sometimes even by the dogs - but this is rather unusual).
So, the problem is that אצל is can be understood in the same sense of "chez" in French "at your place/house." But it also has the sense of being "with you." My Hebrew teacher explained to me as it being "with you, at your place.'
So, a book someone borrowed can be אצלך in your backpack, or it can be אצלך at your house.
"At yours" is a poor attempt to capture both senses of the meaning simultaneously.
I think "in your possession" is actually the closest meaning that captures both senses simultaneously -- something can be in your possession with you or it can be in your possession where you live/work/claim space.
I taught I was here to learn Hebrew. But I must say I am learning so many specific translations of English that I'm wondering if it is grammatically correct English I'm learning, And now even this questionable thing. That sounds to me like some kind of British slang. Waste of time!