News about the Yiddish-Course
It seems unbelievable, but after more than two years of silence there have been two update posts on the incubator side of the Yiddish-course - one from last week, one from yesterday. So there is hope. I am very thankful to the new contributors but will non the less stay patient.
See the update here: https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/yi/en/status
Don't worry. There are barely any similarities other than the alphabet! It's kind of like comparing English and Finnish where one wouldn't confuse you with the other. There are some words that are common in both languages, especially religious words, but it's generally extremely different. For one, Yiddish is Germanic and Hebrew is Semitic.
I'm actually really waiting for Yiddish course. Just today I thought maybe post when there will be a Yiddish course.
Great! I never imagined they'd have a Yiddish course. I'd join! I remember from childhood, but very limited in vocabulary.
A question that interests me: Is Yiddish a language that only religious Jews speak today?
Not at all. Yiddish has nothing to do with religion. Rabbis must have a firm knowledge of Hebrew but Yiddish plays no part. It is a combination of mostly Hebrew and German which evolved from the Jews that lived in Europe. The same with bagels, as they are also a product of European nature (Polish mainly). You will find a lot of both Yiddish and bagels in New York because so many Jews from Europe moved there.
In Israel neither is all that popular. Hebrew is the official language and the food is Middle-Eastern. Incidentally, it is delicious and quite healthy. I saw no bagels at all there, nor heard any Yiddish, although surely both must be there being as many Jews moved there from NY.
Some Yiddish words have become fairly popular in English: klutz, schlock, spiel, chutzpah, and so forth.
Thank you! But I didn't think Yiddish was about religion. I asked if in fact only Jews speak Yiddish today or not?
Well, it depends on where they live. Jews in the diaspora that evolved from European Jews may still speak it - especially older people. But certainly Hebrew is much more popular especially among the religious and the younger people because it is purely Jewish - not adulterated by any other language such as German.
For ultra "religious" such as the Torah, the Talmud, or even the Kaballah - they have nothing to do with Yiddish which developed in the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe, whereas Hebrew itself is thousands of years old. And back then Aramaic was spoken in many parts of Israel as well as Hebrew.
All my family lived in New York, were steeped in Yiddish from their Polish/Russian families. It is so colorful and descriptive. I'd love to learn more. I just remember from childhood, with smiles.
By the way, Israel also has a lot of Yiddish speakers and lots of pretzels. There are entire communities of devotees who speak Yiddish. Of course not like New York but still a lot.
I grew up in Israel and I came across Amharic, Arabic (a lot of Morrocan & Tunisian dialect speakers), Greek, Kurdish, Russian, Turkish.... I hear today due to the modern Jewish exodus from France that one can hear French on the streets of Ashkelon the same way you could hear it in Beirut, Lebanon a few decades back. Yiddish was definitely something that more religious inclined people spoke, however, I came across some ISraelis so hostile to Yiddish as to even call it a 'slave language' and to 'just learn Hebrew (&Arabic in some cases)'. I can understand them but don't share the sentiment (Yiddish is something that is a direct result of the Jewish diaspora, so I give them some credit)- Yiddish is definitely something you are more likely to find in the New England area of the United States. I personally would love to see a further revival of the language.
Yes, surely lots of Jews with European roots brought their food and language there. However it is just not all that popular like in certain American cities. Pretzels ? They are probably in any country on earth (especially in NY). But for example in bars and lounges the favorite is a local Israeli snack - olives; not chips, pretzels, or peanuts. Anything salty to keep one drinking, right ? And in Israel it is salty jumbo green olives that are grown locally.
But the fact is: Israel is way different than NY. Like it or not. Consider that millions of bona fide Jews have moved to Israel from many other countries such as Russia, France, England, and even Ethiopia. And they know or care very little if at all about pretzels, bagels, or Yiddish; nor does Israel really.
Israel's main priority is to rekindle/keep alive its ancient roots from the past and they have done a stellar job of it ! Highest on the list of goals is to revive the Hebrew language from a nearly dead condition and to re-establish the Jewish state with its full attributes.
You may like to check this author, Racheli (Love the profile pic) :)
Yiddish was spoken by many ancestors of mine. I will take a look at it for sure for the history and also the revival of it is astounding. I saw a documentary a few years back I wish I could find it on random people throughout the United States who decided to become fluent in Yiddish; many of them from entirely different cultures!
I do hope none of your patients sue you for exposing them.
I'm not sure what you really intended to say? Bear the wait patiently?
Anyway, I suspect your wait will be worthwhile and rewarded fairly soon
Maybe that was supposed to be a joke. I happen to have an old traditional Jewish joke. Want to hear it here it is:
A priest, a preacher and a rabbi meet regularly. All agree that preaching isn't that hard. A challenge would be to preach to a bear. So they go into the woods, find a bear, preach, and attempt to convert it. Afterwards, they compare notes.
Father Flannery, arm in a sling, says, "I read to my bear from the Catechism. Well, that bear was tough. I sprinkled him with holy water, and Sunday he’s taking his first communion."
Reverend Jones, in a wheelchair says, “I read to the bear from God's Holy Word! But he wrestled me near a creek. I baptized him. We spent the day praising Jesus."
They both look at the rabbi in a full body cast. “Oy. Looking back, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."
From aish dot com
Without the false friend we would have missed out on Songve's joke. Best I have heard for a long time!
And your correction has clarified the point you were making - wins all round!
Hello, I'd like advice here:
Why to learn Yiddish? What are (your/the) good reasons?
I'd love to take a Yiddish course. I remember so many words and sayings from childhood. It's colorful, rich and so descriptive.