Yiddish language

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Yiddish language

(yĭd`ĭsh), a member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languagesGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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; German languageGerman language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). It is the official language of Germany and Austria and is one of the official languages of Switzerland.
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).

Although it is not a national language, Yiddish is spoken as a first language by approximately 5 million Jews all over the world, especially in Argentina, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Romania, the United States, and the republics of the former USSR. Before the annihilation of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, it was the tongue of more than 11 million people. Growing out of a blend of a number of medieval German dialects, Yiddish arose c.1100 in the ghettos of Central Europe. From there it was taken to Eastern Europe by Jews who began to leave German-speaking areas in the 14th cent. as a result of persecution. By the 18th cent. Yiddish was almost universal among the Jews of Eastern Europe. It has generally accompanied Eastern European Jews in their migrations to other parts of the world.

Phonetically, Yiddish is closer to Middle High German than is modern German. Although the vocabulary of Yiddish is basically Germanic, it has been enlarged by borrowings from Hebrew, Aramaic, some Slavic and Romance languages, and English. Written from right to left like Hebrew, Yiddish also uses the Hebrew alphabet with certain modifications. In 1925 the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) was established in Vilnius, Lithuania. It served as an academy to oversee the development of the language. Later its headquarters were transferred to New York City, where in time it became the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. Coping with the problem of dialects, this institute has done much to bring about the standardization of Yiddish.

In the eyes of many, Yiddish has significance both as the language of an important literature as well as a unique expression of the Jewish people. It is widely thought that modern Yiddish literature began in 1864 with the publication of Das Kleyne Mentshele (The Little Man) by Mendele mocher sforimMendele mocher sforim
[Yid.,= Mendele the book peddler] , pseud. of Sholem Yakov Abramovich
, 1836–1917, Yiddish novelist. Born in Minsk, and orphaned at 14, he traveled with beggars through Ukraine.
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. Among the best-known writers in Yiddish literature are Sholem AleichemAleichem, Sholem
[Heb.,=Peace be upon you!], pseud. of Sholem Rabinowitz
, 1859–1916, Yiddish author, b. Russia. One of the great Yiddish writers, he is best known for his humorous tales of life among the poverty-ridden and oppressed Russian Jews of the late 19th
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, I. L. PeretzPeretz or Perez, Isaac Loeb
, 1852–1915, Jewish poet, novelist, playwright, and lawyer, b. Zamosc, Poland.
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, Isaac Meier Dik, and Isaac Bashevis SingerSinger, Isaac Bashevis
, 1904–91, American novelist and short-story writer in the Yiddish language, younger brother of I. J. Singer, b. Leoncin, Poland (then in Russia).
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, the first writer in the language to be awarded (1978) the Nobel Prize in Literature. Thousands of Yiddish works are housed at the Yiddish Book Center at Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.

Bibliography

See M. I. Herzog et al., ed., The Field of Yiddish: Studies in Language, Folklore, and Literature (1969); M. Weinreich, History of the Yiddish Language (1980); D. Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language (1987); D. G. Roskies, A Bridge of Longing: The Lost Art of Yiddish Storytelling (1995).

References in periodicals archive ?
After a Yung Yidish evening of lecture, song, and the best herring I've had in ages, we were reluctantly heading back to our temporary home at 33 Lilienblum.
In 1913, four-and-a-half years after his arrival, Chaim Shapiro penned an essay entitled "Gedanken vegnfrayhayt" (Thoughts About Freedom), published in the inaugural Pesakh (Passover) edition of Los Angeles' first Yiddish newspaper, Kalifornier yidish shtime (California Jewish Voice).
6) Como muy bien senala Jordi Llovet en las anotaciones al Informe; "teniendo en cuenta el momento en que se escribio la narracion y las ideas de Kafka acerca del sionismo en aquellos anos, esta puede ser considerada una interpretacion fidedigna y verosimil" y apunta como fundamento la situacion de la comunidad judia en praga con el antisemitismo, la precariedad del yidish y la asimilacion de los universitarios judios a los germano-parlantes (370).
Schmuck significa 'pene' en yidish, y tarado en argot norteamericano.
Como dato relevante podemos senalar que la empresa estadounidense Victor, consciente del gran mercado interno de inmigrantes, habia lanzado para 1920, de acuerdo con datos ofrecidos por el musicologo cubano Cristobal Diaz Ayala, "cerca de 6,000 numeros etnicos, ofreciendo grabaciones en lituano, ucraniano, holandes, serbio, croata, yidish, rumano, eslovaco, finlandes y otros idiomas".
62) Como SIDNEY MORGENBESSER me comento, la gente como LARRY, que sabe lo que debe hacer, pero es incapaz de hacerlo, es conocida en yidish como 'schlemiel'.
Ginsburg S, 2007, " 'Emet me'eretz yisrael': musag ha-emet etzel ahad ha'am" ['Truth from Eretz Israel': Ahad ha'am's notion of truth], in Rega shel huledet: mehkarim be-sifrut 'ivrit u-ve-sifrut yidish li-khevod Dan Miron [Moment of birth: studies in Hebrew and Yiddish literatures in honor of Dan Miron] Ed.
En hebreo, en yidish, en espanol o en cualquier otro idioma que hablen los judios entre si, cuando se hace referencia al Holocausto se habla sobre lo que sucedio "alla".
Por supuesto que ha habido hablantes de otras lenguas que han penetrado en Costa Rica (como misquito, cantones, yidish o gallego), pero en esta exposicion solo tomo en cuenta las que llegaron a constituirse, durante algun tiempo por lo menos, en lenguas territoriales.
Kesem HaDimdumim: apokalipsah u-meshihiyut be-sifrut yidish.
Asi lo cuenta Java Rosenfarb (1923-), prolifica escritora de ficcion, poesia y drama yidish, que fue residente del gueto de la ciudad polaca de Lodz (entre 1940 y 1944) y que despues paso por Auschwitz, Sasel y Bergen-Belsen, de donde consiguio salir con vida.
A relatively strong group of Yiddish literati had a few Warsaw-based outlets for their journalistic and literary production: the semi-daily Folks-Shtime, the monthly literary journal Yidishe Shriftn (Yiddish Writings), and the publishing house Yidish Bukh (Yiddish Book).