Yiddish Language Control Board

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  • #1974454
    huju
    Participant

    Some languages have official control boards that determine (a) what is or is not a word in that language, and (b) what each word means. The boards have little or no power of enforcement, but I think they are influential. The best example I know of is the French language authority which determines which words are or are not French, and what the French words mean. The best example of a language that does NOT have a controlling authority is English.

    My experience reading Yiddish in the YWN news comments and Coffee Room discussions suggest that Yiddish would benefit from a central, respectable authority which can act as the French language authority acts. Do you think this is good for Yiddish, and how would it be implemented?

    #1974527
    ujm
    Participant

    France (and French) is an outlier. That is not the norm. The French aristocracy are a bunch of foolish nationalists that get offended that English words such as email. hot dog, sandwich and weekend have become the default common terms in France.

    Yiddish is determined by how the millions of Yidden use it in real life. Especially the hundreds of thousands of Yidden who speak Yiddish as their first language.

    #1974528
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Yidden pick words up from nationalties where they reside and is incorporated in their Yiddish there, so Hungarian Yiddish, a German dialect, is not the same as Polish Yiddish as chalopches, geschtopte kraute or pechah, kocsonya in Hungarian.

    #1974532
    akuperma
    Participant

    A few language have national government agencies to regulate the language. For example, France issues official lists of French words to use rather than English words, and in theory government employees can get in trouble for not using words on the list. In general, “standards” issued by government agencies are totally ignored by everyone except their own staff.

    Someone tried to invent a “standardized Yiddish” about 100 years ago, in part combining aspects from different dialects (vowels from one, consonants from other, syntax from a third). Thanks to the German, onlyoone dialect of Yiddish now is common (southeast dialect, as used by Orthodox Jews). All attempts to standardize English have failed though some historical events have tended to promote standardization (e.g. the southern dialect has been considered “wrong” since 1865, and for the most part the mid-western dialect is “correct”, note who did what at Appomattox for an explanation how that happened).

    However living languages by definition have ever-changing vocabulary and grammar, and Yiddish is unusually flexible since many native speakers feel free to “borrow” words from other languages without thinking twice. The grammar also evolves (anyone notice that the 2nd person formal form is dying out, probably since Hebrew and English lack one, e.g. using “DU” to mean you is no longer ruden when talking to a person who thinks they are more important than you).

    #1974548
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Reb E, I am a 100 % galintzanya I had zero issue in talking yiddish to a recent Russian emigre back in the 90s, talking to my shver who is from Debrecen, wife grandmother who is from Oberland or to a Chalmer from Yerusalem, 90% of the words are the same

    #1974560

    If there were a control board for Yiddish – there would be no Yiddish, just German!

    #1974558
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    II am an Oberlander from Sopron. My wife a’h nee Samuel (passed away 11 years ago) was from Debrecen. I learned in Yiddish in Wiener and Chasan Sofer.

    #1974557
    ujm
    Participant

    99% of the words are the same.

    #1974976
    Avi K
    Participant

    A language is a dialect with an army and navy (aphorism of unclear origin). BTW, Rav Aryeh Levin once rejected a boy for the Etz Chaim yeshiva, of which he was the mashgiach. He later re-tested him thinking that because the boy came from a Hungarian background he didn’t understand Rav Aryeh’s Lithuanian speech.

    #1978052
    Avi K
    Participant

    Can someone explain how Yaakov obtained a nun and became Yankel?

    #1978087
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There is a difference in the pronounciatuon of an aleph and an ayin. The aleph is short whereas the ayin is long. So the nun was added in the extension of the pronounciation. Also yaan kel, the answering of Hashem is included.

    #1978207
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    My daughter when she was eight asked me if my wife Grandmother is a Ballest Teshuva, I laughed and said no, why do you think so? she said that she calls my son der hesky and who elses besides a BT cant say a ches.

    #1978255

    >> Ballest Teshuva, I laughed and said no,

    As Gerer Rebbe said on an occasion “and why not?”

    (when a Husid inartfully said – I daven in this shul with baaley teshuva, but I am not one of them).

    #1978311
    Avi K
    Participant

    RE, why does it need an extension? There is not extension when they daven – and there it leads to apikorsut. For example, someone who says נשבה in keriat shema says that He was captured, c”v. As for “yaan Kel”, I think the reason is that the could not distinguish between mudgeshet and rofefet and did not want to appear to be saying “torture, Hashem”.

    #1978348
    ShtarkButRelatable
    Participant

    Honestly I’m of the opinion that Yiddish should be outlawed by all mainstream hidden. I don’t know if any of you know what it feels like to be the only guy in the room to not understand Yiddish. And then constantly be made fun of by all my Yiddish speaking peers. It’s mannish the new age sinas chinam and it’s got to stop. This is why the bird hamakidash has been destroyed and why nowadays it’s ruining shidduchim, Shalom bayis, and friendships. I nearly was kicked out of my Ravs chabura for not understanding what farkairt meant, I thought it meant someone completely other.

    Either way the point of this rant is that if anyone that is reading speaks Yiddish they’re adding to this new age epidemic, and are part of the problem.

    I’ve started my local branch of the ALC (Alternative lanaguage committee) and so far we’ve gotten great responses of members of community. Last week’s meeting we discussed what the new language for modern Jewry should be, and we came down to either Chilean or mandarin.

    I’m prompting all of you to go and reach out to your local ALC center, and help stop the awfulness of Yiddish today!

    #1978352
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ, because she was a Aushwitz survivor and does not have much in the way of sin

    #1978394
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Yiddish is not a distinct language. I am not even sure it is a dialect.

    There are not millions of Jews who speak Yiddish. Nor are there hundreds of thousands who speak it as a first tongue.

    It could still be implemented for use of explicit nouns. Outside of a five year old vocabulary, most speakers use Hebrew or English for common nouns.

    #1978434
    ujm
    Participant

    Yiddish is Yidden’s common tongue. As such, the only “control board” that exists are the hundreds of thousands Yiddish speakers. As they use the language, it makes it a living language.

    #1978435
    ujm
    Participant

    Yiddish is Yidden’s common tongue. As such, the only “control board” that exists are the hundreds of thousands Yiddish speakers. As they use the language, it makes it a living language.

    #1978476

    >> Yiddish is Yidden’s common tongue.

    How non-inclusive of you! R Yaakov Kamenetsky while visiting r Auerbach’s yeshiva suggested that Maschiach will come out of it, because the yeshiva had top shiurim in Hebrew rather than Yiddish, enabling Sephardim to join.

    So, it is about context. In some circumstances, Yiddish helps preserve Jews, in others – divides.

    #1978742
    Avi K
    Participant

    Ujm, “Yid” is a pejorative. Archie Bunker used it. It is certainly not the language of Sepharadim or the Eidot haMizrach.

    Always is correct. When one of my Sephardic relatives married an Ashkenazi her parents refused to believe he was Jewish. Not only did his name sound Italian (actually it was Arabic) but he did not know a word of Yiddish. Golda Meir also said this about Moroccan Jewish protesters.

    #1978818
    philosopher
    Participant

    Every language used in daily life evolves. English, French, German, they are all different from 1,000 or even 500 years ago. English, in fact, has changed so much, we would not understand the early versions of the English language at all, while the core words of the Yiddish language has not changed as drastically. Although hard concentration is needed, anyone who knows Yiddish would be able to decipher the Yiddish written 500 years ago.

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