Before embarking upon any new enterprise, it is always good to do some pre-prep. This is especially true when one is about to begin learning a new language.
Thus, while waiting for my Yiddish classes (Absolute Beginners) to start, I have decided to prepare myself for the challenges ahead by plunging straight in and acquiring some stationery.
Yiddish is a polyglot language. Much of it derives from Hebrew and Aramaic, but there are also borrowings from German, French and Italian. Having established itself in Europe with the migration of Jews in the 10th century, the language did a bit more borrowing from various Slavic and Romance languages.
However, the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were wiped out, almost marked the 'death' of Yiddish, as nearly all the main speakers were killed. To make matters worse, after World War Two, Yiddish as a spoken language by was banned by Stalin. So it looked for a while as though Yiddish would morph into another dead language.
But it lives.
What I particularly like about Yiddish is that it is the language of the home, spoken, taught and passed down by women. It exists in the female space. Hebrew is the language of the Torah, the Talmud, the Cheder ~ traditionally male spaces. Yiddish belongs to us women, to the kitchen, the table, the family gathered to eat and share.
With that it mind, I have chosen a notebook that contains all the colours of the rainbow, as Yiddish contains all the linguistic borrowings. And two pink pens. Because.
As for the title of this piece? There is a lovely Yiddish word ~ Schmaltz. It means (amongst other things) something very sentimental. When I was growing up, my parents possessed a scratchy 78rpm record of Sophie Tucker singing My Yiddishe Momme.
If you copy the link you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=triCX77tl8s
How lovely that it has always been the language of women, Carol. I like that! It makes me want to learn it too :)ReplyDelete
One of the many endearing things about it, I agree.Delete