Cover of: The Story of Yiddish by Neal Karlen
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August 4, 2010 | History

The Story of Yiddish

How a Mish-mosh of Languages Saved the Jews

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This edition was published in by William Morrow

Written in English

352 pages

Yiddish—an oft-considered "gutter" language—is an unlikely survivor of the ages, much like the Jews themselves. Its survival has been an incredible journey, especially considering how often Jews have tried to kill it themselves. Underlying Neal Karlen's unique, brashly entertaining, yet thoroughly researched telling of the language's story is the notion that Yiddish is a mirror of Jewish history, thought, and practice—for better and worse.Karlen charts the beginning of Yiddish as a minor dialect in medieval Europe that helped peasant Jews live safely apart from the marauders of the First Crusades. Incorporating a large measure of antique German dialects, Yiddish also included little scraps of French, Italian, ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, the Slavic and Romance languages, and a dozen other tongues native to the places where Jews were briefly given shelter. One may speak a dozen languages, all of them Yiddish.By 1939, Yiddish flourished as the lingua franca of 13 million Jews. After the Holocaust, whatever remained of Yiddish, its worldview and vibrant culture, was almost stamped out—by Jews themselves. Yiddish was an old-world embarrassment for Americans anxious to assimilate. In Israel, young, proud Zionists suppressed Yiddish as the symbol of the weak and frightened ghetto-bound Jew—and invented modern Hebrew.Today, a new generation has zealously sought to explore the language and to embrace its soul. This renaissance has spread to millions of non-Jews who now know the subtle difference between a shlemiel and a shlimazel; hundreds of Yiddish words dot the most recent editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.The Story of Yiddish is a delightful tale of a people, their place in the world, and the fascinating language that held them together.

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Edition Availability
Cover of: The Story of Yiddish
The Story of Yiddish
2008, HarperCollins
Electronic resource in English
Cover of: The story of Yiddish
The story of Yiddish: how a mish mosh of languages saved the Jews
2008, William Morrow
in English - 1st ed.
Cover of: The Story of Yiddish
The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-mosh of Languages Saved the Jews
December 1, 2007, William Morrow
Hardcover in English
Cover of: The Story of Yiddish
The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-mosh of Languages Saved the Jews
December 1, 2007, William Morrow
in English

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The Story of Yiddish

How a Mish-mosh of Languages Saved the Jews

First published in 2007



Work Description

Yiddish—an oft-considered "gutter" language—is an unlikely survivor of the ages, much like the Jews themselves. Its survival has been an incredible journey, especially considering how often Jews have tried to kill it themselves. Underlying Neal Karlen's unique, brashly entertaining, yet thoroughly researched telling of the language's story is the notion that Yiddish is a mirror of Jewish history, thought, and practice—for better and worse.Karlen charts the beginning of Yiddish as a minor dialect in medieval Europe that helped peasant Jews live safely apart from the marauders of the First Crusades. Incorporating a large measure of antique German dialects, Yiddish also included little scraps of French, Italian, ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, the Slavic and Romance languages, and a dozen other tongues native to the places where Jews were briefly given shelter. One may speak a dozen languages, all of them Yiddish.By 1939, Yiddish flourished as the lingua franca of 13 million Jews. After the Holocaust, whatever remained of Yiddish, its worldview and vibrant culture, was almost stamped out—by Jews themselves. Yiddish was an old-world embarrassment for Americans anxious to assimilate. In Israel, young, proud Zionists suppressed Yiddish as the symbol of the weak and frightened ghetto-bound Jew—and invented modern Hebrew.Today, a new generation has zealously sought to explore the language and to embrace its soul. This renaissance has spread to millions of non-Jews who now know the subtle difference between a shlemiel and a shlimazel; hundreds of Yiddish words dot the most recent editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.The Story of Yiddish is a delightful tale of a people, their place in the world, and the fascinating language that held them together.

Classifications

Library of Congress PJ5113 .K37 2008
Dewey 439/.109

The Story of Yiddish

How a Mish-mosh of Languages Saved the Jews

This edition was published in by William Morrow


ID Numbers

Open Library
OL7282749M
ISBN 10
006083711X
ISBN 13
9780060837112
Library Thing
7563480
Goodreads
960069

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August 4, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 24, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Fixed duplicate goodreads IDs.
April 16, 2010 Edited by bgimpertBot Added goodreads ID.
April 14, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Linked existing covers to the edition.
April 29, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Imported from amazon.com record.