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Full text of "Lessons in conversational Yiddish for adult groups, extension classes and self-study"

STEVEN SPIELBERG DIGITAL YIDDISH LIBRARY 
NO. 04918 



LESSONS IN 
CONVERSATIONAL YIDDISH 



Solomon Colodner 



Permanent preservation of this hook was made possible 
by David & Jacqueline B. Sices 

in memory of 
Harry & Henrietta Finger Sices 



'ij 



NATIONAL YIDDISH BOOK CENTER 

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS 



NATIONAL YIDDISH BOOK CENTER 

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS 

413 256-4900 I YIDDISH@BIKHER.ORG 

WWW.YIDDISHBOOKCENTER.ORG 



MAJOR FUNDING FOR THE 

STEVEN SPIELBERG DIGITAL YIDDISH LIBRARY 

WAS PROVIDED BY: 

Lloyd E. Cotsen Trust 

Arie & Ida Crown Memorial 

The Seymour Grubman Family 

David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation 

Max Palevsky 

Robert Price 

Righteous Persons Foundation 

LeifD. Rosenblatt 

Sarah and Ben Torchinsky 

Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation 

AND MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THE 

National Yiddish Book Center 



The goldene pave, or golden peacock, is a traditional symbol 

of Yiddish creativity. The inspiration for our colophon comes from 

a design by the noted artist Yechiel Hadani of Jerusalem, Israel. 



The National Yiddish Book Center respects the copyright and intellectual property rights 

in our books. To the best of our knowledge, this title is either in the public domain 

or it is an orphan work for which no current copyright holder can be identified. 

If you hold an active copyright to this work - or if you know who does - 

please contact us by phone at 413-256-4900 xl53, or by email at digitallibrary@bikher.org 



CONVERSATIONAL YIDDISH 



For Adult Groups, Extension Classes 
and Self-Study 



compiled by 
SOLOMON COLODNER 




BLOCK PUBLISHING CO. 

^The Jewish Book Concern 
31 West 31st Street, New York, N, Y, 10001 



mi e:,;„. , 



m 






■ i 



PREFACE 

The educated Jew in America speaks English — but is expected to know 
some Hebrew, the ''holy tongue" of Torah C'l'shon ha-kodesh'O and the living 
language of the State of Israel rivrith"). Many read and understand Yiddish 
-- the vernacular of our parents and grandparents ; the language in which a 
vast literature and cultural treasures are preserved. Yiddish, to this very day, 
serves as a bond between the past and present — between generations of 
Jews in various lands of origin. It was also part of Jewish prayer and 
study, a vital part of the Jewish stream of life. 

Yiddish, the language spoken since the year 1000, when French and 
Italian Jews began to migrate to the Rhineland, was spoken by the masses 
who immigrated to the U. S. 

The base of Yiddish is the language spoken by the Franks in the Rhine 
Valley — now called Middle High German. To this base were added Hebrew, 
Aramic, old French, Italian and later — Slavic elements. Yiddish developed 
into an independent lauguage with an original syntax and grammar. 

Yiddish reflects life in the "'shtetr' — part of the soul of the Jewish 
people. The Hebrew element forms a vital part of Yiddish. All words 
and expressions that are related to the spiritual and religious life of the 
Jew are derived from Hebrew. 

For one who knows elementary Hebrew, Yiddish reading and writing 
can be learned with a minimum of effort in one or two sessions. To speak 
Yiddish well, one must live with Yiddish speaking people and engage in 
continuous conversation. It must become ""Mahme loshon" — the mother's 
tongue. It is advisable to study the material in the Appendix before studying 
the lessons in conversation. For one who never studied Hebrew it is vital 
that he or she first master the phonetics of the Hebrew alphabet. 

This is not a text for the intensive study of Yiddish. It is rather a 
digest of common and well-known phrases and expressions — with a sup- 
plement of the familiar Yiddish proverbs. It should prove helpful and in- 
formative in Yiddish classess of High School Youth, Extension Classes and 
Adult Study Groups — as well as for Self-Study. Gratitude is hereby expressed 
to Mr. Yudel Mark, Consultant of the Jewish Education Committee of New York, 
for reading the manuscript and for making valuable suggestions; and to 
Dr. Elias Schulman, Librarian of the Jewish Education Committee and 
instructor of Yiddish literature at the Jewish Teachers Seminary, N. Y. for 
examining the text and helping in its preparation for the press. 

S. C. 



CONTENTS 



Lesson 


1 


Lesson 


2 


Lesson 


3 


Lesson 


4 


Lesson 


5 


Lesson 


6 


Lesson 


7 


Lesson 


8 


Lesson 


9 


Lesson 


10 


Lesson 


11 


Lesson 


12 


Appendix 


Proverbs 



Page 

Greetings - 5 - j5;:i:nDn:i8i 

In the Morning „ 8 ns nyi r« 

Dressing „ 10 -3in''"»^p n 

Eating - 12 „ pV 

In the Street 15 Dg:; r« 

In the School ....„ 16 '?W TK 

Work 18 t^iynns 

At Night 20 IDD^i v»n 

In the House „ 21 TIH r« 

■ The Body 23 - lySiyp 1j;n 

• Traveling 25 p^^ ^^^ 

' Games and pS l^'^Sty 

Amusements 26 JV:i:n'7''''in«S 

.- - - 28 

36 



ptDnn 
ytDDpyr 

ytDl"L^3 

ny:n!if 



'/■ 



Greetings 

Hello! 

Hello! 

How are you? 

Thank you, very well 

How do you feel? 

So So 

Excellent (Fine) 

How is your brother? 

He doesn't feel well 

How is your sister? 
your wife? 

She has a toothache 

How is your mother? 
She has a headache 

How is your father? 
He has a cold 
Too bad, I am sorry 

How is your grandfather? 
and grandmother? 

Thank, God 



? n^s t3Dxa op ^ 

? ij?7nai nsr^-'s DDxa op 
^ny^ i3"'j T's nj? 

9^i? Ijn "11 -I'S DID 05? 
? njTDKQ 15?!?K D3N» DSn 

DOninXS 03?) TK12? s ,Di:\ Dty^i 

.jn-'n njr7 D3K;a osn 
?j?2,p n lis 

IjrpiXT IS Ds:i 



Excuse me please ... 
Pardon 

Doesn't matter 

Not at all 

May I introduce... 

Thanks very much 

You are welcome 

I am very pleased 

What's your name? 

My name is 

I want to tell you something 

What do you want 

1 have no time 

What's new? 

Nothing's new 

Everything is fine 

How old are you 

I became twenty 

Good morning! 

Good evening! 

Good night! 

Good Sabbath 

Good Holiday 



...T-a topnVwisjs Dix ^iTX Bin 

DxniKS ^m^i ,s!nTx 
l'7"S"i5?T Dj?aj? T-i^ V^n t« 

? I^X D"?*!! 0X11 

t)i^s i"p t3''i asn y^ 
01^3 rv iJi^'i 

(Di:^) T-'D T'X fVx 
? TK loin tj'px '11 

OK' ton K) i:^isa t3i:i 

(IS' ttn K) tSlllK |Dn }? 

ODSl 57131:^ s 

naiy itti:^ x 
ait3-nv 1131J K 



With good appetite 

God bless you 

Good luck 

Where do you live in the 
U. S.? 

Congratulations 

Wear it well 

I am busy (tired) 

I am sorry 

To your health! 

Lots of pleasure from children 

Speak slowly 

My regards to... 

Perhaps 

Certainly 

So long (will see you again) 

Be well 



"??» t)^a |'_n "pKr ,1?'''?:^ ^^72 
^m tt'a ]in "tkt ^lO'Via 

15?"T3V lis nn: "ID K 
(...IS Di"i:^ s)iDni m^T^ 

(tsaiTjr^^ am) miTj?:^ t)"j 




LESSON 2 P^irpp'? Vt^'^m 



In the morning 

What time is it ? 

A quarter to eight 

My watch stopped 

Half past nine 

I got up early 

Is your watch fast? 

No, my watch is slow 

It's late 

Hurry! 

I must get dressed 

I want to wash myself 

Open the faucet, the water 
is hot 

Give me the soap 

Please, give me a towel 

Give me a comb and brush 

I want to comb my hair 

Today, tomorrow, yesterday 
or the day before 

Tomorrow Til get up at 
eight sharp 



? 15?:^«T -lyi^S UD''!'? 

ITT tj'ri^K 
IXDJX nn nz3 TX 
lij^xn in "p'n tk 

Ijrtsixn 8 "i'!a tJ'^ rt3iJ ""Itk Din 

lj;ayi?-)S5 ^n V^ii i^k 
lDDj?i ,|Jip ,Dr-^n 

"lJ?:^''nK 13DK upiis 



If God be willing! mn HS")^ QS 

No evil eye! 5?nn TJ? V'p 

Where's a toothbrush? ? "pDtJ^-ljra-lSS X V^ IKII 

Where's the toothpaste? ?J?13DK5-|SS H T'S 1«n 

Where's the toilet? ?S03n-n^a IJ?"! T'K 1S1T 
1 have to shave (take a haircut) OljriZ^DS 1^) T'?«^S^ 1'T HlKl T« 

I hope it will be a nice day -ijri'^K' i? t'-'T t5J?n QJ? TK n^n "I^« 








LESSON 3 P^lJpP'? J7tDm 



Dressing 



:iJiT"'^p n 



My coat is torn pny^^ ^^'^ ^^^^ p-'H 

I have a new suit IjriS^nSJl nj?!?3 X SKH T^*: 

I have no new dress and gloves CJ pK V^'p '.'3 ]'>'>p H'^l SKH T^ 



Take off your coat 

Put on your overcoat 

Button your overcoat 

I must iron my shirt 

Put on your hat 

Take off your hat 

David has a nice tie 

Put on your shoes 

Tie the shoelaces 

I must shine my shoes 

Don't dirty your clothing 

Put on underwear 

Put on a skirt 

The blouse and sweater are 
very nice 

The trousers are too long 

The socks are nice 



'7t33xa Dsri (CIS ID) sxnx dj?3 

02^7\) "rtj'n oxi ]k its 

(i3in) Vi3'n mi qxik qj?3 

os''3t2^ nyr'iy X mn m 

TB' n |s IB 

tt^jrmytjjiix |x 113 

'?T"'?P X IX It) 

lj?r.?T i5?7jniD i5?T ]ix j;n'?3 n 



10 



This is becoming to you 

Sarah has no black belt 

I'll put on a swim-suit to go 
swimming 

It's raining, where are my 
rubbers? 

Please, give me a pin and a 
button 

I'll put my money in the 
pocket, not in the bag, 
in the apron 

Have a kerchief 

Today is cloudy 

I'll put on a raincoat and boots 

Where is my umbrella? 
Today will be a sunny day 
Let's take a walk 
I will buy earrings 

The color red is becoming to 

you 
He likes white, blue and brown 

I wear green, yellow and purple 
I hang my coat on a hanger 

I hang my coat on a hook 
Wear it well 



'?t3-is:\ |s-ixniy rv t3'3 Dsn ma? 
lis DrBDNp-Tsa s 1K131S "rjrii yi^ 

|1K J^jpySiy K -)^» D^ ,t3i:\ ^ITS t3«T 

Viviatt? n ps 
:^sD nyp^nr s ]in lajni t3r_'n 
njrVJr-i'is is^i? Vjrn t^? 

rna ps ^iVa ,o'_'ii t"? tssn -ij? 

-n£D-ns lis "rn /Pi^ ^sit3 t^ 

s n'-is Viaisa r_'a n^is ijjrn ^s 

s H'ls 'ptsasa r-!a n^''^^ ^35?n i^s 

pni? 
t)'''m5ri33iT5;:\ dj? jsid 



11 



LESSON 4 P^lsrpj;? P£D1J?S 



Eating 



Tm hungry, let's go to a 
restaurant 

Waiter, please give me a 
menu 

Please give me a spoon, 
fork (and knife) 

The tablecloth is white 

Waiter, please give me 
a napkin 

What do you want to order? 
I want to wash my hands 
I want breakfast 
I want cereal (cooked, dry) 
I want lunch... supper 

First, I want an appetizer 

This is a good (tasty, 
delicious) food 

This is very tasty 

Mother, may she live long, 
is an excellent housewife 

With good appetite 



K -1^)2 13'':^ ,t3i:^ '1TX loin nyi^vp 
s ,'735?'? X "I'a ^^y ,i3ij ^iTs am 

D!?'n fs iv^B^'ta -i5?7 
K Ta ti'':^ ,i3i:i ^iTK i3in ,nj?3'?jri? 

■rsKa K fX 03? 

pm^n 13?^^ T'x 0X7 
n'la X vm 

t3't3j?9X 113131 tS^a 



12 



Please give me orange juice 

I eat soft eggs (an omelet) 
Give me a cup of coffee (tea) 
Give me cheese in the plate 

Give me a clean plate 

1 need a toothpick 

Give me bread and butter 

I want a roll and butter 

I want chicken 

Give me pepper and oil 

I like vegetables, carrots 



-]S38nx!a 1'a to^j ,i3n ^iti? Din 

DDXT 

njr'rjrt) t^x Tjrj? n^a 13^:^ 

1J?D1S lis "pajTT s '?'n T^ 
]in V'n I'x 

pva ,iDr-i:^ 2^"? axn tk 



Also corn, cucumber and lettuce Ui^'pXD px jrp15?:\1S ,5rniV1p "I^IX 



Also onion and potato 

Also tomato and garlic 

Let's drink to your health 

I like fruits, an apple 
and an orange 

Also cherries, grapes and 
plums 

I want fish after the soup 

1 want cake or a cookie 
with the tea 

I want sugar in the stewed fruit 



V3K3P px iDxaxio i^is 

lis 'PSJ? |S ,t3DTlD T"? 2Sn I'X 

f3«-ixa X 

(yv) SIT "lyT ixj ly^s "t'ii 1'X 
j?'?5?3''p X "ijrix ]^^p V^n I'x 

Dssaxp nj?7 rx -ij?pis '?'n i^x 



13 



In the evening I will eat 
cream and vegetables 

I am full 

1 want lemon in the tea 
How much is it? 

Give me the bill (check) 
I'll give a tip to the waiter 

Goodbye, I'll see you again 
I am going for a walk 
I am going to town 
Do you go right or left? 
Here is a store 

That is very cheap 



105? Ts "ryii isjiix in 
IDjnJi pK j;3j;t3j?ao 

t3KT 1^2 y^ 

"13 -i5?T r» ini3''s ^n y^i- 

loSjnBsa '?S''n) ?oy doxj? "tS^t 

(?05r 

1J?T HKa T-r yT^ — idi:^ k 

IT-sxisir «:^ n^K 

t5Sl3B? VK «:^ y^ 

TOiPrV -IVTK Ot3D5?"l 1'X 13"^ 'S 




14 



LESSON 5 j;"':jpj?'7 j;tosi^9 



In the Street 

The weather is good 

The day is clear 

Today is cloudy 

I am very warm 

1 am very cold 

It is chilly outside 

It is raining 

It is snowing, the rain stopped 

Where does the bus stop? 
Where is the station? 
Is the place taken? 
I want to buy a newspaper 
How much does it cost? 

Please give me change of a 
dollar 

Here is the change 

Where is the Post-Off ice? 

1 want to telephone my brother 

1 want to send a telegram 

When can we pray (in 
synagogue) 



|0"'m rx 'pv vs, Dj; 

tasn iX5?"i -15?! r^^ 8 t3":^ dj; 
? DiasD^is -lyi sx in tsVj^Diy wi 

?lJrD131XD I'X'PS nj?7 T'S 

? Dj; t5DKp '7D''n 
K D"'1S T-za t3!?a ton '"ITJ? 13!?T 

? t3DKS n fK mn 



15 



LESSON 6 P^^JpJ?? P!2DpJ?T 



In the School 



•^itr ^^^. 



Please sit down 

Quiet (Silence!) 

Rise and go to the blackboard 

Open the books 

Read aloud 

That's enough 

Read slowly 

Close the notebooks 

Write the word on the 
blackboard 

Correct the error 

Answer the questions at the 
end of the page 

The teacher sits at the desk 

The teacher teaches the class 
Torah 

The student learns history 

The teacher lectures to the 
class 

Take the eraser 



in tasjri ,i3n 'itk 13«t 
•rusts D1S ^>:^ ps yfpy^i^ 

VnSD ]S'1K ttlKn DKT 3ini2^ 

ms oyxKis n 'T'ik t3-ij?st3:jr 
■pDin lis nio 

nmn 
j?i3D''i2^5?:^ tans?"? I'a'pn is^t 



16 



Erase the blackboard 
Yesterday I took an exam 
I passed the exam 

I failed 

Here is your report-card 

Tomorrow there will be an 
assembly 







17 



LESSON 7 p^xpp'? j?Dp:a^r 



Work 



tDpsit 



What's your work? 

I am a carpenter, shoemaker, 
baker, builder 

I am a painter, technician, 
electrician 

He's a good worker 

What's your trade? 

The season began 

1 have a good boss (employer) 

What's your salary? 

I received a raise 

There is no work because they 
declared a strike 

I have a vacation for two weeks 

The dispute was settled 
I have no hope for work 



?Tt "I'K t3p*t)5jnj^i?2 op m. 

■)5?i?nt3i?j?V5? ts 
? ISO 15?l^S fS OKI 

oxay'^sa |t)n s asn nn 
(n^an-'?5?a) 

? (B'rsny:;) mi'^B? nyi'K t^s osi 
(?i^s DriiKD Vs^n) 

jra "pi^n ijjranK rv so^i vix. oj 
'piniso' 8 iSimss mn 

'>^m f\'>^^s, j?''Sxi?Kn x axn in 
IS wiij?Dsn rv 13'^ 3Kn in 



18 



My brother works in a factory p''»'n2XD K px Djraiis IJ/ina ll'Xi 

My brother works in an office *D''SS// ]X ]^K DJ731X ")y7T13 I'J'a 

I must rest |j;^^3^ y^ ^^j^ y^ 

He is a doctor (dentist, lawyer) ^-UTttpSTip) "IJTDpXT K PX nj? 

I learned a trade in High School ]'>^ "^kS S t33'1J?'7j73l SKn y^ 




19 



LESSON 8 P^SpP"? PtODN 



At Night 



tDiDSJ 



><«»' 



It is dark outside — we should 
put the lights on 

Push the button 

It's time to go to sleep 

I'll make the bed 

Here's a sheet and a pillow 

On the bed there's a blanket 

I am very tired 

A restful night 

Put out the light 

Pull the cord 

Go to sleep 

Good night 



5?m'?Xi'? J? m'*'? t3j?3 |5'v 

(sax"? nj?7) ttD''? OKT tsB^y'p-iKt 




w 



LESSON 9 P'^XPP^ Pt3rj:i 



In the House 

Hello, Father and Mother 

Where is Grandpa and 
Grandma? 

I have two brothers and three 
sisters 

My uncle and aunt came to 
visit us 

My nephew and niece did not 
come 

The grandchild, my brother-in- 
law and my sister-in-law came 

The aunt is a good housewife 

My cousin came 

Our apartment is very small 
(crowded) 

Tomorrow I am moving to a 

new apartment 

How many rooms do you have? 

We have four rooms 

We have a dining-room 

We have a bed-room with two 
windows 



im pK ij;t")2 ^'ns asn y)n 
(t30x:i IS) piTKa Tins lyiapjrui 

(jrisrran-Vjra) 
T's orpnytJOijniiy) imp v^r: 

(X35?) v"?? -i5;"T T's nnn -ijrnns v^ 
? TK mn pjra^s '?d'ii K 



21 



Also a living room and a kitchen 

We also have a bath and 
shower 






We have a cellar and an attic D5?T'ia X pS "iy'?yi? K |2:Sn ")''? 

pxpty pm iS'is risn n^: 

?Tt3 -IS'T 1X0 ' ?D^'7ty X TX DX'i 

? t3'?vrrTi''T n^x DVp 'ro^i 
^n |S''ix . . . ta'Sio nn ti'i; 

' 7nyaVx p x t^x nyrjra -ij? 
nj?a'?x-ij?'T^^'7p njn t^x 135 

f?>m I'S D^a i2?'D X laxn n^? 

r'i2^ rx ' ?2ya m 

-iya^s3'ixn rx xnxn x laxn -iv 

» ■■ >■■■ «# 

^ta i3^a im "7^ 



and also a porch 
I live on the third floor 
Do you have a key for the door? 
How much do you pay for rent? 
On the ceiling... On the floor... 

In my house there are no 
stairs to the roof 

In the summer I live at the 
ocean 

The broom is in the closet 

Here is the clothes-closet 

It is too light (dark) 

We have a table and four chairs 

The furniture is nice 

We have a radio in the living- 
room 

We will make (have) a house- 
warming 

Good luck 

Who is knocking? 

It is I 

Come in 



22 



LESSON 10 V'^PV? PtD:iP2J 



The Body 

The head 

The hair 

The face 

The forehead 

The eye, eyes 

The nose 

The cheek 

The mouth 

The lip 

The tooth, teeth 

The tongue 

The throat 

The back 

The ear, ears 

The chin (jaw) 

The neck 

The shoulder 

The hand, hands 

The finger, fingers 



£5Ki? -IjrT 



23 



The finger-nail, finger-nails 

My gums hurt 

Also my left heel 

The heart 

The belly 

The knee 

The foot, feet 







24 



LESSON 11 p^^pj;'? PtDS*?!? 



Traveling 

I have a new car 
My brother is the driver 
I travel by bus 
Let's call the porter 

Here is the train 
Here is the subway 
Here is our station 
I missed the train 

It is very noisy 

Take the valise (baggage) 

1 have two bags 
1 will take the box 

Where are you traveling to? 

I am a tourist 

Buy me a ticket 

Here is the ticket-office 

Is this seat taken? 

No, the place is vacant 

I will send a letter, a card, 
a telegram 

Bon Voyage 



■|S?t3lSS 0577 pin 1'ai?'? 
IKS n 

Dj?ixisaj?iJ't3 ""^ns 2Kn n^K 
?TX t3-isD rniKn 

jpn^'"? vs. Yt?5 ^yi ,^'3 
.VioiKj? J? AV12 8 |p''ij^ "psni ys 



25 



LESSON 12 V'^pV"? PtDS'PPlB 



Games 

and Amusements 

Perhaps we should play chess? 
The game ended in a draw 

Let's play cards 

I want some exercise 

I want to play baseball 

I want to play basketball 

I want to play football 

I want to play handball 

I want to play net games like 
tennis 

Ping Pong 

I don't like fighting or 
wrestling 

I need a match for my 
cigarette 

Let's go dancing 



?']m ]'?^B^ r72 iVsT im 



26 



The music is excellent 

\Vhat" time is it? 

When does the show 
(meeting) start? 

Change my tickets please 
I like it very much 



STp-'a pr'ao'is t-^ tJ5?a t^ 




27 



APPENDIX — 3^J1^ 
Yiddish Alphabet 



PRINTED 
LETTER 


NAME 


SOUND 
EQUIVALENT 


REMARKS 


« 


shtumer alef 


silent 




« 


pasakh alef 


[A] 




8 


komets alef 


[0] 




3 


beys 


[B] 




5 


veys 


[V] 




:i 


giml 


[G] 




n 


doled 


[D] 




n 


hey 


[H] 




1 


vov 


[U] 


^ melupm vov[\] 
11 tsvey vovn [V] 
•'1 vov yudlOy] 


T 


layen 


[Z] 




n 


khes 
tes 


[Kh] 
[T] 


used only in words 
from Hebrew 


^ 


yud 


[ILtY] 


\ khirik ;yud[l] 
''*' tsvey yudn [BY 
^^ pasakh t^vey 
yudn [A 



28 



APPENDIX — 2Kn:2 



Yiddish Alphabet 



PRINTED 
LETTER 


NAME 


EQUIVALENT 
SOUND 


REMARKS 


2) 


kof 


[K] 


used only in words 
from Hebrew 


^ 
^ 


khof 
lamed 


[Kh] 
[L], [L] 


Final form: 

T lange khof 


D 


mem 


[M] 


Final form: 

D shlosmem 


: 


nun 


[N] 


Final form: 

\ lange nun 


D 


samach 


[S] 




V 


ayen 


[E] 




B 


pey 
fey 


[P] 
[F] 


Final form: 
V[ lange fey 


^ 


tsadik 


[Ts] 


Final form: 

y lange tsadik 


p 


kuf 


[K] 




n 


reysh 


[R] 






shin 
sin 


[Sh] 
[S] 


tS^T laien shin 
^^ tes shin [TSH] 
laien shin [ZH] 


n 


tof 


[T] 


f used only in words 
} from Hebrew 


n 


sof 


[S] 


^ 



29 



GRAMMATICAL NOTES: 

1. The Indefinite Article is K or ]i? (when it precedes a vowel) 

2. The Definite Article — 



The Cases 


Masculine 


Feminine 


Neuter 


Nominative 


■U^T 


n 


DXT 


Accusative 


D5?"r 


n 


OST 


Dative 


DJ?T 


-ij;t 


DJ?T 



The Negative Article is ]^^i? (no) as in .l3Vj?:i ]^V 13^3 2Sn 1^^ 

3. The Personal pronoun is n or TS 
''Doo'^is singular and ''Eer'' is plural. 

The plural form ''Eer'' is used as a polite form when addressing 
a stranger, an older person etc. The same is true with TT 
(singular) and T»J?X (plural and polite form). 

4. The Impersonal Pronoun is J?a before the verb; ya or |J?/3 
after the verb. TiaxV is the contraction of Ta TS^ orT'ZJ ms^ 

5. Internationalisms in Yiddish 

Cultural languages have many words in common. Hebrew as 
Yiddish borrow such words (internationalisms) from Latin oi 
Greek — as "telephone", ''telegram'', "popular'' etc. 



30 



DIALECTS 

Spoken Yiddish is classified roughly in four dialects: — 

1) Lithuanian Yiddish (spoken in Lithuania, White Russia 
and Northeastern Poland). 

2) Ukrainian Yiddish (spoken in the Ukraine, Eastern 
Galicia, Rumania and Southeastern Poland). 

3) Polish Yiddish (spoken in the territory between the 
German-Polish frontier of 1939 and rivers Vistula and 
San. 

4) Western Yiddish (spoken in the territory west of the 
German-Polish frontier of 1939, 

The main differences in dialect are in the pronounciation 

of the vowels: 

In Central Yiddish, one says (Ayn toog) X^t) ]''''K 

In Northeastern Yiddish, one says (Eyn Tog) 3»St3 P''S 

In Southeastern Yiddish, one says (Eyn toog) 

In the Galician dialect one hears I'l?!!? (shayn) instead of 

]V.^ (sheyn); ]'L^::n instead of ]??:!l ; 15ru?9 instead of 

n5?t3^S nl3 instead of T12 ; D'':^ instead of m'X ; l33Kti^ 

instead of DJl^U^ ; IDKT instead of ]Oin ; 113!?3 instead of 

]DJ?a ntr^a instead of 112^3 



31 



NUMBERS — 


inpaij 


Cardinals 




p'S3KnS m r^ (21 


(D3"S) ]"K (1 


p'Sixns pK •'^ns (22 


"ns (2 


p''Oim (30 


im (3 


p'snj^s (40 


1^5 (4 


P'SSIS (50 


nro (5 


P^SSJTT (60 


Op5?T (6 


P^S5?3*T (70 


tan (7 


P'S38 (80 


DDK (8 


p'SrjJ (90 


r_^3 (9 


t3iyT:iin (100 


m (10 


or's Dijriiin (101 


T?y (11 


"ns t3ij?7ain (102 


n'?j?'ns (12 


ttiyiJin "US (200 


]sim (13 


wnjriiin in*r (300 


tSnj?D (14 


isijrT^m yt (400 


ISSIS (15 


i3"ij?7iin nrs (500 


|SDJ?T (16 


mr^iis (1000 


lsj;a''T (17 


BJT^lU «nx (2000 


tSDX (18 


ix''7'a (1,000,000 


isr_^3 (19 


l^^V^a "US (2,000,000 


p^sjxns (20 



32 



NUMBERS - 


- pj?m:i 


Numeral Adverbs: 


Ordinals : 


Firstly 0113U?1J? 


iyt3ty-)5? (1 


Secondly DJia^nS 


nsris^iis (2 


Thirdly DiDm 


"i5?t3m (3 


Fourthly etc. DitOiyS 


nj?t)ij?s (4 




"IJ?l35rD (5 


Fractional Numerals 


l5?i:oi?s?T (6 
njrtsjra'T (7 


A Half aVsn K 


1J?13DK (8 


A Quarter Vunj'S '^ 


ij?i3rj3 (9 


A Third 'rtom K 


1J?l33j;S (10 


A Fifth etc. '?l3Sr3 » 


"lJ?t)5'?J? (11 




-ij;t35'?jnis (12 




1J?t33Sim (13 




-|J?t33Sn5?D (14 




n5?t3n5l5 (15 




-ijrwsajrT (i6 




-)j;i332£5r2''T (17 




■|J?t)aSDX (18 




-ivi3isr_»3 (19 




nj?!3Di?'S3SnS (20 



33 



Months : 


— ]my$Q 


Seasons : 


up p5 iQr::2 


January 


nxiJX' 


Spring 


:^r'?'' 


February 


-iKiiajro 


Summer 


nj?r 


March 


rixfa 


Fall 


Doai^ 


April 


•pnsx 


Winter 


lyiar 


May 
June 
July 




Holidays : 
Rosh Hashanah 




August 


t3Di:i''is 


Yom Kippur 


"1193-0 


September 
October 
November 
December 




Sukkoth 

Hanukkah 

Purim 

Passover 

Shavouth 


mai 

no 
mj;i5! 




34 



Days of the week: 


— "tisiii npT lis Jj?Q 


Sunday 


lTl331T 


Monday 


p'Disia 


Tuesday 


p^tton 


Wednesday 


npD''a 


Thursday 


p^miv^^i 


Friday 


p'lomD 


Saturday 


nw 


Last year 


rx'KnsD 


Today 


t3r_'n 


Tonight 


mm rx dji'h 


Yesterday 


1!3DJ72 


Midnight 


DDW 5?3'7l?n 


Day before yesterday 


|t3D5?Jiy''i? 


Tomorrow 


]:iip 


Day after tomorrow 


i:^ij?a")j?2's 


Next week 


nsn 5?i?ni5?aip 


A week ago 


PS13DK-ISS 


Two weeks ago 


i?n^s pp '^ns 13'^ 




35 



PROVERBS — -IptOiPIDnStl^ 

When one experiences failure — he become unduly careful. 

Don't do tomorrow what you can do today. 

After a good cry — one feels better. 

Even one good ingredient can improve the flavor of a large dish. 
Borrow causes sorrow. .pIXT B3Ka ^1X3 ,t 

.ti5?iy ijrny'? IS in tjn t'x tiss njriayis x f^iK .e 

On someone else's beard its good to learn to barber. 

A young tree bends easily; an old one, when forced, breaks. 

As you sow — so shall you reap. 

.njr:^-)5? K'?''ax3 onyn ,iyDy3 d*3 tjiyn oy tx .9 

If it doesnt get better — it gets worse. 

."70^1^ 5?'?1D K pS DDJ?*??!? -)J?7''S ,'7D>3 K |1S \3^X nj?D5?a .10 
It is not the quantity — but the quality. 

Anything is possible — if God wills it. 



36 



.nsa "13?" -iKD nsiDi n tap^tj? tas:^ .12 

God sends the cure before the plague. 

.121:1 sanoia t^k diis i3i?:i okii .13 

Whatever God does — it is for the best. 

•nsniiKD 13^2 ^mvi2 rp ]vp /injrtyKa diu tjs:^ osn .14 

What God decrees — man cannot prevent. 

He is good for nothing .Ul'V IS D'i ]1S t3S:\ IS 13^J T'K IJ? .15 

May God grant your wish. .|ins pri^ ^^^^ V^ "^'IJa T-T 115 .16 

.V_^a S 'T'li? t)J?T ,'?''_'11 X n^tS 150X1 K .17 
A guest for a short while — sees for a "mile". 

Familiarity breeds contempt. .I3DK"? IS t3'?XD t)DJ?:^ IJTtJDX ]^ .18 

All or nothing .D^JIp IjnS IKJl "IjriS .19 

.nK'-Dtr^ XTK ]:^-ixa-t3i:^ k -iso op .20 

One good turn deserves another. 

,D^3 HDin rV IVa t3Xn nKS 13^3 fj^lS ]1K |":^ D^J H^IX .21 
You never regret what you cannot get. 

Money begets money. .D'pjril IS 0«:^ 'D^yy .22 

Every little bit helps. .'?D^tt^ jr'rlS K t3-|5?n "^O'a i? t1J< '?D''2 S .23 

,l3'>->t3l2?Ka D-lSn X ,t3''mXD SX"?!? X .24 
A blow passes on, but a word spoken lingers on. 



37 



Tomorrow will take care of itself. 

.1338*? t3S^ lis t)DK-lt) B?D35/a lyT .2.' 
Man proposes and God disposes. 

The masses are asses. .rl^7^^ K V^ n'?^V "IJ'T >2 

.jrVjria^'a, ]td I3!?n D'-j bVxs jrVjrsy ost .2f 

Like father — like son. 

Don't mix business with pleasure. 

,im n5?"r i^is dst i^ji*? ijrT n^ix op .3C 

He says what he thinks. 

.p-iKT 5?ii'T t3A3j?i2 ]:;ixa ijnj?' .31 

Every day brings forth its own sorrows. 

.niDna p^r*""!! mDs'?a "?'& .3? 

Jack of all trades — but a master of none. 

.i3''3 ij?a asn '?''n 'jr!3 oxn |ik ,t3''i tj?a V^'n mn 'va oxn .33 

What you can't acquire, don't desire. 

.-)3?a5?9i2? I'rXD ,r'?^n ttpKH ij;a ts .34 

Let the chips fall where they may. 

.ttSxty-iyma ^n ij?P"ii?t)ty t^s t3Di?t2^n5n ,35 

Friendship is stronger than kinship. 



38 



Money talks. .nyi H 15?a t)Sn ,J?a»X3 n ttSn IJra TS .36 

Cheapest is dearest. ."1J?l''l5 fK p'^S fS Dp .37 

It's no use. .OypJJSa: pni5 S '11 US^JTH DJ? .38 

t3l'S l"p ]!?T B^: DVp ,ODi:\ 1X3 lJ?p3NT 13S:^ 'tKT J?Z3 IJni .39 

.Dt)D5?'?ir fl'IS nn pK'7pXa IS 
Count your blessings. 

A learned man always finds a solution. 

.njrrv '-'2 Kta^i t^s nyr^srx ni'?j;» j?'7S .41 

You can't have everything. 

You rebuke your daughter — but mean your daughter-in-law. 

.n'''7n 'svf ]i5 SKIS D's |j;x3 loT^'iB? ,53:^ nsri nnsT lya tk .43 

If you need the thief — cut him down from the gallows. 

All shoemakers go barefoot. .DjninS2 |J?":^ OljrtJDW JTVK .44 

.pX' n ISl 131211? "7^^ IJ'T '^S 
Experience is the best teacher (Live and learn). 

Anything in excess is unhealthy. .t521T3r:^aiS TS t31A IS .46 

nzanVa nj?T i^s "rsT nj?T ipyziij? d'3 i5'ii'?13 rv ixp dj? nyii .47 

.t":^ t3';i 

If you are not prepared to accept the consequences, don't go 
to battle. 

39 



Don't judge a book by its covers. 

Where there is Torah (knowledge) — there is wisdom. 

At the baths all are equal. ( Fundamentaly there is no 
difference between the rich and the poor). 

Nine Rabbis cannot make a Minyan but ten cobblers can. 

.^m n5?T n^is 113^12? ni^2 t^x :iii^ ij?t ^^ik p5?t3D^j k !?3 op ♦s- 

What a sober man thinks — a drunkard speaks. 

♦pKH ^ra T^i^ I5?!a Tia ^T23-D*^^i2? nis .52 

Even the luckless need luck. 

Whether he be a Rabbi or a lowly Bath-House keeper — all 
have enemies. 

When a fool goes to market, the merchants rejoice. 

.lT!?n iD^3 DjranK ya^Kn rv 15^!a ^kd ikj k .56 

Never show a fool a job half done. 

A foolishness is remembered. ,^n ttpJ5?7J?3^ D''''pli^''ni?^ ^ ^5^ 

Things may get worse — before they get better. 

40 



Don't depend upon miracles. 

A "receiver" is not a "giver". nj?25?:\ TV ^^^ ^^^^^ ^ ^60 

.^n natt^J n T^X — r^'PX .61 
Don't depend upon others — do it yourself. 

If you deal with tar — you should expect your hands to get 
dirty. 

.nnm n isrojn?. fVx n^ij? ij?t ij^iS?"?? op ♦ea 

The smaller the company the greater the feast. 
Parents can provide everything except "good-luck". 

.lj?3jni«i y^7] to^i iKQ pxn-D5? is .65 

An ignoramus should not pray aloud. 

.y'p^sm ijraVsn j? v)h mrjj? V^'Six .66 

Too much modesty is half conceit . 

.n5?"l5?1iS ]K ^3K ,1J?15?n5? 18 lin TS"? .67 
It may be even worse — but at least, it's a change. 

.^^ia r« tt^i is?a DKH ^'p^is T^s ijra TI? .68 

A lazy one can't make a living. 

.ir^nsT yo^na ,n5r'7rp jro^n:^ — insT jrr^^p ;"ij?7JV 3?^'"'?? *69 

Little children, little troubles — big children, big troubles. 



41 



A sick one is asked — the healthy one is given. 

Don't ask the doctor — ask the patient. 

The less one says, the healthier (Silence is gold). 

.Iinon 8 '?xax m r^ is .72 

Too much of anything is undesirable. 

."PDir DJ?35?^"S lt3^a ID lli? — ttO'V^'ll TT lJ?aj?n 13^23 "I'T 13X1X2, .74 
Ask advice from everyone — but act according to your own 
mind. 

.VT^a OayiJ?'' T^X Vtl^-D^Viy Di35?3"X .75 
Someone's misfortune may be your good fortune. 

.lj?a isnxD isTaiJ? is?a tx .76 

Grease the axle — and it will ride smoothly. 

.IT'riKD nyr^s |ix ijrmjr:^ -lyr^s nx3 (|Disp) iV'sir "ns ijni .77 

When two play a game — there must be a winner and a loser. 

.nains n ivvs. loinys n^xan n nsrojra .78 

Better to break off an engagement — than a marriage. 

D"i?iyns2 r.'T i3Ti'n nx3 -i5?t ^VDii' njTT taVsnsa ")5?^'i'?i? "^Vf .79 

.D"'nx 

A wise man conceals his intelligence — the fool displays his 
foolishness. 



42 



Money talks. .t3'?jni n U^DtZ? ^^^1 fl'lS .80 

.ly^D oajrij?'' n^is u^^s n fK pxai2?5rx .81 

The grass is greener in someone else's yard. 

Haste makes waste. .D^nK I3''i DtJi:^ fV ^»P tJ^^JJ?^-^^ ]15 .82 

A blind horse makes straight for the pit. 

.t)'3 i5?a tJTVnKD s'ataD jrtJ^'rKa k .84 

A bad penny always turns up. 

.n^ts T^K Tr^ntxf ^ my^ti ijria t« .85 

If there is room for question, something is wrong. 

♦I'ltyj? ijra D^A |'2i?j;'' a^i t)'':^ ijria tx .86 

If you don't give to Jacob, you'll give to Esau. 

? pK rV tt'i lya t)"l5?3t335? |Tn ID^IK T:^n3 T^K |J?a TS .87 
He that has a grudge against the Hazzan, also begrudges the 
"Amen". 

,r^ IS T'K n'?3 n ,p"iDn x .88 

A fault-finder complains that the bride is too beautiful. 

,]^'<f'\ IS DDiPSn 1X: S .89 
Foolishness doesn't have to be cultivated. 

.Dn ywn T'K ]1T]^ rs njriy s .90 

Even one hour of paradise is worth while. 



43 



.y^^ yi 157!2 t53y'7-ij?T ,1333?'? I5?a TX .91 

If you live long enough you will live to see everything. 
If you stay at home you won't wear out your shoes. 

.53^1 -njr^ty |«p Dsn i5?Dj?a .93 

Better and better knows no limit. 

The whole world is not crazy. .5?J1tya t3''i fX tj'py'n n .94 

.i30'''T»is 05? Di^np i5?a — ns''sa 5?t30j;-i:^ n t'>s laj?'? oki .95 

Life is the greatest bargain; we get it for nothing. 

His charity ends at his pocket. .p"7Sa "lj?tti:i K fK "IJ? .96 

.st3'3 nmsn r^j? t's iiyps? is -iso .97 

For the disease of stubborness there exists no cure. 

.i3'a ^Dty I""!? n^j /f'pK |j?a DMipxa D'?57:^ nss .98 

Money buys everything except common sense. 

13^:^ lix nj?r''K r-a nsj tsay^ -ij? — im d^^ t^x r^*?}? ds:h .99 

nJ?T3i? n5?T 
God is not rich; all he does is take from one and give to 
another. 

.1D31S t5J?1S3 pK ]T^)H DSn 13XJI .100 
God sits on high and makes matches below. (Marriages are 
made in heaven). 

.larjo n "ikd t3'2 ,7r_nD n nss "i't ]5?a "tst p^n ,101 

Protect me from my friends, not from my enemies. 

44 



.iV^jj-is?! IS un vn m-is 5?3yi3ii?J?^"iya''» .102 

Bygone trouble is good to tell. 

No choice is also a choice. .T\yi^ 5? Tli^ T''S m^lS fV .103 

♦im tjjrn oy iJiKS D5?XDjni t3^2 lao^'n njrr'j? .104 

No one knows what the morrow will bring. 

Charm is more than beauty .fB? 1J?afX la'''':^ in .105 

.t3D^^Diy n i^in ^n lO'ii iDojrn ssii? pp .i06 

Look down if you would know how high you stand. 

.|t35^an5?a'K ]ViVP Tt ddVxt m 'itx in jinp — in t3D:\np n tk .107 

In a quarrel — leave the door open for a reconciliation. 

5?i3^i"i r« D5?PtJ?t3i?p n ]iK ,Dj7nns2 nijri n tsr^m "ijransn .108 

The evidence has no basis for truth. 

.uiST Qj? T'S "rsas ,xi 05r t'K '?sas — pnajrViv t^s t3'?5?^ .109 
Money is round, it truckles. (Wheels of fortune turn). 

.t3^i n^i^p r^ Ijria D:^j?nD nti^jrx: k T'IX .110 

Don't ask questions about fairy tales. 

."iyaj?3 D^J i^Vk Tf iva l^P 13jr:^ d^3 't''^ msi ts .111 

If God does not give — one cannot take. 

He who hesitates is lost. ,^l^iyy ^^n Dixnj?:^ IS'S Op .112 

Still waters run deep. .«l't) B3K1A 1^0811 '?''t5B? .113 



45 



.K^ll 15?3'7Sn J? TK pxn DS7 .114 
The heart is half a prophet. (Do as your heart dictates). 

.ITJiKn D'p^n lis ]7JiKn may-ia di^s 't .115 

Time is the best healer. 

The higher you climb, the harder you fall. 

.nVBiyn '^ns tk oy u-isrii ,ij?t3-i5;tyKa ivt aap ojr m .117 

The right mate comes with the first date. 

All year a drunk — on Purim sober. V-/ 

.ty-'S n IKS ItypN"? n t3''3 t3QJ?D .119 
Don't put the cart before the horse. 




46 



The following proverbs in Hebrew and Aramaic are examples 
of wise sayings developed by the Jewish people in life situations. 
They are not quotes from Talmudic or Midrashic literature 
though they may resemble some. Just as we have single words 
of Hebrew and Aramaic absorbed in Yiddish — we also have 
complete phrases that have remained as wise sayings of the 
people. The following is a small sampling of these: 



Misery likes company. .T\mi ^Sn D''an ms J20 

Words that emanate from the heart are acceptable to another. 

♦^Ta nis^a mpa nw?^ .122 

When one changes his place — his luck may change. 

One guest may not invite another. .nniK O^iDtt nniK ]*'S J23 

♦mm 1^ D^ais mjj^n ^^nnan J24 

He who begins to perform a Mitzvah is encouraged to 
finish it. 

/OB^n n^T x"? latn mT^ n;^ J25 

Whatever time will produce — logic cannot. 



47 



Habit is second nature. 



.j?ai3 niyjrj "r^iin ,12 



Honor him — but also suspect his motives, .mwm imnD A2 
He who gives us life will provide us with sustenance. 

.5?^3 B^rKa ij^rx ,j?:^d s"? x-niaa xiid .12s 

Mountains never greet, but friends meet. 




48 



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