German-Jews and Yiddish

Clark   Friday, October 17, 2003, 20:51 GMT
I was wondering if anyone knows where a majority of the German Jews came from in Germany. Is there one particular area, or throughout the country? My guess would be that they came from Southern Germany because the Yiddish language is very close to the dialects in the Palatine and Rheinland area.

Any help would be appreciated.
Julian   Friday, October 17, 2003, 23:38 GMT
At the turn of the 9th Century, the Jews of Southern France and Italy migrated to the Rhineland, at the invitation of Charlemagne to encourage economic growth in that region. Several centuries later, Jews from Northern France and Northern Italy migrated to towns along the middle and upper Rhine Valley in present day Lorraine. This mix of Romance, Aramaic, and Germanic languages was the origin of Yiddish.

As you're aware, the Jews in Europe have a long history of being persecuted wherever they settled; this spurred mass migrations to many other parts of Europe, where the Yiddish language absorbed many words from other German dialects as well as Slavic-Eastern European languages.
Clark   Saturday, October 18, 2003, 05:47 GMT
Julian, thanks. Bischt du en Yid? Ich bin net en Yid awwer ich mag die yidde Kultur.

I just got a book today about the Yiddish language and the people who speak the language, the history of the language, etc... It is called, "Yiddish: A Nation of Words."
wassabi   Saturday, October 18, 2003, 05:49 GMT
some yiddish songs are really cool
Jamie On   Saturday, October 18, 2003, 09:58 GMT
Agreed Wassabi - kletzmer is so great.. there's this English group "Oy Va Voy" (oh God) you have to hear them, they're incredible.
Tremmert   Saturday, October 18, 2003, 14:32 GMT
There are many Jews from Europe in America and South Africa who don't speak Yiddish.

Have you heard of Ladino? That was the language spoken by Jews in Southern Europe (Sephardi Jews) and I think it's a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish.
Clark   Saturday, October 18, 2003, 23:22 GMT
Yeah, I have heard of Ladino before. It is spoken by a small amount of people in Israel even.

Unfortunately for the languages spoken by the Hews, Hebrew has become the uniting language, leaving other languages like Ladino and Yiddish to fall by the waste-side.
Dorian   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 01:42 GMT
I know jews in France whose grandparents and parents spoke Ladino but the third generation is not able to speak it. My spanish teacher who traveled to Isreal a couple of years ago told me that she met some people speaking Ladino but she didn't get much of it. In fact, Ladion is old Spanish not comprehensive for the Spanish speakers.
Clark   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 03:06 GMT
Yeah, Ladino retains features that evolved out of Castilian Spanish of today. I think the "z" sound in modern Castilian is represented by a "sh" sound in Ladino.

Yiddish is spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews.
Julian   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 05:09 GMT
You're welcome, Clark. My maternal grandmother is the classic East Coast Jew who would often use Yiddish words and phrases for effect. Many of the Yiddish proverbs she quotes are ridiculously funny. Unfortunately, the population of fluent Yiddish speakers is dwindling and there's not a whole lot of interest among younger Jews to learn the language, opting instead to learn Hebrew as the language of their culture.
Clark   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 05:16 GMT
Why do you say "you're welcome" ?

Anyways, I have not really been readin that book I mentioned about because of performances this weekend with my bagpipe band. But I am going to get in a chapter tonight at least.

I printed out the Yiddish alphabet, and I hope to be able to learn it quickly so I can read Yiddish in its proper script and not a transliterated one.

I noticed an interesting similarity and difference between two very religious groups;

The Amish are very orthodox in their teachings and ways of life (religious Christians who use 18th and 19th century technology). They still speak their Middle German dialect.

The Ashkenzai Jews are orthodox. Like the language of the Amish, Yiddish is a Middle German dialect, and fewer and fewer people are speaking/learning the language.
Julian   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 05:37 GMT
>>Why do you say "you're welcome" ?

Because you said "Julian, thanks" in one of your previous posts.
Clark   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 23:08 GMT
Ah, ich verschteh dich nau.
Yid   Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 03:30 GMT
I neva beenta Yidland.
Igh   Thursday, October 23, 2003, 03:23 GMT
Ich ne'er bin der eva.