mjj (flemmings) wrote,

The temptation of language

Matt Kressel posts about Yiddish, and suddenly I have a great desire to learn the language. We had The Joys of Yiddish at home (can't believe it came out when I was 18: I seem to remember reading it in high school) and like any large-NA-city-dweller my vocabulary includes a buncha Yiddish words that register to me as English-- spiel, kvetch, shlep, kibitz, schmooze, nosh, glitch, schlock, schmaltz, dreck, kitsch, shmatte, schmuck, nebbish, tuchus, schtick, and the one I only just learned from English writers, shtum. Suddenly I realize it's an actual *language*: verbs and nouns and adverbs and everything. Which probably conjugate and decline, if it's as High Germanic as all that, but likely not as hard as German, because err well very few European languages are, outside of the Slavic ones.

But of course there's a fly in that ointment. Yiddish is written in Hebrew. Teeny tiny Hebrew with its teeny tiny dots that make furigana look like child's play. Alas, I'm too old for that. Cobbler to his last: back to Japanese.
Tags: language, reading

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