Day OneJuly 1, 2013
Learning Yiddish

Yeah, Yiddish!

In which I begin my last language (for now).

Yiddish is the seventeenth language I will have studied in four years, and I confess I am a little worn out. I have been collecting Yiddish books for a while now, in anticipation of this segment, but my brain is…

July 2, 2013 | Yiddish

Yiddish: A Language Amalgam

In which I discover this will be exciting.

Last night I started Colloquial Yiddish: The Complete Course for Beginners, written by Lily Kahn and published by Routledge in 2012. Routledge, by the way, has tons of language-learning books. I am not at all a shopaholic, but going…

July 3, 2013 | Yiddish

A Venerable Yiddish Institution

In which I visit the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Chelsea.

I began this project four years and two days ago. In the early days of it, I used to listen to Pimsleur language lessons on my runs. I eventually stopped, deciding it was too hard to do both well simultaneously.…

July 5, 2013 | Yiddish

Alphabet Games

I need to learn the Yiddish/Hebrew alphabet better.

I spent quite a bit of time on the Hebrew alphabet when I was studying Hebrew a year and a half ago, but I never got all that comfortable with it. There were a couple of issues. This Hebrew Book…

July 9, 2013 | Yiddish

An Alphabet Comparison: Yiddish v. Hebrew

In which I line up the two alphabets to get some order in my head.

People learn in different ways. My brain has some tics that I have to work around. I am extremely distracted by the slightest confusion about minor grammatical or other language points. If, for example, I can’t quite make out…

July 10, 2013 | Yiddish

Translating Into Yiddish!

In which I convert some English sentences into Yiddish.

Buckling down on learning the alphabet has made my Yiddish studies so much more enjoyable! I’m excited. I still have to look up the handwritten versions of certain letters, though. I took pictures, included below, of two sets that…

July 11, 2013 | Yiddish

Yiddish: Yep, Germanic

Yiddish has many linguistic influences, but at the moment it sometimes seems like backwards German written in secret code.

When I went to study Yiddish yesterday at a local café, I was about to sit down on an available sofa when I noticed a small object resting on it. Here’s a photo. Sofa, with Pea Can you see…

July 11, 2013 | Yiddish

Predicate Perplexity!

I cannot figure out several paragraphs in my grammar book.

I was just working on Basic Yiddish: A Grammar and Workbook when I came across some utterly mystifying paragraphs under the heading “The predicative.” This Book Is a Pretty Color The first two read as follows: “The predicate…

July 13, 2013 | Yiddish

I Love Yiddish

I just need a large-print version of my grammar book!

Aside from the fact that I would benefit from a larger font size for the Yiddish, I have really been enjoying the grammar exercises in Basic Yiddish: A Grammar and Workbook—especially the translation ones. Here’s a…

July 17, 2013 | Yiddish

Yiddish Causation

Causes and effects work differently than in English.

This past weekend I went on a walking tour of the Lower East Side with YIVO summer students. I will try to write up some more of the tour in coming days, but in the meantime, here’s…