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Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do) [Format Kindle]

Michael Wex

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“More than just a dictionary, Wex’s book waxes on the possible Biblical origins of certain phrases and offers useful phrases as well. Wex’s parents must be kvelling.” (New York Post)

“This treasure trove of linguistics, sociology, history and folklore offers a fascinating look at how, through the centuries, a unique and enduring language has reflected an equally unique and enduring culture.” (Publishers Weekly)

“All the wonderful elements of Yiddish language and culture are represented here. Highly recommended” (Library Journal)

“So you enjoyed Michael Wex’s Born to Kvetch, a North American introduction to Yiddish…? Even if you have no social connection with the haredi Ashkenazic community, you will probably also enjoy Just Say Nu - Yiddish for Every Occasion…. [I]t’s a delight.” (Jerusalem Post)

Présentation de l'éditeur

A cross between Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions and Ben Schott's Schott's Original Miscellany, JUST SAY NU is a practical guide to using Yiddish words and expressions in day-to-day situations. Along with enough grammar to enable readers to put together a comprehensible sentence and avoid embarrassing mistakes, Wex also explains the five most useful Yiddish words–shoyn, nu, epes, takeh,and nebakh–what they mean, how and when to use them, and how they can be used to conduct an entire conversation without anybody ever suspecting that the reader doesn't have the vaguest idea of what anyone is actually saying. Readers will learn how to shmooze their way through such activities as meeting and greeting; eating and drinking; praising and finding fault; maintaining personal hygiene; going to the doctor; driving; parenting; getting horoscopes; committing crimes; going to singles bars; having sex; talking politics and talking trash.
Now that Stephen Colbert, a Catholic from South Carolina and host of the "Colbert Report," is using Yiddish to wish viewers a bright and happy Chanukah, people have finally started to realize that there's nothing in the world that can't be improved by translating it into Yiddish. Wex's JUST SAY NU is the book that's going to show them how.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 609 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 332 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0312364628
  • Editeur : St. Martin's Press; Édition : 1st (16 octobre 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000V770B4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°258.780 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Linguistics and Laughs 22 octobre 2007
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Oy, Shprintse, what a book! It's a lecture on Yiddish, no doubt, and also on religion as the essential part to understand what's going on in the language. And it's so funny on such a high level that one may think the jokes will be missed -- but that's what I feared when I read "Born To Kvetch" already which has turned into a hit instead. Wex is not resting on the success of BTK (don't even think of Dennis Rader or the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company). JSN risks to introduce its own transliteration on top of YIVO's. But, hell, it works and turns pronunciation into fun! This is not a Yiddish for Dummies. Kvelling on scholarship, life and love, Just Say Nu manages to unite science, fun and understanding of a language that -- and this book proves it -- has SURVIVED hell.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 No Kvetching Here- Wex Has Done it Again! 25 novembre 2007
Par Rachael Kafrissen - Publié sur Amazon.com
With Just Say Nu, Michael Wex has again given us something rare in popular literature about Yiddish, a laugh out loud synthesis of scholarship and humor. It's an entry point to Yiddish that I wish had been around when I started studying the language as an undergraduate.

In fact, Just Say Nu should probably have been published before Born To Kvetch. It covers the basics that Kvetch (which covers much more advanced cultural contexts of Yiddish life) skipped over. Just Say Nu literally starts at the beginning, covering the nuances of language basics (like greetings and interjections) and delves into the many non-verbal aspects of Yiddish conversation.

Just Say Nu will give the you the conversational tools to handle any Jewish situation, whether it's running into Rabbi Goldberg at the burlesque house or getting your pain in the ass brother or sister to pass the milk at the table.

I only have one quarrel with Mr. Wex. He claims that Yiddish is unique in that it can diminish human misery without providing a concomitant increase in happiness. Yiddish brings me closer to the entirety of Jewish experience, both the good and the bad, the cursed and the blessed, the happy and the reserved. Just Say Nu, and the richness of Yiddish within it, did indeed provide an increase in happiness.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent for people who already know Yiddish 29 décembre 2008
Par Brooklynski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is a great book with all of the idioms of "real" Yiddish, that you will never learn at a YIVO class. The author describes the "zaftike" expressions of "poylishe yidn" with great talent. Frankly there were one or two places where his etymology is suspect (at least to me) and his transliteration system takes some getting used to (even for those of us who speak Yiddish fluently.) Notwithstanding these minor shortcomings it is an excellent work that deserves to be in the bookshelf of every serious Yiddish student, teacher, and speaker. Alot of these expressions are dying out even among the Yiddish-speaking Orthodox communities, where subtle language shift is taking place, and some of the racier expressions are never used by them in any case. Familiarizing yourself with these idioms will make it a helluva lot easier to read Isaac Bashevis Singer (and others) in the original.

It is less "cutesy" than "Born to Kvetch", which I also recommend highly.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not perfect, but not that bad either 10 juillet 2009
Par Shalom Freedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Wex points out that in Yiddish one tends to go for the negative more than the positive. And in fact this work which aims to help us learn how to speak Yiddish also provides insight into the 'Yiddish mentality and culture'. It has a small dictionary at the end, and also a small grammar section. It has sections on 'Greeting and Meeting' ' Stages of Life'
'Food and Drink' 'Family Life' 'Protective Phrases' 'Madness, Fury and Driving' 'Health and Illness' ' Love and Sex' ' Happiness and Pleasure'.
It has much humor and taken small bits at a time, as nosherei it is a truly enjoyable and instructive work.
However in the spirit of the book I will register a few complaints. How after all could one learn to speak Yiddish without learning how to complain? The spelling is not the spelling, and the pronunciation not the pronounciation of the world of my childhood. That does not make it wrong, it makes it irritating for me. I too found myself again and again less interested in new words and concepts then in my memory of old ones. And also, perhaps above all learning the 'meaning' of 'words and phrases' I heard in childhood but did not know the meaning of.
I was surprised at how many Yiddish words I know because of my knowing Hebrew. And it seems to me Wex does not emphasize enough the Hebrew origin of much in Yiddish.
On the whole however I will do what should be done here, and 'fargennen' ' praise and compliment this wonderful 'sefer'.
And this of course said with the memory and knowledge in mind of what happened to the great share of those for whom Yiddish was truly their mameloshen. May God preserve their memory and their souls.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Reading this book gave me Shpilkes! 30 juin 2009
Par Steven B. Rubinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
But seriously, folks....

Now I finally know something about the history behind some of the yiddish words I heard from relatives and at the synagogue.

The appendices were the part I read first. For movie trivia buffs, there is an appendix that includes an explanation of the Yiddish spoken by Ed Begley Jr. in the movie "A Mighty Wind", among others. Even one early Daffy Duck cartoon (my personal role model) contains a Yiddish sign.

The language explained ranges from common usage to graphic descriptions, especially in the chapter on love and sex, so parts of this book may be unsuitable for children. A few superstitions are well-explained, as are perspectives on other religions, especially Christianity.

The author's Liberal political bent is also reflected in some of the comments he makes in his book. While I disagree with Mr. Wex's politics, his comments are examples of free speech. Ironically, Mr. Wex is from Canada, yet most of his political comments are regarding the US. He's the Neil Young of Yiddish!

His book "Born to Kvetch" is now in my wish list.
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