If a language is the key to knowledge and to communicate and understand a culture, idioms are the key to their heart.
In these two books by Chaim Werdyger “YIDDISH IN 10 LESSONS” and “500 YIDDISH EXPRESSIONS & IDIOMS” we get an easy to use, easier to learn and very simple system to appreciate and pass on Yiddish language and Yiddish traditions and worldview.
There are many good, professional books and courses to learn Yiddish but they all assume either a certain level of pre-knowledge or a college ability and time availability to use them.
These books assume nothing.
They expect the user to be a normal child or adult person interested in learning and passing on Yiddish as a living language worth keeping and therefor they present in simple form, translated and transliterated all words and phrases, for ease of use.
The first one: “YIDDISH IN 10 LESSONS” will take you by the hand and introduce you to the Yiddish language in short learning capsules which you can review and learn during an underground or metro trip or during a break at work.
If anything I could find only one ‘mistake’ or maybe it’s done on purpose where every time there are three columns one for the original Yiddish a second for the transliteration and a third for the translation into English the columns are precisely in this order from left to right when, I think, would have been more natural to have the English translation on the left, the transliteration in the middle and the original Yiddish in the right hand side reading from right to left but, other than this detail which most people will not notice the book is impeccably well written, in educated – litvak – YIVO Yiddish which therefor ads to the existing books and materials without any demerits or questions about quality, system and ease of use.
If you want to learn Yiddish, or if you want to learn idioms and be able to apply them properly, if you want to pass them or teach them to your significant other or more importantly to your children, these are two books worth having at hand.
I myself already bought a couple of each to have them at hand for the day when my own ‘einiklakh’ (grandchildren) will be ready to learn something new and embed their souls with their original identity.
And you? What are you waiting to buy your copies?