Re: [Cz-L] Languages

Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2008 07:37:16 +0200
To: Miriam Taylor <>, Czernowitz <>

   If someone would ask you what your maternal language was what would you
say ?
     We spoke corrupt German,
        A speck of Yiddish
           A parody of Rumanian,
              A spoonlet of Ruthenian,
   And all of these together , one mixed salad.
       We spoke Czernowitzerisch.
           " Soll er chappen a Miesse meshine ".
        Soll er = German
        Chappen = to catch Ukrainean
         Miesse Meshine = Yiddish , from Hebrew : Mita Meshuna -Strange
----- Original Message -----
From: "Miriam Taylor" <>
To: "HARDY BREIER" <>; "Czernowitz"
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 10:41 PM
Subject: Re: [Cz-L] Languages

> Miriam (Mimi) Taylor <>
> I beg to differ.
> The generation of my father, born in 1907, studied 6 or more languages.
> I have multiple school certificates attesting to the fact. How well they
> knew them, depended on how much use they made of them and in what esteem
> they held the language. Romanian they despised, German literature,
> the speeches of Cicero, some of the speeches of Caesar and parts of the
> Peloponnesian wars, they knew by heart. They read Shalom Aleichem and
> Mendale in Yiddish.
> Growing up in a Jewish Czernowitzer family, by the age of 4, I knew
> who Shalom Aleichem was. At age 5 I heard another child my age recite
> "Der Erlkonig" When I came to Israel in 1949, I did not know Hebrew well
> enough to enjoy reading in it. So I read the books my parents had at home;
> The plays of Schiller, Shakespeare's plays in German in gothic script,
> the books of Zweig, Werfel and Wassermann.
> Schiller's poems were often recited at the dinner table and some lines,
> like: "Wehe wenn sie losgelassen" (from "Die Glocke" and used derogatively
> about women) entered the daily language.
> Keep in mind, that I was born in 1937 and never had a single German
> lesson.
> During the 2006 Czernowitz Reunion, in Chernivtsi, those of the generation
> born in the late twenties and early thirties were able to speak fluent
> Ukrainian.
> On the bus taking many of the participants of the Czernowitz Reunion
> from Lviv to Chernivtsi and later back, all of us old Czernowitzers,
> were constantly speaking in the most delightful mixture of German,
> Yiddish, Hebrew and English, with a Romanian, Russian or Ruthenian word
> thrown in, when we found that they better conveyed what we wanted to say.
> Vielleicht waren wir nicht wunderbar, aber so schlimm waren wir auch
> nicht!
> Mimi
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Received on 2008-01-08 05:37:16

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