Re: Yiddish in Czech lands #austria-czech

Amira Kohn-Trattner <amira.kt@...>

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the comments about the "Prager Deitsch" - combination of
German, Yiddish and Hebrew spoken by Prague Jews before the War. I have
been collecting words, phrases and expression, for years. Each time I
speak with my Czech cousins, who live in Venezuela, they invariably say
something in this Prager Deitsch and I simply add it to the long list...

My mother who was born in Prague spoke Hoch Deutsch and spoke German with
my father (and me and my sister) who was born in Lucenec, Slovakia. They
of course spoke Czech, my father spoke Slovak and both of them spoke
several other languages. Yiddish was spoken in Eastern Slovakia and
Hebrew as well. My grandfather's private Hebrew teacher in Prague came
from Munkacz.
Here are some phrases in what my cousins call Prager Deitsch:

Er ist ein umtam odor ein leimech (he is a schlemazel)
Mieser baldover - not honorable, bad humor unpleasant person
petite macher - clever
schmonces (small,unimportant things)
machloike (differences)
Endlach - finally
chochmes = chochmes..(smarts)
menoovl - shrewd
mit eitziss versorgt - we have enough advice
die freit - die Freude (the joy)
haste kan lat machte kan lat (if you don't have a sorrow or a worry -
don't make one)
halevei eine stund danach - if it were only an hour afterwards (after the
dreaded event)

Also, the book Motche und Rezi was published in Czech (the names of the
characters are in Yiddish/Hebrew or Prager Deitsch). These are wonderful
humorous stories of Jews living in villages in the Czech lands. As far as
I know this book has not been translated into other languages.

Amira Kohn-Trattner
New York, N.Y.

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