Friday, September 13, 2013

But What About That.... Ummmm ... Other Language That's Not Yiddish???

You listen to Leonard Lopate on WNYC, right? (I'm not even going to ask if you've donated to WNYC this year because I assume you have.) He has a regular Friday feature called Please Explain.

In Please Explain, we set aside time every Friday afternoon to get to the bottom of one complex issue. We'll back up and review the basic facts and principles of complicated issues across a broad range of topics — history, politics, science, you name it

Sometimes it's whales, sometimes it's sleep apnea, and today at 1 pm, it's everyone's favorite pidgin creole language of lurve, Yiddish.

Chutzpah, glitch, klutz, schlep, and tchotchke are all Yiddish words that have entered into everyday usage. On this week’s Please Explain, we’ll find out all about the Yiddish language—where it comes from, how it’s influenced our culture, and its resurgence. We’re joined by Jonathan Brent, Executive Director at YIVO Institute For Jewish Research, and  Eddy Portnoy, Academic Advisor at YIVO Institute For Jewish Research.

And following an unwritten rule applying to every public discussion about Yiddish, THIS was the first question on the show page:


I can't tell you how many times I've heard this 'question' asked after a lecture at YIVO. No matter that the discussion was about Bundist contraception clinics in inter-war Poland. Nope, the most burning question for a certain type of audience member is always "What about Ladino?????" (To which I silently scream "Ladi-NOOOOOOOO....")

Maybe they took a wrong turn and meant to go to the lecture at the American Sephardi Federation? I dunno. If you're one of the What About Ladino Kvetchers (WALKs) please explain (hah!) in the comments.

And tune in today at 1:20 pm, or listen after the fact when the show is archived.

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