How to say hour in Yiddish

In our linguistic immigration country, lexemes of various origins enrich our language - Latinisms, Romanisms, Graecisms, Hebraisms and Yiddisms. In 2008, a competition organized by the Goethe Institute and the German Language Council was looking for the most beautiful word with a »migration background«. Out of 3500 suggestions from 42 countries, the words clumsy, currywurst and angel were chosen.

Conversely, Andrea Stiberc checked the emigration of German words in the historical foray Heimweh, Kitsch & Co. in 2007 and found what he was looking for in the English, French, Japanese, Turkish, Russian and Uzbek vocabulary. She wasn't probing in modern Hebrew at the time. The linguist and journalist Ruvik Rosenthal and the translator and interpreter Uriel Adiv, on the other hand, researched Germanisms in Iwrit. As a language columnist for the daily Maariv, Rosenthal was familiar with all the registers. The approximately 10,000 entries in his slang dictionary Milon Ha-Slang Ha-Hekefi (2007) are based on interviews, internet forums and web chats. They offer hefty curses, praise, and military jargon, often, it turns out, influenced by English, Arabic, and Yiddish.

immigration According to Rosenthal, the small word inventory of the Iwrit, which is around 150,000 lexemes, is dependent on linguistic immigration. Everyday idioms use up to 300 German words, plus several 100 Yiddish words, whose origins are also in German. "How German built the Hebrew language" was the title of an article on the language of Israel in the Haaretz newspaper in 2010. The fact that Yiddish was not always homogeneous for German immigrants is shown by the contributions to the work on spoken Jeckisch, entitled The Dictionary of Ben-Yehuda-Strasse, edited in Hebrew by communications scientist Nurit Carmel in 2012.

"Especially in construction and engineering, architecture and installation, almost all words come straight from German," says Rosenthal, whose parents come from Germany. The terms were imported from the »fifth aliyah«, the immigration stream after the Nazis came to power in 1933. Spatula, spray, under plaster, insulating tape, concrete, rubber, dowels (= dowels), strips, sliders (= regulators) and wallpaper are immersed in the Construction in addition to technical terms such as batter board (= batter board), gauge and spot welding (= spot welding); Electricians are familiar with grounding and short circuits, junk dealers sell old things, auto mechanics know double-declutching, clutch, pressure and ball bearings (with the correct plural form, although you can also say mesaw kadurim). Speaking of the car, which is called Oto because of the lack of a diphthong: the turn signal is activated when turning, and the wiper is activated when it rains.

education system »German Jews were decisively involved in the development of the education system in Israel«, wrote Sara Lemel from Tel Aviv in the »Berliner Literaturkritik« in 2010, »that is why many Hebrew expressions in schools and universities are translations from German. Small children go to the ›Gan Jeladim‹ (kindergarten), older ones study in ›Tichon‹ (middle school). Athletic students do all the 'splits' in the gym class. "

When playing chess, one often gets into time constraints and pressure to move; The lumbago is painful, important for the pompa (= the heart) is the sleep hour (= the afternoon nap). One likes to hear culinary lexemes such as gourmet, delicatessen, kohlrabi, rum, cream slice, schnitzel, tort and compote in Iwrit - however, the strudel also stands for the e-mail symbol @, probably because of its shape.

Uriel Adiv has been documenting such German and Yiddish loanwords since 2006. The computer lexicographer Peter Meyer at the Institute for German Language (IDS) is currently revising his collection of over 1500 entries and will then make it available to the public as an Internet dictionary on the IDS online platform "Lehnwortportal Deutsch" ( be made accessible in a variety of searchable form and linked with other loan dictionaries.

By the way: The German proverb is also known in Israel: »Sof tov hakol tov« (All's well that ends well).

Event with Uriel Adiv: "Hebrew and its German loanwords". Lecture and internet launch of a special dictionary. September 30, 7 p.m., Jewish Museum Berlin, Great Hall. Registration: 030/25993488 or [email protected]