Sample Yiddish Translation

Sample Yiddish Translation

Below are the last wishes of a mother to her children. Written in 1970, this sample is difficult to read, uses non-standard lettering, evidences a Litvak pronunciation of words, and a non-standard, Soviet Yiddish orthography. Adding to the difficulty, certain English words have been incorporated with Yiddish spelling, like “fyuneril pale” for “funeral parlor”. Her great-grandchildren sought a Yiddish translator to decipher the text’s meaning. See the finished translation (at right).

Yiddish Translation Sample“To my lovely and dear children, you should be healthy and live long happy lives. I want to tell you a few things about how you should handle me after my death, although I know well that you are very good children, you have taken very good care of me, have given me respect, plenty of money and honor. I ask you to bury me according to Jewish law. To know what you should do, you should immediately ask the rabbi of my synagogue and should call the synagogue. And to my children, I have one requirement, that you are not to take me to a funeral parlor, because they do not act according to Jewish law. And you are to drive me to my synagogue, to the Yeshiva Chaim Berlin. I am a member. You should call before you bring me. The assistant to the rabbi will wait and will make a deal with you. I ask you to rent a minyan for one week’s time.”Sarah Yenta Chanin

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