[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 21.017

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Thu Apr 26 21:29:08 EDT 2012

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 21.017
April 24, 2012

1) vinkl kheyder (Alan Astro)
2) vinkl kheyder (Arun (Arele) Viswanath)
3) tsezeyt/vinkl kheyder (Hershl Hartman)
4) tsezeyt (Rita Falbel)
5) Proust in Yiddish/translation of idiom (Marc Caplan)
6) Proust in Yiddish (Mike Koplow)
7) Proust in Yiddish (Alan Astro)
8) Proust in Yiddish (Eliezer Niborski)

Date: April 3
Subject: vinkl kheyder

Re: Helene B. Katz's inquiry. One wouldn't necessary put a hyphen between 
"vinkl" and "kheyder." Why? In what she remarks: " But I read that in 
Yiddish the determiner is always before the word it qualifies," one should 
take out the "always" and put in "often." This is because along with 
composite words on the German and English model (weekend, Wochenende), 
Yiddish forms composite expressions similar to the German "ein Glas Bier" 
(a glass [of] beer) but going much further, thanks to Hebrew smichut 
(e.g., darkhei shalom, ways [of] peace), as in sof-vokh (end [of the] 
week) or "a teyl shtot" (part of the city, whereas German would have to 
say Stadtteil).

That being said: Without a hyphen there is stress on both words (a vInkl 
khEyder), but with a hyphen just on kheyder (vinkl-khEyder).

The first, a vinkl kheyder (two stresses), would mean the corner of a 
room. A vinkl-kheyder (one stress, with hyphen) would mean, as she says, a 
remote room. It also means a small kheyder (Hebrew religious school) in 
the corner of a poor melamed's dwelling, or maybe, as in the song, in a 
shul itself.

In "Rozhinkes mit mandlen," one has to put stress on "vinkl" as one sings 
it, but that's because one is singing it. I would argue the meaning that 
makes sense is "vinkl-kheyder," a room off to the side or in a corner 
where  instruction is given to little children.

Re:  "in Yiddish the determiner is always before the word it qualifies," 
not true in another sense: poetically from one song, "a meydele sheyn," or 
more prosaically in another song: "a yingele a fayns," with the article 
and the declension repeated.

Alan Astro

Date: April 3
Subject: vinkl kheyder

Dear Helene:

It depends on which word you stress.  A "VINKL-kheyder" would be a room in 
a corner, whereas a "vinkl KHEYDER" would be the corner of a room (which 
is the traditional translation; though perhaps you are correct that in 
this case it designates a special location in the beys-hamikdesh).  In the 
latter one, there is an understood "fun" between "vinkl" and "kheyder".
Another example might be "ekgas" (pronounced ekGAS), which means street 
corner; if it were pronounced "EKgas", I might take it to mean a street 
which is at an edge or corner.

Arun (Arele) Viswanath

Date: April 3
Subject: tsezeyt/vinkl kheyder

Re; Mark Froimowitz's query about the meaning of "tsezeyt" in Mark 
Warshawski's "rozhinkes mit mandlen" (and anywhere else): it means 
"scattered" as in grain or seed scattering: widely dispersed, but rooted 
wherever the seeds happen to land.

Helene B. Katz's surmise is correct in regard to the same song. The vinkl 
kheyder in the beys hamikdesh is a corner room in the biblical Temple of 
Solomon, where sits the widow, Daughter of Zion, rocking her little son, 
Yidele -- representing the Jewish people.  (Many years ago, a popular 
Yiddish song book misinterpreted the verse as
describing an old widow in a corner room of an anonymous synagogue. 
Several decades later, the author of that glitch apologized to this 

Hershl Hartman

Date: April 6
Subject: tsezeyt

In answer to Mark Froimowitz's question:

There is a line in the famous Yiddish song "Rozhinkes mit mandlen" that 
"Az du vest amol zayn tsezeyt oyf der velt."  What is the meaning of the 
word "tsezeyt?"

In the Uriel Weinreich dictionary, Tsezeyt is translated as "widely 
scattered." The verse containing this word is not found in most 
anthologies. I found it in a Russian anthology of "Jewish Folk Songs."

Rita Falbel

Date: April 3
Subject: Proust in Yiddish/translation of idiom

I am unaware of any Yiddish translations of Proust either before or after 
the war, although there were of course many other translations of French 
literature, particularly best-selling authors such as Guy de Maupassant 
and Romain Rolland in the era when authors were translated into 

Regarding the expression "Same Sh!#, Different Day" (S.O.S., to be 
idiomatic), I would recommend "di zelbe Yente andersh geshlayert."

Hope this helps,

Marc Caplan

[Moderator's Note: Yelena Shmulenson contributed the same translation of 
the popular English-language idiom.]

Date: April 3
Subject: Proust in Yiddish

Jordan Magill asked about Proust in Yiddish. I checked WorldCat, which 
includes several zillion library catalogues. Proust as author got 17,123 
hits. I wanted to limit it by language, and there were no Yiddish hits-in 
fact, there were none in any of the languages that WorldCat lists under 
"other." There's also nothing at the National Yiddish Book Center's Steven 
Spielberg collection. To me, this is very surprising.

Mike Koplow

Subject: Proust in Yiddish
Date: April 3

To answer, somewhat indirectly, Jordan Magill's query about Proust's 
having been translated into Yiddish: not that I'm aware of, but 
Louis-Ferdinand Cline, author of "Journey to the End of the Night" and 
infamous antisemite, claimed in 1949 that Proust's work WAS in Yiddish: 
"Proust n'crit pas en franais, mais en franco-yiddish tarabiscot 
absolument hors de toute tradition franaise" ["Proust does not write in 
French, but in overelaborate Franco-Yiddish absolutely outside of any 
French tradition."]

Alan Astro

Subject: Proust in Yiddish
Date: April 3
[If your software cannot handle the Yiddish characters that follow,  try 
the Mendele website:


?????? ????????????,

???? ??? ???????? ??? ?' 21.016 ?? ?? ??? ????? ???????? ????????????? 
???? ??????? ??????? "??? ??????? ???? ??? ????????????? ????", ??? ???
_??????? ?? ??? ???????? ??????????_
???? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ???????.

?? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ???????? ????????  _??? _  ???? ??? 
??????? ?? ?????????? ???? ??????? ???????, ??????????? ???? ?. ???????.

?? ???? ???? ???????? ????? ???' 3, ???? ????????? 1937, ???? ?? ??????? 2 
??? 7.

?????????, ??? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???????? ???? ??????? 
?? ???? ???? ????? ????????????? ???? ????? ????? ??????????? ???????? 
_?????? ?????????_ ??? ?? ????? 1926, 1927.

??? ?? ????? ?????

?????? ?????????

End of Mendele Vol. 21.017

Please do not use the "reply" key when writing to Mendele. Instead, direct 
your mail as

Material for postings to Mendele Yiddish literature and language, i.e. 
inquiries and
comments of a non-commercial or publicity nature:

     mendele at mailman.yale.edu

IMPORTANT:  Please include your full name as you would like it to appear 
in your
posting.  No posting will appear without its author's name.
Submissions to regular Mendele should not include personal email 
addresses, as
responses will be posted for all to read.  They must also include the 
author's name as you
would like it to appear.

Material for Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements, i.e. announcements
of events,
commercial publications, requests to which responses should be sent
exclusively to the
request's author, etc., always in plain text (no HTML or the like) to:

    victor.bers at yale.edu (in the subject line write Mendele Personal)

In order to spare the shamosim time and effort, we request that 
contributors adhere, when
applicable, as closely as possible to standard English punctuation, 
grammar, etc. and to
the YIVO rules of transliteration into Latin letters. A guide to 
Romanization can be
found at this site: 

All other messages should be sent to the shamosim at this address:
mendele at mailman.yale.edu

Mendele on the web: http://mendele.commons.yale.edu/

To join or leave the list: 

More information about the Mendele mailing list