Yiddish love poem

דער שפּיגל

דײַן פֿאַרשפּיגלט געשטאַלט

איז געוויס מײַן שענסט ליד,

נאָר אײַל צו, עס צעפֿאַלט !

ס'איז מײַן לעצט "כ'האָב דיך ליב".

Translated into Yiddish by Y. Niborski & B. Vaisbrot
Audio Bernard Vaisbrot
Yiddish love poem

A transliteration

D'er shpiygl

Dian paaarshpiyglt g'eshtaalt

Ayz g'evvys mian sh'enst lyd,

Naar aial tsv, 'es ts'epaaalt!

S'ayz mian l'etst "k'haab dyk lyb".

Book of poetry "La Glace"
Original version
French poem

Yiddish woman and her language

This yiddish (Yidiche, Yidich, Judeo-german, Yidish, Idiche, Jidisch, Jiddisch, Yiddisch, ייִדיש), it is for you! It is the exact drawing of your curves, the shape of your face and the roundness of your mouth.

The colors of your wicks add a note because nothing else, nor your eyes nor your mouth, uses the least artifice. I often think about you, when I hear the sounds of your folklore. I like this sad violin music, but so full of life in the same time, and you, you are full of it!

Yiddish is the Germanic language of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, spoken in 1938 by ⅔ of the community on the 5 continents. Actualy, this Jewish-German Creole of the Slavic countries is becoming scarce, but there are still many people who will understand this love poem (ליבע ליד).

Yiddish originated nearly a thousand years ago among jewish emigrants from northern France who settled in a number of cities along the Rhine and adopted the German dialects of the area. However, their speech was strongly influenced by Hebrew, which remained for Jew everywhere the language of religion and scholarship.

In the 14th 15th centuries, Yiddish was carried eastward into Poland, Lithuania, and Russia, where it absorbed elements from the various Slavic languages. Yiddish in written in Hebrew characters with the important difference that it use letters for voyels. German stays the dominant element of the language. The mass exodus of Jews from eastern Europe between 1880-1920 carried Yiddish to many parts of the world.

Like other Jewish languages, Yiddish is written using the Hebrew alphabet. Unlike Hebrew, which with a few exceptions is written without vowels, Yiddish has adapted some signs to use them as vowels. Words and morphemes of Semitic origin, are for the most part spelled, as they are in the source languages, while words of Germanic, Slavic, and other origins are spelled in a phonetic manner. The orthography is super-dialectal, which permits its use, by speakers of the standard language.

History of Yiddish literature

The Yiddish written literature took its true spurt, to become a real language in the 16th century thanks to the writer Elizah Bochar.

In the 18th century one finds the poems of M. Gordon, the tales of Abramovitz, the novels of Cholem Aleichem. Warsaw, Odessa and New York are the great centers of the Yiddish culture and the development of a literature that expresses the distress of a painful destiny, with a novelist like L. J Lnetzki, a poet like M. Rosenfeld. The poet Yehoash will translate the Bible.

We must not forget Sholom Aleichim, Isaac Loeb Peretz and Isaac Bashevis a singer who won the nobel price for literature in 1978.

The creation of the state of Israel, which makes classical Hebrew the official and literary language, has today considerably restricted the field of the Yiddish literature.

Neighboring languages
Ladino poem - Hebrew poem
Poem translated into yiddish (524 languages)