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Yiddish Proverbs

April 03, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Dang, this week's is a good one.

Az ich vel zein vi yener, ver vet zein vi ich?

If I would be like someone else, who would be like me?

 

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:36 PM | Comments (13)

March 27, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Der emess shtarbt nit ober er lebt vi an oreman.

The truth doesn't die but it lives like a poor man.

 

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:52 PM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

I apologize to all left reading this suddenly-desolate blog, and all left waiting for an email response from me. In addition to my suddenly topsy-turvy, disorienting professional life, I've developed a medical condition that has left me temporarily (I hope) debilitated with exhaustion. And then there's the emergency dental work.

But enough about me. I hope to stop apologizing, and start posting, very soon.

Meantime, it is Sunday. And Sunday means Yiddish proverbs. So here's this week's:

Az men ken nit iberhar'n dos shlechteh, ken men dos guteh nit derleben.

If you can't endure the bad, you won't live to witness the good.

 

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:45 PM | Comments (4)

March 13, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Unexpected and chaotic events in my personal and professional life are making it impossible for me to blog much at the moment. And I know I owe a few people e-mail responses too. I have something really fun planned for the near future for this blog; if I could just get a few free moments to work on it! Ah, well, hopefully everything will work itself out for the best, and with any luck I should be able to get a few entries in sometime next week.

Anyway, this week's proverb seems particularly apropos for my life at the moment.

Di gantseh velt iz ful mit shaidim; treib zai chotsh fun zich arois.

The whole world is full of demons; you just exorcise them out of yourself.

 

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

March 06, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

I like this one because, let's face it, it's a good description of most bloggers, yours truly included. Plus it contains the invaluable word "maivin," also spelled "maven," which I use practically every day.

Zingen ken ich nit, ober a maivin bin ich.

I can't sing, but I'm an expert on it.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:57 PM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Aider me zogt arois s'vort, iz men a har; dernoch iz men a nar.

Before you say a word you're a master; afterwards, you're a fool.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Yes, I know it's Monday, not Sunday. But it's a holiday, so it's kinda-sorta Sundayish. Besides, I've had such a week!

Anyway, did you know the entire genesis of Islamofascism could be summed up in three words (four in the Yiddish)?

Fun kin'ah vert sin'ah.

Envy breeds hate.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This one goes out to the Democratic Party, in honor of the bright, shiny, spankin' new lease on life they'll be getting with Howard Dean as their Dear Leader.

Di grub iz shoin ofen un der mentsh tut noch hofen.

The grave is already dug and man still continues to hope.

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:16 PM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Apologies for the sudden unbearable lightness of posting. Only temporary, I assure you. I'm just coiling to strike again, is all.

Meanwhile, more wisdom, straight from the shtetl to the internetl:


Ainer iz a ligen, tsvai iz ligens, drei iz politik.

One lie is a lie, two lies are lies, but three is politics!


Posted by EtherPundit at 11:13 PM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

The response from certain quarters to the Iraq elections is perfectly summed up by this gem of wisdom:

A chissoren, di kalleh iz tsu shain.

A fault-finder complains even that the bride is too pretty.

Try reading this proverb in a low, droning, singsong voice.

A fault-finder complains even that the bride randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:37 PM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This week's proverb has a nice rhyme in the Yiddish that unfortunately doesn't carry over to English, despite the fact that it has enough cognates to be almost understandable to an English reader.

Nice cynical philosophy, too.

Der mentsh tracht, un Got lacht.

Man thinks and God laughs.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:55 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Since the blogosphere has been abuzz with discussion of Kos' dubiously kosher compensation, I've picked an appropriate proverb. No one can actually prove there was any quid pro quo in this case, but...

Oif vemens vogen me zitst, zingt men dem lied.

People always sing the tune that pleases their benefactor.

On a related topic, Jim Treacher is soliciting alternate names for... "Blogola," or whatever they're calling blog payoffs. I've suggested a few, including "clickbacks," "pajama payola," "trackbucks," "quid pro click," and "movable hype." I urge all neologism-loving readers to hustle over and take a crack at it.

Update: Reader Tevye has provided a literal translation of this proverb (which I prefer). See the comments to read it.

Posted by EtherPundit at 05:59 PM | Comments (7)

January 10, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Well, I finally get up and running on Hosting Matters just in time for them to become serial victims of DDOS attacks. So today's proverb is just a bit late.

Az Got vil ainem dos hartz opshtoissen, git er im a groissen saichel.

When God wants to break a man's heart, he gives him a lot of sense.


Posted by EtherPundit at 07:01 AM | Comments (1)

January 02, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This week's proverb applies nicely to the ongoing Movable Type transfer kvetching I've been doing here.

Ain mol a saichel, dos tsvaiteh mol chain, dem dritten mol git men in di tsain.

The first time it's smart; the second time it's cute; the third time you get a sock in the teeth.

That, my friends, is what I call wisdom.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:22 PM | Comments (2)

December 26, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

So. The bad news is that it's taken longer than I'd like to resume regular blogging. The good news (for me, anyway) is that I've got a new Mac G5, and I'm putting my old laptop on AirPort so I can blog like a slob, draped over whatever piece of furniture looks comfortable. (Or in the bathroom, as most bloggers do!) Of course, all this upgrading involves downtime. Meanwhile, I'm almost up and running on Movable Type, though it's taken me longer to convert to Movable Type than it took Gutenberg.

In any case, I can't let Sunday go by without a proverb. So here's this week's:

Az me muz, ken men.

When one must, one can.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:32 PM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

As I mentioned, posting's going to be light until I get onto Movable Type and park myself at www.etherhouse.com. (The address works now -- update your bookmarks! -- but it forwards to TypePad.) (Update, 1/7/04: the address is up and running and it refers to the correct URL.)

So I'll post an appropriate one this week:

Der vos shveigt maint oich epes.

He who is silent means something just the same.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

December 12, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This one goes out by special request to my bud Karol at Alarming News.

Besser tsu shtarben shtai'endik aider tsu leben oif di k'ni.

Better to die upright than to live on your knees.

This one's got everything: a noble, stirring sentiment, and a fun English cognate in "k'ni" (knee).

Posted by EtherPundit at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Az meshiach vet kumen, vellen alleh krankeh oisgehailt verren;
nor a nar vet bleiben a nar.

When the Messiah comes, all the sick will be healed;
only a fool will stay a fool.

I guess there's one thing even God can't do.

Posted by EtherPundit at 05:35 PM | Comments (6)

November 28, 2004

New Feature! Yiddish Proverb Sundays! Read, so you should learn!

You asked for it!* Regular readers** wanted to see some weekly features, and I'm only too happy to oblige. So today I inaugurate...

Yiddish Proverb Sundays!

Unless noted, all proverbs will be from the 1970 book "1001 Yiddish Proverbs," by Fred Kogos.

I'll start the series with the last proverb in the book:

Altsding lozst zich ois mit a gevain.

Everything ends in weeping.

That's got to be the ur-proverb, right there. Could be pulled straight from Ecclesiastes, and for all I know it is. There it is, distilled into a few words, hard and sharp as diamonds: Ladies and gentlemen, the human condition.

This might be a good time to note that I don't speak Yiddish. Several people have called me an honorary Jew, though. Perhaps that's why these proverbs speak to me; I mean, the human condition is the human condition, but some cultures face it a little more squarely than others. And with a little more humor, might I add.

(Language nerd stuff coming up. Avert your eyes if you are sensitive to dorkiness or products processed in a dorkiness-processing facility.)

I'm going to include the Yiddish version whenever I can, because the originals often have lilting cadences and rhymes that don't carry over into the translation. (I imagine anyone with even a slight familiarity with the sound of spoken Yiddish or German could easily "hear" what the Yiddish might sound like.) Plus, I like spotting English cognates. In this example, there's Altsding ("all things") and gevain (sounds like "whine," certainly shares a root). And I'm guessing lozst shares DNA with "lost."

(Okay, the dorkiness-sensitive can resume reading now. If you are a dorkiness-sensitive patron and you got any of the above paragraph in your eyes, please proceed immediately to the nearest eye-wash station, where your eyeballs will be flushed with issues of Maxim and Sports Illustrated until all traces of dorkiness have been expunged. Thank you.)

* No you didn't.
** Of which I had, at last count, between 0 and  23, depending on whether you count the voices in my head.
If the voices in my head do count as regular readers, and I don't know why they shouldn't, then this statement is true.

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:19 PM | Comments (4)