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bio website marty-green.blogspot.com
location Canada
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visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen 20 hours ago

Nov
29
comment Is “Lass uns uns treffen” correct?
We dodge this bullet in Yiddish by using "sich" for all the reflexives: "lomir sich treffen (=lass wir sich treffen) or even "ich hab' sich die haendt gewascht".
Nov
29
comment How is the equivalent of the English “Let's …” formed?
I'm gratified that you enjoyed it. The "pr" is for "pronounced". (I like to spell Yiddish according to the German system, but that tends to obscure some of the vowel shifts.)
Nov
29
answered How is the equivalent of the English “Let's …” formed?
Nov
29
comment Did German borrow any words from Old Prussian?
I think you understand that I was comparing the pathway Old Prussian => German with the corresponding pathway Lithuanian => Yiddish. What has always baffled me is the disparity between the ease with which we import words from Polish and Ukrainian as compared to the paucity of words from such coterritorial sources as Lithuanian and Hungarian.
Nov
29
comment Did German borrow any words from Old Prussian?
Your "flins" looks like the Yiddish "blintz", but according to Wikipedia this derives from the Slavin "mlin" meaning "mill". Of course the Old Prussian could be related to the Slavic. Similarly, one of the few Yiddish words we trace to Lithuanian is "bulbes" (potatoes), where the Lithuaninan "bulve" is also apparently an import via the Polish "bulwa" for a root that seems to mean bulb everywhere in Europe. (I owe the analysis of "bulbes" to the following article by one Philologos in the Jewish Daily Forward). EDIT: Oops: I meant
Nov
29
comment Was wäre eine gute Übersetzung für “Mince Pie” oder “Pickles”?
Pickles unavailable? When I visited Frankfurt five years ago I marvelled at the big jars of pickles on sale for 1 euro, which would have cost $3 here at home. As an aside, in Yiddish we say "ugerkes" (accent on the first syllable), obviously from the Polish "ogorki". I never noticed the connection to "gherkins" before.
Nov
27
accepted Do people say “You're just being paranoid” in German?
Nov
27
comment Do people say “You're just being paranoid” in German?
Interesting. It definitely took off in both languages around 1950, just ahead of either the book or the movie. So I guess Herman Wouk was following the zeitgeist and not the other way around.
Nov
27
comment Do people say “You're just being paranoid” in German?
Nice! Verfolgungswahn is awesome. German truly is the Master Language! I'm still really interested in the Caine Mutiny connection, the expression is so common today, but in the movie it's like they needed a psychiatrist to explain what paranoia even was. Can someone do one of those word frequency charts I sometimes see here, where they show the frequency of usage over time? I wonder if it took off after 1954.
Nov
27
asked Do people say “You're just being paranoid” in German?
Nov
24
comment Warum nicht Dativ in“Er bricht den Stab über ihn”?
As an English speaker, we don't have very good intuition over the case taken by prepositions: but it wasn't clear to me that your "urteil sprechen uber jemanden" was strictly analogous to "brechen den Stab uber jemanden". In the first case you are pronouncing judgement concerning someone, in the second you are breaking the staff over someone. The two prepositions are different enough that I don't find it convincing that they must take the same case. But if you say that the staff-breaking case evolved out of analogy from the judgement case, I suppose that would explain it.
Nov
24
comment Warum nicht Dativ in“Er bricht den Stab über ihn”?
I have carefully read your analysis and also the reference provided, and I cannot for the life of me see how either justifies the accusative. The reference is titled "Über jemandem den Stab brechen" and although I am only a student of German, the "m" in jemandem tells me it is the dative case. The only possible argument I can make for the accusative would be that "uberbrechen den Stab" is a separable verb phrase with the meaning "to pass judgement on", in which case it would arguably take the accusative. But I do not find this argument being made.
Nov
21
comment Nuance of “Verschlechterung” not captured by any English equivalent?
@fzwo No one is a greater admirer of Takkan than I, but in fact you have filled in the missing part of his answer. In other words the German "verschlechterung" is only an approximation to the exact meaning here, much the same as any of the English alternatives. (Not including the very technical "pejoration" which would only be understood by a specialist.)
Nov
20
comment Nuance of “Verschlechterung” not captured by any English equivalent?
Yes, you're right about the jargon. I have a sore point myself about ontology vs epistomology. I don't know which is which and I never will get it straight. On the other hand, I ultimately, after many years, found the distinction between strategy and tactics to be useful. But honestly, my question was not so much about what to call it in English as whether I was correct in perceiving that the Germans nailed it perfectly with Verschlechterung?
Nov
20
comment Nuance of “Verschlechterung” not captured by any English equivalent?
So it is indeed a recognized phenomenon, and there is an technical term for it in English: pejoration. But I am still trying to understand whether the German "verschlechterung" captures this technical meaning as perfectly as I perceived it when I read it for the first time? Unlike the English, where it is a specialized term that only those educated in linguistics would possibly understand.
Nov
19
asked Nuance of “Verschlechterung” not captured by any English equivalent?
Nov
19
comment Change of meaning: are words whose meaning has been “verschlechtert” preserved in Yiddish?
Fascinating reference; however, the use of zappeln here is really not the same as our Yiddish usage. It's still in this example more of a twitching than a throbbing. We definitely do not use "zappeldig" for an annoying child, e.g. (BTW, I ought to clarify that the d in "zappeldig" is not a misprint, in case anyone doesn't recognize the Yiddish suffix.)
Nov
19
revised Change of meaning: are words whose meaning has been “verschlechtert” preserved in Yiddish?
edited tags
Nov
19
comment Change of meaning: are words whose meaning has been “verschlechtert” preserved in Yiddish?
If you look at the recent discussion on Jauche, you will see that the concept of verschlechterung is not my invention; it comes from Grimm.
Nov
18
comment Change of meaning: are words whose meaning has been “verschlechtert” preserved in Yiddish?
Which translation do you disagree with? I assure you that the Yiddish expression does not translate as the "tender, fidgety body" of a beautiful woman. Could the Yiddish phrase conceivably be used in German to describe a woman?