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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 28, 2014

A pragmatic and idiomatic Yiddish substrate of Modern Hebrew: insights from translations of Sholem Aleichem's Tevye

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The article addresses the socio-linguistics and the socio-cultural process of the way in which the Yiddish pragmatic and idiomatic substrate has become increasingly visible in Modern Israeli Hebrew speech and literature. It does so by comparing two translations of Sholem Aleichem's Tevye der milchiker: that of Y. D. Berkovich (1959), and the new translation by D. Miron The complete Tevye the dairyman (2009). Miron aims to bridge the language and culture gap between the Modern Hebrew reader and the current, highly-literary authorized translation by Berkovich. My main thesis is that Miron's success in bringing the text closer to the Hebrew reader is the result of the fact that Modern Hebrew, especially colloquial Hebrew, is soaked with Yiddish utterances and echoes some traits of Yiddish folk discourse. The article thus sheds light on the complex twofold pragmatic and idiomatic aspects of the contact between the two languages.

Published Online: 2014-2-28
Published in Print: 2014-3-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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