rosgross at bigpond.net.au
Fri Jan 21 01:43:46 EST 2005
> To those of you who mentioned Yiddish accents in talking about dialects
> and the like, do you have any advice on how to speak with a Yiddish
> accent? I am supposed to learn a Yiddish accent to play Fannie Brice in
> my high school's musical review The Melody Lingers On. This is funny,
> because Brice herself did not have a Yiddish accent, and put it on to play
> her roles.
You have to do a Yiddish accent? Oy vey!
My husband grew up speaking Yiddish and his Aussie English still sounds a
little different from the norm (whatever that is), but when we first met, it
had a distinctly Yiddish feel, even though the accent itself was probably
not a Yiddish one. It was more in the inflections--that kind of questioning,
upwards tone--and the way he sometimes placed the verb in the Yiddish
position in sentences; his English sentences wer constructed a little as if
they were Yiddish. Not in a really obvious way, but slighly askew. The
trouble is I can't think of an example right now. He still sometimes use an
English word in a Yiddish manner--like saying "hand" when he means "arm",
because the Yiddish word "hent" refers to both arm and hand.
I grew up in a bilingual household as well, only when my grandparents spoke
Yiddish to my brothers and me, we'd answer in English...
All that was perhaps a bit too subtle for your purposes, but if you say
everything as if you're asking a question (and sound martyred while you're
doing it:-), use "nu" a few times, and replace "w" with "v", it'll be a
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