deborah deborah.dwj at
Fri Jan 21 18:44:51 EST 2005

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, Katie Meyers wrote:

|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.

Lots of it is sentence structure, which probably won't come up if you
have a script.

  "Nu, so I lied about the whistle?" (Upward tone on whistle)
  "A mensch he should be."
  "Have a glassele tea."
  "Do I look like I know from R&B?" (Upward tone again)

Accent is subtler.  Turn flat "a"s into short "e"s as in "Ent".  That
is, "Accent" becomes "Eksent".  Except sometimes, those short "a"s
become long "ahh"s, and I can't think of the pattern where: "Lansky"
becomes "Lahnsky" but sometimes "Lensky". I'd be "Deborah Keplen" or, to
my father, "Debele" (pronounced "debeleh"). Hard "g" and "t" sounds and
"v"s abound.

You know vat's probably good enough for government verk? (upward note)
Rent a Mel Brooks movie, and tek like him. (exceptionally short "i" in
"him" -- almost a schwa)


-debele, myer's youngest, the bubbele
"Buffy, duck."
"What duck?  There's a duck?"

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