Thursday, August 28, 2008

Funny story and a good friend!

A friend of our has another friend who has an annual cookout and he tries to make the theme something relevant to the summer news, or events. So this year (he, the second friend is Jewish) he is hosting the Oy-lympics!

So Patrick emailed a reply sentence to me and asked me to translate to "Hebrew" and of course I knew he meant Yiddish. I tried to translate his sentence via on line translation service but got a very choppy looking translation.

So, I asked Kerstin, who asked her husband, who asked someone at the temple how to translate this sentence (isn't this amazing!) Benjamin, Kerstin's sweet husband, didn't know the word for cookout, so he substituted "picnic". The guy at the temple answered :
" Picknick, wos soll des seyn? Man muss doch wissen, wo und wieso.
Wer geht denn einfach so mit dem Essen arois?”

(Picknick? What´s that? You have to know when and where. Who goes outside with their food?)

That is SO exactly what my grandfather would have said that I nearly fell off my chair with laughing! We never had picnics in our house, only proper food at the proper table!

But he also was nice enough to translate the sentence for me to send to Patrick.

“ Mir kennen efsher nisht kimmen oif de zusammentreff/simche. Mir wern dir shicken a brief.”
(We may not come to the get-together/meeting/simche. We will send you a letter/notice.)

Kerstin and Benjamin - thank you! That absolutely made my day! It is amazing to me that from here in New England, I can email a friend in Germany who can find a way to translate something into Yiddish for me, and I can get that translation back to my friend Pat within one day.

I love my blogger friends!


Debra Kay said...

Death of Distance!

Fern said...


Lynn said...

That was hysterical!
I have an uncle near by who knows yiddish if you need another quick translation! LOL


ksklein said...

When I read the Yiddish sentences I still have to laugh too.

And to be honest: Who would take/eat thier food outside! ;) Sukkot is enough for the year I guess and here in Germany it is mostly cold and rainy during sukkot, so I think specially the old people do not need more cookouts.

Now that I think of it: Whenever we go on picknicks or eat outside it is with our non jewish friends. :)

ksklein said...

Just a questions: do you say go on picknicks, go to picknicks? Or which other expression would be best?

And I´m always amazed how the inetrnet makes life easier.

soulbrush said...

eer bint meshuggah. fahr vaws wilt eer a 'picnic' hobben? hehr binst te kalt.
'you are crazy. why do you want to have a picnic. it's too cold here'
i adore yiddish(my parents spoke it too) and it is one of my dreams when i retire to learn it properly. (another random thing about me!) hugs.

soulbrush said...

'go on a picnic' kirsten.

ksklein said...

Thanks! :)

sukipoet said...

Well this is all hysterical. And soulbrush, you are full of surprises! As for me, where did you say I could go to picknick?

Mim said...

this is a great discussion, I love it. Kerstin - to me it is "go on a picnic" but sometimes you can "go to a picnic"... if you aren't giving the picnic you go TO it.

Princess Pepper Cloud said...


soulbrush said...

mmm guess you're right mim, if it's not your picnic, you go to it. you should be the teacher not me! giggle.

Mim said...

Soul - with your yiddish - you win the prize! I also have a desire to learn Yiddish, but where would I use it? In Brooklyn in the Orthodox section? That's about the only place that I know that you can routinely hear yiddish.