Yiddish: heyn

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Bonjules

Senior Member
German
The second line of the refrain in 'Bei mir bis tu scheyn' reads 'bei mir has tu heyn'.
The closest etymology I can (maybe?) find is 'chen', indicating 'grace' in Hebrew (?)
Any other possibilities?
Am I missing an obvious German equivalent?
 
  • Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Could it be corruption of the German 'heim', like
    'with me you are 'at home'or 'safe'?
    We need to hear from some New Yorkers who still have picked up a little Yiddish from their parents!
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    From Hebrew חן [ħen] ([χe̞n] in modern pronunciation) = charm, grace, likeability.
     
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    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Indeed a great song, touches quite deep, aside from the lively musicality.
    I always was aware of course of Yiddish words and sentences; it can be considered a German dialect with a lot of
    similarity/affinity to the Southern one I grew up with.
    So the transliteration in Latin letters also comes natural to me (although there is considerable variation);
    What I didn't realize until recently is that a lot of Yiddish is written in Hebrew letters; I am curious how this came about or if it always was the case
    (Yidddish surely must have been originally mostly an oral tradition). Could it also have been a reaction to the persecution and the Holocaust?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    What I didn't realize until recently is that a lot of Yiddish is written in Hebrew letters; I am curious how this came about or if it always was the case
    (Yidddish surely must have been originally mostly an oral tradition). Could it also have been a reaction to the persecution and the Holocaust?
    Not at all. Yiddish has quite a long written tradition. In effect longer than German as far as ordinary people were concerned. In the Middle Ages, literacy was already wide spread among Jews while literacy among Christians was basically restricted to the clergy. It was quite natural for Jews to use Aramaic letters because they were familiar with them from the religious texts and the goyim they were in contact with were practically all illiterate.
    So the transliteration in Latin letters also comes natural to me (although there is considerable variation);
    I often find it easier to read in Aramaic characters because the Latin versions are transliterations from the Aramaic spelling with English rather than German conventions and I find that tedious to read also because the transliterations vary according to the Yiddish dialect which is taken as a base.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    @L'irlandais and @berndf :
    These are certainly good and important points and I realize that things a re a little more complicated,
    not the least since Yiddish itself seems to be divided into major dialects depending on where people settled.
    Wiki also has some interesting articles and they suggest that social and political/historical factors did play a role
    in when and where it was decided to use Roman vs Aramaeic script.
    I understand that the Hebrew letters had in favor of them that they went back to more ancient languages and were thusly well established already.
    I am not so sure however that litteracy was more widespread in the 'common 'Jewish than in the Christian population.
    Certainly the feudal lords had no interest in reading or writing among the peasants for obvious reasons.
    I also would think that Rabbis were often highly learned an educated persomalities, making them such important members of the community.
    But was there really much chance of reading/studying the Books - or writing- for the common man with the hard life and drudgery the people endured?
    Is there much evidence that many (common) people owned books? (even after printing, a book probably would have been a very expensive item)
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Die jiddische Schriftsprache entstand ab der 13. Jahrhundert in den jüdischen Gemeinden des Mittelrheinrals (Worms, Speyer, ...). Diese Gemeinden umfassend vor allem gut ausgebildete Kaufleute und Handwerker, die seit ottonischer Zeit dort angesiedelt wurden.
     
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