Yiddish: Oy Gevalt, Buhbie, Bubeleh

pirlary

Member
Italian
Hi everybody!

I wonder if the expressions "OY Gevalt!", "Buhbie" and "Bubeleh" are in use among Italian Jews too. I checked their meaning on Urban Dictionary, so I just need to know if they are used in Italy too and if not, if there's a similar expression in use among Italian Jews.

Thank you!
 
  • sefaradi

    New Member
    Arabic-North Africa
    Gevalt, Buhbie or Bubeleh are not hebrew words but Yiddish words, the Yiddish is the traditionnal german dialect of the Ashkenazi Jews, I don't think the Ashekenazi-Italian jews still use Yiddish expressions. The sepharadi communauty that includes the Jews from Libya doesn't use these expressions and never did it and their traditionnal languages are arabic, Judaeo-Spanish and italian. The traditionnal arabic expression that could match "Oy Gevalt!" is "ya rabi" or "Lah Yastor", they are not synonymies but are used for the same context (incridulity or alarm).
     

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    Agreed. There is a comunity of sefardic Jews somewhere in northern Italy (where exactly?) and they use a few words of Ladino (with Italian pronunciation) but almost no syntax.
    But, sefaradi, Yiddish is not 'the traditional German dialect' but a full language of its own. You can't get away by calling it a dialect, regardless of its beginning.
     

    sefaradi

    New Member
    Arabic-North Africa
    Thank you very much sefaradi for the explanation :)
    You're welcome.
    Agreed. There is a comunity of sefardic Jews somewhere in northern Italy (where exactly?) and they use a few words of Ladino (with Italian pronunciation) but almost no syntax.
    I don't know, I know some sepharadi jews in Rome and they don't use Judaeo-Spanish (Ladino).
    But, sefaradi, Yiddish is not 'the traditional German dialect' but a full language of its own. You can't get away by calling it a dialect, regardless of its beginning.
    You're right, Yiddish evoluted to a distinct full language but is classified as a germanic language and not semitic as the Hebrew.
     

    Sababa

    New Member
    English - Midlands
    While many Italian Jews may follow Sephardi customs they are not all of Sephardic origin and therefore would not speak Ladino. The younger generations of Jews from Ladino speaking communities may not be conversant. The Jewish community of Italy is made up of some Ashkenazim, Sephardim (who arrived after the expulsion from Spain), Libyan Jews (who still hold to tradition dating back over 2000 years despite colonial influence) and then there would be the descendents of Roman era Jews (just as Greece before the Holocaust was also home to the much older Romaniote community).
     
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    sefaradi

    New Member
    Arabic-North Africa
    Libyan Jews (who still hold to tradition dating back over 2000 years despite colonial influence)
    Really, I thought the Libyan community not very different from the Egyptian or Tunisian community. How is this community so specific? Its traditional language is Arabic and is "ethnically" a mix of indigenous Jews and Jews expelled from Spain as in all north african countries.
     

    Sababa

    New Member
    English - Midlands
    If you're comparing siddurim you won't find a lot of difference but culturally speaking there is a very wide gap. First of all, Jewish communities were founded in Cyrenaica about 3000 years ago (due to it's status as a trading post), the community lived more closely with and developed alongside the local Berber population in the cities of Tripoli, Benghazi and to a lesser extent Misrata. The community was heavily influenced by Italian colonial rule. Thus a unique culture was developed, you will still find Libyan synagogues outside of Libya. The majority of the North African Sephardim settled in Morrocco, Algiers etc. In Morrocco the communities were later influenced by French rule in Marrakech, Spanish in Casablanca & Tangiers, then there were communities more removed from that influence (in the Atlas region). Egypt is a different story, there were cultural differences to be found between Alexandria and Cairo, between rich and poor; in the last century the upper classes would speak French conversationally as opposed to Arabic, Cairo was a lot more mixed with Mizrahim and Sephardim from all over the former Ottoman Empire living side by side, there were also many Ashkenazim (who made there way to Egypt via trade or later to find refuge from Nazi Germany (Egypt at the time being under Allied control)). Each country has it's own individual history/folklore and associated traditions, in Egypt many traditions sprang up around the Maimonides synagogue, in Tunisia the pilgramage to Djerba, in Morroco visits to the grave of Sol Hachuel.
     

    sefaradi

    New Member
    Arabic-North Africa
    Exactly, every Jewish community of the diaspora is almost unique, even in Thessaloniki in Greece for exemple, that was well known of being a sepharadic ladino speaking community, there was a small but old Ashekenazi communauty. In the same country, traditions varied, in Morocco there was indigenous berber speaking community, a majority of mixed (spanish and indigenous) arabic speaking community and a small ladino speaking community. But we're talking about an old history (before the holocaust and the jewish exodus from the Arab World).
     

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    I think nobody speaks Ladino as the normal language used by children when speaking to their friends (legal definition for 'natural language'). I find it extremely interesting, and tried to do some research in Uruguay, but found no speakers whatsoever.

    And yes, Yiddish is a Germanic language, of course, (I always compare it to Black English in the States, where a totally segregated population went awry with the language of the streets). Without segregation, there would be no Black English/AAVE/Ebonics, nor Yiddish in Germany (starting around the X Century)
     

    sefaradi

    New Member
    Arabic-North Africa
    Ladino was the native language of a great grand-father of mine, it was even the main language of his town at the beginning of the 20th century. But because of emigration, dispersion, assimilation and finally extermination during ww2, this language became a dead language in only 4 or 5 decades. Nowdays, Yiddish is maintained alive by the ultra orthodox communities and almost disappeared in the the secular ashkenazy communities for the same reasons.
     
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    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    There is a comeback of Yiddish as a literary language, even in Israel. But it won't go past French, as a language of study. Here in N.York, entire neighborhoods speak it. Freaky, freaky. I can't recall the name of the writer (in one of the books on Yiddish published about 2 years ago) who made the numbers and declared that for the number of children the Orthodox have, Yiddish will be spoken by millions in a couple of generations...
     

    Sababa

    New Member
    English - Midlands
    Ladino is having a comeback too. It's mostly in music (new songs being written in Ladino), there are also conversational clubs in the US, in Israel it's still used conversationally by the older generation, I know the grandfather of one of my friends is still fluent and going strong. It's also taught in universities, I swear I saw it on the sumplemental course list when I was searching study options in Haifa.
     
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