Thursday, March 20, 2008

Judaeo-Piemontese. From Wikipedia with my opening notes

I always like to learn of yet another Jewish language.Piemontese is a Romance language that is still spoken in Piedmont, in the northwest corner of Italy, near France and Switzerland. There is still a very small Jewish community in Torino, of which Primo Levi was a member for most of his life. Piemontese is a full fledged language which used to have its own kingdom, although that was before the birth of Italy as a country in 1861. Piemontese is in the same linguistic branch as Catalan Ocitan and French.Like many regions in the European Union, Piedmont is enjoying a resurgence of regional pride in its language and culture. Below is a brief article from Wikipedia on Judaeo Piemontese.
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Judæo-Piedmontese was the vernacular language of the Jews living in Piedmont, Italy from about the 15th Century until the Second World War. The dialect was based on the Piedmontese language, with many loans from ancient Hebrew, and also languages like Provençal and Spanish , since many Piedmontese Jews came from Provence and Spain.

It was never as wide and rich in words as Yiddish, another and more famous Jewish dialect, but rather narrow and based on secrecy and segregation, and meant not be understood by the gentiles. Today there are virtually no more speakers of Judæo-Piedmontese.

[edit] Small vocabulary

The dialect never had real written phonetical rules, the words in this list are written accordingly to (and taken mostly from) Primo Levi's book The Periodic Table and the book La gran battaglia degli ebrei di Moncalvo.

Pronunciation:

(kh) like in German "Nacht".

(ñ) nasal, like in English "Sing", not to be confunded with the Spanish ñ.

(ô) like in English "Loom".

(u) like the French u or the German ü.

(sc) like the English sh.

(j) like in German "Jung" or in English "Young".


* (a)brakhà - blessing
* Adonai Eloénô - God, Lord
* bahalòm - in a dream (used for jokes)
* barakhùt - blessed
* barôcabà - welcome!, blessed He who comes!
* batacaìn - cemetery
* beemà - beast
* Cadòss Barôkhù - God
* cassèr - community, ghetto
* ganàv - thief
* ganavé - to steal
* ghescér - bridge
* gôì - non-Jewish man
* gôià - non-Jewish woman
* gojìm - non-Jewish people
* hafassìm - jewels (lit. "stuff")
* hamòr - donkey
* hamortà - stupid woman (lit. female of donkey)
* hasìr - pig
* hasirùd - rubbish
* havertà - rough and dissolute woman
* khakhàm - rabbi (lit. "learned one")
* khalaviòd - breasts (from Hebrew "halav", milk)
* khaltrùm - Catholic overdevoutness
* khamisà - five
* khamissidò - slap
* khanéc - neck (pregnant with meaning, used to swear)
* khaniké - to hang (kill)
* khèder - room
* kinìm - lice
* lakhtì - (exclamation) go away!
* Lassòn Acòdesh - Sacred Language
* macòd - blows
* maftèkh - key
* mahané - neck (generic and neutral)
* mamsér - bastard
* mañòd - money
* medà meshônà - accident (lit. "strange death")
* menaghèm / meraghèl - spy
* Milca - Queen
* morénô - rabbi (lit. "our master")
* nainé - to look at
* ñarél - non-circumcised
* nero - evil, bad
* pakhàt - fear
* pegartà - dead woman
* pôñaltà - dirty, shabbily-clothed woman
* pôñèl - dirty, shabbily-clothed man
* rabbenù - rabbi
* rashàn - non-pious
* rôkhòd - winds
* ruàkh - wind
* samdé - to baptize (lit. "destroy")
* sarfatìm - guards
* saròd - disgraced
* scòla - synagogue, temple
* sefòkh - toddler vomit
* sôrada - appearance, look
* sôtià - crazy woman
* tafùs - prison, jail
* takhôrìm - haemorroids
* tanhanè - to argue Sphere: Related Content

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