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Preview — Just Say Nu by Michael Wex
Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do)
by Michael Wex
A cross between Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions and Ben Schott's Schott's Original Miscellany, JUST SAY NU is a practical guide to using Yiddish words and expressions in day-to-day situations. Along with enough grammar to enable readers to put together a comprehensible sentence and avoid embarrassing mistakes, Wex also explains the five most useful Yiddish words–shoy ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by St. Martin's Press
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This book was fabulous. It was a book on tape which I highly recommed. It's read by the author, And I love his voice, also since it's about a non english language, hearing the pronounciations makes it much easier to get a feel for what's going on. Again, loved it. I have no background in yiddish but I found it terribly interesting and funny. I can't say that I learned that many actual words or phrases per se, but I feel like I have a much better understanding of Yiddish as a whole, how it is con ...more
A very fun book. I learned a lot of new words, learned a lot about how phrases and emotions and attitude in Yiddish comes to be, and then how better to use it in the little bit that I know or remember. It wasn't easy to read straight through, although I'm glad I forced myself to do it mostly at once, but very fun to read in pieces.
This was a book I picked up because it was the right price and I had a Barnes and Noble gift card to use. I had no interest in learning Yiddish, but learning about the culture in which Yiddish is the primary language was interesting. There was also enough etymology and humor to keep me reading.I enjoyed reading it, and may use it as a reference in the future. I already used it for one blog post (larry-whatsthegoodword.blogspot.com) and have enough still to cover to fill another two posts at leas ...more
The author/reader's voice was very annoying. But if you can eventually overlooked it, you can hear some of the humor. Most of it comes in the examples. An example was a conversation that he imagined that Saul Bellow had with his father when he won the Publitizer Prize. Or another explanation of the Evil Eye and a mother whose daughter has won two Nobel Prizes-one for Economics and one for Home Economics. One thing that threw me is that his list for "common diseases" includes chlorea, diptheria, ...more
Michael Wex has helped me rediscover my Joy for Yiddish. His first book, "Born to Kvetch" gave the history of Yiddish, while this book reads a lot like a "Yiddish for Dummies" book. As a matter of fact, if I could find a book on Hebrew written in this style, I might actually finally learn the language. This book is quite funny and surprisingly potty-mouthed, so a flag of caution there. Actually, the heck with caution, try it this book speCIFically for the "leeb mit tren" chapter. :-)
Michael Wex is a novelist, professor, translator (including the only Yiddish translation of The Threepenny Opera ), and performer (of stand-up and one person shows). He has been hailed as a Yiddish national treasure and is one of the leading lights in the current revival of Yiddish, lecturing widely on Yiddish and Jewish culture. He lives in Toronto.More about Michael Wex...