Monday, September 16, 2013

The Easy-Shmeezy Guide to Yiddish - Dos iz a gutteh zach!

Were you ever in a crowd of chassidim and "excuse me" wasn't doing the trick? Well, if you had your copy of The Easy-Shmeezy Guide to Yiddish, you would have known to say "antshuldikt" and then "a dank" when they let you pass. 

Judging the Book by its Cover -  a first glance review:

The Easy-Shmeezy Guide to YiddishThis book is as handy and dandy as it looks! It is small enough to be held in one hand or fit into a purse, but large enough to be used for a quick reference. It is just over 150 pages for learning and then a glossary, which is followed by information about the Yiddish Academy.

The inner format of this book is amazingly clear. Each Yiddish word or phrase (written in Hebrew alef-bet with punctuation) is transliterated and translated using the English alphabet.

Some Details I Liked:

I really enjoyed the order that the book is written in. It starts off with the basics - "yes, no, please and thank you" and then continues on with the most common words/phrases in topics until the reader has enough of a vocabulary to understand paragraphs. 

R' Moshe Sherizen slowly lets the grammar seep in by putting in "Rule" boxes every couple of topics. 

Who This Book is For: 

This book is great for all ages. It was really done well enough that almost anyone can pick it up and gain Yiddish knowledge. I would say it is best for someone that can practice the pronunciation on a native Yiddish speaker. I think it is also a great tool for any businessman that wants to impress his Yiddishe clients. 

Who This Book Isn’t For:  

So, if you know Yiddish already, well, this book won't be so useful. 
It isn't a thesaurus or a high level dictionary, but it is definitely fun to see how much Yiddish you know, without even realizing that it is Yiddish. For example, almost every Yente or Macher knows how important it is to be a mensch if you want your Mammeh to kvell mit nachas! 

What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better: 

I would love if this book came with a CD or audio download. That way audio learners can appreciate it as well.

In Conclusion:  

If you need a super easy, geshmak way to redt Yiddish, dos iz da booch far dir!

I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, but that it no way changed the way I read it and reviewed it.