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Download Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Michael Wex
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (571 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Wex Narrator: Michael Wex Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2006 ISBN:
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As the main spoken language of the Jews for more than a thousand years, Yiddish has had plenty to lament, plenty to conceal. Its phrases and expressions paint a comprehensive picture of the mind-set that enabled the Jews of Europe to survive persecution: they never stopped kvetching about God, gentiles, children, and everything else.

In Born to Kvetch, Michael Wex looks at the ingredients that went into this buffet of disenchantment and examines how they were mixed together to produce an almost limitless supply of striking idioms and withering curses. Born to Kvetch includes a wealth of material that's never appeared in English before.

This is no bobe mayse (cock-and-bull story) from a khokhem be-layle (idiot, literally a sage at night when no one's looking), but a serious yet fun and funny look at a language. From tukhes to goy, meshugener to kvetch, Yiddish words have permeated and transformed English as well. Through the fascinating history of this kvetch-full tongue, Michael Wex gives us a moving and inspiring portrait of a people, and a language, in exile. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mathew | 2/20/2014

    " Very funny. I think. I'm not sure. If I knew Yiddish or more about Jewish culture, it would probably be funnier. Or not. I'm not sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/17/2014

    " I'm actually listening to this book on CD. It's perfect for the car. I enjoy dipping into the book. There are certain phrases that just mean so much more to me - I should have such luck. I like how the book relates words to a frame of thinking. How language has power. I also enjoy Michael Wax's voice. He's perfect to read the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 2/14/2014

    " An informative and occasionally amusing book about the roots and uses of Yiddish language. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brook | 2/13/2014

    " I don't think I got to finish this book, but what I did read was really funny. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda | 2/10/2014

    " I was expecting something much lighter than what this book actually was. It was tedious and the variety of spellings had me searching the glossary for the same amount of time I spent on a chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisha | 1/31/2014

    " This book was incredibly amusing and informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Gicza | 1/24/2014

    " My yiddish certainly improved. Funny and engaging writing about a dead language spoken by very few people under the age of 60.....although, very enlightening in many ways as to why Yiddish is what it is.....I reccommend it highly "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Rindsberg | 1/20/2014

    " Fantastic. Funny. A bit sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil | 1/19/2014

    " I absolutely LOVED this book! Every page had at least one belly laugh. Wex masterfully demonstrated how the contrarian nature of Jewish humor is reflected in the Yiddish language. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melea | 12/26/2013

    " Michael Wex has written a good explanation for the cultural forces that have shaped and continue to shape Yiddish. The book is in turns funny, touching, surprising, and informative. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bill | 12/23/2013

    " This book was interesting for parts, but I would not recommend reading it all in one fell swoop. I thought that his examples for the phrases were nice, but that after a while, all of the information, linguistic history and examples became tiresome. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 12/14/2013

    " I wasn't enthralled. I also was kind of saddened by the history and nature of the Jewish people as depicted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence Broder | 9/25/2013

    " A humorous linguistic view of the evolution and history of Yiddish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheryl | 8/20/2013

    " As a student of languages, I found this fascinating. I especially liked the Yiddish take on curses. Not the use of obscene words, but actually wishing someone ill. Fun stuff! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marc | 8/9/2013

    " Not as funny as I hoped it would be. More of a history, almost academic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thom Dunn | 3/11/2013

    " Ranks with Leo Rosten's Joys of Yiddish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 3/5/2013

    " hysterical and very informative book about yiddish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 7/30/2012

    " Very interesting insights not only into the language but also into the culture. I learned a lot. Very funny. Easy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Goldfrancine | 5/19/2012

    " If you want to understand Jews, read this book! Oh yeah, be prepared to laugh and think!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 7/28/2011

    " hard to get through at points, but still a fascinating look at how a language evolves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 3/30/2011

    " This is a great book, but it really helps if you can hear it while you read it so you get the full effect of the Yiddish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arthur Gershman | 3/9/2011

    " Interesting essay on the Yiddish language. For the moderately knowledgeable to very knowledgeable in Yiddish. Contains a Yiddish-English glossary. If you are new to Yiddish this book won't be of much help. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanrina | 6/24/2010

    " A lot denser than I really wanted, but it was interesting enough that it mostly made up for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thom | 12/4/2009

    " Ranks with Leo Rosten's Joys of Yiddish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 11/28/2009

    " This is a book that is best listened to rather than read. It is an entertaining and comprehensive look at the origins and development of Yiddish. My favorite chapter is on curses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 11/26/2009

    " Very smart, insightful, and at times very funny, too. But so, well. . . kvetchy. I find a good bit of the Yiddish culture described her fascinating but some of it is not so appealing to my more American, optimistic Jewish sensibility.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bill | 8/13/2009

    " This book was interesting for parts, but I would not recommend reading it all in one fell swoop. I thought that his examples for the phrases were nice, but that after a while, all of the information, linguistic history and examples became tiresome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mathew | 7/18/2009

    " Very funny. I think. I'm not sure. If I knew Yiddish or more about Jewish culture, it would probably be funnier. Or not. I'm not sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 6/27/2009

    " Recommended by Rev. Liz Lerner. Fun linguistic stuff. It makes me want to read some more basic material on Yiddish language. "

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