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Help with translating pre 1900 journal Options
Exodus2998
Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013 11:12:19 PM
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Joined: 10/4/2013
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Location: United States, FL
Is there anybody out there that could assist in translating this page.. it is the first page of a journal of a man who died in 1930.

Exodus2998
Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013 11:13:04 PM
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Joined: 10/4/2013
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Neurons: 24
Location: United States, FL
/Users/Griff/Desktop/image.jpeg
Exodus2998
Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013 11:14:22 PM
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Joined: 10/4/2013
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Location: United States, FL
Can't seem to get the photo attached.. any suggestions?
Exodus2998
Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:03:14 AM
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Joined: 10/4/2013
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Location: United States, FL
MiTziGo
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 4:08:49 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,393
Neurons: 6,142
The image is sideways (it needs to be rotated 90 degrees to the right to be upright) and a little hard to read, but it looks to me like this might actually be Yiddish written using Hebrew letters. This is very common even though Yiddish is derived from Eastern European languages. (Yiddish language, Yiddish orthography) I hope this helps point you in the right direction. Good luck!
Exodus2998
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 9:46:40 PM
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Location: United States, FL
Thanks Michael.. Ya you are the second person who has said it is Yiddish. I've attached the first 4 pages of the journal, right side up, if anyone out there has any experience with this language. I appreciate all the help!







Exodus2998
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 9:48:03 PM
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Location: United States, FL
Also, it is of importance that I mention that the book seems to be read from the back to the front.. possibly even right to left. I apologize for leaving that out.
MiTziGo
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 10:03:49 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,393
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I am not familiar enough with Yiddish to be able to help you with the translation. However, I can tell you some basic things about the document based on my knowledge of Hebrew. First, you are correct about the orientation. Hebrew (and by extension Yiddish written in the Hebrew alphabet) is written from right to left, so that is how it would be read. As such, books are bound "backwards" for those used to English orientations. This means that the front cover of a closed book would be visible when the binding is on the right side.

One other thing I can add is that the writer used Hebrew cursive, which is the standard, informal lettering used when writing by hand.
Exodus2998
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 11:40:17 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/4/2013
Posts: 8
Neurons: 24
Location: United States, FL
Very interesting. It seems I am going to have a difficult task at translating this.. I've also got the document on a ancient hebrew forum, and I've emailed it to a few people as well, and yet to run into anyone who can read it. From my understanding, the Yiddish was revised to a more modern dialect with the publication of scholarly journal in 1898.. which probably wasn't fully adopted until early 1900's. This also seems like it will be a barrier in my translations. I appreciate all the knowledge Michael.. every bit helps in my understanding of the journal.
MiTziGo
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 11:57:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,393
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I think part of your problem is that you are requesting help on Hebrew forums. Although Yiddish is written with the Hebrew alphabet and has Hebrew roots, Yiddish and Hebrew are two totally different languages, so most people who only know Hebrew will be of little use to you.

Unfortunately, Yiddish is largely spoken nowadays only by elderly Jews of Eastern European descent (most of whom aren't online) and ultra-Orthodox Jews (again, most of whom aren't online), so it is more difficult to find someone fluent enough to help you on these sorts of forums. In addition, the handwriting on these documents isn't fantastic, so once you do find someone who can read and translate Yiddish, you will have to contend with the legibility issue.

You say you're in Florida, which just so happens to have a high concentration of elderly Jewish retirees. I'd say your best bet is to try and network in these communities and see if there's a Yiddish speaker in your area who could look at the originals and help you with them.

Good luck!
Exodus2998
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 12:03:08 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/4/2013
Posts: 8
Neurons: 24
Location: United States, FL
Ya my initial guess was that it was written in Hebrew.. which is why I sought out those forums. Very good suggestions about the local communities.. that didn't cross my mind once but you are absolutely right about the abundance of these communities in Florida. Once again, thanks Michael lol and my next move will be to search locally.
MiTziGo
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 8:59:09 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,393
Neurons: 6,142
When you do get it translated, come on back and share it. It would certainly be interesting to learn about his life!
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