Dr Seuss works improbably well in Yiddish. Yiddish's strength is its onomatopoeic expressiveness; and it contains a lot of Germanic words that are cognates for their English equivalents (such as "bloyer," which means "blue;" and "fish," which means "fish!"), but they're pitch-bent enough to make them sound a little off-kilter, which makes them perfect for a Seussian rhyme.
Berger's translation is funny and tight, his rhymes are as sweet as Seuss's originals. The text is written in both Hebrew script and Latin-alphabet transliterations (which is good, since I read Hebrew at the rate of about three words per hour).
I grew up speaking Yiddish, having learned it at the Workman's Circle center in Toronto in after-school classes. It was my father's first language, and the language spoken by my grandparents and their friends. I love its eye-rolling irony and humor, and can't think of a better text to appear in Yiddish translation. You don't have to speak Yiddish to enjoy the sheer poetry of Seuss rendered in it, either. I read bits out to my wife (who speaks some Welsh, but no Yiddish), and she concurred.
- Dr. Seuss taxidermy
- Dr Seuss meets Star Trek
- Excellent quote from Dr. Seuss
- Dr. Seuss' "Gerald Mc" on MP3
- Dr Seuss's anti-malaria GI comic
- Dr Seuss/Bob Dylan mashup: Dylan Hears a Who
- Network Neutrality as Dr Seuss might have explained it
- Chabon's "Yiddish Policemen's Union": wonderful blend of hard ...
- Yiddish in Jazz
- Born to Kvetch: Yiddish as she is spoke
- Perl is Internet Yiddish
- Nifty Yiddish glossary. (Thanks, Dave!)
- Yiddish postcard gallery
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.