At last someone has done something to render Elizabethan English into a language today’s yeshivah students can understand! Included in Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish by Chaim M. Weiser are samples of classic literature, treated to a Yeshivish update. Here are two geshmak selections for our chashuve Jewish Faction oilam.
Antony’s Eulogy from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault.
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest —
For Brutus is an honorable man,
So are they all, all honorable men —
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
Raboisai, Roman oilam, heimishe chevra, herr zich ain.
I want to pater you from Caesar, not to give him shvach.
Rishus has a shtikl nitzchius,
The velt is keseder moineia your kavod.
By Caesar it’s also azoi. The mechubadike Brutus
Tainahed that Caesar had big hasagos.
Oib azoi, it was a big avla.
And Caesar’s oinesh was shreklich.
Bi’reshus Brutus and his gantze chevra–
Grahda Brutus is a chashuve guy,
And his whole chabura, the zelba–
I’ll say over a hesped for Caesar.
I hold he was my chaver; by me he was a ne’eman and yashrusdik.
To be, or not to be: that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die; to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks;
That flesh is heir to — ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die; to sleep;
To sleep? Perchance to dream! Ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
Yeshivish Translation by Shaya Eisen
You can kleir azoi: to be, or chalila, fahkert.
Whether it’s eppis more chashuv to be soivel yisurim
That shrekliche mazel foders
Or if it’s an eitzah to be moiche keneged a velt of tzoris
And al yedei zeh be meakev them; to be niftar; to chap a shluf;
Shoin; and pshat is we end
The agmas nefesh and the thousand natural klops
That gashmius is noite to — ‘Tis a tachlis
Someone might daven for. To die; to shluf;
To chap a shluf? Efsher to dream! Takeh, that’s the stira:
For in that nitzchiyusdike shluf there’s a shaila on
The teva of the chaloimos that would come
Once we have become potur from this tzudreita gashmius.
That shafs a chiyuv to be oimed on a chakira.
This sofek is the zach
That makes this kvetshed out life so ee-geshmak.
Selections reprinted with permission from Jason Aronson, Inc.. Frumspeak is an indispensable lexicon for serious students of Yeshivish or anyone else who wants to know what on earth is going on.