Dear Bird Lovers and Yiddish Aficionados of the World! There is no longer any need to wait for the stunning volume that has it all: hundreds of European and American bird names, their Latin equivalents and a Yiddish translation! Don’t tell me you haven’t stayed up past midnight wondering how your (or my, for that matter) East European ancestors would have referred to my all-time favorite spark bird, the bird that started my descent (ascent?) into the world of ornithological paraphernalia, the Red Winged Blackbird.
You’ll be happy to know that there is no longer reason to lose sleep over this longstanding question! My (your, our) ancestors would have called this gem of a Red Winged Blackbird (Agelaius pheoniceus) a Royt-gefliglt shvartsfoygl! Obviously. Doesn’t it look like a royt-gefliglt shvartsfoygl?
Thanks to Hirsh Perloff and Whitechapel Presentations (London) for publishing such a handsome, one-of-a-kind, essential companion for any Yiddish-speaking birder! This book couldn’t have come at a more appropriate moment. This really does make me believe in karma. Who knew that my love of Yiddish and birds would dawn at approximately the same same time? In any event, 2010 is a big year for me: I saw my first warblers, my first bald eagle up-close, started my bird blog, learned to point my binoculars at something other than tree bark and pine cones (though I’m not a pro quite yet), got more use out of my Tilley Hat than ever before, and figured out how to say all of that in Yiddish!
Do let me know if you need any bird names translated into my favorite East European idiom — I now am the proud owner of more information about birds in Yiddish than you ever imagined existed. The book also features a few essential pictures and diagrams, complete with translations:
Enjoy! And feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need a translation or two, when suffering from insomnia. I am always happy to oblige. (And thanks to my fabulous Yiddish teacher, Gloria, for providing me with the book in the first place.)