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ייִדיש מעלבורן YIDDISH MELBOURNE - MEMORIES - Yasha Sher

Yiddish dialect in the theatre

Photo of Yasha Sher

Yasha Sher

Interviewed for the Jewish Museum of Australia on 30 July 1992 (in English and Yiddish)

It's true we have a huge problem with our Yiddish dialect, since we come from a variety of towns and each one has its own language.  The Lodz Yiddish is different from Warsaw Yiddish.  I am a Litvishe Yid from Lita -- Latvia. If you give me the opportunity to speak in my Yiddish -- my "Oxford Yiddish" -- I feel at home, at ease.  There was a Volhynia Yiddish, which was accepted in Poland.  This Yiddish is more understandable for people. 

The problem was that people came from different places and the dialects were mixed.  When I arrived in 1939 we worked with Waislitz and he tried hard to bring in the Volhynia Yiddish.  Waislitz wanted to bring a unifying theme.  We did try it on the stage as much as we could.  In the end he told us to go our own way.