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On Mon, 26 Jan 1998, Cheradenine Zakalwe wrote:
 
> In message <v01520d01b0f21a29eb99@[195.54.224.12]>
> [log in to unmask] (Raymond A. Brown) writes:
[...]
 
> > Yiddish? The Sephardim would sure love that!!!  This
> > would've ensured that the Jewish community remained
> > split since it would've meant Israel was an Ashkenazi
> > state.  The whole point of establish the state of
> > Israel was, surely, as a homeland for Jews of _all_
> > persusions.  Yiddish was not neutral and, in any case,
> > its close connexion with German would've have made it
> > understandably anathema to many Jews after WWII.
 
> Ah, but considerations such as these are decidedly unutilitarian.
> The fact that some people they don't like speak a language
> would not on utilitarian grounds stop a nation from speaking a
> similar language.
 
Utilitarian grounds do not even begin to explain why there are
languages in the plural in the first place, so it can't deal with the
question.
 
> (This reminds me that about 15 years ago, some local
> authorities in England banned the teaching of Afrikaans on
> their premises on the grounds that anyone wanting to learn it
> must be in favour of Apartheid! How stupid! How looney!)
 
With the parenthesis I can only agree.  The basic assumption to be
held at that time, about British citizens wanting to learn any South
African language, is that they were in favour of dialogue.
 
> The fact that more Jews spoke Yiddish than Hebrew also counts
> for Yiddish in a utilitarian sense.
 
 
> > Esperanto? Same drawbacks as English above, with
> > additional disadvantage that the number of speakers in
> > the wide-world outside Israel is much smaller than
> > those who speak English.
> >
> > I see nothing utilitarian here, except perhaps that
> > English is very widely spoken.
 
> I bet Esperanto is easier to learn than Hebrew. Also consider
> that E-o and English as written in the very popular Latin
> alphabet (my understanding is that Yiddish is written in both
> Latin alphabet and hebrew alphabet).
>
> Given that >90% of all printed work uses this alphabet (and it
> was probably a higher proportion 100 years ago) they are
> obvious benefits to it.
 
Why would the Jews want to introduce the Latin alphabet and make
inaccessible the old literature that tells what Israel is?  The Jews
in Balkan spoke (and still speaks to some extent, I think) a dialect
of Spanish, most probably written in Hebrew characters too.  The Jews
needed a medium that was neutral not only between the Sefardim and the
Ashkenazi, but also within those two groups themselves - and then it
should if possible be _un_neutral towards the Goyim, the non-Jewish
part of the world.  On top of that, there was already a sizeable
Hebrew-speaking community when the state was founded in 1949.
 
 
> > > (For reasons such as: use of Latin alphabet,
> >
> > Yiddish uses the Hebrew alphabet.  Besides, their Arab
> > neighbors do not find lack of Roman alphabet a major
> > drawback.
>
> Then why did Turkey change away form the Arabic alphabet?
 
See Ray's answer, but add this:  The Hebrew alphabet fits Yiddish so
badly, that it probably would drown in Latinization proposals.
[...]
 
--
Jens S. Larsen  *  <"http://dorit.ihi.ku.dk/~steng/index">