26 February 2018

Bukowiner / Czernowitzer Deutsch • Bukovinian German / The German Idiom of Czernowitz


"Czernowitzer-Deutsch": The German Idiom of Czernowitz […] The main source of reference is still the highly didactic booklet published by Theodor Gartner in 1901, "Bukowiner Deutsch. Fehler und Eigenthümlichkeiten in der deutschen Verkehrs- und Schriftsprache der Bukowina." As immediately apparent from the title, the booklet adopts a highly critical puristic stance toward the unique characteristics of the idiom, not a scientific one by today's standards. […] Three main factors determine the unique characteristics of the German language in the Bukovina: (1) Geographically, its status as a 'language island' detached from the German mainland; (2) Dialectologically, its Standard German origin in the official Austrian language (Amtssprache) and its colloquial origin in the south-German dialect region; (3) The polyglot surrounding environment. […] After all, when a Jew from Czernowitz was talking in German, his interlocutor was probably a Jew as well. If both sides to such a conversation combined many Yiddishisms in their speech, then that speech was to become the standard bearer of the local idiom. This paradox explains the existence of two different endonyms for the local German idiom: Buko-Wienerisch represents the outwardly-looking aspirations of the Jewish bourgeoisie to form a language in the image of their cultural Mecca, Vienna; Ki(e)geldeutsch, conversely, represents an inwardly-looking, more realistic but also more reconciling appreciation of that inner-Jewish idiom. (Ohad Kohn: A German-Yiddish Mayse: The Influence of Yiddish on the Poetic Language of Paul Celan • Thesis for Master’s degree in German Language and Literature, Jerusalem, February 24, 2016)


Ruth Glasberg Gold: "A brief introduction to the following subject of 'Das Czernowitzer Deutsch.' By sheer serendipity I stumbled upon a rare treasure. A few yellowed and typewriter-written pages with lots of crossed out sentences and words, as well as handwritten additions. These pages were given to me by Dr. Emanuel Hacken (deceased) during an international gathering of Czernowitzians in Miami in the winter of 1990. Thinking that it might be of interest to our members [Ehpes Czernowitz-L Discussion Group], I took it upon myself to retype the text into a clean version and share it with you. I hope you will enjoy and laugh a little."

Courtesy: Google Books & Ruth Glasberg Gold

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