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Yiddish in Helsinki and its Swedish Component


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Yiddish has been spoken in Helsinki since 1850s when the Jewish Cantonist soldiers and their families were allowed to settle in the town. The first generations born in Helsinki had the possibility to attend heders and a Talmud-torah where religious subjects were conducted in Yiddish. In the wake of Yiddishizm many Yiddish-speaking societies were founded before and after the First World War. My research attempts an analysis of Helsinki Yiddish and a survey of Yiddish culture in Helsinki. The material used for this paper comprises both written and oral stories. Most Yiddish speakers in Helsinki have been bilingual. The over hundred years of coexistence with Finnish-Swedish has given Helsinki Yiddish its own distinctive character, which deserves to be recorded and studied. Especially unique is the interference of Swedish morphology with its peculiarities.



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Bibliographic Information

Muir, Simo Yiddish in Helsinki and its Swedish Component. Nordisk Judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies. 2000: 139-148.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-fin14