Yiddish Anyone?

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.
Paul Ogden
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Postby Paul Ogden » Wed May 26, 2010 3:31 am

Here's what a Russian speaker wrote me about the address on the postcard:

The penmanship is gorgeous - but the problem is abbreviations and order of the lines. In old Russia and even in my time, it was common to write from top to bottom: country, city, street no. and street, and finally the addressee.
Here it seems somewhat botched.
So here goes:
Top line: Vg G. Dvinsk "Videbech" (or something like that) (Dvinsk is/was a city in Latvia)
Next line: Mr. Israel Svirskom
Next: to (or 20) d. (dom?) Genshkinu (Tenshkinu) Petersburg St.

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Slava
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Postby Slava » Wed May 26, 2010 11:41 am

I'd say it's:

V G. Dvinsk, Videbsk. o.
G-nu. Israilyu Svirskomu
v d. (?shkinu) Peterburgsk. ul.

which works out to be:
Mr. Israil Svirskii
Peterburg St.
(?shkin) Town
Dvinsk
Vitebsk Oblast.

I'm going for a misspelling of Vitebsk in the first line of the address.
The small d in the last line is the abbreviation for derevnya in Russian, so it means town here.
Now called Daugavpils, Dvinsk was the name in use from 1893 to 1920, not a long time frame for this to have been used in.
Sadly, the date on the other side is not clear enough to read. I do know it was sent to a Mr. Maiman at 38 Eldridge St. NYC. Maybe I should try tracking down the family. That feels a little creepy, though.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Stargzer
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:51 pm

Slava wrote:I'd say it's:

V G. Dvinsk, Videbsk. o.
G-nu. Israilyu Svirskomu
v d. (?shkinu) Peterburgsk. ul.

which works out to be:
Mr. Israil Svirskii
Peterburg St.
(?shkin) Town
Dvinsk
Vitebsk Oblast.

I'm going for a misspelling of Vitebsk in the first line of the address.



Spelling or pronunciation? The "d" and "t" are close in pronunciation ('t' being aspirated?) and maybe it's a dialectal difference in pronouncing the word that leads to the different spelling (phonetic spelling). Spelling in English was sometimes rather creative before dictionaries became widely distributed.
Regards//Larry

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Perry Lassiter
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:48 am

I came across this today, a year later. Can't help but wonder whether any more insight was gained and not posted?
pl

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Slava
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Postby Slava » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:09 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:I came across this today, a year later. Can't help but wonder whether any more insight was gained and not posted?
None from me. It would still be nice to come up with a real translation.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.


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