Customer Reviews for

Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Its Moods

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014


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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012


    Never mind. Go back to wix

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    an indepth book

    didn't realize how in deptch it would be still good tho

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  • Posted May 23, 2010


    First off, I must confess that I'm not a Jew. I can't speak Yiddish and the four semesters of German 101 that I took didn't help me much here. However, I have since added a lot of Yiddish to my vocabulary -- and that causes a lot of confusion when delivered with my native Texan drawl.
    I'm not sure what first attracted me to this book -- the New York Times review or the cover picture of the cranky kid, but this is one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in the past 10 years. Wex's humor is incredible and insightful, and he draws upon American pop culture references that even a Goy like myself can get, mixing them up with Jewish culture and history into a big, tasty Kosher gumbo (I realize that gumbo probably isn't Kosher, but I enjoy mixing metaphors here). I think I learned more about what it means to be a Jew from Wex than I ever did from Elie Wiesel, Isaac Bashevis Singer or Barbra Streisand. His jokes are certainly funnier.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    great book

    I speak Yiddish fluently, having lived in a Yiddish-speaking community in Brooklyn for 20 years or so. I must say that this book is really wonderful. It brings the REAL Yiddish as it is really spoken by real people to the fore, unlike so many of the YIVO-ish Yiddish books out there or some of the others (including Leo Rosten's classic, which I didn't find accurate). I highly recommend this book for people who want to know something about the real Yiddish. On the other hand, it is more scholarly than the cover would indicate, and it is a bit more than "light reading" - but well worth the effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    A Yiddish National Treasure by a great author.

    I grew up hearing Yiddish, but I never realized the complex and colorful background that this language had until I read this book. It is scholarly, but funny. It is intricate in explanation, but simple to understand. Born to Kvetch will cause you to laugh out loud in places and will cause even a rabbi to have headaches in others when we get into the complicated explanations of how each word and term evolved over centuries. This book is a keeper. I even plan to give it to some of my goyisher friends this coming holiday season. Please, please make a CD of this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    Humorous and well researched

    Michael Wex provides a hilarious guide to the Yiddish language and culture and much needed insight for assimilated Jews. Born to Kvetch is a fascinating book that should appeal to most people with an open and inquisitive mind, particularly when many of the phrases, the thought processes, and the humor which connects them have been used for so many decades. Kvetching, complaining so to speak, is more than a word, or a represents a way of thinking, a necessary reflex, a defense mechanism to gain advantage on an issue or an argument.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2005

    Insightful and funny

    As a native Yiddish speaker born post - Holocaust I never understood why my world view was so different than that of my friends. This book explained it to me and made me laugh at the same time. Thanks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2009

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