5. Speech, Singer upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1978, Yiddish with translation.
This is a short excerpt from Singer’s remarks upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, in which he makes a bold claim about the nature of the Yiddish language.
Suggested activity: Ask students whether they think it’s true that Yiddish has no “words for weapons, ammunition,” and so on. (Does the fact that Singer speaks these words, in Yiddish, itself contradict the claim?) Why do you think he wanted to present Yiddish in this way?
Sources: Isaac Bashevis Singer, “Nobel Lecture” (December 8, 1978), <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1978/singer-lecture.html>, accessed March 1, 2016. Yiddish text transcribed by Shaul and Shulamit Seidler-Feller, “Yiddish Word of the Week," <http://yiddishwordoftheweek.tumblr.com/post/58702012433/isaac-bashevis-singers-nobel-prize-speeches>, 2014, accessed March 1, 2016.