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  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 12:48 PM

Lost in translation

Daniel Bouskila / The Jewish Journal
I have vivid memories of Judeo-Arabic being spoken in my home. It was both a “private” language for my parents, as well as a form of cultural communication between my parents and their friends. In fact, there are several jokes for which, to this day, I don’t know the punch lines, as they started out in French, and just when the suspense was it its peak, the punch line rolled out in Judeo-Arabic. When my sisters and I would beg my father to translate, the answer always was, “I could translate, but it won’t be the same.”

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