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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10Jews in Early Modern Poland$
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Gershon David Hundert

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774310

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774310.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Knowledge of Foreign Languages among Eighteenth-Century Polish Jews

Knowledge of Foreign Languages among Eighteenth-Century Polish Jews

Chapter:
(p.200) Knowledge of Foreign Languages among Eighteenth-Century Polish Jews
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10
Author(s):

Daniel Stone

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774310.003.0008

This chapter addresses the knowledge of foreign language among eighteenth-century Jews. Polish Jews were not isolated in the eighteenth century or in previous centuries. They inhabited an international society of business, medicine, politics, and scholarship. Jews published their works in Hebrew and circulated them across the European continent. Jews also took a major part in international business networks, which carried Jewish merchants to other lands with their Jewish servants and labourers. Within Poland, Jewish occupations demanded extensive contact with the non-Jewish world, as did the political requirements of maintaining a Jewish communal identity. As such, the chapter suggests that there were many individual cases of Jews who had learned the language of their neighbours. It then assesses the degree to which Polish Jews knew Polish and European languages such as German, French, and Latin, as well as east European languages such as Russian and Hungarian.

Keywords:   foreign language, Jews, Polish Jews, international business networks, Jewish merchants, Poland, Jewish occupations, Jewish communal identity, Polish languages, European languages

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