The following is a paraphrased transcript of an interview at the Jewish Learning Centre in North Bondi. Paraphrase is largely to provide readers English terms and context.
What languages do the members of the congregation speak?
Most people speak English, a minority know Hebrew conversationally but more know only maybe 200-300 words. Several learnt Afrikaans growing up but can’t converse only to joke around. A few individuals/ families speak French/Spanish/Portuguese
What languages are used here?
All the books are in English, Hebrew and Aramaic. If you study these texts the English translations and context provide people with maybe 200-300 words of Hebrew or Aramaic but they can’t go beyond that. All the services are in Hebrew but it is very much an English-speaking environment all information, sermons and lessons are given in English.
Would you say you code switch often? For example say ‘I am going to give the shiur in the beit midrash tomorrow.’
Well I do, but that is because those are the words we use in the religious context. If someone doesn’t understand Hebrew I’ll provide explanation in English. But some of these words are best expressed in Hebrew.
So would you say that these words are more like jargon terms like a computer technician would just say ‘router’?
That is correct
On many of your signs you have these words written with English letters.
Yes but as many of our congregation have some Hebrew understanding we often write Hebrew with the Hebrew letters.
Gabriella Gluch z5017624