Why does that Kazakh sound like my rabbi?

Borat is a big hit in Israel. The reason is not that the man behind Borat, Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, is mocking anti-Semites with his own virulent verbal attacks on the Jewish people, but rather that Cohen did it in Hebrew. That’s right: Borat‘s Kazakh was actually a pastiche of heavily-accented Hebrew sprinkled with ...

605354_Borat25.jpg
605354_Borat25.jpg

Borat is a big hit in Israel. The reason is not that the man behind Borat, Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, is mocking anti-Semites with his own virulent verbal attacks on the Jewish people, but rather that Cohen did it in Hebrew.

That's right: Borat's Kazakh was actually a pastiche of heavily-accented Hebrew sprinkled with some Polish, Armenian and gibberish. Israeli audiences often don't even need to read the movie's subtitles, there's so much Hebrew.

The comedian, who is half Israeli and travels to the country often, sings the famous Hebrew folk song "Koom Bachur Atzel" (Get Up, Lazy Boy), and mentions the fictitious Kazakh scientist "Dr. Yarmulke," who proved that women and squirrels have the same brain size. He also uses a popular vulgar expression in Hebrew to refer to his sidekick’s mother.   

Borat is a big hit in Israel. The reason is not that the man behind Borat, Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, is mocking anti-Semites with his own virulent verbal attacks on the Jewish people, but rather that Cohen did it in Hebrew.

That’s right: Borat‘s Kazakh was actually a pastiche of heavily-accented Hebrew sprinkled with some Polish, Armenian and gibberish. Israeli audiences often don’t even need to read the movie’s subtitles, there’s so much Hebrew.

The comedian, who is half Israeli and travels to the country often, sings the famous Hebrew folk song “Koom Bachur Atzel” (Get Up, Lazy Boy), and mentions the fictitious Kazakh scientist “Dr. Yarmulke,” who proved that women and squirrels have the same brain size. He also uses a popular vulgar expression in Hebrew to refer to his sidekick’s mother.   

It was sort of like a wink to the Hebrew speaker,” said one Israeli who saw the movie. “It was a message that basically said, ‘Although the movie is very anti (Jewish), I am still with you, I am still the same Mr. Cohen. I’m just trying to send a message here and I hope you guys understand it.'”

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