Rotem Shamir, Yuval Yefet, and Cecilia Verheyden are the masterminds behind the riveting Netflix crime thriller Rough Diamonds. The drama centers on a prodigal son who shatters his family’s diamond empire and forces his brother to go back to Antwerp and participate in the illicit diamond trade. The language the characters employ, which gives the plot an additional layer of authenticity and cultural depth, is one of the series’ most intriguing features. What language do you think they are using? Discover the solution with us as we engross you in the fascinating world of Antwerp’s Jewish diamond trade.
You can watch the official trailer for Rough Diamonds here on Youtube.
What is the language spoken in Rough Diamonds?
The series Rough Diamonds is primarily filmed in Flemish language and revolves around the Jewish community that has been an integral part of the city’s history for centuries. Flemish, also known as Belgian Dutch, is a variety of Dutch spoken in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium. It is one of the official languages of Belgium, along with French and German: it is spoken by approximately 6 million people in Belgium, and it has several dialects that vary depending on the region.
The use of Yiddish as a second language, which further immerses viewers in the rich cultural traditions of the Jewish community in Antwerp, is one of the most intriguing aspects of the television series Rough Diamonds. Germanic language Yiddish evolved from medieval High German throughout the Middle Ages. It developed into a significant language for Jewish culture, encompassing literature, music, drama, and poetry for centuries while being spoken by Ashkenazi Jews in Central and Eastern Europe.
The first scene of the series opens with the recitation of the Mode Ani prayer in Yiddish lanuage. The prayer is said by Jewish people upon awakening in the morning, expressing gratitude to God for the gift of life and another day. The prayer begins with the words:
“Mode ani lefanecha, melech chai vekayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati b’chemlah, rabbah emunatecha,” which roughly translates to “I thank You, living and eternal King, for restoring my soul within me with compassion; great is Your faithfulness.”
Although Yiddish is no longer widely spoken in the majority of Jewish communities around the world, it is still used in some regions of Israel, North America, and Europe. The usage of Yiddish in the television series Rough Diamonds contributes to the series’ realistic atmosphere and reflects the vibrant history and culture of Antwerp’s Jewish population.
Overall, Rough Diamonds is a captivating portrayal of the Jewish community in Antwerp, with Yiddish providing an authentic and genuine dimension to the story.