YOYSEF SLONIMSKI (JOSEPH SLONIMSKY) (1860-1933)
He was born in Warsaw, Poland, the youngest son of Khayim-Zelig Slonimski, the first editor of Hatsfira (The siren). He received both a Jewish and a general education. He studied foreign languages at Warsaw and St. Petersburg Universities, later working as a teacher of French, English, and Spanish in high schools in Russia, Poland, and France. He authored textbooks for French, English, and Spanish with his own pedagogical method. In Yiddish he published: Di beste methode fir zelbst unterrikht in der englisher shprakhe (The best method for self-instruction in the English language) (Warsaw, 1888), 117 pp., with a preface by the author. This volume, which Slonimski continually improved and enlarged—with the English title Will You Speak English—“with a thorough dictionary and pronunciation guide” appeared in many printings between 1889 and 1939 (Warsaw), 132 pp. (dictionary, 68 pp.). Slonimski also published: Shprekhen zi shpanish? (Do you speak Spanish?), “an easy, practical method for learning the Spanish language” (Warsaw, 1892), first edition, 26 pp., subsequent editions, 98 pp.; Shprekht ihr frantsezish? (Do you speak French?), first edition (Warsaw, 1900), 64 pp., subsequent editions, 96 pp.; and Slonimski’s last work, Frantsoyzishe metode tsu erlernen di frantsoyzishe shprakh on a lerer (A French method to learn French without a teacher), with a full dictionary (1927). After WWI he lived in Germany and France. He died in Paris.
Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; The UJA (New York) 9 (1943), p. 569.
Khayim Leyb Fuks