Yiddish language resources
Yiddish is spoken on a daily basis in: Israel
Additional background on
Yiddish (Yid. ??????, yidish, = n. & adj. "Jewish") is a nonterritorial Germanic language spoken throughout the world and written with the Hebrew alphabet. It originated in the Ashkenazi culture that developed from about the 10th century in central and eastern Europe, and spread via emigration to other continents. In the earliest surviving references to it, the language is called ???????????? (loshn-ashkenaz = n. "language of the Ashkenazi") and ????? (taytsh, a variant of tiutsch, the contemporary name for the language otherwise spoken in the region, now called Middle High German; compare the modern Deutsch). In common usage, the language is called ?????????? (mame-loshn = n. "mother tongue"), distinguishing it from biblical Hebrew and Aramaic which are collectively termed ????????? (loshn-koydesh = n. "holy tongue"). The term Yiddish did not become the most frequently used designation in the literature of the language until the 18th century, but for a significant portion of its history it was the primary spoken language of the Ashkenazi Jews.
The general history and status of the Yiddish language are discussed below, with further detail provided in a series of separate articles on:
Yiddish dialects – as spoken in different regions of Europe Yiddish morphology – the structural detail of the language Yiddish orthography – the written representation of the language Yiddish phonology – the elements of the spoken language
The word yidish means Jewish both as a noun and as an adjective. Anglophone members of the Ashkenazi community also use the words Yiddish and Jewish synonymously, in both senses. The two terms thus interchangeably designate not only the language, but also other attributes of Ashkenazi culture. (For example, in general English language discussion of Yiddish culture reference is frequently made to such things as Yiddish cooking and Yiddish music.)
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All data is derived from UNESCO.