Yiddish

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Yiddish
ייִדיש‎, יידיש‎ or אידישyidish/idish/yidish
Pronunciation[ˈjɪdɪʃ] or [ˈɪdɪʃ]
Native toCentral, Eastern, and Western Europe
RegionIsrael, North America, other regions with Jewish populations[1]
EthnicityAshkenazi
Native speakers
(1.5 million cited 1986–1991 + half undated)[1]
Hebrew alphabet (Yiddish orthography)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byno formal bodies;
YIVO de facto
Language codes
ISO 639-1yi
ISO 639-2yid
ISO 639-3yidinclusive code
Individual codes:
ydd – Eastern Yiddish
yih – Western Yiddish
Glottologyidd1255[2]
Linguasphere52-ACB-g = 52-ACB-ga (West) + 52-ACB-gb (East); totalling 11 varieties

Yiddish is a language used by some Jews. At first it was a dialect of the German language which Jews began to use in Europe about a thousand years ago. It was (and is) used in the United States, especially in New York, and other countries that Jews have migrated to. Most of its words come from German. Yiddish also has many words from Hebrew and Slavic languages, notably Polish. Yiddish also contains some French, Hungarian, and Latin words. Yiddish is usually written in Hebrew characters.

In the whole world, Yiddish is spoken by about 3 million people. It is mainly spoken by Hasidic Jews.

European Charter[change | change source]

In the Netherlands and Sweden, Yiddish is protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Eastern Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Western Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yiddish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Other websites[change | change source]