27 Facts About Yiddish


Eighty-five percent of the approximately six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers, leading to a massive decline in the use of the language.

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Western Yiddish is divided into Southwestern, Midwestern, and Northwestern dialects.

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Yiddish is used in a number of Haredi Jewish communities worldwide; it is the first language of the home, school, and in many social settings among many Haredi Jews, and is used in most Hasidic yeshivas.

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Dovid Katz proposes that Yiddish emerged from contact between speakers of High German and Aramaic-speaking Jews from the Middle East.

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Yiddish orthography developed towards the end of the high medieval period.

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The name commonly given to the semicursive form used exclusively for Yiddish was, with square Hebrew letters being reserved for text in that language and Aramaic.

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Yiddish is written in the Hebrew alphabet, but its orthography differs significantly from that of Hebrew.

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Several Yiddish letters consist of another letter combined with a niqqud mark resembling a Hebrew letter-niqqud pair, but each of those combinations is an inseparable unit representing a vowel alone, not a consonant-vowel sequence.

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In most varieties of Yiddish words borrowed from Hebrew are written in their native forms without application of Yiddish orthographical conventions.

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Traditionally religious Jews, on the other hand, preferred use of Yiddish, viewing Hebrew as a respected holy language reserved for prayer and religious study.

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In religious circles, it is the Ashkenazi Haredi Jews, particularly the Hasidic Jews and the Lithuanian yeshiva world, who continue to teach, speak and use Yiddish, making it a language used regularly by hundreds of thousands of Haredi Jews today.

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Yiddish was an official language in several agricultural districts of the Galician Soviet Socialist Republic.

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Public educational system entirely based on the Yiddish language was established and comprised kindergartens, schools, and higher educational institutions .

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Yiddish culture is dying and this should be treated with utmost calm.

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Everything that happens with Yiddish culture is transformed into a kind of cabaret—epistolary genre, nice, cute to the ear and the eye, but having nothing to do with high art, because there is no natural, national soil.

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Yiddish was an official language of the Ukrainian People's Republic .

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Swedish government has published documents in Yiddish detailing the national action plan for human rights.

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For example, Isaac Asimov states in his autobiography In Memory Yet Green that Yiddish was his first and sole spoken language, and remained so for about two years after he emigrated to the United States as a small child.

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In 1978, Singer, a writer in the Yiddish language, who was born in Poland and lived in the United States, received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Legal scholars Eugene Volokh and Alex Kozinski argue that Yiddish is "supplanting Latin as the spice in American legal argot".

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Yiddish was Montreal's third language for the entire first half of the twentieth century.

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Major exceptions to the decline of spoken Yiddish are found in Haredi communities all over the world.

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Yiddish is widely spoken in the Jewish community in Antwerp, and in Haredi communities such as the ones in London, Manchester, and Montreal.

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The linguistic style and vocabulary of Yiddish have influenced the manner in which many Orthodox Jews who attend yeshivas speak English.

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In Poland, which traditionally had Yiddish speaking communities, a museum has begun to revive Yiddish education and culture.

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Vilnius Yiddish Institute is an integral part of the four-century-old Vilnius University.

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Yiddish is the medium of instruction in many Hasidic ????? khadoorim, Jewish boys' schools, and some Hasidic girls' schools.

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