Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Yiddish Language
Yiddish is a Germanic language with about three million speakers worldwide, primarily Ashkenazic Jews (the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe and their descendants) residing in the US, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and many other countries. The name Yiddish is probably an abbreviated version of yidish-taytsh, which means "Jewish German.” A hybrid of Hebrew and medieval German, Yiddish takes most of its vocabulary from German but borrows liberally from Hebrew and many other languages from the many lands the Ashkenazic Jews have lived through the centuries. Although it has a grammatical structure all its own, Yiddish is written with an alphabet based on Hebrew characters. Read more . . .