Yiddish Lesson 1. Beginners Level

How to Learn Yiddish

Yiddish (ייִדיש) is a Germanic language closely related to High German, but of Ashkenazi Jewish origin---a Judeo-European patois heavily infused with Hebrew and Aramaic as well as subtle influences from Slavic and Romance languages.

Yiddish is a language rich in culture, colour, humanity, and history, and is today spoken with varying degrees of fluency across the Jewish diaspora spanning Montréal to Miami to Stockholm to Jerusalem to Johannesburg.

This article outlines how to dip your feet into the world of Yiddish.


  1. Read Leo Rosten'sThe Joys of Yiddish.This book is widely available at book shops across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom and from online retailers. It introduces the reader to the Yiddish language through a rich collection of words, expressions, and concepts that have become commonplace in the speech of native American English speakers, giving wonderful insight into the biology and indentity of Yiddish and being Yiddish.
    • Salt and pepper your daily English with the Yiddish you've learned from Rosten's book. This won't guarantee you fluency, but it will get the language running through your veins.
  2. Read about Yiddish.In addition to Rosten's book, there are a diverse array of books in English written by linguists, anthropologists, scholars, travel writers, translators, biographers, and laypersons (among others) about Yiddish language and Yiddish culture. Some titles include:
    • Outwitting History: The Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books, by Aaron Lansky
    • Born to Kvetch, by Michael Wex
    • Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language & Culture, by Jeffrey Shandler
    • Yiddish with Dick and Jane, by Ellis Weiner
  3. Learn the Hebrew alphabet.Yiddish, like other Jewish languages, is written using the Hebrew alphabet. Learning how to distinguish your Alephs from your Bets will open you into the realm of Yiddish writing, an ocean as infinite as the Pacific.
  4. Inquire about Yiddish classes at your local Jewish Community Centre.In the face of a long and painful period of decline, Yiddish is experiencing a resurgence in interest from both Jews and non-Jews alike. Many Jewish Community Centres are thus offering seasonal Yiddish language courses and intensive programs as well as an array of Yiddish-related cultural projects such as Yiddish drama and theatre camps. Hunt around, do your homework, and find what suits you.
    • A handful of universities and colleges worldwide also offer Yiddish programs through their Jewish Studies and Hebrew departments. Take a look.
  5. Study basic German, Hebrew, and Aramaic.As mentioned above, Yiddish is a Germanic language with heavy Semitic overtones. If your goal is fluency, you will need to understand the nature of German, Hebrew, and Aramaic at one point or another to grasp the finer points of Yiddish.
    • Check your local libraries and book shops for materials on those languages or even consider a Rosetta Stone Set.
  6. Subscribe to the Yiddish Book Center.Yiddish at one point lived and breathed through books---a thriving literary and intellectual culture that was almost completely silenced at the hands of the Holocaust. Works of philosophy, literary criticism, technical manuals, novels, poetry, translations of Western literature and popular pulp fiction, dictionaries, you name it. However, beginning in the 1980s, Aaron Lansky (the author of Outwitting History) set out to collect the world's Yiddish books, catalogue them, house them, study them, and translate them, thus leading to founding The Yiddish Book Center. By subscribing to the Yiddish Book Centre, you are supporting, preserving, and promoting Yiddish.
  7. Immerse yourself in Yiddish and Jewish culture.Although Yiddish is not as widely spoken a language as say English, French, Arabic, or Chinese, the language does still live and breathe in the nooks and crannies of Jewish communities around the world. If you have access to such, embrace it! Attend Jewish and Yiddish events, check out Jewish community libraries, watch old Yiddish films on YouTube, and explore what's out there---adpot Yiddish and become part of Yiddish.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I break a curse in Yiddish?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should see your Rabbi or visit a Tzaddik. They would know what to do.
  • Question
    What is the difference between Yiddish and Jewish?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Judaism is a religion. Adherents of this religion are Jewish. Yiddish is a language of Ashkenazic Jews.
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • Yiddish is most vibrantly spoken within Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, most notably those of the North American cities of New York City, Miami, and Montréal, the state of Israel, and pockets of Northern and Eastern Europe. Yiddish is in fact recognized as an official minority language in Sweden.
  • Aside Hebrew and Aramaic, respecively, Yiddish is just one of many so-called Jewish languages spoken around the world. Others include Ladino, Bukhori, Karaim, Judeo-Greek, Judeo-Arabic dialects, and Judeo-Berber dialects, among others. Most are highly endangered with few fluent speakers left.

Video: 9 Reason To Learn Yiddish║Lindsay Does Languages Video

How to Learn Yiddish
How to Learn Yiddish images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Learn Yiddish pictures

How to Learn Yiddish recommendations
How to Learn Yiddish forecast photo

How to Learn Yiddish picture
How to Learn Yiddish pics

How to Learn Yiddish How to Learn Yiddish new photo
How to Learn Yiddish new images

pictures How to Learn Yiddish
pics How to Learn Yiddish

Watch How to Learn Yiddish video
Watch How to Learn Yiddish video

Communication on this topic: How to Learn Yiddish, how-to-learn-yiddish/
Discussion on this topic: How to Learn Yiddish, how-to-learn-yiddish/ , how-to-learn-yiddish/

Related News

Barley with Fresh and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
RunwaytoReality: Anya Hindmarch’s your hair, but better’ look
Use Positive Thinking To Win At Life
How to Be a Savvy Consumer
Water bears have fascinated researchers for a long time
Ronda Rousey and Reebok Team Up for PerfectNever Campaign
Rodarte RTW Spring 2019 Collection at Haute Couture PFW
Tips to Long Enviable Legs
Ajovy (Fremanezumab-vfrm) Reviews
Melania Trumps Cairo hotel cost 95,000
15 Fresh Ways to Shake Up Your Hair Game

Date: 06.12.2018, 15:13 / Views: 71464