Yiddish is a Germanic language with about three million speakers, mainly Ashkenazic Jews, in the USA, Israel, Russia, Ukraine. The name Yiddish is probably an abbreviated version of ייִדיש־טײַטש (yidish-taytsh), which means "Jewish German". Judeo-German gradually developed into a distinct language, Yiddish, with two main dialects: Western Yiddish, which was widely spoken in Central Europe until the 18th century, and Eastern Yiddish, which was spoken throughout Eastern Europe and Russia/USSR until World War II. In addition, Eastern and Western Yiddish are most markedly distinguished by the extensive inclusion of words of Slavic origin in the Eastern dialects. While Western Yiddish has few remaining speakers, Eastern dialects are still widely used.

Map of Yiddish language speakers.
Map of Yiddish language speakers.

Basic stats

Total speakers: 3 million

Main Countries: Israel, United States, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Poland, Australia

Alternate names: Judeo-German

ISO 639-3 Code: yid

Language Sample

?ון די ג?ַנצע ערד ?יז געווען ?יין שפּר?ַך ?ון ?יינע ווערטער.

?ון עס ?יז געווען, ?ַז זיי ה?ָבן געצויגן ?ין מזרח, ה?ָבן זיי געפֿונען ?ַ פּלוין ?ין ל?ַנר שִנעָר, ?ון ה?ָבן זיך ד?ָרטן ב?ַזעצט.

(The Tower of Babel, Genesis:1-2)

Some proverbs in Yiddish:

Hebrew:ג?ָט ה?ַט ?יין ועלט ו?ָלער קליינער ועלטשען ערש?ַפען Latin: Gott hat eine Welt voller kleiner Weltchen erschaffen
God created one world full of small worlds

Hebrew: מ?ן טר?ַוך, ג?ָט ל?ַוך. Latin: Mann traoch, Gott läuch
Man plans, God laughs

Product Availability

The following products are currently available in Yiddish:

  • For Consumers

(Coming soon)


Page tools:      Content  [Comments]  [Printable version]