Yiddish (יידיש)

travel phpto to inspire Yiddish language study
By Calimeronte - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

ALPHABET MATCHING GAME VOCABULARY FLASHCARDS

Why learn Yiddish?

Knowing Yiddish opens the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, and science Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade. Analytical skills improve when you study Yiddish. Yiddish study leads to an appreciation of cultural diversity.

is a High-German-derived language historically spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews in Central Europe. Prior to the Holocaust, there were 11–13 million speakers of Yiddish among 17 million Jews worldwide. 85% of the approximately 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers, leading to a massive decline in the use of the language. Assimilation following World War II and aliyah, immigration to Israel, further decreased the use of Yiddish both among survivors and among Yiddish-speakers from other countries (such as in the Americas).

How Long Does it Take to Learn Yiddish?

*** NOTES *** about learning Yiddish

Yiddish Alphabet & Pronunciation

The Yiddish alphabet, a modified version of the Hebrew alphabet used to write Yiddish, is a true alphabet, with all vowels rendered in the spelling, except in the case of inherited Hebrew words, which typically retain their Hebrew spellings. Letters that are silent or represent glottal stops in the Hebrew language are used as vowels in Yiddish.

א
(shtumer alef)
[silent]
אַ
(pasekh alef)
[a]
אָ
(komets alef)
[o]
בּ
(beys)
[b]
ב
(beys)
[b]
בֿ
(veys)
[v]
ג
(giml)
[g]
ד
(daled)
[d]
דזש
(daled zayen shin)
[dzh]
ה
(hey)
[h]
ו
(vov)
[u]
וּ
(melupm vov)
[u]
וֹ
(khoylem)
[oj]
װ
(tsvey vovn)
[v]
וי
(vov yud)
[oy]
ז
(zayen)
[z]
ח
(khes)
[kh]
ט
(tes)
[t]
טש
(tes)
[tsh]
י
(yud)
[y]
יִ
(khirik yud)
[i]
יי
(tsvey yudn)
[ey]
ײַ
(pasekh tsvey yudn)
[ay]
כּ
(kof)
[k]
כ
(khof)
[kh]
ך
(lange khof)
[kh]
ל
(lamed)
[l]
מ
(mem)
[m]
ם
(shlos mem)
[m]
נ
(nun)
[n]
ן
(lange nun)
[n]
ס
(samekh)
[s]
ע
(ayin)
[e]
פּ
(pey)
[p]
פ
(fey)
[f]
ף
(lange fey)
[f]
צ
(tsadek)
[ts]
ץ
(lange tsadek)
[ts]
ק
(kuf)
[k]
ר
(reysh)
[r]
ש
(shin)
[sh]
שׂ
(sin)
[s]
תּ
(tof)
[t]
ת
(sof)
[s]

Basic Phrases in Yiddish

Helloהעלא (hela)
Goodbyeזייַ געזונט (zay gezunt)
Yesיאָ (yo)
Noניט (nit)
Excuse meאנטשולדיגט מיר (antshuldigt mir)
Pleaseביטע (bite)
Thank youאדאנק (adank)
You are welcomeיישר (eyshr)
Do you speak englishדו רעדסט ענגליש? (du redst english?)
Do you understandצי איר פֿאַרשטיין? (tsi ir farshteyn?)
I understandאיך פֿאַרשטיין (ikh farshteyn)
I do not understandאיך טאָן ניט פֿאַרשטיין (ikh ton nit farshteyn)
How are youוואס מאכסטו? (vas makhstu?)
Fine thanksגוט א דאנק! (gut a dank!)
What is your nameוואָס איז דיין נאָמען? (vos iz deyn nomen?)
My name isמיין נאמען איז (meyn namen iz)
Pleased to meet youאנגענעם אייך צו באגעגענען (angenem eykh tsu bagegenen)

Yiddish Grammar

Yiddish Nouns

Yiddish nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Plural nouns are created by adding 'ס' (pronounced 's') to the end of words ending in a vowel sound and 'ן' (pronounced 'n') to the end of words ending with a consonant. There are also irregular nouns with endings like -es or -er and nouns that do not change between singluar and plural (like fish - 'פֿיש')

Manמענטש (mentsh)
Womanפרוי (froy)
Boyיינגל (eyngl)
Girlא מיידל (a meydl)
Catקאַץ (kats)
Dogהונט (hunt)
FishIntlanzi (fish)
Waterוואַסער (vaser)
Milkמילך (milkh)
Eggיי (ey)
Houseהויז (hoyz)
Flowerבלום (blum)
Treeבוים (boym)
Shirtהעמד (hemd)
Pantsהויזן (huyzn)

Yiddish Adjectives

Colors in Yiddish

Blackשוואַרץ (shvarts)
Whiteווייַס (vays)
Redרויט (royt)
Orangeמאַראַנץ (marants)
Yellowגעל (gel)
Greenגרין (grin)
Blueבלוי (bloy)
Purpleלילאַ (lila)
Pinkראָזעווע (rozeve)
Grayגרוי (groy)
Brownברוין (broyn)

Numbers in Yiddish

Zeroנול (nul)
Oneאיינס (eyns)
Twoצוויי (tsvey)
Threeדריי (drey)
Fourפיר (fir)
Fiveפינף (finf)
Sixזעקס (zex)
Sevenזיבן (zibn)
Eightאַכט (akht)
Nineנייַן (nayn)
Tenצען (tsen)
Elevenעלף (elf)
Twelveצוועלף (tsvelf)
Twentyצוואַנציק (tsvantsik)
Thirtyדרייַסיק (draysik)
Fortyפערציק (fertsik)
Fiftyפופציק (fuftsik)
Sixtyזעכציק (zekhtsik)
Seventyזיבעציק (zibetsik)
Eightyאַכציק (akhtsik)
Ninetyנייַנציק (nayntsik)
Hundredהונדערט (hundert)
Thousandטויזנט (toyznt)

Yiddish Verbs

To beצו זיין (tsu zeyn)
To haveצו האבן (tsu habn)
To wantצו וועלן (tsu veln)
To needצו דאַרפֿן (tsu darfn)
To helpצו העלפן (tsu helfn)
To goצו גיין (tsu geyn)
To comeצו קומען (tsu kumen)
To eatצו עסן (tsu esn)
To drinkצו טרינקן (tsu trinkn)
To speakצו רעדן (tsu redn)

Building Simple Sentences

Like most Germanic languages, Yiddish generally follows the V2 word order: the second constituent of any clause is a finite verb, regardless of whether the first constituent is the subject, an adverb, or another topicalized element. The V2 grammar of Yiddish differs from that of German and other closely related languages, however: Yiddish uses V2 word order in subordinate clauses as well as main clauses, while in German only main clauses exhibit V2. However, verb-initial word order may be used to indicate a causal or other close contextual relationship between consecutive sentences, with a meaning similar to English so. It is customary to use freer word order in Yiddish poetry.

More Complex Yiddish Sentences

Andאון (aun)
Orאָדער (oder)
Butאָבער (ober)
Becauseווייַל (vayl)
Withמיט (mit)
Alsoאויך (aoykh)
Howeverאָבער (ober)
Neitherניט (nit)
Norאדער (ader)
Ifאויב (aoyb)
Thenדעמאָלט (demolt)

Useful Yiddish Vocabulary

Yiddish Questions

Whoווער (ver)
Whatוואס (vas)
Whenווען (ven)
Whereוואו (vau)
Whyפארוואס (farvas)
Howווי אַזוי (vi azoy)
How manyווי פילע (vi file)
How muchווי פיל (vi fil)

Days of the Week in Yiddish

Mondayמאנטאג (mantag)
Tuesdayדינסטאג (dinstag)
Wednesdayמיטוואך (mitvakh)
Thursdayדאָנערשטיק (donershtik)
Fridayפרייטיק (freytik)
Saturdayשבת (shbs)
Sundayזונטיק (zuntik)
Yesterdayנעכטן (nekhtn)
Todayהייַנט (haynt)
Tomorrowמאָרגן (morgn)

Months in Yiddish

Januaryיאנואר (yanuar)
Februaryפעברואר (februar)
Marchמאַרץ (marts)
Aprilאפריל (afril)
Mayמאי (mi)
Juneיוני (iuni)
Julyיולי (iuli)
Augustאויגוסט (aoygust)
Septemberסעפטעמבער (seftember)
Octoberאקטאבער (aktaber)
Novemberנאוועמבער (navember)
Decemberדעצעמבער (detsember)

Seasons in Yiddish

Winterווינטער (vinter)
Springפרילינג (friling)
Summerזומער (zumer)
Autumnהאַרבסט (harbst)

Telling Time in Yiddish

What time is itוואס איז דער צייט? (vas iz der tseyt?)
Hoursשעה (sheh)
Minutesמינוט (minut)
Secondsסעקונדעס (sekundes)
O clockאַקל (akl)
Halfהאַלב (halb)
Quarter pastפערטל פאַרגאַנגענהייט (fertl fargangenheyt)
Beforeפריער (fryer)
Afterנאָך (nokh)