On another tread " if you want to be a language learner, forget about being a control freak", I read different comments from Ylearner and Steve.

Yiddish language was mentioned. This arose a question. I know a few of the similarities and differences between Yiddish and Hebrew. Nevertheless, I never thought of which of the two languages could be useful to learn if ever interested.

I would like to know your opinion and how making a choice between those two languages?
Maybe the area where we live??


Hi Marianne

Yiddish is a Germanic language with Hebrew (Semitic) influence, while Hebrew is simply a Semitic language.

Here is the the Our Father in German:

Alle Menschen sind frei und gleich an Würde und Rechten geboren. Sie sind mit Vernunft und Gewissen begabt und sollen einander im Geist der Brüderlichkeit begegnen.

Here is a transliteration of the Our Father in Yiddish (I capitalized some nouns for comparison):

Yeder Mentsh vert geboyrn fray un glaykh in Koved un Rekht. Yeder vert bashonkn mit Farshtand un Gevisn; yeder zol zikh firn mit a tsveytn in a gemit fun Brudershaft.

And here is a transliteration of the Our Father in Hebrew:

Kol benei ha’adam noldu benei xorin veshavim be’erkam uvizxuyoteihem. Kulam xonenu batevuna uvematspun, lefixax xova 'aleihem linhog ish bere’ehu beruax shel axava.

As you can see, Yiddish and German are quite similar, and if you speak German you can understand even spoken Yiddish quite well. You can listen to the above examples by searching each language here http://www.omniglot.com/

As far as learning them, I imagine there are more resources for Hebrew than for Yiddish; however, Yiddish will be easier for you to learn as it’s a Western European language. But, where there’s a will, there’s way.

Check out these Google searches for Hebrew resources I recently did for a friend:


and these two sites I’ve already checked out and they’re quite good:


The same search in Yiddish yield some interesting resources as well.

Yes, it is why I wrote that our choice might be due to the area where we live since Yiddish is spoken chiefly in the East European countries, if I remember well but, overall, as you wrote it is a Western european language.
Thanks for your explanation David. I appreciate your answers, no matter the question. You often give us good links to look at!
I’ll sign up soon in one of your discussions.

There are more native speakers of hebrew. It also has a global importance, and this is likley to grow. So Hebrew is your best bet mate :slight_smile:

David example is nice. I’m German and I can read and understand about 60-80 percent of the Yiddish sentence. But I cannot figure out the meaning of the Hebrew sentence.

I may sound odd but I’ve always considered Yiddish as the Plattdeutsch of Hebrew - not to be spoken in business, but a wonderful language for home and family. I think longingly back to the Plattdeutsch of my childhood which I was never allowed to speak because my mother thought it common.

It’s even eerier if you listen to the recording, you easily understand 80%

We had a Yiddish speaker come to my last class at Berkeley, which was entitled ‘The Languages of America’.

At the end of his speech he told a joke in Yiddish and I was the only one who laughed at the punchline…

I’ve studied some Yiddish and some Hebrew. Hebrew is nice…but Yiddish has soul. It depends what you like in a language. A lot of Israelis who speak Hebrew and are obsessed with MTV will tell you that Yiddish is useless. Sure, they have no interest in languages.

Yiddish is about 85% Germanic, 10% Slavic and 5% Hebrew (The Hebrew words still being spelt with Hebrew spelling conventions by with a Yiddish pronounciations, otherwise the script is extremely easy to read).

Yiddish is a language that I have passion for. Not because it’s the biggest, not because it’s official in so many countries, but because of the power than this language has, because of its amazing literature.

It’s really a language of poets, writers and musicians. I’m happy that I’ll get to learn this as well as Hebrew :slight_smile: Why pick just one?

If anyone wants material on the language, message me.

If anyone is a native, or advanced speaker, especially message me!

1 Like

That is not “our father”. That is the beginning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Isn’t Yiddish what Amish speak?

No.That’s a funny thought though. :slight_smile:

“Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as “Pennsylvania Dutch,” although a dialect of Swiss German is used by Old Order Amish in the Adams County, Indiana area.[4]”

Hi, I’m manish.i study engineering in IT here. . My native language is hindi. I would like to speak in English on skype. I can help you with hindi.My english good i want to make fluent speaking skill. add me friend .my skype id :mahajan1002

thank you greg for the info! :slight_smile: