Yiddish is a language used by some Jews. At first it was a dialect of the German language which Jews began to use in Europe about a thousand years ago. It was (and is) used in the United States, especially in New York, and other countries that Jews have migrated to. Most of its words come from German. Yiddish also has many words from Hebrew and Slavic languages, notably Polish. Yiddish also contains some French, Hungarian, and Latin words. Yiddish is usually written in Hebrew characters.
|ייִדיש, יידיש or אידיש yidish/idish/yidish|
|Pronunciation||[ˈjɪdɪʃ] or [ˈɪdɪʃ]|
|Native to||Central, Eastern, and Western Europe|
|Region||Israel, North America, other regions with Jewish populations|
|(1.5 million cited 1986–1991 + half undated)|
|Hebrew alphabet (Yiddish orthography)|
|Regulated by||no formal bodies;|
YIVO de facto
ydd – Eastern Yiddish
yih – Western Yiddish
In the whole world, Yiddish is spoken by about 3 million people. It is mainly spoken by Hasidic Jews.
In the Netherlands and Sweden, Yiddish is protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.