High German-derived language used by Ashkenazi Jews
(Redirected from Yiddish language)

Yiddish is a language used by some Jews. At first, it was a dialect of German that Jews began to use in Europe about 1000 years ago. It was and still is used in the United States, especially in New York City, and other countries that now have Jews.

ייִדיש‎, יידיש‎ or אידישyidish/idish/yidish
Pronunciation[ˈjɪdɪʃ] or [ˈɪdɪʃ]
Native toCentral, Eastern, and Western Europe
RegionIsrael, North America, other regions with Jewish populations[1]
Native speakers
(1.5 million cited 1986–1991 + half undated)[1]
Hebrew alphabet (Yiddish orthography)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byno formal bodies;
YIVO de facto
Language codes
ISO 639-1yi
ISO 639-2yid
ISO 639-3yid – inclusive code
Individual codes:
ydd – Eastern Yiddish
yih – Western Yiddish
Linguasphere52-ACB-g = 52-ACB-ga (West) + 52-ACB-gb (East); totalling 11 varieties

Most Yiddish words come from German, but many words are also from Hebrew and Slavic languages, especially Polish, and some from French, Hungarian and Latin. Yiddish is written usually by the Hebrew alphabet.

In the world, Yiddish is spoken by about 3 million people, mainly Hasidic Jews.

European CharterEdit

In the Netherlands and Sweden, Yiddish is protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Related pagesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Eastern Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Western Yiddish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)

Other websitesEdit