Yiddish facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
ייִדיש yidish
Native to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and elsewhere
Native speakers 1.8 million  (no date)
11 million L2 speakers
Language family
Writing system uses a Hebrew-based alphabet
Official status
Official language in Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia
Recognised minority language in  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Regulated by no formal bodies;
YIVO de facto
Linguasphere 52-ACB-g = 52-ACB-ga (West) + 52-ACB-gb (East); totalling 11 varieties

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 where Jews have migrated to. Most of its words are of German origin. Also, Yiddish has many words from Hebrew and Slavic languages, notably Polish. It also contains some French, Hungarian, and Latin words. Yiddish is usually written in Hebrew characters.

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

European Charter

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

Related pages

Images for kids

Yiddish Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.