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Yiddish facts for kids

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Yiddish
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
Ethnicity Ashkenazi
Native speakers (1.5 million cited 1986–1991 + half undated)e18
Language family
Indo-European
Writing system Hebrew alphabet (Yiddish orthography)
Official status
Recognised minority language in
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 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, and other countries that Jews have moved to.

Most of its words come from German, and Yiddish also has many words from Hebrew and Slavic languages, especially Polish, and some words from French, Hungarian and Latin. Yiddish usually uses the Hebrew script.

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

European Charter

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

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