A Very Brief History of Yiddish

Yiddish is High German language spoken by European or Ashkenazi Jews. It was developed in Central and Eastern Europe in the 10th Century of the Common Era (CE). Yiddish has many words in common with Hebrew, but also borrowed words from several of the Slavic languages, English and French. The oldest writing extant in Yiddish is a prayer in a book from the German city of Worms printed in 1272 CE. The Yiddish language is written using the Hebrew alphabet.

The Yiddish language has a rich history of literature both in Europe and in America. Including a variant called Scots-Yiddish. Although Yiddish speaking dropped off sharply after the Holocaust and when Yiddish was not accepted as an official language of Modern Israel. However, many universities worldwide have Yiddish programs, including: Vilnius University, Tel Aviv University, Düsseldorf University and Penn State.

A native Yiddish speaker and writer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, won the Noble Prize in Literature in 1978.

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