https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo

Why is Yiddish a Germanic language?

TseDanylo
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PLEASE NOTE: I had to mention a touchy subject in this discussion, I mean no offence to anyone. Please be respectful in the comments

Now that that's out of the way, here is the question. I know that in pre-holocaust Europe, there was a large Jewish population in Eastern Europe especially Slavic speaking countries such as Poland and Russia. But then, why did the Jews decide to speak a Germanic language? Wouldn't it make more sense if Yiddish was a Slavic language?

1 year ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
vytah
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Because Yiddish evolved from various German dialects peppered with lots of Hebrew and few Slavic loanwords. The grammar and most function words are similar to German.

If you give it a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w_SXQUCfsw you should understand quite a bit (and almost everything if you're a native speaker of some German dialects).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviPolasak
LeviPolasak
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Thank you for sharing that link. Many people share other Yiddish links, but sadly that's the ONLY video that I've seen online that actually speaks Yiddish spoken. Basically all other videos speak in YIVO, which isn't used besides in literature, which even us Chassidish yiddish speakers (like the one in the video) don't read or use, we write in our Yiddish. I don't see why Yivo is even so popular, because basically every Yiddish speaker you'd find is Chassidish Yiddish

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
IsakNygren1
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Because it was derived in Germany. Azkhenazi Jews literally means German Jews.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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"Azkhenazi Jews literally means German Jews."

That's not the case.

The Ashkenazi get their name from the Biblical character Ashkenaz, who was supposedly one of Noah's grandsons.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
E.T.Gregor
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Still, sometime in the High Middle Ages, the area of what is now Germany came to be called "Eretz Ashkenaz". Although I have no clue why...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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Because it's where the Ashkenazi lived- it means 'land of the Ashkenazi'.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafforza
Rafforza
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The location being in Germany doesn't make it Germanic, but specifically its roots from within that linguistic branch

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WoogaGirl
WoogaGirl
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Yiddish doesn't exactly have a Slavic writing, so if they* had to put it into a category, it would be Germanic because that was where it originated.

Hope that helps!

*The word "they" is just a place holder. I myself don't really know who "they" actually is/are.

1 year ago
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