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This answer introduced me to Yiddish.

Is Yiddish taught and used in Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Lichtenstein? Is it a dialect of German or a separate but similar language?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yiddish (literally "Jewish", "Jiddisch" in German) is taught and used by Jewish people mainly. It is not a German school subject.

I wouldn't call it a dialect like the Bavarian dialect. It is a High German language, derived from Middle High German combined with Hebrew, Aramaic and Slavic.

It was used by the Ashkenazi Jews ("German Jews") living in Germany along the Rhine and spread from there.

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So, no, it is not taught, and neither used nor understood by the broad populace. I have never heard it in ordinary use. Then again, I don't think any of my friends are jewish. –  fzwo Dec 5 '11 at 11:55
+1 for the answer. However, the german language loaned a lot of words from the Yiddish language, and a lot of speakers are not aware of this. For some examples see de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiddismus and de.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  0x6d64 Dec 5 '11 at 15:55
It was very common in Poland and the Baltics as well... Due to well known reasons, it is almost extinct in Europe now. –  Jules Feb 1 '12 at 12:02
So few Jews live in Germany these days that, arguably, Turkish is far more relevant a language for most. –  Raphael Jun 5 at 8:33

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