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Difference between Yiddish and Hebrew

Difference between Yiddish and Hebrew

There are many languages spoken around the world, and two of the most commonly talked about are Yiddish and Hebrew. While they share some similarities, they also have some key differences.

What is Yiddish?

Yiddish is a Germanic language that was historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. It is written in the Hebrew alphabet and includes elements of both Hebrew and Aramaic. Yiddish emerged in the 12th century and reached its height of popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, Yiddish is spoken by around 2 million people, mainly in Israel, the United States, and Europe. While Yiddish has been declining in recent years, it remains an important part of Jewish culture and heritage.

What is Hebrew?

Hebrew is a language that is spoken by more than nine million people around the world. It is the official language of Israel and one of the official languages of Palestine, both of which are located in the Middle East. Hebrew is believed to be one of the oldest modern languages, with its origins dating back thousands of years. Today, Hebrew is used extensively in religious ceremonies and in many aspects of daily life, including commerce and education. Perhaps most importantly, Hebrew has tremendous cultural significance, as it represents centuries of tradition and history for Jewish people around the globe. Despite its prevalence today, Hebrew nevertheless remains a complex and nuanced language that requires years of study to master. Whether you are looking to learn Hebrew for personal or professional reasons, there is no doubt that this ancient tongue has universal appeal.

Difference between Yiddish and Hebrew

  • Yiddish and Hebrew are two closely related languages. Both are Semitic languages, spoken by millions of people around the world. However, there are some key differences between the two.
  • Yiddish is written using the Latin alphabet and includes many loanwords from other languages, while Hebrew is written using the Hebrew alphabet and has remained relatively purer in terms of its vocabulary. Yiddish is also spoken with a heavier Germanic influence, while Hebrew has been influenced more by Aramaic.
  • Yiddish is typically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews, while Hebrew is the official language of Israel and is spoken by Sephardic Jews as well. Yiddish has been in decline in recent years, while Hebrew has been on the rise due to its use as a lingua franca in Israel.


Although the two languages share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. If you’re looking to learn one of these languages for travel or business purposes, it’s important to understand the distinctions between them.

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