I would like to learn Yiddish in order to further my understanding of Chassidus and other Torah topics that are presented in Yiddish. What are your suggestions for sources to use that would focus on the type of Yiddish I would expect to find in those places? Books, online and interactive programs are all helpful.

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    Spend some time with older people from the generation where they spoke yiddish.. I picked up a lot just listening to my grandparents and other people from that generation because they interweave the words with english so you have some context to learn.. Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 14:43
  • perhaps subscribe to yiddishwordoftheweek.tumblr.com
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 6:45

4 Answers 4


Well, seeing that no-one else has answered so far... I don't know about Hassidic Yiddish specifically but the standard textbook for learning Yiddish is Weinreich's "College Yiddish".

I'm sure there are many helpful resources online; I would start with YIVO and WikiBooks. Once you've got some basics and you want to practice, you can check out Der Forvetz, and even Hasidic Yiddish Twitter and Facebook! There's another list of more online Yiddish gathering places here.

Hope this helps! Zei gezunt and zol zayn mit mazl!

  • Yivo might not be helpful, their standardised spellings may differ from other dialectic forms and their approach is towards a secular variant of Polish/Litvish, rather than one used by Chassidim. Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 14:29
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt fair enough. If there were a similarly prominent organization devoted to Hassidic Yiddish that I knew of I would have recommended it. I suspect that even despite the differences, our OP may have to learn 'standard' Yiddish and then adapt to Hassidic, rather than jump in at the get-go (sort of how I'm learning Moroccan Arabic but via MSA). Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 15:23
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    Since the question asks specifically about the sort of Yiddish used in Torah sources, and this doesn't seem to address that, I'm planning to delete it unless it's heavily edited.
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 5:16
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    @msh210 I appreciate your concern but I'm not sure my answer isn't helpful — Yiddish is Yiddish (despite dialectical variations in spelling). For example, having taken only standard Yiddish, I can read the linked Forverts Hassidic Yiddish blog with no problem. If one wants to understand grammar and actually be able to read Yiddish texts, one needs a stronger foundation than just picking up a few words here and there. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 13:00
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    @msh210 Actually, I think the question's the problem, not the answer Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 6:15

Try and learn a new word everyday-use it in a sentence.

For the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Sichos, they have a booklet of Yiddish-Hebrew translations. It's called the LSD. Likutei Sichot Dictionary.

http://merkazstam.com/index.php/likkutei-sichos-dictionary-new-edition.html out of stock

In Israel: http://www.chish.co.il/product.asp?productid=15

They might have it at that place on Rehov Yishayahu, I forget the name.


You might start with yiddishpop.com.

If you want to learn the Lubavitcher Rebbe's sichos in Yiddish, a program that presupposes very little Yiddish knowledge is Back 2 Basics Sichos. Some of the content seems to be available for free here.

There is a Yiddish translation of the Chumash written in very clear, everyday (not lomdish) language by Yehoyesh (Yehoash). A free version is here: http://yiddish.haifa.ac.il/texts/yehoyesh/tanList.htm. There is also an app here that lets you interact with the text and look up words.

I can't recommend a Yiddish textbook for beginners, except to say that Weinreich's College Yiddish is considered the standard beginners' text, and Chaim Werdyger's Yiddish in 10 Lessons looks quite good to me. Thereafter, I would recommend using Sheva Zucker's textbooks for intermediates, and finally Mordkhe Shaechter's Yiddish II for advanced students.

Once you can speak competently, you might be interested in attending the Yiddish Vokh, in Copake, NY, for practice. (It's one week at the end of the summer.)

As for learning formally: I can't give you great advice on how to learn Yiddish for religious purposes, except to say that a lot of yeshivas produce musmachim who can speak Yiddish and use it religiously. Also, Yiddish Farm (mentioned below) occasionally offers programs with a religious-Yiddish focus.

If you are serious about learning standard spoken and written Yiddish for general purposes, there are a lot of programs around the world in which to do so. The Workmen's Circle as well as significant numbers of universities provide Yiddish classes year-round. The Yiddish Farm in Goshen, NY offers live-in programs from a weekend to a year in length. There are Yiddish summer programs in New York, Israel, France, and Lithuania, among others. A very good summer program in New York is offered at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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    Yehoash is lomdish in a different sort of way, specifically academically. He tends to prefer a German word (even one that's not naturally also a Yiddish word) to an existing/more folky Hebrew-based construction.
    – magicker72
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:54
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    I recently got the back to basics books. They are grea. There is currently b'reshis, sh'mois, and vayikra out at the moment
    – Dude
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:11

you might find this sheet helpful they pass it around the Mir yeshiva for guys who dont know yiddish the pronunciations are in litveshe' havarah though...enter image description here

  • Do you have a clearer image? Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 16:44
  • this is what posted, i dont know how to upload a better picture if anyone has a suggestion please tell me Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 16:48
  • Open the image in a new tab.
    – ezra
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 0:26
  • It isn't necessarily in Litvish havarah. It could be read in any havarah. It's not like there are transliterations proving either way.
    – ezra
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 4:39

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