Yiddish translations

 
 

Yiddish Translation


Yiddish Translation Today

In recent years there has been a great revival of demand for Yiddish writings, Yiddish speaking, and therefore the need has arisen for translations from and into Yiddish. In the United States, especially among emergency organizations, it became clear that important material must reach also those to whom English is not so familiar but speak, read and understand the Yiddish language. Documents include discussions about circumcision, instructions in cases of emergency, health issues and more.

In Israel, immigrants from all over the world have kept ancient letters and documents, written by their deceased relatives, which they would like to understand and sometimes advertise as books or memories for their children, so they ask to translate them to Hebrew or English. Others have voice recordings in Yiddish, whether monologues of relatives, or lectures spoken by rabbis, or conversations between two or more people which require transcription or translation for legal purposes.

"Kol Tirgum Translators" is a Jewish religious translation agency, operating in Bnei Brak, Israel, and serves both secular and orthodox communities. Translation agencies in America use our services on a constant basis for the benefit of the Jewish community there.

We shall be happy to provide you with our professional translation services from Yiddish to English, from English to Yiddish, from Yiddish to Hebrew, from Hebrew to Yiddish, and any Yiddish translation that you require.


About the Yiddish Language

Yiddish (literally "Jewish") is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken in many parts of the world. It developed as a fusion of different German dialects, including Hebrew, Aramaic and Slavic vocabulary and some traces of vocabulary from the Roman languages. Yiddish orthography uses the Hebrew alphabet.

The language originated in the Ashkenazi culture that developed from about the 10th century in the Rhineland and then spread to Central and Eastern Europe, and eventually to other continents. In common usage, the language is called מאַמע־לשון (mame-loshn, literally "mother tongue"), distinguishing it from Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, which are collectively termed לשון־קודש (loshn-hakoydesh, "the holy language"). The term "Yiddish" did not become the most frequently used designation in the literature of the language until the 18th century.

For a significant portion of its history, Yiddish was the primary spoken language of the Ashkenazi Jews and once spanned a broad dialect continuum from Western Yiddish to three major groups within Eastern Yiddish: Litvish, Polish and Ukrainish. Eastern and Western Yiddish are most markedly distinguished by the extensive inclusion of words of Slavic origin in the former. Western Yiddish has few remaining speakers but the Eastern dialects remain in wide use.

Yiddish is written and spoken in many Orthodox Jewish communities around the world, although there are also a number of Orthodox Jews who do not know Yiddish. It is a home language in most Hasidic communities, where it is the first language learned in childhood, used in schools and in many social settings. Yiddish is also the academic language of the study of the Talmud according to the tradition of the Lithuanian yeshivas.

Yiddish is also used in the adjectival sense to designate attributes of Ashkenazic Jewish culture (for example, Yiddish cooking and Yiddish music).

In the early 20th century, especially after Socialist October Revolution in Russia, Yiddish was emerging as a major Eastern European language. Its rich literature was more widely published than ever, Yiddish theatre and Yiddish film were booming, and  for a time it achieved status as one of the official languages of the Ukrainian People's Republic, the Belarusian and the short-lived Galician SSR, and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Educational autonomy for Jews in several countries (notably Poland) after World War I led to an increase in formal Yiddish-language education, more uniform orthography, and to the 1925 founding of the Yiddish Scientific Institute, YIVO. Yiddish emerged as the national language of a large Jewish community in Eastern Europe that rejected Zionism and sought Jewish cultural autonomy in Europe. It also contended with Modern Hebrew as a literary language among Zionists. In Vilna there was intense debate over which language should take primacy, Hebrew or Yiddish.

Yiddish changed significantly during the 20th century. Michael Wex writes, "As increasing numbers of Yiddish speakers moved from the Slavic-speaking East to Western Europe and the Americas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were so quick to jettison Slavic vocabulary that the most prominent Yiddish writers of the time—the founders of modern Yiddish literature, who were still living in Slavic-speaking countries—revised the printed editions of their oeuvres to eliminate obsolete and 'unnecessary' Slavism." The vocabulary used in Israel absorbed many Modern Hebrew words, and there was a similar increase in the English component of Yiddish in the United States and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom. This has resulted in some difficulty in communication between Yiddish speakers from Israel and those from other countries.