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Yiddish is Not a Dialect of German

(but it is closely related)

Many believe that Yiddish is a dialect of German however if you analyse it a bit deeper, then you see that Yiddish is its own language.

German has many dialects but some linguists say these are not dialects but separate languages and the word "dialect" is just politics. Yiddish for example, does not come from German but rather has similar roots. This is also the case with English as all these languages come from an old language that was spoken in Europe 1,500 years ago and could be called "Germanic."
Here are the main differences between Yiddish and German.

Firstly the accent is different. Many words might be the same but the accent can be so different that it cannot be understood when talking fast. For example, words that stem from Latin or Greek (in Yiddish) often are said with the Slavic pronunciation.

Secondly: word meaning can change so that verbs can sound the same in both languages but have a different meaning. Yiddish also cuts some of the complicated grammar of word order and other rules that exists in German.

Thirdly Yiddish has many words that come from old German but are not used in modern German. As the languages developed in the history some words had stopped being used in German but in Yiddish they continued to be used.

The 3 difference in the above 3 paragraphs may only make Yiddish a dialect similar to other German-Dialects. However what makes Yiddish for sure its own language is the Semitic influence.

Maybe around 20% of Yiddish comes from Hebrew & Aramaic and the Yiddish language is mostly written using the Hebrew characters. These words cannot be understood by German speakers with the exception of a few that have entered into the German language. Hence these are German words that come from Yiddish.

But one should not exaggerate the difference. Much like Spanish and Portuguese or Swedish and Danish, Yiddish and German are similar and with a short amount of practice one can begin to understand the other language. Maybe the best word to use is "sister languages." Yiddish and German are sister languages and this makes Yiddish and English cousins.
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