Monthly Archives: March 2012

Supplementary grammar videos

This post contains additional grammar videos to help you revise for the language test. These should all be read in conjunction with Dovid Katz’s excellent Grammar of the Yiddish Language which is available here. The page umbers in brackets refer you to that work. It is essential you consult Katz who covers the issues in much more detail than I do here.

More videos will be added as they become available:

Nouns: Gender, articles and plurals (pages 56-62)

Adjectives: Understanding endings changes (81-85) updated!

Cases: How they work in Yiddish (75ff)

Verbs: Forming the present tense (pages 126-130) updated!

Forming the past tense in Yiddish (including verbs with separable prefix) new!

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Filed under Yiddish materials 2: language and grammar

Nuremberg Trials (materials held by Library of Congress)

These pages hosteed by the US Library of Congress give full access to the following sources:

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Holocaust Timeline (The History Place)

This is a useful resource, especially for reserachers coming to study the Holocaust for the first time. It is detailed, with ample links to additional pages. Although aimed squarely at bright school leaving students (as far as I can tell), it nonethless has much material that you will find useful for this module.

Click here to access the site.

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Compact Memory: Internet Archive for Jewish Periodicals (German)

This site links to 1000s of facsimiles of Jewish periodicals from the 18th, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in German. Each journal entry is accompanied by key descriptions of the publication history of the journal, its thematic, the quality of the images scanned and the status of the original.

For German speakers, this is an extremely useful resource.

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Voices of the Holocaust: David Boder’s interviews of Holocaust survivors

David P. BoderThis site give access to many of David P. Boder’s recordings of interviews he conducted with Holocaust survivors.

In 1946, Dr. David P. Boder, a psychology professor from Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology, traveled to Europe to record the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words. Over a period of three months, he visited refugee camps in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, carrying a wire recorder and 200 spools of steel wire, upon which he was able to record over 90 hours of first-hand testimony. These recordings represent the earliest known oral histories of the Holocaust, which are available through this online archive. (from the site)

The site gives a wide range of useful background contextualisation to the project as well. Extremely valuable resource.

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Filed under Holocaust testimonies, Other resources, Yiddish materials 4: primary sources

Some Yiddish texts available online

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Avrom (Ahraham) Sutzkever’s poetry in translation

Abraham Sutzkever (Yiddish: אַבֿרהם סוצקעווער — Avrom Sutskever; Hebrew: אברהם סוצקבר; July 15, 1913 – January 20, 2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish poet. The New York Times wrote that Sutzkever was “the greatest poet of the Holocaust.”

Click here to read some of his work in English translation.

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Filed under Yiddish materials 4: primary sources

Yiddish Book Center, Amherst Massachusetts

This site is extraordinary – it has a searchable portal of the complete holdings of the Yiddish Book Center, and contains 11,000 digitally scanned and freely available books, some useful video classes in Yiddish conversation and an online bookstore. Absolutely indispensable resource.

  • Click here to access Yiddish conversation classes ‘a smek yidish’ delivered by Yuri Vedenyapin
  • Click here to access the searchable database (use the keyword search if you don’t know how to spell the Yiddish word or term you’re looking for)

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Dovid Katz’s page

Excellent resource. Katz is a leading Yiddish scholar now based in Vilnius. He has published widely on Yiddish linguistics and Yiddish language and culture. The site contains links to unpublished work and out of print books and articles.

“Katz has been an outspoken critic of the presentation of Holocaust history in the national historical narrative of Lithuania, condemning it as aiming at both mitigating the extent of local involvement in the tragedy and trivializing and obfuscating the Holocaust.” (fromt the Wikipedia entry on Katz)

Click here to acces his site.

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Yizker bikher (memorial books)

The Public Library of New York gives direct online access to hundreds of Jewish memorial books, some in Yiddish, some in Hebrew:

Click here to access them.

Click here to read more about Yizker Bikher.

“Yizker-bikher are commonly understood, both by scholars and community members, as substitute gravestones for martyrs who never received proper Jewish burial. The scope of the genre is unprecedented and commensurate with the Jewish disaster in the Holocaust.” (YIVO website)

“In the wake of the events of 1933-1945, the yizkor book re-emerged as one of the most important elements in Jewish literary endeavor for a whole generation. The rise of this quintessentially medieval genre and its return to the forefront in the twentieth century can serve as a pair of matching bookends for northern Europe’s lengthy run as one of the poles of global Jewish civilization.” (New York Public Library website)

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Bilingual dictionaries

Below is a link to an excellent online resource, which I recommend you use for any primary source reading you will be doing for this module. It is comprehensive and also has full transliterations (according to the YIVO system) of all entries. You can also search either in Hebrew or Latin letters. Excellent interface and clear results fiche:

Yiddish Dictionary Online/ייִדיש ווערטערבוך אויפֿן וועב

The most comprehensive Yiddish-English-Yiddish dictionary in print is Uriel Weinreich’s, 1968 repr. 1977, published by Schocken Books. Click here to find a copy.

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Grammar of the Yiddish Language

Here is a pdf of Dovid Katz’s Grammar of the Yiddish Language, still by far the most comprehensive and reliable grammar. It cointains detailed gudance on phonetcs, noun genders and plural formation, cases, verbal conjugations in all moods, periphrastic verbs, adjectives, syntax and semantics.

It is currently out of print:


see also:

J Mazin’s A manual and grammar of the Yiddish language (1927)

See also the Yiddish language learning bibliography here.

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Videos for reading and writing practice

Here are the videos that take you through the alphabet:

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