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Saving Jewish Languages: Yiddish to Judeo-Tat

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Wherever Jews have settled, they have adopted local languages and added a Jewish twist – from Yiddish and Ladino to the lesser-known varieties such as Judeo-Tat (Azerbaijan and Dagestan) and Judeo-Malayalam (Southern India). Over the past two centuries, migration and other turbulent historical events have transformed – and threatened – these traditional languages.

The European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) organized a webinar recently to investigate.

Our findings were surprising. Some supposedly-endangered, historic Jewish languages continue to thrive as spoken languages or objects of affection, while new dynamic ones have emerged, including Jewish English, Jewish Latin American Spanish, and Jewish Russian.

Let’s start with Yiddish. It is flourishing in Hasidic communities around the globe and receives serious attention as an academic subject. “Yiddish is not an endangered language,” said........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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