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Yiddish phrasebook

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Yiddish is spoken as a daily language in some parts of America, mostly in and around New York City, and in some parts of Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, and South America, as well as in Israel. While it is clearly related to German, it has a large admixture of words of Hebrew, Slavic, or other origin, making it not fully intelligible to native German speakers. As Yiddish is roughly 75% Germanic in origin, German speakers can understand a large part of it.

Yiddish is written with the same alphabet as Hebrew, with a few additional letters, and is written from right to left.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Yiddish has several dialects which differ in their vowel sounds and certain vocabulary items. Words of European origin are spelled out phonemically. On the other hand, words of Semitic (Hebrew and Aramaic) origin are written just as in the original Hebrew or Aramaic, without vowels. In many cases, you must learn how to pronounce these words in Yiddish on a word-by-word basis; you cannot necessarily work it out from their spelling, and they are mostly pronounced differently from Israeli Hebrew.

א shtumer alef 
silent; used before ו vov and י yud when they are vowels; e.g. איר (ir) you subj.
אַ pasekh alef 
father
אָ komets aleph 
orange
ב beys 
like bear
בֿ veys 
like volume; only used in words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin
ג giml 
like gone
ד daled 
like dog
ה hey 
like harp
ו vov 
like or or tune
וּ melupm vov 
used in place of ו vov when it appears beside װ tsvey vovn
װ tsvey vovn 
like violin
ױ vov yud 
like boy
ז zayin 
like zebra
ח khes 
like the Scottish Gaelic loch, German ach, or as in חנוכּה (khanuke); used only in words of Hebraic or Aramaic origin
ט tes 
like tuck
י yud 
like yet (as a consonant) or internet (as a vowel)
יִ khirek yud 
used beside another vowel instead of י yud, to show that it is to be pronounced separately; e.g. ייִדיש (yidish) Yiddish
ײ tsvey yudn 
like bay
ײַ pasekh tsvey yudn 
like pie
כּ kof 
like keep; used only in words of Hebraic or Aramaic origin
כ ך khof 
like loch
ל lamed 
like leave
מ ם mem 
like mother
נ ן nun 
like never
ס samekh 
like some
ע ayin 
like set
פּ pey 
like upon
פֿ ף fey 
like free
צ ץ tsadek 
like boots
ק kuf 
like coo, but further back in the throat
ר reysh 
voiced gargle as in French, can be pronounced as root
ש shin 
'shoe
שׂ sin 
like seem; only used in words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin
תּ tof 
like teeth; only used in words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin
ת sof 
like smooth; only used in words of hebrew or aramaic origin

Phrase list[edit]

Some phrases in this phrasebook still need to be translated. If you know anything about this language, you can help by plunging forward and translating a phrase.

Basics[edit]

Hello. 
שלום־עליכם (sholem-aleykhem)
Hello (in response to a "Hello") 
עליכם־שלום (aleykhem-sholem)
How are you? 
װאָס מאַכסטו? (Vos makhstu?) (informal) / װאָס מאַכט איר? (Vos makht ir?) (formal)
Fine, thank you. 
גוט, אַ דאַנק (Gut, a dank) גאָט צו דאַנקן (Got tsu danken) ברוך השם (Borukh Hashem)
What is your name? 
װי הײסטו? (Vi heystu? [informal])/ װי הײסט איר?(Vi heyst ir? [formal])
My name is ______ . 
איך הײס (Ikh heys ______.)
Nice to meet you. 
עס פֿרײַט מיר זיך צו קענען אײַך (Es frayt mir zikh tsu kenen aykh [formal]) עס פֿרײַט מיר זיך צו טרעפֿן דיך (Es frayt mir zikh tsu trefen dikh.)
Please. 
זײַט אַזױ גוט (Zayt azoy gut.)
Thank you. 
אַ דאַנק (A dank.)
You're welcome 
נישטאָ פֿאַרװאָס (nishto farvos)
Yes. 
יאָ (yo)
No. 
נײן (neyn)
Excuse me. (getting attention
ענטשולדיק (Entshuldik!)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
זײַט זשע מוחל (Zayt zhe moykhl! )
I'm sorry. 
Zayt mir moykhl (formal) זײַ מיר מוחל (Zay mir moykhl [informal].)
Goodbye 
זײַ געזונט (Zay gezunt) אַ גרוס אין דער הײם (A grus in der heym.)
Goodbye (informal
אַ גוטן (A gutn.)
I can't speak Yiddish [well]. 
(איך רעד נישט קײן אידיש (גוט (Ikh red nisht keyn Yidish (gut).)
Do you speak English? 
רעדסטו ענגליש Redstu English? (informal)/ רעדט איר ענגליש Redt ir English? (formal)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
איז עס דאָ עמעץ װאָס רעדט ענגליש Iz es do emetz vos redt english?
Help! 
הילף Hilf! גװאַלד Gvald!
Good morning. 
גוטן מאָרגן Gutn morgn.
Good evening. 
גאָטן אָװענט Gutn ovent.
Good night 
אַ גוטע נאַכט A gute nakht.
I don't understand. 
איך פֿאַרשטײ נישט (ikh farshtey nisht)
Where is the toilet? 
װוּ איז דער באָדצימער/דער װאַנעצימער Vu iz der bodtsimer?/ der vanetsimer?

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
Lozt mir aleyn! ( .)
Don't touch me! 
Rirt mikh nisht on! ( !)
I'll call the police. 
Ikh vet telefonirn di politsey. ( .)
Police! 
Politsey! ( !)
Stop! Thief! 
Hert oys! Gazlen! ( ! !)
I need your help. 
Ikh darf dayne hilf hobn. ( .)
It's an emergency. 
Es iz a noytfal. ( .)
I'm lost. 
Ikh bin farblondzhet. ( .)
I lost my bag. 
Ikh hob mayne tash farlirt. ( .)
I lost my wallet. 
Ikh hob mayn tayster farlirt. ( .)
I'm sick. 
Ikh bin krank. ( .)
I've been injured. 
Ikh hob a veytik. ( .)
I need a doctor. 
Ikh darf a doktor zen. ( .)
Can I use your phone? 
Meg ikh dayn telefon banitsn? ( ?)
Can I use your cell phone? 
Meg ikh dayne tselke banitsn? ( ?)

Numbers[edit]

(eyn)
(tsvey)
(dray)
(fir)
(finf)
(zeks)
(zibm)
(akht)
(nayn)
10 
(tsen)
11 
(elf)
12 
(tsvelf)
13 
(draytsn)
14 
(fertsn)
15 
(fuftsn)
16 
(zektsn)
17 
(zebetsn)
18 
(akhtsn)
19 
(nayntsn)
20 
(tsvantsik)
21 
(eynontsvantsik )
22 
(tsveyontsvansik)
23 
(drayontsvansik)
30 
(draysik)
40 
(fertsik)
50 
(fuftsik)
60 
(zektsik)
70 
(zibetsik)
80 
(akhtsik)
90 
(nayntsik)
100 
(hundert)
200 
(tsvey hundert)
300 
(dray hundert)
1,000 
(toyznt)
2,000 
(tsvey toysnt)
1,000,000 
(milyon)
1,000,000,000 
(milyard)
1,000,000,000,000 
(bilyon)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
(halb)
less 
( )
more 
(mer)

Time[edit]

now 
(atsind; itst)
later 
(shpeter)
before 
(eyder; fardem)
morning 
(morgn)
afternoon 
(nokhmitog)
evening 
(ovnt)
night 
(nakht)

Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
(eyn a zeyger in der fri)
two o'clock AM 
(tsvey a zeyger in der fri)
noon 
(mitogtsayt )
one o'clock PM 
(eyns a zeyger nokh mitog)
two o'clock PM 
(tsvey a zeyger nokh mitog)
midnight 
(mittennakht, khtsos, di halbe nakht )

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
(minut - מינוט )
_____ hour(s) 
(sho - שעה )
_____ day(s) 
(tog - teg [plural]) - (טעג ,טאָג )
_____ week(s) 
(vokh - vokhn [plural]) - װאָכן ,װאָך )
_____ month(s) 
(khoydesh - khadoshim [plural]) - חודשים ,חודש)
_____ year(s) 
(yor - yorns [plural]) - יאָרן , יאָר )

Days[edit]

today 
(haynt)
yesterday 
(nekhtn)
tomorrow 
(in morgn)
this week 
(dise vokh)
last week 
(fargangene vokh)
next week 
(kumedike vokh)
Sunday 
(zuntik)
Monday 
(montik)
Tuesday 
(dinshtik)
Wednesday 
(mitvokh)
Thursday 
(donershtik)
Friday 
(fraytik)
Saturday 
(shabes)

Months[edit]

January 
(yanuar)
February 
(februar)
March 
(marts)
April 
(april)
May 
(may)
June 
(yuni)
July 
(yuli)
August 
(oygust)
September 
(september)
October 
(oktober)
November 
(november)
December 
(detsember)

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

As with many words in Yiddish, colors often have different names due to a difference in dialect. The following colors will be named in both romanized Yiddish, followed by a hyphen (-) and the Yiddish spelling using the Hebraic alphabet.

black 
(schvarts) - (שוואַרץ )
white 
(vays) - (ווײַס)
gray 
(gro, groy) - (גרוי, גראָ )
red 
(royt) - (רויט )
blue 
(blo, bloy ) - (בלוי ,בלאָ )
yellow 
(gel) - (געל )
green 
(green) - (גרין )
orange 
(marants) - (מאַראַנץ )
purple 
(lila) - (לילאַ )
brown 
(broyn) - (ברוין) )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
(Vifl kost a bilet keyn ____?)
One ticket to _____, please. 
(Eyn bilet keyn ____, zayt azoy gut.)
Where does this train/bus go? 
(Vu geyt di ban/der oytobus?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
(Vu iz di ban/der oytobus keyn ____?)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
(Halt di ban/der oytobus in ____?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
(Ven fort di ban/der oytobus aroys far ____?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
(Ven vet di ban/der oytobus kumen in ____ on?)

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
(Vi gey ikh keyn ____?)
...the train station? 
(di banstatsye/di voksal)
...the bus station? 
(di opshtel)
...the airport? 
(dos luftfeld)
...downtown? 
(untershtot)
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the _____ hotel? 
( di hotel ____)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
(dos amerikanishe/kanadishe/oystralishe/britishe konsulat)
Where are there a lot of... 
(Vu iz dort fil ...)
...hotels? 
(hoteln)
...restaurants? 
(restoran)
...bars? 
(shenks)
...sites to see? 
(platsn tsu zen)
Can you show me on the map? 
(Megstu bavist mikh oyfn mape?)
street 
(gas)
Turn left. 
(farfort oyf links)
Turn right. 
(farfort oyf rekhts)
left 
( )
right 
( )
straight ahead 
( )
towards the _____ 
( )
past the _____ 
( )
before the _____ 
( )
Watch for the _____. 
( )
intersection 
( )
north 
( )
south 
( )
east 
( )
west 
( )
uphill 
( )
downhill 
( )

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
(Taksi!)
Take me to _____, please. 
(Brengt mikh keyn ____, zayt azoy gut.)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
(Vifl kost es tsu geyn keyn ____?)
Take me there, please. 
(Brengt mikh dortn, zayt azoy gut.)

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
( )
Does the room come with... 
( )
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
( )
...a telephone? 
( )
...a TV? 
( )
May I see the room first? 
( )
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
( )
...cleaner? 
( )
...cheaper? 
( )
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
( )
Please clean my room. 
( )
Can you wake me at _____? 
( )
I want to check out. 
( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )
Is there a house specialty? 
( )
Is there a local specialty? 
( )
I'm a vegetarian. 
( )
I don't eat pork. 
( )
I don't eat beef. 
( )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
( )
lunch 
( )
tea (meal
( )
supper 
( )
I want _____. 
( )
I want a dish containing _____. 
( )
chicken 
( )
beef 
( )
fish 
( )
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
( )
salad 
( )
(fresh) vegetables 
( )
(fresh) fruit 
( )
bread 
( )
toast 
( )
noodles 
( )
rice 
( )
beans 
( )
May I have a glass of _____? 
( )
May I have a cup of _____? 
( )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
( )
coffee 
( )
tea (drink
( )
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( )
beer 
( )
red/white wine 
( )
May I have some _____? 
( )
salt 
( )
black pepper 
( )
butter 
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
( )
It was delicious. 
( )
Please clear the plates. 
( )
The check, please. 
( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
( )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
( )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
( )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
( )
Cheers! 
( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
( )
That's too expensive. 
( )
Would you take _____? 
( )
expensive 
( )
cheap 
( )
I can't afford it. 
( )
I don't want it. 
( )
You're cheating me. 
( )
I'm not interested. 
(..)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
Can I have a bag? 
( )
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
( )
...toothpaste. 
( )
...a toothbrush. 
( )
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
( )
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )
...stomach medicine. 
... ( )
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
( )
...writing paper. 
( )
...a pen. 
( )
...English-language books. 
( )
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
(Ikh vil dingn an oyto.)
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
(opshtel/hert oyf)
one way 
(eyn veg)
yield 
(git nokh)
no parking 
(nisht parkirn)
speed limit 
(maksimum gikhkayt)
gas (petrol) station 
(gaz statsye)
petrol 
(petrol/petrolyum)
diesel 
(dizal)

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )
It was a misunderstanding. 
( )
Where are you taking me? 
( )
Am I under arrest? 
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
( )
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )

Learning more[edit]

This Yiddish phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!