Yiddish: Verbs

PocketWatch

Member
USA English
Yiddish is the native language of my grandparents and throughout my life I have grown up hearing many, many phrases and words. During the past few years when I became interested in linguistics, I wanted to learn more Yiddish. Does anyone know if there is a conjugation pattern for Yiddish verbs? I haven't been able to find this anywhere online or in books.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Regular verbs:

    redn (German for comparison)
    ikh red (ich rede)
    du redst (du redest)
    er/si/es redt (er/sie/es redet)
    mir redn (wir reden)
    ir redt (ihr redet)
    zey redn (sie reden)

    Here are our Yiddish resources. :)
     

    übermönch

    Senior Member
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    I am afraid there's no good source for Yiddish verb conjugation in English anywhere (close) on the internet, you should look for the grammar book by Solomon Birnbaum. I myself don't speak the language, but my grandpa does and I also came in extensive contact with it during a trip to Israel. Despite being genetically a close relative of the German language (having splitted off from a common ancestor in the 12th century) it shares more common traits with English.
    Most Germanic verbs follow the red- pattern described by Jana, some however have the -en ending in 1st and 3rd person plural. F.e. arayngeyen (to enter)
    Mir geyen arayn
    ...
    Zey geyen arayn
    'To be', zayn is conjugated irregularly, hobn(to have) is too, to some extent. The forms for zayn are bin, bist, iz, zenen, zent, zenen; hobn would be hob, host, hot, hobn, hot, hobn. Past is expressed with either hobn (I have eaten = ikh hob gegesn) or zayn (He has been/gone = Er iz geven/gegangen) depending on the verb in question.
    The future, much like in english, is expressed with 'veln' + the infinitive (I will be=Ikh vil zayn). The forms of veln are regular, except for there is no suffix in 3rd person singular. That's enough for the beginning I guess! :)
     

    PocketWatch

    Member
    USA English
    Regular verbs:

    redn (German for comparison)
    ikh red (ich rede)
    du redst (du redest)
    er/si/es redt (er/sie/es redet)
    mir redn (wir reden)
    ir redt (ihr redet)
    zey redn (sie reden)

    Here are our Yiddish resources. :)
    Oh, I will take a look at those resources. The above conjugations with the red are Yiddish and the parentheses are German?
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Yes, the red letters are Yiddish endings (red- is a stem) and parentheses are German.
     
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