Yiddish: Why don't people pass it down?


Senior Member
Am. English
Why don't people pass the language down as much anymore? I meet many people who say they know a little, but there parents never taught them. Is there a stigma associated with it? And is there any prestige with the language or is it better to assimilate.
  • albondiga

    Senior Member
    I'm guessing that part of this has to do with the fact that, in the times and places when/where Yiddish was widely spoken as a native tongue, it was impossible for Jews to be equal and blend in with other members of society... they were forced to be distinct and separate, and so a distinct and separate dialect/language developed...

    Nowadays, the descendants of Central and Eastern European Jews (i.e., the ones who spoke Yiddish as a native tongue) can more or less blend in with the societies where they live in the US, UK, France, Israel, etc. There are communities where native Yiddish speakers are still being born and bred, and these are generally the Hassidic communities that maintain themselves the type of separation that was forced on their ancestors in another time and place... they stay separate, and they keep the separate language; almost everyone else integrates with the local society, and adopts the local language...
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