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Can someone who speaks Yiddish and someone who speaks German communicate? Watch

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    If they can have a perfectly coherent conversation should Yiddish be called a language in its own right or not?
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    I'd probably say no, they wouldn't be able to understand each other but I might be wrong. I would say Yiddish is a language but it's a dying one. Get to learn basic Yiddish next semester
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    I guess the argument could draw some lines between other Judaeo- languages found in Europe and their 'parent' language. If Ladino can be understood by someone Spanish, does that then make it a dialect? Since it derives from Old Spanish, would that imply a mal-use of the language, thus rendering it a patois (by the true definition of patois - clumsy speech)?

    The same, then, can be said of Yiddish -- if a German person can understand Yiddish, then surely it's just a dialect of German rather than a fully-fledged language? And, if one can look back and say "Yes, this is a Middle/High German word that fell out of use," then surely one could argue that it is a form of patois?

    If you watch something like this you might be able to decide how close to the wire it is. As a non-German speaker, I couldn't say; when I've read transliterated Ladino, though, I always feel like it's quite close to just being a Spanish dialect (in the same way you could call Galician a Portuguese dialect -- very close, but not quite there.)
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    (Original post by sweeed)
    If they can have a perfectly coherent conversation should Yiddish be called a language in its own right or not?
    Well, they can't.:dontknow:
    They might be able to have a very basic conversation on a matter which isn't too complex, but there'd be a lot of educated guesses on both sides, and some of those guesses would be wrong.
    I'm a German speaker, and if you gave me a text in Yiddish, I'd probably get the gist of it, and I might even be able to identify a couple of words correctly, but others would leave me completely stumped. I'd probably make quite a few wrong guesses as well, because a word which looks like, or very similar to, a German word needn't actually mean the same thing, because the two languages have evolved separately. Also, as far as I know, Yiddish isn't purely based on German; there are several other linguistic influences, and I'd be completely hopeless with identifying a term based on a word from Russian or Hebrew or whatever.

    So on the basis of that, I don't see how it could not be called a language in its own right...
    Edit:
    (Original post by CatatonicStupor)
    If you watch something like this you might be able to decide how close to the wire it is.
    I can understand that, but only because those are fairly basic sentences pronounced very carefully, and I have the benefit of seeing it written, hearing it pronounced and having an English translation. If I had had just the text and/or the sound file, or the speaker had been speaking at a normal speed, it would have been a great deal harder.
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    i am german and i definitely dont understand yiddish...maybe some single words but its not like latin and italian.
 
 
 
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