World news – Yale offers beginner Yiddish courses to meet language requirements


JTA – Yale will launch Yiddish courses for beginners this fall, allowing students to meet their language needs, according to the Yale Daily News.

Yiddish studies now offered at Ivy League US University focus on reading for translation and research purposes rather than the spoken Yiddish. The courses do not count towards language requirements, which means that students must take them as electives.

The beginner courses, which start in the fall, are likely to evolve into increasingly advanced courses in Yiddish as a spoken and written language.

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In the past few decades, younger Jews have become more interested in learning Yiddish. Just this week, Duolingo, the language learning app, added Yiddish to the list of languages ​​it offers on its app, and earlier this year the Yiddish Book Center released a new multimedia Yiddish textbook.

« Most of our peer institutions teach Yiddish and I have long felt that it is time for Yale to do the same, » said Maurice Samuels, chairman of Yale’s Judaic Studies program, told Yale Daily news in one email. « Yale is a center for the study of Jewish history, and the Holocaust and Yiddish are central to these disciplines. »

According to the thesis, the new course will focus on conversational language and include a variety of readings including love songs, poems, fairy tales and even tweets.

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