Have you ever noticed that the German language has a lot of words from Hebrew? Maybe you’re wondering : “But how is that possible? German and Hebrew are extremely different languages!”
Sure, but most Jewish people in Central and Eastern Europe used to speak the Yiddish language, a Germanic language (similar to German), which contains many Hebrew words. Some of them entered the German language, and we still use them today.
Have a look at these beautiful examples:
- “zocken” = to play and “abzocken” = “to rip off” → from Hebrew “sehoq”
- “Bammel haben” = to fear → from Hebrew “Baal Ema” = Lord of the fear
- “geschlaucht sein” = to be exhausted → from Hebrew “schlacha” = throw down to the ground
- “etwas vermasseln” = to muddle → from Hebrew “Mazal” = luck
- “Tacheles reden” = to talk straight → from Hebrew “Tachles” → sense
Do you know some more German words with Hebrew or Yiddish origin?
Could you form sentences in which you use those words?