March 2013 Archives

new Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary

book cover

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the existence of a wonderful new Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary. There was a party at the Brookline Workmen's Circle this afternoon to celebrate, and I got to shmooze with several of the editors. We also picked up a copy of the dictionary to the house.

What makes this dictionary special is that it covers all terms used in Yiddish, not just the ones that Weinreich felt were ממש Yiddish. For someone learning the language, who doesn't also speak several Slavic languages, German, Polish, etc., this is an essential tool.

The dictionary is also available online. You don't need another book (or you can purchase the dictionary, and still have access to the words while on the road). See

I should also mention some disappointment with the Yiddish font. It is a reasonably well-designed "modern" (the style of type design popular around the turn of the last century) face, but I would have encouraged consideration of more recent alternatives such as Narkissim or Hadassah, or, if an old-style face was desired, to consider a premium commercial typeface. Still, the font is readable enough, and the existence of the book is a major joy. Let's leave it at that.

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