Academic Yiddish course for beginners in Vilnius

Show 19 course

Between February 7 - May 23, 2019 the International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress in cooperation with the Vilnius Gaon State Jewish Museum carried on a Yiddish course for beginners in Vilnius.

22 people signed up for the course. Some of them need Yiddish for work in Lithuanian archives and museums and some work in cultural field; others decided to learn just out of curiosity.

The course comprised 15 weekly lessons of 2 academic hours each, which is equivalent to the standard academical term. It was conducted on the base of the Lithuanian language by a young teacher, WJC YC representative Saulė Valiūnaitė, who had learned Yiddish in Vilnius and other European centers.

This course did not focus on speaking but rather on getting the ability to realize how the language works and to use it in the written form: to learn reading as fluent as possible and to understand texts, tenses, differ verbs, adjectives, nouns, and numerals.

Each lesson featured a new grammar topic, the students having an opportunity to apply and master the acquired knowledge in exercises. After each lecture the students received a homework based on the new grammar issue.

As it frequently happens, not everyone managed to continue to the very end: only 14 students ended the whole course. After completing the studies and passing the exam, they have been granted academic credits to be recognized by any higher education institution. Anyway, that knowledge may serve as a background for further studies.

Here is a list of topics and texts studied during the course:

Alphabet (printed and handwritten letters)

Reading book for children "Yidishe kinder"

Verb conjugation (present tense: basic rules and exceptions)

Word order in a sentence

Direct questions

Gender of nouns

Singular and plural

Adjective endings when an adjective follows a noun

Nominative, Accusative and Dative cases

Personal different forms in different cases

Reading poem written in Vilna ghetto "Far vos iz der himl?"

The past tense with helping verbs hobm and zayn. Past participles.

Reading a story "An alter briv". Answering questions using the past tense.

The future tense.

Reading a text "Di yidishe neviim"

The habitual past tense

Review of tenses

Reading "Der zeyde dertseylt"

Adjectives: comparative and superlative grades

Reading a text "Shabes"

Verbs with stressed and unstressed prefixes

Reading a poem "Haynt in der fri"

Names of East European towns and countries.

Reading a text "Yidishe leyenerns un shrayberns"


Reading a text from the book "Vilne" by Sh. Dubnov "Dr. Shabad – der yidisher demokrat"