Yiddish course for beginners in Vilnius

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Between October 10, 2019 – January 22, 2020 a Yiddish course for beginners, jointly organized by the WJC Yiddish Center and Vilnius Jewish Public Library, took place at the library premises.

The course was conducted on the basis of the Lithuanian language by a young teacher, Saulė Valiūnaitė, who had learned Yiddish in Vilnius and other European centers. Now she heads the Litvak Culture and Identity exposition at Vilna Gaon State Jewish museum.

The course comprised 15 weekly lessons of 2 academic hours each, which is equivalent to the standard academical term.

At the beginning 18 students were enlisted. Majority of the students needed Yiddish for their work in Lithuanian archives, museums and other cultural fields.

The course did not focus on speaking but rather on getting ability to understand how this language works and to use it in written form, to learn read as fluent as possible and to understand texts, tenses, to specify verbs, adjectives, nouns and so on. Each lecture had a new grammar topic, and students had opportunity to apply new knowledge of grammar in the exercises. After each lesson students used to get homework based on the new studied grammar issue.

Judging on those who came without any prior knowledge of Yiddish and the alphabet, most students made visible improvement.