Yiddish is a Germanic language spoken by about three million people throughout the world, predominantly Ashkenazi Jews. The name Yiddish itself is Yiddish for “Jewish” (compare German jüdisch) and is likely an abbreviated rendition of yidish-taytsh (compare German jüdisch-deutsch) or “Jewish German”. Its earliest historical phase (13th-14th centuries), was formerly referred to as Judeo-German. This designation was rejected by Max Weinreich who pointed out that it overlooked the fact that Yiddish from its inception was an autonomous system analogous to other Jewish languages.

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