Dictionaries for Intermediate & Advanced Readers of Classic Yiddish Literature





Solon Beinfeld and Harry Bochner (editors-in-chief), Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary, Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis 2013; [also: online version with registration]

French speaking users are directed to: Bernard Vaisbrot, Yitshok Niborski & Simon Neuberg,  Dictionnaire Yiddish-français (Medem: Paris 2002) 

See also Yiddish-English antecedents:

Alexander Harkavy, Yiddish-English-Hebrew Dictionary (New York 1928 and numerous photomechanical editions, also here; intro to 1988 Yivo edition

Uriel Weinreich, English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary (New York 1968 and photomechanical editions)

Aaron Bergman, Student’s Dictionary (edited by Itche Goldberg, New York 1968)



Yiddish-English: Prof. Raphael Finkel’s online dictionary.

Yiddish-Yiddish: the four completed volumes of Yudl Mark & Judah A. Joffe, The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language (original prints still findable):

Volume I (N.Y. 1961)   [PDF]

Volume 2 (N.Y. 1966)    [PDF]

Volume 3 (N.Y. & Jerusalem 1971)   [PDF]

Volume 4 (N.Y. & Jerusalem 1980)   [PDF]

Online digital searchable version  of all four volumes of the Mark-Joffe Yiddish-Yiddish dictionary  by Prof. Raphael Finkel

Note: Yudl Mark completed the set of index cards through to the end of the Yiddish alphabet. Hopefully these will all be scanned and put on line “as is” on a stable and professional website without “improvement and revision”  but with a maximum of added electronic search capacity.

Thesaurus:  Nahum Stutchkoff (Nokhem Stutshkov), Oytser fun der yidisher shprakh [Thesaurus of the Yiddish Language] (NY 1950). Original print edition still findable.

Digitized and latinized free online searchable version

The Semitic (Hebrew and Aramaic) Component in Yiddish:

Yisroel Shteynberg (Israel Steinberg, with the assistance of A. Roykhverger): Hebreízmen in Yidish  (Wroclaw 1949); Recommended for free download as PDF on your device and/or printout (print edition can be purchased from NYBC).

Note: Yisroel Shteynberg (1894-1970), native of Vonsove [Wąsowo], Poland (west of Poznan), poignantly dedicated his dictionary — destined to become the most important for the Semitic component in Yiddish for 21st century Yiddish students worldwide (primarily because of the thousands of full-phrase quotations from masters of modern Yiddish literature assembled over years of painstaking work) — to his father Avrom-Pinkhes, his children Zalmen and Rivke, and his Yiddish school pupils in Rutke ([Rutka], near Lomzhe [Łomża]), in Zaromb [Zareby Koscielne], in nearby Ostrov-Mazovyetsk [Ostrów Mazowiecka], and in Vasilkov ([Wasilków] near Bialystok), all of whom perished in the Holocaust. The author’s rights are asserted in Yiddish, Polish and English.

for advanced students also:

Yehoyesh and Ch. Spivak, Yidish vérterbukh (NY 1911)   [PDF]

Tsvi-Nisn Golomb, Mílim bilshóyni (Vilna 1910)   [PDF]

Sh. A. Soyfer, Verterbukh (Czernowitz 1920) [PDF]

Nehemiah Pereferkovitsh, Hebreízmen in Yidish (Riga 1929)   [PDF]

Nakhmen Krupin, Hantbukh fun hebreízmen in der yidisher shprakh (Buenos Aires 1957)  [PDF]

Compiled by Dovid Katz for students in his intermediate and advanced Yiddish literature courses seeking a short, selective list. Various instructors’ selective recommendations for this purpose (reading Yiddish literature) will differ. See what works best for you! This purpose is distinct from the variety of English-Yiddish dictionaries (and many other tools) important for developing active abilities in speaking and writing Yiddish. See the compiler’s in-progress Yiddish Cultural Dictionary: An English-Yiddish Lexicon (free online); and Schaechter & Glasser’s Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary.

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