This article originally appeared in the Yiddish Forverts.
Forverts readers, whether fluent Yiddish-speakers or students just beginning to master the language, often write in asking how one might say a certain word in the mame-loshn.
Usually the word in question will be related to a topic in the news or an approaching holiday. Our standard reply is to consult the new English-Yiddish dictionary.
Sometimes, however, you may want to learn all of the vocabulary related to a topic in the news. For that, your best bet is to check out the League for Yiddish’s Facebook page, where the organization posts its “Yiddish Words of the Week.” Recently, for instance, they posted a list of Yiddish terms related to immigration. From the list you will learn how to discuss Donald Trump’s - “nul-tolerants-politik” on “azil-zukher” which lead to “mishpokhe-tseteylung.” (In English: “Zero-tolerance policy,” “asylum seekers” and “family separation.”)
On a more upbeat topic, you can discuss the World Cup with your Yiddish-speaking friends. From a list of words related to the soccer competition you’ll learn terms like “frayer shos” (goal kick), “toyer” (goal) and, of course, “Veltbekher” — ”World Cup.”
And should Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or another eccentric billionaire decide to send a “bamenshtn” (manned) rocket to “arumorbitirn” (orbit) the earth you’ll, be able to discuss what the “astronoytn” are up to in their “hermitisher kabine,” or pressurized cabin.