Google now translates Yiddish

By Marcus Dysch, September 3, 2009
Billy Crystal, who knows things sound better with a Yiddisher shrug

Billy Crystal, who knows things sound better with a Yiddisher shrug

Do you find yourself sitting in front of the computer desperately trying to remember whether you mean khaver or khazer in the email you are sending your bubbeh?

Well, platz no more. Google has launched a tool which translates English words and phrases into Yiddish, and vice versa, in seconds, eliminating unfortunate misunderstandings and leaving you ongeshtopt with new phrases.

The service — found at — also changes full web pages into Yiddish, meaning you can catch the latest news from the JC in language more traditionally spoken the shtetl than Stanmore.

Tom Stocky, Google’s director of product management, said: “At Google we believe that the internet is about enabling access to the world’s information in all of its languages.

“The launch of Google Translate in new languages makes it easier to access content from all over the web, even when it was written in a language that is not your own.”

But the English to Yiddish tool can be a bit meshuggeh. Many words without a direct translation from English are either ignored or changed into a close German alternative, or are simply adapted to sound more Yiddish. Website, for example, becomes verbzaytl, and terrorist turns into terorist.

For those with a bit of chutzpah, there is an option to suggest a better translation.

Dozens of other languages are available, meaning you can turn your Yiddish into Welsh, Turkish or even Arabic if you wish.You would be a shlemiel not to try it. Or do I mean shlemazl?

How did it do? Key phrases tried out

The referee is an idiot
Der shoyfet iz tsedreyt

You cut me up at the traffic lights
Du schnit mir af dem farker likht

It costs how much? Forget it!
Es kostn vi fil? Fargesn es!

I hope Stacey Solomon wins X-Factor
Ikh hofn Stacey Solomon gevinen Rontgen-Faktor

The Rabbi’s sermon was awful
Der rov droshe shreklekh

Have you heard about that idiot Ahmadinejad?
Hat ir oyshert arum der meshuganah Ahmadinejad?

Last updated: 3:09pm, September 6 2011