Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

Seven(ish) Excellent, Very Good, Not bad, Super Useful Yiddish-English Dictionaries

April 12, 2023

While there are many resources for Yiddish speakers, readers, and learners, sometimes all you need is a good dictionary. The following are some of the most useful and comprehensive Yiddish-English dictionaries currently available.

The Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary, by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath and Paul Glasser

First published in 2016, this dictionary, based on the Lexical Research of Mordkhe Schaechter, has quickly become a go-to resource for Yiddish learners. The authors, Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath and Paul Glasser, are both Yiddish linguists who have been working to revitalize the language for years. The Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary includes over 50,000 entries and is considered the most extensive Yiddish-English dictionary currently available.

Online EditionBuy on Amazon

English-Yiddish/Yiddish English Dictionary, by Alexander Harkavy

Alexander Harkavy was a prolific Yiddish lexicographer who compiled several dictionaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The latest edition was published in 1928, and contains over 12,000 entries and is still widely used today.

The following are Harkavy's dictionaries in various editions and formats.

Buy on Amazon, 1928 edition

Download from the Yiddish Book Center

Online Indexed Version, 1910 edition, digitized by Raphael Finkel

Google Books, 1908 edition; searchable online version

The New Yiddish-English Dictionary, by Uriel Weinreich

Uriel Weinreich was a linguist and Yiddish scholar who wrote extensively on the language. Best known for his authoritative “College Yiddish,” his New Yiddish-English Dictionary, published posthumously in 1968, is considered a landmark work in the field. It contains over 25,000 entries and includes both standard and colloquial Yiddish.

Buy on AmazonGoogle Books (online, searchable)

Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary, by Solon Beinfeld and Harry Bochner

Published in 2013, this dictionary is adapted from the highly acclaimed Dictionnaire Yiddish-Français by Yitskhok Niborski and Bernard Vaisbrot, published in Paris in 2002. Augmented by an extensive user's guide, its user-friendly entries include words for standard and literary as well as contemporary colloquial and conversational usage and a wide range of terms from all sources of Yiddish, including those of Hebraic-Aramaic, Slavic, and Romance as well as Germanic origin.

This dictionary is also available online at its popular website: Verterbukh.org.

Online EditionBuy on Amazon

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish, by Benjamin Blech

While not strictly a dictionary, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish includes a comprehensive Yiddish-English glossary. The book, written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, is designed for beginners and provides a thorough introduction to the language.

Buy on Amazon

English-Yiddish-Hebrew Dictionary, by Alexander Harkavy

In addition to his Yiddish-English dictionaries, Alexander Harkavy also compiled an English-Yiddish-Hebrew Dictionary, first published in 1898, is still widely used today. It contains over 50,000 entries and includes both Yiddish and Hebrew translations for each word.

Find at Yiddish Book Center

Yiddish-English Lookup Dictionary, by Raphael Finkel

An extremely useful online lookup dictionary created by Raphael Finkel, a professor of computer science at the University of Oklahoma. Finkel is an enthusiastic proponent of Yiddish, and has created a number of online tools for computerized use of Yiddish. The Lookup Dictionary allows searching by English, Yiddish, or Yiddish transliteration using full or partial words. Finkel also has a web page with various Yiddish resources worth checking out, and is also the creator of the online, indexed version of Alexander Harkavy's 1910 dictionary, mentioned above.

Online Lookup Dictionary | Refoyels Yidish Veb-bletl (Raphael's Yiddish Web Page)