Yiddish originated in German as spoken by Jews; since the later eighteenth century it has been based on dialects spoken to the east of Germany proper. It is written in an adaptation of the Hebrew alphabet, with extra characters for use in writing the basic German-derived vocabulary, and loanwords taken from surrounding (mostly Slavonic) languages; several other letters are used only in words taken from Hebrew and Aramaic, which are spelled as in their languages of origin.
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