My Jewish Learning

Jewish Languages Quiz

From Hebrew to Aramaic, Ladino, Yiddish, and Judaeo-Arabic--how much do you know about the languages that Jews spoke in the past and continue to speak today?

Question 1. Who developed a vocabulary for modern Hebrew by incorporating words from ancient and medieval Hebrew, in addition to creating new words?
 Mendele Mokher Seforim
 Eliezer ben Yehuda
 Moses Mendelssohn


Question 2. Prior to the Holocaust, what percentage of world Jewry spoke Yiddish?


Question 3. When did editions of the Judeo-Spanish Bible translations first appear?
 14th century
 15th century
 16th century
 17th century


Question 4. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, Ladino was almost always written in
 A mix of characters from Hebrew and Spanish
 Spanish characters only
 Aramaic characters
 Hebrew characters with some modifications


Question 5. Jewish Neo-Aramaic texts are written in Hebrew, but:
 From left to right
 With a new set of vowels
 The spelling is phonetic
 Only use 20 out of the 26 Hebrew characters


Question 6. Judah Monis, the first full-time Hebrew instructor in American, taught at which university?
 University of Michigan
 Brandeis University
 Harvard University
 Yale University


Question 7. 7. Which of the following is NOT a similarity between Hebrew and Yiddish?
 The two languages share the same alphabet.
 Both are Semitic languages, belonging to the Afroasiatic family of languages
 Both languages are read from right to left.
 Neither language uses capital letters.


Question 8. How is Hebrew written?
 From left to right
 From right to left
 From above to below
 From below to above


Question 9. What do the Hebrew letters khaf, mem, nun, pey, and tzade have in common?
 They are all hard to pronounce for non-native Hebrew speakers
 They are all considered late additions to the Hebrew alphabet
 They are all written differently when they are at the end of a word
 They are the most common letters in the Tanakh


Question 10. Which of these Jewish thinkers berates modern Jews for neglecting the Hebrew language and, in so doing, becoming Jewishly illiterate?
 Leon Wieseltier
 Jenna Weissman Joselit
 Joseph Soloveitchik
 Abraham Geiger