Free language-learning app Duolingo now offers Yiddish lessons

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  • Duolingo is a free language-learning app we’ve recommended time and time again.
  • It now offers lessons in Yiddish, including key cultural phrases and examples.
  • Taking short, fun Yiddish lessons can help you connect with your family and culture.

If you’re just starting to explore a new language or want to easily build on what you already know, Duolingo is a fun, free, and low-key way to squeeze in a few minutes of practice every day. Using cute animations and short, gamified lessons, it’s one of our favorite apps for learning a new language, whether you’re brushing up on high school Spanish or French or learning Korean or Hindi for the first time.

And now, Duolingo just added Yiddish to its impressive roster of languages, which includes ones like Navajo, Swahili, and Scottish Gaelic. 

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One unique part of Duolingo is that it uses volunteer contributors to develop new courses. For its Yiddish course, Duolingo used “a team of dedicated contributors representing the three major Yiddish dialects and from a variety of backgrounds – from a civil engineer who grew up speaking Yiddish at home as a former member of the Hasidic community, to three Gen-Zers inspired by their heritage to carry on the tradition,” according to the company.

By relying on a pool of Yiddish speakers across different age groups and regions, the lessons feature culturally significant phrases and examples on top of the core grammar and vocabulary basics of Yiddish — which can be especially useful if users are taking the course to connect more with their family or culture.

Duolingo is free to download and use, though Duolingo Plus ($79.99 for a year) offers perks like an ad-free experience and downloadable lessons.

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