Yiddish in Helsinki and its Swedish component

Nordisk Judaistik. 2000;21(1-2) DOI 10.30752/nj.69573


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Nordisk Judaistik

ISSN: 0348-1646 (Print); 2343-4929 (Online)

Publisher: Donner Institute

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Judaism

Country of publisher: Finland

Language of fulltext: English, Danish, Swedish

Full-text formats available: PDF



Simo Muir (Helsinki)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Yiddish has been spoken in Helsinki since 1850s when the Jewish Cantonist soldiers and their families were allowed to settle in the town. The first generations born in Helsinki had the possibility to attend heders and a Talmud-torah where religious subjects were conducted in Yiddish. In the wake of Yiddishizm many Yiddish-speaking societies were founded before and after the First World War. My research attempts an analysis of Helsinki Yiddish and a survey of Yiddish culture in Helsinki. The material used for this paper comprises both written and oral stories. Most Yiddish speakers in Helsinki have been bilingual. The over hundred years of coexistence with Finnish-Swedish has given Helsinki Yiddish its own distinctive character, which deserves to be recorded and studied. Especially unique is the interference of Swedish morphology with its peculiarities.