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. 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


Question 2. Moses Mendelsshon was the first person to translate the Torah into which language?


Question 3. 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 4. Judah Monis, the first full-time Hebrew instructor in American, taught at which university?
 University of Michigan
 Brandeis University
 Harvard University
 Yale University


Question 5. When did Hebrew's primacy as a spoken language begin to diminish?
 After the destruction of the First Temple and the exile that followed
 After the destruction of the Second Temple and the exile that followed
 The end of the second millennium C.E.
 The arrival of the Jews in Canaan after wandering in the desert


Question 6. What language is the Kaddish prayer?


Question 7. Which is NOT a name for Ladino?


Question 8. True or false: Ashkenazic and Sephardic Hebrew differ in pronunciation, but are identical in written form.


Question 9. Rabbinic literature refers to Hebrew as lashon ha-kodesh, which means
 The only language
 The holy language
 The language of the Chosen
 God's language


Question 10. Where did Yiddish originate?
 The Soviet Union