July 26, 2013
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
Yiddish is not the easiest language in the world for which to find free study materials online. So far, despite some drawbacks, Quizlet has been my favorite Yiddish-vocabulary-practice source and is something I keep finding myself playing around with in the wee hours of the morning.
As is also the case on FlashcardExchange.com, Quizlet users worldwide post their own study materials, which you can then yourself use for free. I have so far preferred the Quizlet materials for Yiddish over what I found for Yiddish on FlashcardExchange.com, though that has not generally been the case for other languages. However, I have not undertaken a scientific comparison of the two sites for any language; I am merely describing my impressions to date, and they may change in the future.
With respect to Yiddish on the Internet, one problem is that so many of the available Yiddish materials and quizzes are annoyingly cutesy introductions to colorful Yiddish words that have made their way into English. If you are actually trying to learn Yiddish and not Yiddish-influenced English, you have to navigate these linguistic creampuffs, fun though they may be, to find harder-core study materials.
I am using Quizlet primarily to acquire Yiddish vocabulary and improve my Yiddish reading skills, but I also used it and liked it fairly well for Yiddish alphabet skills.
A major Yiddish goal for me is to be able to read the Hebrew letters faster. Unfortunately, most of the flashcard sets on Quizlet use romanizations, so I have had to scour the list of available Yiddish Quizlet collections for ones that are written using the Hebrew alphabet. I also try to focus on collections that contain a reasonable number of cards (20+ works well); many flashcard posters seem to run out of posting energy after just a few cards.
As is frequently the case with user-contributed content, there are mistakes, so navigate with care.
When I find a Yiddish card collection I like, I tend to click “Test” and skip all the other Quizlet functions. You can select the test format and number of questions you want; I am currently partial to matching questions, where I get 20 Yiddish words and phrases and 20 English words and phrases and I have to match them correctly.
Quizlet has many other languages on its site.