Origins of Yiddish – “Let’s Do Business!”
DNA suggests Yiddish began on the Silk Road
…the DNA of Yiddish speakers could have originated from four ancient villages in northeastern Turkey… Iranian and Ashkenazic Jews invented the language as they traded on the Silk Road….“Language, geography, and genetics are all connected,” …Yiddish originated over 1,000 years ago…Yiddish was established around the first millennium at a time when Jewish traders who were plying the Silk Road moved goods from Asia to Europe wanted to keep their monopoly on trade.
“They did this by inventing Yiddish—a secret language that very few can speak or understand other than Jews. Our findings are in agreement with an alternative theory that suggests Yiddish has Iranian, Turkish, and Slavic origins and explains why Yiddish contains 251 words for the terms ‘buy’ and ‘sell.’ This is what we can expect from a language of experienced merchants.”
…towards the end of the first millennium, Ashkenazic Jews may have relocated to Khazaria before moving into Europe half a millennium later after the fall of the Khazarian Empire, and during a time when the international trading networks collapsed. As Yiddish became the primary language of Ashkenazic Jews, the language began to acquire new words from other cultures while retaining its Slavic grammar…the language consists of made-up German words and a non-German grammar,” says Elhaik.
“Yiddish is truly a combination of familiar and adapted German words using Slavic grammar. In a sense the language uses the same premise as Yoda from the Star Wars movies. For example, Yoda’s language consists of common and made-up English words like ‘Wookie’ or ‘Jedi’ but the grammar is different—the words are used in a different order to what we are familiar with.”
“The linguistic data used are from Yiddish, which we assume was invented in Western Asia as a Slavic language with a largely German-like lexicon and a significant Iranian component on all levels of the language,”