Translating COVID-19 information into Yiddish for the UK Hasidic community

Zoe Belk, Lily Okalani Kahn, Kriszta Eszter Szendrői, Sonya Yampolskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article documents a recent project translating COVID-19 information into Yiddish for the benefit of the Hasidic Jewish communities in London’s Stamford Hill and in Manchester in the UK. The translation work developed as a response to the urgent need for Yiddish-language resources specifically designed for the Hasidic community near the beginning of the pandemic. The translations were undertaken by a team consisting of linguists and native speakers of Hasidic Yiddish and took place within the framework of a research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, dedicated to linguistic and sociolinguistic analysis of contemporary Hasidic Yiddish worldwide. In this article we discuss the sociolinguistic background to the translations and investigate the reasons why they were so urgently needed, before going on to address the issues encountered during the course of the translation process and the decisions taken in order to resolve them. These issues include the type of Yiddish chosen for the translations, the translation of medical terminology, gender-based linguistic differences affecting the translations, and specific cultural considerations that needed to be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLinguistics Vanguard
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Zoe Belk et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston


  • COVID-19 linguistics
  • Hasidic
  • United Kingdom
  • Yiddish
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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