Knaanic (לשון כנען)

Knaanic is West Slavic Jewish language that was spoken mainly in Bohemia and Moravia (what is now the Czech Republic), and also in Poland, until the late Middle Ages. Knaanic was written with a version of the Hebrew script, and Knaanic inscriptions appeared on some coins minted in Ruthenia and Poland between the 9th and 16th centuries.

Knaanic is also used to refer to the language of Slavic-speaking Jews in Kievan Rus between the 11th and 13th centuries. Kievan Rus was a federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples in parts of modern day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

The name Knaanic comes from Knaan, which is what the Jewish people living east of the Elbe River were called. Knaan comes from Canaan כנען (kəna'an). The language is also known as Canaanic, Lešon kenaan, Judaeo-Czech or Judeo-Slavic.

It is thought that Knaanic was replaced by Yiddish after many Yiddish-speaking Askenazi Jews migrated to Knaanic-speaking areas. Evidence for this comes from the numerous Yiddish loan words of Slavic orgin that were no longer used in Czech, Polish or other Slavic languages at the time, and therefore probably came directly from Knaanic.

Knaanic script

Hebrew scripts for Knaanic

Download an alphabet chart for Knaanic (Excel)

Sample text (Lord's Prayer)

ותצי נש, כתרי יסו ונבסיח, אתי פסויצני יסת ימן ייח. אתי פרזיד כרלוסתוי ייח. אתי ס־סתן ייח ול יכ ונב, תכ ע נזמ. חלב נש וזדישי דיי נם דנס. א אדפסתי נם נש דלה, יכ ע מע אדפושתים נשם דלזיניכום. א נוודו נס ופכשני, אל וסובדי נס אד זלה. נבתי ייח יסת כדלוסתוי ע מצ ע סלו נויכאמן.



Votče naš, kterj jesv vnebesjeǩ, atja posvjecunj jest jimin jojiǩ. Atja przijde krolevstvoj jojiǩ. Atja se stan jojiǩ vola jak vnebe, tak i nzemi. Ǩleba naseho vzedejšij djaj nom dans. A odpustje nom naše dolih, jak a me odpuvštjome našim dolžnajkvom. A nvevodv nas vpokušenje, al vsvobedje nas od zleho.


Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Information about Knaanic provided by Michael Peter Füstumum


Information about KnaanicЕврейско-славянские_диалекты!topic/jewish-languages/7CmLCaXxT60

Languages written with the Hebrew script

Aramaic, Bukhori, Domari, Hebrew, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, Juhuri, Knaanic, Ladino, Mozarabic, Yiddish, Yevanic

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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