Zarphatic language

צרפתית Tzarfatit
Native toFrance, Germany
Extinct14th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3zrp

Zarphatic, or Judeo-French (Zarphatic: Tzarfatit), is an extinct Jewish language that was spoken by the French Jews of northern France and in parts of west-central Germany, such as Mainz, Frankfurt am Main and Aix-la-Chapelle. It was also spoken by French Jews that moved to Norman England.[2]


The term Zarphatic, coined by Solomon Birnbaum,[3] comes from the Hebrew name for France, Tzarfat (צרפת), which had been used in the Hebrew Bible name for the city of Sarepta, in Phoenicia. Some have conjectured that the language was the original language of the Jews who eventually adopted Old High German, which led to the development of Yiddish.[citation needed]