Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode unicode at
Sat Nov 10 19:49:46 CST 2018

On 11/10/18 10:28 AM, Beth Myre via Unicode wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> Are we sure this is actually Yiddish?  To me it looks like it could be 
> German transliterated into the Yiddish/Hebrew alphabet.
> I can spend a little more time with it and put together some examples.
> Beth

Is there really a difference?  In a very real sense, Yiddish *IS* a form 
of German (I'm told it's Middle High German, but I don't actually have 
knowledge about that), with a strong admixture of Hebrew and Russian and 
a few other languages, and which is usually written using Hebrew 
letters.  There's probably something like a continuum with "Yiddish" and 
"German" as ranges or points.

Is the text *standard* German written with Hebrew letters?  I don't 
think so.  Let's see, on the next-to-last page, end of first paragraph, 
I see the phrase אויטאָריטא̈טען בעקרא̈פֿטינג, which would transliterate 
to "oytoritäten bekräfting"—with umlauted "a", but "oy-" instead of 
"au-" at the beginning.  OK, I know in German "au" can be pronounced 
"oy-" sometimes (I think), but at least implies that this isn't 
the usual/standard pronunciation (I make no claims as to expertise in 
German).  The text is littered with terms like בי״ד, abbreviation for 
Hebrew בית דין, "house of judgment" or legal court, pronounced in 
Yiddish "beisdin", or פסק (can't be German as it has no vowels!) meaning 
"legal decision," from Hebrew—Hebrew-derived words in Yiddish do not 
change their spelling, as a rule.  There are definitely German spelling 
features that are not found in later spellings, for example, double 
letters in German are written double in the Yiddish spelling too, which 
is quite unusual (you're used to letters in Hebrew never being silent or 
even geminate, but always having at least a semi-syllable sound between 
like letters, except in special cases, so it seems striking to see אללע 
for a simple two syllables).

So I'm not sure if there's a *real* answer to your question, but it does 
look to me like this isn't "normal" German, at least.  And would it 
matter, anyway?


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