Beth Myre via Unicode unicode at
Sun Nov 11 00:03:15 CST 2018

Hi Mark,

This is a really cool find, and it's interesting that you might have a
relative mentioned in it.  After looking at it more, I'm more convinced
that it's German written in Hebrew letters, not Yiddish.  I think that
explains the umlauts.  Since the text is about Jewish subjects, it also
includes Hebrew words like you mentioned, just like we would include *beit
din* or *p'sak* in an English text.

Here's a paragraph from page 22:

[image: Paragraph.jpg]

I (re-)transliterated it, and it reads:

Wir sind uns dessen bewusst, dass von Seite der Gegenpartei weder Reue(?),
noch Einsicht zu erwarten ist und dass sie die Konsequenzen dieser
rabbinischen Gutachten von sich abschüttelen werden mit der Motivierung,


That's just German.  Something like -

We know that we can't expect repentance or insight from the other party,
and that they will disregard the consequences of these rabbinical reports


I only know a little Yiddish (one semester a long time ago), but I think
Yiddish word order would be very different.  Also, 'we are' would be 'mir
zaynen' instead of 'wir sind,' 'and' would be 'un' instead of 'und,' etc.


On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 8:51 PM Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode <
unicode at> wrote:

> 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?
> ~mark
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Paragraph.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 181354 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Unicode mailing list