Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ukrainian Yiddish


Does anyone know where I can find a chart which shows how to pronounce Yiddish letters according to the Southeastern (Ukrainian) dialect?

11 Comments:

At July 29, 2009 at 10:39:00 AM EDT, Anonymous R' Shlomo Slatkin said...

I have an 87 page little book called Hebrew in Ashkenaz: a language in exile. edited by Lewis Glinert, Oxford University Press, 1993. It is not quite a chart but an academic kuntres. It describes the different dialects and the controversy surrounding pronunciation. It also compares words and how they were pronounced in the different dialects

 
At July 29, 2009 at 10:43:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Please, please! Use your ears! Yiddish and Yiddishkeit aren't only learned from books, but from experience. Talk to your Rebbe in Yiddish, or at least listen to his, and others that speak that way, carefully, and you'll get it!

 
At July 29, 2009 at 10:45:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

R' Slatkin: Did you find it to be a useful or interesting read?

Yitz: I wish I could, however I am not arround a lot of Yiddish speakers. Perhaps if I could improve if I got a hold of some Yiddish shiurim...

 
At July 29, 2009 at 10:48:00 AM EDT, Anonymous schneur said...

The person who would know if such exits is Dovid Hirshe Katz at the University in Vilna. He is THE expert Yiddish linguist in the world as I see it.
Also check he Atlas of Yiddish Linguistics edited by Dr. Marvin Herzog.
Finally the Ukraine had a tremendous number of immigrants from Lita and White Russia many of whom were Anshe Chabad like the father of the last Lubavitcher rebbe who moved there from the Vitebsk region. They continued to speak the Northern Yiddish dialect. These people and the fact that many of the Ukrainian rbbis and melamdeim were Litoim Anshe Lita (like rabbi Yerucehm Diskin son of the Mahril Diskin) influenced the way Hebrew and Yiddish were pronounceced even by native speakers, so one has to be careful in assuming anything without much cauton.

 
At July 29, 2009 at 11:03:00 AM EDT, Anonymous friend said...

I find this whole Ukraine thing a bit troubling. Why the need to speak EXACTLY like your antecedents 100+ years ago?

and if you speak like an Hungarian or Russian or Lithuanian the world would come to an end?!

 
At July 29, 2009 at 1:36:00 PM EDT, Blogger bahaltener said...

I fully support you in your interest for your dialect. Amongst Yiddish speaking crowd today the general attitude is to encourage preserving original dialects and not adopting common ones (like generic Hungarish/Polish or Litvish which became two major "players" today). This is simply because other dialects are almost gone, and therefore preserving them is worthwhile. Speaking to others doesn't always help to learn a given dialect, if so few people use it! But it helps in general to learn the language.

Polish/Hungarish Yiddish is prevailing in USA today, and Litvish one in Eretz Yisroel. Real Ukranish Yiddish (Podolish/Volynish) is used only by few today. Even though I've heard that in Eretz Yisroel, Litvish Yiddish was normative in Yerusholaim, and Ukrainish in Tzfas and Tveria. However it seems that the later became used less and less – you can ask someone from Tzfas about it.

In general, the difference between Polish and Ukrainish dialects is, that Tzeyre is pronounced as “AY” in Polish, and as “EY” in Ukrainish. Podolisher Yiddish also uses “O” for Pasoch, i.e. saying “Shobbes” and not “Shabbes” etc. The rules for Komatz are somewhat confusing (though they are the same for Polish and Ukrainish dialects). In Ukrainish/Poylish Loshn Koydesh if it is a closed syllable, Komatz is pronounces as “O” if it is an open syllable, as “U”. (Don't think about American English sounds though, which are usually pronounced for “O” and “U” when I write “O”, “U” etc. it will be misleading and too confusing). I'm talking about Yiddish sounds. So it will be “burich” and “atu” - open syllable - u, with “oylom” (not “oylum”) - closed syllable. In Yiddish however this rule is different and I don't know if it is formalized – so the only way to get it is to ask or to hear the right pronunciation. (May be there is a rule – I don't know it).

There is also more to it with different nuances (for vowels difference betwin Ukrainish, Litvish, Poylish and Hungarish) and I don't know all of them. I know one Yiddish teacher who is an expert in dialects. There is also an interesting site which collected many live recording of Yiddish speakers with different dialects from different locations. This helps a lot to learn some details:

http://www.eydes.de/index/li/li.html
http://www.eydes.de

As for shiurim, there are shiurim from Reb Michel Zilber (Roysh yeshiva Zvil). He speaks in Volynish Yiddish. You can get his shiurim on Mishna and Gemoro (as digital files) from “Torah Tapes” archive.

 
At July 29, 2009 at 2:37:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

Try this Yiddish dialectical map:
http://www.eydes.org/soundflash/netscape.htm
I came across it some time back and blogged about it.

I'd be interested in seeing your response to what friend wrote by the way.
An easy fast to all!

 
At July 29, 2009 at 2:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Mottel:

Thanks! By the way, why would you be interested to see my response. Isn't obvious that we just have differences of opinion.

I don't think the world would come to an end. I am just interested as a matter of historical research to find out more about the dialect in Sudilkov and as such will plan to ask the Sudilkover Rebbe about it when I get the opportunity.

 
At July 29, 2009 at 2:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

I'd like to understand your reasons as well - both ways of looking at the matter have their merits . . .
I think there is much historical interest in the matter. That being said, I don't think their's a kuntz in davka speaking the way one's forebears did.

 
At July 30, 2009 at 11:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger bahaltener said...

That being said, I don't think their's a kuntz in davka speaking the way one's forebears did.

Is there a kuntz not to?-)

 
At April 1, 2015 at 1:25:00 AM EDT, Blogger Annur Ane said...

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