Re: [Cz-L] Litvak Yiddish

From: Miriam Taylor <>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2008 07:39:26 -0400
To: HARDY BREIER <>, Czernowitz <>
Reply-to: Miriam Taylor <>

Miriam (Mimi) Taylor <>

One of the main aims of the 1908 Yiddish conference was to decide
on a standard Yiddish grammar, spelling and pronunciation. An effort,
continued later by YIVO.

Litvak Yiddish is generally considered correct and literary Yiddish.
In Czernowitz we had our own pronunciation, terminology and for a while,
even our own spelling.

I have Yiddish letters written by my grandfather, in which many words
are spelled as they would have been spelled in German. For instance;
in a Yiddish word derived from German, where in German an "I" is followed
by an "e", my grandfather wrote a "jud" followed by an "eiyin".
At first I assumed that he did not know how to spell.
More recently I asked a Yiddish academic about this and he told me
that this was standard practice in Czernowitz and vicinity.


> Litvak Yiddish
> In the Soviet Education Ministry they had to decide which
> version of Yiddish will be accepted as the Standard Yiddish in which
> all the teaching books would be printed .
> They decided on Litvak Yiddish.
> This was the most beautiful version of Yiddish but it was not our Yiddish.
> Ours was Bukowina Yiddish a branch of the Galizianer Yiddish oriented
> on Austria German whenever a term was missing.
> The Litwak version was based on Russian.
> Also pronunciation : Kumetz Alef we pronounced "u" the litvaks "o".
> Thus we said : "Wus" and the Litvaks "Wos."
> We said "mir senen" for we are ,the Litvaks said " mir saynen".
> For explosion we said "explozie" the Litvaks " Oifreiss".
> Bullets we called "Kugeln" they said "Koyln".
> Also the writing : They abolished the end letters from the Hebrew
> alphabet . They made the alphabet phonetic attributing letters
> for vowels ( In Hebrew there aren't any). The "Ayn" became "e ".
> They abolished letters like the " Taf" for "t ". They had the "
> Tet" instead.
> They had no use for the " Chet " they used " Khaf".
> Very practical innovations , I wish we had them in the modern Hebrew
> today.
> But by doing so we would loose the ability to read the Bible in
> the original and this is not admissable.
> Hardy

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Received on 2008-07-03 11:39:26

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