Currently making my way through Colloquial Yiddish.
Unpolished study notes
Yiddish knows three main dialects as well as a formalized language:
- Northeastern or Lithuanian Yiddish
- Central or Polish Yiddish
- Ukrainian Yiddisk
- Standard Yiddish originated in the 20th century, largely based on the pronunciation of Northeastern Yiddish, while retaining some pronunciation from the other two
The Yiddish alphabet consists of the Hebrew letters already known to me, with a few notable differences:
- The diacritic niqqud signs used both in Hebrew learning materials isn’t used in Yiddish, aside from a number of signs used to distinguish between various pronunciations of the same letter. For me, it’s more straightforward than the fairly intricate niqqud system.
Some notes on script and pronunciation:
- The yud neighboring vowels is a
j, otherwise as an
- Much like Hebrew, Yiddish uses a shtumer alef as a booster seat for vowels at the beginning of a work
Chirek yud helps distinguish between the
jsounds, so that Yiddish can be spelled יידיש.