Alef-beys אלף-בית

The Hebrew alphabet as used in Yiddish

(Including YIVO Transcription)

Character Transcription Name Details
א ShTUMER ALEF silent; used initially before ‭ו, וּ,vocalic י,ױ, ײ, ײַ;‬ various pronunciations in w.h.o.*
אַ A PASEKh-ALEF similar to a in father
אָ O KOMETS-ALEF intermediate between aw of dawn and o of done
ב B BEYS
בֿ V VEYS same pronunciation as װ; w.h.o.* only
ג G GIML as in go
ד D DALET
ה H HEY
ו U VOV as in put
וּ U MELUPM-VOV used in the combinations ‭װוּ VU, וּװ UV, וּו UU and וּי UY‬
װ V TSVEY VOVN
ױ OY VOV YUD
ז Z ZAYEN
זש Zh ZAYEN ShIN like s in leisure
ח Kh KhES same pronunciation as כ; w.h.o.* only
ט T TES
י Y YUD consonant before or after a vowel
y mark of palatalization after the consonants ‭ד, ז, ט, ל, נ and ס‬
I vowel before or after a consonant
יִ I KhIREK-YUD vowel before another vowel, or after י
ײ EY TSVEY YUDN as in they
ײַ AY PASEKh TSVEY YUDN as in aye-aye
כּ K KOF same pronunciation as ק; w.h.o.* only
כ Kh KhOF pronounced like ch in German ach or Scottish Loch
ך Kh LANGE(R) KhOF form of כ used at the end of a word
ל L LAMED sometimes syllabic
Ly “soft L”; see section A 2.2 a
מ M MEM sometimes syllabic
ם M ShLOS-MEM form of מ used at the end of a word
נ N NUN sometimes syllabic
ן N LANGE(R) NUN form of נ used at the end of a word
ס S SAMEKh as in so
ע E AYEN as in bed; various pronunciations in w.h.o.*
פּ P PEY
פֿ F FEY
ף F LANGE(R) FEY form of פֿ used at the end of a word
צ TS TSADEK
ץ TS LANGE(R) TSADEK form of צ used at the end of a word
ק K KUF
ר R REYSh
ש Sh ShIN
שׂ S SIN same pronunciation as ס; w.h.o.* only
תּ T TOF same pronunciation as ט; w.h.o.* only
ת S SOF same pronunciation as ס; w.h.o.* only

*w.h.o. = words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin

English