Wiktionary talk:About Yiddish

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I think I just more or less created a new transliteration standard. Is everyone OK with this? Our entries seem to deviate a lot, but does anyone know if they are mostly in YIVO transliteration or not? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:17, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

I have been using the YIVO standard for all transliterations of phonetically spelled words. Does your new standard deviate from YIVO? The biggest problem is transliteration of non-phonetic words (i.e. Hebrew words). We really need to come up with a standard for those since I have seen many inconsistencies regarding this. For example, should the Hebrew plural ending ־ים ‎(im) be transliterated in Yiddish as -im or -em (since the vowel is reduced to a schwa). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 08:43, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, looking back over it, I realize that it's actually almost identical to YIVO. You should be fine. I agree that Hebraized spellings are a mess, but the solution for those is to find the spelling used after the Soviet phonetic reform and substitute in that transliteration. I'm pretty sure they changed Hebraized ים– to Yiddishized עם–, but I'd have to check to be sure. By the way, we really need to run a dump analysis to check for any use of bare "פ" in Yiddish entry titles. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:18, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
We also need to decide what to do about unpointed Yiddish. It's not standard, but it seems to be quite common. I recently moved פעלד to פֿעלד without a redirect, but maybe פעלד should be listed as an alternative nonstandard form of פֿעלד. Also, the Hebrew drop-down character box needs to be expanded to include Yiddish characters, and since we aren't using ligatures except ײַ, that should be added and the other three removed. Hebrew doesn't need them, does it? —Angr 21:09, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I would advocate that we add a section here that says that unpointed forms can only be alt-forms. Do you (pl.) agree with that? Thanks for reminding me of the edittools dropdown. I'll add all the Yiddish characters to it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:37, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
EDIT: Actually, all YIVO-standard Yiddish characters were already supported by MediaWiki:Edittools with the exception of ײַ, which I just added (and thus which will appear eventually, sooner if you clear your cache, I think). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:47, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with a note saying unpointed forms may be added, but only as alternative forms. When trying to type פֿעלד above I was unable to find the rafe in the dropdown table, but now I've found it. —Angr 16:05, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Alright, I guess I'll add that in. Викитики89, please speak up if you disagree! PS: !האָב אַ גוט יאָר!/שנה טובה —This unsigned comment was added by Metaknowledge (talkcontribs) at 02:01, 18 September 2012.
I don't have a problem with them being added as alternative forms but I don't think it is necessary to go about doing this wherever possible as there would be too many attestable combinations especially from before the YIVO standard. שנה טובה און גוט יום טוב!‏ --WikiTiki89 (talk) 10:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree, but it may be appropriate to add it on a page like זיי ("they"), not to be confused with זײַ ("be!"). Maybe we need a template, {{yi-unpointed form of}}, which would produce a neatly piped link to nikud or w:nikud and a fake nonstandard context label (which actually links to w:Yiddish orthography or something) but feeds into Category:Yiddish alternative forms? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:37, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah that's a good idea. I think we should make a policy of adding them to pages that already exist (like זיי or conflicting Hebrew or Ladino words). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 06:26, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. See פעלד. How does it look? (I figure we oughtn't add it to pages like זיי before someone creates all the inflected forms of verbs.) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:36, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks good. I've been bold and added it to אויפן as well. —Angr 20:51, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I made a couple of edits to AYI; please review the changes to make sure you're fine with them. Mostly, I added a section on adjective templates and mentioned unpointed forms. If somebody can please provide more documentation, preferably here, about using the conjugation templates, then I think I'll be able to fully understand this whole convoluted Yiddish template system. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:52, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


I think that when יי appears in a word without a diacritic beneath it, the entry title should include יי and not the one-character thingy that looks like יי, and that there should be a hard redirect from the version with the one-character digraph, so that any possible Hebrew entry is on the same page, for convenience (look in one place for two things). Thoughts? (Of course, this wouldn't apply to יי with a diacritic.)​—msh210 (talk) 17:00, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, all the (unpointed) digraphs ײ, ױ, װ should be deprecated in favor of two-character forms יי, וי, וו, with hard redirects from the digraph forms to the two-character forms. —Angr 20:50, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
We do say explicitly that ײַ is the only ligature we use. If you (or anyone else who likes this kind of job) wants to fix any existing Yiddish entries that might have those digraphs, I would be quite happy. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:16, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Phonetic spelling[edit]

We should say something about forms using the "phonetic spelling" of Hebrew/Aramaic words favored in the Soviet Union. I'd recommend including them if attested but tagging them with something like {{yi-phonetic spelling of}} to point to the standard spelling using Hebrew/Aramaic spelling. —Angr 17:05, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

I support that. I suppose I'll create the template soon if nobody comments. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:30, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Is there a generally accepted name for this spelling? "Phonetic spelling" is a term I just pulled out of my ass. —Angr 20:55, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Not that I know of, but I'm not a Yiddish scholar. It sounds pretty legit to me. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:31, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


I just thought I'd tell you guys what I've been doing in Yiddishland lately. First of all, in case you hadn't noticed, {{yi-phonetic spelling of}} now exists. I'm also starting on an effort to create complete entries for every Yiddish term at WT:FR:yi, which means a lot of inflected forms. The standard format I've been using for inflected forms can be found as follows:

Do all these look good to you? Also, I'd like to call your attention to Category:Requests for etymology (Yiddish), which could use some work. !אַ דאַנק --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:07, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Looks good. Good luck, there are a lot of redlinks. חג שמח!‏ --WikiTiki89 (talk) 16:10, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
וויקיטיקי, you list yourself as an advanced template-maker. Can you figure out how to use User:Conrad.Irwin/creation.js to greenlink the plural(s) in {{yi-noun}} and the participle in {{yi-verb}}? I know how to do it in very basic situations (like {{lg-noun}}) but I'm not sure how to include the transliteration. Thanks again! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:49, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I've never used User:Conrad.Irwin/creation.js and have no idea how it works. Is there a guide or some examples I could look at? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:07, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
You can enable it in WT:PREFS. It creates green links instead of red links when a template can supply the metadata to allow that redlink to be created with a single click. Play around with it - I think that {{lg-noun}} is the simplest template that has it. Once you enable it, try the greenlink at omulenzi (it will be correct). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:51, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I already have it enabled I'm just trying to figure out how it works. Is the metadata contained in the <span> tag? If you can find me an example of one that does use transliterations that would help. I noticed that some languages have special cases for transliterations right in User:Conrad.Irwin/creation.js itself. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 06:35, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it's the spans. AFAIK, {{he-noun}} is the only non-Latn template to use it, so maybe you can figure it out from there. I'm not sure what's up with the special cases. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:49, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

A few things[edit]

  1. How do we feel about having a part of speech called 'particles'? See Category:Yiddish particles.
  2. I'm having trouble with some suffixes and prefixes. How would you define פֿאַר־, ־ניק, and ־דיק?
  3. Can we choose an L4 header for adjectival inflection? Some entries have 'Declension', most have 'Inflection'.

Thanks! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:55, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

  1. Why not? Most languages seem to have them.
  2. Yeah that's difficult. I would compare entries like for-, ver-, -ник, -ик, -y, -ig, -ic, -icus.
  3. I prefer "Declension" but it doesn't make much of a difference.
--WikiTiki89 19:19, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with WikiTiki in all three points. —Angr 20:01, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
After reading ver-, I still feel somewhat confused. Anyway, I guess I'll try to get an AWBer to switch us over to 'Declension'. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:07, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

from German[edit]

A number of entries cite a Yiddish word as deriving from a German word. (I just came across it at [[shul#English]], but I've seen it elsewhere also.) Didn't Yiddish derive from what we call "Old High German" rather than from what we call "German"? Of course, there are probably loanwords from German, but I suspect that many of the claims of German ancestry of Yiddish words are mistaken. I don't know about any one in particular that it's mistaken, so I haven't been correcting them. But maybe someone who knows can do so. (And maybe someone with the ability to do so can list them. It'd require, I guess, scanning a dump for all instances of {{etyl|de or German that occur either in a ==Yiddish== section or in the same ==language== section as {{etyl|yi or Yiddish.)​—msh210 (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

There are indeed German loanwords in Yiddish, but of course the majority of Germanic words in Yiddish are inherited from Old/Middle High German. The trouble is that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. שול, for example, would probably look the same either way. I know that שפּראַך is a loanword, because if it were inherited it would be "שפּראָך", and קאָרט and קאַרטע are doublets: the former is inherited, the latter is a loanword. But I really only know this handful of examples; I'm not in a position to go through Category:Yiddish terms derived from German and make sure everything there is genuinely a loanword. —Angr 20:56, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
P.S. I just noticed that שולע exists as well; perhaps שול is inherited and שולע is borrowed. But I don't know for sure. —Angr 20:57, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
I try to keep a vague eye on Category:Yiddish terms derived from German, but checking the English entries is much harder. In the case of shul, I reckon that it's not from German but shule is, because Yiddish will sometimes pull off the feminine suffix but I don't think Standard High German ever does (Angr, care to prove me wrong?). I don't have a Yiddish etymological dictionary, though, so I can't do any better. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:55, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I have nothing to add except the note that Wiktionary:About Yiddish#Etymologies does attempt to address / acknowledge this problem. - -sche (discuss) 01:50, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Marking stress in transliterations[edit]

I think we should allow marking the position of stress by using an acute accent on the main vowel of the stressed syllable (á, áy, é, éy, í, ó, óy, ú) as is recommended at WT:AHE; although Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds disagrees because they're not allowed by YIVO standards. What do other users think? --Sije (talk) 20:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

If we were to use them, which I oppose, I think it should only be for words like פּאַיאַץ where the stress is not predictable. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)


DTLHS kindly provided me with a list of Yiddish entries using disallowed digraphs in their entry titles and I have moved all of them except for this legitimate entry. I would like to convert all digraphs in links into how we use them on Wiktionary in the module (just like stripping diacritics), but links to an entry for a character like this would be affected. What do you think? Should we make this entry Translingual (like we do for many other characters) or just not worry about linking to it? @Wikitiki89, AngrΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:36, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Can't you just ignore any link that is just [[ײ]] alone? No real word should ever start with this digraph anyway. --WikiTiki89 18:40, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't know how to do that. Do you? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:46, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Two of the three redlinks in the See also section of ײ would also be affected. The problem with calling them translingual is that they aren't translingual; AFAIK they're really used only in Yiddish. The only way I can think of to prevent links to the ligature from automatically pointing to יי (two separate yods) would be to move it to Appendix:Unsupported titles/Yiddish double yod, but that's kind of an abuse of that appendix, since there's no technical reason https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ײ can't be a URL. I suppose it comes down to the question of which of the following options is least objectionable:
  1. We don't script the module to automatically redirect the deprecated ligatures to the two-character equivalents.
  2. We keep [[ײ]] where it is, meaning it is impossible to link to it by means of the usual templates like {{l}}, {{m}}, {{t}}, etc.
  3. We merge [[ײ]] into a Yiddish section of [[יי]], which is a copout since it's supposed to a page on the Unicode character.
  4. We call [[ײ]] Translingual instead of Yiddish, even though Yiddish is the only language that uses it. (If that's true; if it turns out another language uses the ligature, we're golden.)
  5. We move [[ײ]] to Appendix:Unsupported titles/Yiddish double yod.
Any other options I haven't thought of? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:51, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
In typesetting, ײ was (or maybe still is?) used as a ligature of two י's in any language printed in the Hebrew script. Likewise for װ and ױ. The reason for the ligatures was simply because two letters could be positioned more compactly on one piece of type than on two pieces of type. The mistake was to carry these ligatures over to electronic keyboards and later into Unicode. The only reason they became associated with Yiddish is because Yiddish is the only language in which these digraphs are treated as separate letters (and only by YIVO). --WikiTiki89 19:27, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
In that case, calling it Translingual seems to be the way to go. I notice that other deprecated ligatures associated with a single language are also called Translingual: DZ, Dz, dz, DŽ, Dž, dž, IJ, LJ, Lj are all Translingual; ij is both Translingual and Dutch; and lj, NJ, Nj, nj all redirect to the corresponding digraph. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Angr: I have converted ײ and װ into Translingual entries (although they could definitely use improvement). I'd like to add the digraphs to be stripped from links now, but I'm not sure how to do that for ײ without ִlegitimate links to ײַ being affected. Do either of you know how to do that? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I have some ideas for potential work-arounds, but this won't solve the inherent problem. Ideally, we want to replace the ligatures with the digraphs in the source code of the entries themselves. Maybe we could also add a cleanup category. --WikiTiki89 15:03, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I've dealt with all the ones in pagetitles (mostly due to Embryomystic's copy-pasting), but I haven't asked anyone to generate a list for links (which would, I suppose, only be possible when those links are tagged as being Yiddish). I agree that we would want to change them in the source code, though. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:43, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Why would ײַ be affected by a script changing ligature ײ into digraph יי? They're two different characters. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:01, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Angr: I don't know, but DTLHS pulled up instances of ײַ when he made the list. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:25, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge ײַ is a composition of 2 characters. DTLHS (talk) 02:34, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Not only that, but even if you type in the single-character version of ײַ, the MediaWiki software will convert it to the two separate characters. --WikiTiki89 14:30, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I didn't realize that. That's the reason why, then. Although surely it's three separate characters: yod, a second yod, and patach. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:59, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
A yod, a second yod, and a patach would have the patach under only the second yod. That is why the ligature is required. --WikiTiki89 17:00, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh, right. Anyway, now I understand the problem, but I still don't know how to solve it, other than by not having the module fix Yiddish ligatures. Does it fix deprecated ligatures in other languages? ijs hard-redirects to ijs, but it isn't sent there automatically by the module. And ljubiti doesn't exist at all, not even as a hard redirect to ljubiti. Maybe we should just stick to hard redirects. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:27, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
The workaround would be to use "ײ([^ַ])" to "יי%1" (watch the RTL) and "ײ$" to "יי" as regex replacements. --WikiTiki89 18:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Technical concerns[edit]

@Wikitiki89, Angr, CodeCat: It's probably about time to do an overhaul of the Yiddish infrastructure, especially our woefully inadequate template structure. It looks like some of it has been solved, but I'm having trouble telling what, because of lack of documentation (both on templates themselves and on this page). Can {{yi-decl}} handle all the adjectives? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:13, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

I think so, but I can't tell you for sure without a comprehensive Yiddish grammar reference. Do you know of any (that hopefully are not ridiculously expensive)? --WikiTiki89 15:22, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
How comprehensive do you want? I've got Weinreich's College Yiddish on my bookshelf, but I can get more Yiddish reference books if you need me to check them. The real issue is that a bunch of things are lacking documentation, and if templates like {{yi-adj-final}} are now unneeded, they should be deleted and this page should say what to use instead. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:28, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
"College Yiddish : An Introduction to the Yiddish Language and to Jewish Life and Culture" does not sound very comprehensive to me, and it is clearly intended to teach the language rather than document it. I want it to be comprehensive enough for us to be able to make sure we have covered every possibility in the templates. --WikiTiki89 21:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It has a synopsis of grammar in the back that looks pretty complete to me, in the style of the classical languages. But if that's not good enough for you, I can go and fetch a copy of Katz's Grammar of the Yiddish Language, Birnbaum's Yiddish: A survey and a grammar, or Jacobs's Yiddish: A Linguistic Introduction. Do any of those look appealing? I can take photos of selected pages, too. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:31, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

New headline template for unpointed forms[edit]

I'm thinking of making {{yi-unpointed}} as a headline template that does not categorise, but requires transliteration, for unpointed entries. Is there any opposition to doing this? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:58, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

The problem is that then it wouldn't support all the features of the POS-specific templates, such as plurals and past participles, which we still might want to include in unpointed entries. --WikiTiki89 00:49, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Do we? I was thinking that the past participle should simply link to its pointed equivalent, rather than to its base verb, for example. Do you disagree? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:34, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
What I mean is that in the headword line at זאגן, we might want to link to the p.p. געזאגט. The definition lines of those two entries will of course each link to their respective pointed forms. --WikiTiki89 15:42, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Is that really worth doing? I wanted to have them be like Japanese romanisation entries, which have no extraneous information and serve only as soft redirects. @Angr, a third opinion perhaps? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:02, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
I think keeping it bare-bones is probably best, as per Metaknowledge. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:43, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
It's different from Japanese romanization entries, because these spellings are actually used. Alternative spellings usually should have inflected forms listed. The one reason I see not to do so in this case, is that it is trivial to deduce these spellings by removing the diacritics. That's enough of a reason for me not to go around adding them, but it's not enough for me to be convinced that we should never have them. --WikiTiki89 18:49, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Maybe I was unclear; I'm not saying we shouldn't have unpointed inflected forms, just that we shouldn't link to them. This is a matter of making it easier to keep track of our data; if we change the plural information for a lemma, we shouldn't have to check if there's an unpointed entry to fix as well. Instead, the unpointed plural would point straight toward the YIVO plural, and the unpointed lemma to the YIVO lemma, as soft redirects. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:35, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
No I understood you. I was talking about the links (to inflected forms from unpointed lemmas). --WikiTiki89 00:24, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
Okay, sorry. In that case, we directly disagree and will need more opinions to form a consensus. I'm not really sure whom else to ping, though. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:27, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
Even people who don't edit Yiddish could have an opinion on how to treat issues like this in general. Yiddish isn't the only language that has a large class of nonstandard spellings. Do German entries for superseded spellings like Thal link to their inflected forms? What about Russian terms spelled with ѣ? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:01, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
I think of the case of Thal as being more like שטאָהל, rather than like שטאל. Perhaps I'm making a false distinction. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:15, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
If anything, שטאל is more like Nußknacker or Brennessel since it's still widely used (Yiddish Wikipedia uses unpointed spellings, as do street signs in Kiryas Joel) despite being nonstandard. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:28, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I think I would equate them with Swiss spellings, which don't use ß ever. In Russian, I would equate them with spellings that don't use ё. For the latter, we generally do not bother adding inflected forms (see елка), but the option to add them is always there, which is what I think should be the case for Yiddish unpointed spellings. By contrast, forms spelled with ѣ even have full declension tables (see звѣзда), which is in fact more than I think we need for Yiddish Germanized spellings (i.e. like שטאָהל) and such, for which I think filling the headword line (with plurals/past particples/etc.) would be enough. --WikiTiki89 15:56, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
One point (no pun intended) to ponder is this: Who gets to decide what should be considered standard? The academics or the native Yiddish speakers? Kindly check out the Hassidic Yiddish newspapers and periodicals out there such as Der Yid, Der Blatt, Maalos, and Beleichtungen, and you'll find that אָ and אַ are used frequently but inconsistently; while יִ, ײַ, and פֿ are never used. --Sije (talk) 03:46, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
@Sije: Hard to say, and I've always been a bit uncomfortable with it. It seems to make more sense to go the academic route because of the lemming test (viz., other dictionaries do it). Certainly they have a monopoly on the term 'Standard Yiddish'. Ideally, if we had all the unpointed forms as soft redirects, it wouldn't be an issue. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:23, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
I think YIVO is accepted as the language regulator for Yiddish, so its recommendations can be considered the standard language. That doesn't mean everyone follows its rules, though, of course. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:17, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
I think we should mostly follow YIVO, but only when the YIVO forms are actually attestable and not rare. --WikiTiki89 15:25, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Hebrew + zayn verbs[edit]

Do we have any of these? How do we handle them? I was just about to add מכוון זײַן ‎(mekhavn zayn, to intend), when I noticed that we may not actually support them yet. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:31, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

I added מבֿטל זײַן ‎(mevatl zayn) and מציל זײַן ‎(matsl zayn) in the past (without conjugation tables). I plan on adding support for them in the conjugation module, along with separable prefixes. --WikiTiki89 22:26, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Should we put {{only used in}} on entries like מכוון ‎(mekhavn)? Also, I realised that some of these use other verbs like hobn or ton, although those may be viewed more as set phrases than deserving of an entry (like, say, חתונה האָבן ‎(khasene hobn), which is pretty self-explanatory and quite possibly SOP). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:27, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
I've been even thinking about putting the whole entry at מכוון, but probably having it at מכוון זײַן would be better. Yes, other verbs are used in these types of phrases and not only Hebrew words are used, although with זײַן specifically, it is almost exclusively Hebrew words. What's more is that these all function exactly the same way as verbs with separable prefixes, except that they are not written as one word when they precede the verb. --WikiTiki89 23:34, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Transliterating the plural suffix ־ים[edit]

We currently transliterate this as -em, but it sounds like /i/ to me whenever I hear native speakers use it, and standard reference dictionaries like Weinreich and Niborski/Vaisbrot transliterate it thus as well. I think we should change this to be in line with them. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:59, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Fine by me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:18, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Agree. --Sije (talk) 20:05, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I disagree unless we can demonstrate or find evidence of minimal pairs in which the ־ים suffix is differentiated from another word ending in -em. For example, שלום and חלום on one hand vs. כּללים and מאכלים on the other; or וואָרעם/פֿאָרעם/אָרעם/דרום on one hand vs. ספֿרים/דבֿרים/חדרים on the other. Perhaps the particular consonant before the ־ים is relevant. Keep in mind that native speakers today might be overly influenced by Hebrew, and the Yiddish schwa in my experience is not far off from [ɪ] anyway. --WikiTiki89 18:33, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
We don't need minimal pairs, because this isn't for determining phonemes, it's for the romanisation. If native speakers, including lexicographers and philologists, seem to use this predominantly, then it demonstrates something about how they think about the sound. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:12, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Then why do we show reduced vowels at all in Hebrew-origin words? Why not have שלום ‎(sholoym), לשונות ‎(leshoynoys), חידוש ‎(khidush), כּשרות ‎(kashrus), עולם ‎(oylom), כּלה ‎(kalo), etc.? And I really do think that there is a bit of an argument for doing that, because the words are occasionally pronounced that way. In "Ashkenazi English" spelling, u is preserved in such cases (e.g. kashrus, kiddush), even though the pronunciation of the word comes directly from Yiddish. What I'm getting at is that we need to identify why we are showing the reduction in the transliterations, rather than leaving it to the pronunciation sections, and then we can judge whether this reason applies to the ־ים suffix. --WikiTiki89 15:45, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
The answer to that is easy: you only hear those reduced vowels when someone is speaking very solemnly and clearly. (And don't use English spellings to support your case, because those are heavily influenced by Hebrew orthography.) Our transliterations should essentially be YIVO-standard, and this appears to be how the standard does it. Moreover, this is a vowel that doesn't get particularly reduced and, as I have stated, the great lexicographers agree. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:09, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
The only part of that I can agree with is that we should follow the YIVO standard. I really wish that I could find an actual description of the YIVO standard transliteration system that goes beyond just the letters of the alphabet. Until then, I guess we'll have to trust that Weinreich did in fact follow the YIVO standard. --WikiTiki89 18:43, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
But what about words like צדיק, should they be tsadik now too? I think that would make sense. --WikiTiki89 20:18, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, they should. If memory serves, Weinreich writes it thus as well. In effect, the scheme in College Yiddish is taken as the YIVO standard (I've seen this stated explicitly). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:51, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Alright, let's do that then. --WikiTiki89 14:36, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I think there are two steps: using AWB or a bot to fix all the entries and links to entries that use -im, and generating a list of Hebraic words we have with a non-initial yod, which I will be able to scan quickly to find unstressed i to fix. Would you be able to do that? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:49, 17 August 2016 (UTC)