YIVO Transliteration Chart

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YIVO Transliteration Chart

EXCEPTION: When the word אויף is used as a preposition, it is pronounced and therefore transliterated as af (not oyf), following modern convention.

*Yiddish letters with checkmarks occur only in words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin.

This chart is based on the Yiddish Alphabet/Alef-Beys transliteration chart of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and on Sten Vikner's Yidisher Alef-Beys, which also includes handwritten letter forms, phonetic charts, and a chart of dialect differences.

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Yiddish Spelling Guidelines

using YIVO transliteration

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Spelling Examples
kh (not ch) ikh, khazer (not ich, chazer)
sh (not sch) shof (not schof)
ts (not tz) tsu, kats (not tzu, katz)
tsh (not ch, tch, tsch) tshaynik, mentsh (not chaynik, mentch, mentsch)
-k (not -ck) shtik (not shtick)
       
ay (not ai, ei) nayn (not nain, nein)
ey (not ai, ei) eyn (not ain, ein)
oy (not oi) moyl (not moil)
       
no e with final -l, -n (not -el, -en)
(unless n follows m, n, ng, nk)
shlimazl, shpiln
(but nemen, kenen, trinken)
(not shlimazel, shpilen)
no doubled consonants
(unless doubling results from adding a prefix to a root)
yidish, rinen
(but: aynnemen = ayn+nemen)
(not yiddish, rinnen)
no h after vowels mitsve (not mitsveh)
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