Help:IPA for Yiddish

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This page describes how IPA is used to transcribe Yiddish words at Wikipedia. It follows the pronunciation of "Standard Yiddish" (or "YIVO Yiddish"), as described in such works as Uriel Weinreich's College Yiddish and Modern English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary.

See Yiddish phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Yiddish.

IPA Letter(s) English examples Romanization
b ב (beys) but b
d ד (daled) do d
דזש (daled zayen shin) joy dzh
f פֿ ף (fey, i.e. pey with rafe on nonfinal form) fool, leaf f
ɡ ג (giml) go g
h ה (hey) hen h
j י (yud) yes y
k כּ (kof with dagesh)[1]
ק (kuf)
skin, thick k
l ל (lamed) bell l
ʎ ל Similar to million; Italian figlio l
m מ ם (mem) man, tam m
n נ ן (nun) no, tin n
ŋ[2] נ when followed by ג or ק finger, drink n in the combinations ng, nk
p פּ (pey with dagesh) spin, tip p
r[3] ר (reysh) None in most accents; compare Spanish perro and pero and French rouge r
s ס (samekh)
שׂ (sin, i.e. shin with a sin dot)[1]
ת (sof, i.e. tof with no dagesh)[1]
see, pass s
ʃ ש (shin) she, leash sh
t ט (tes)
תּ (tof with dagesh)[1]
sting, bet t
ts צ ץ (tsadek) tsunami, sits ts
טש (tes shin) chair, teach tsh
v בֿ (veys, i.e. beys with rafe)[1]
וו (tsvey vovn)
voice v
χ ח (khes)[1]
כ ך (khof, i.e. kof with no dagesh)
Like Scottish loch but with the tongue further back; French proche kh
z ז (zayen) zoo z
ʒ זש (zayen shin) pleasure zh
Full vowels (monophthongs)
IPA Letter(s) English examples Romanization
a אַ (pasekh alef) father a
ɛ ע (ayin) bed e
ɪ י (yud) bid i
ɔ אָ (komets alef) boss o
ʊ ו (vov) foot u
ײַ (pasekh tsvey yudn) fine, why ay
ɛɪ יי (tsvey yudn) day, pain ey
ɔɪ וי (vov yud) loin, boy oy
Reduced vowels
ə ע or none sofa e
ל bottle l
נ ן button n
Other symbols used in transcription of Yiddish
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable), e.g. אײזל [ˈɛɪzl̩] 'donkey'
ˌ Secondary stress, e.g. מאַמע־לשון [ˈmaməˌlɔʃn̩] 'Yiddish as mother tongue'


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Only in words of Semitic origin.
  2. Not a separate phoneme of Yiddish, but an allophone of /n/ before /ɡ, k/
  3. The rhotic /r/ is a phonetically variable consonant. It may be either alveolar or uvular, but it is more commonly a flap/tap [ɾ ~ ʀ̆] than a trill [r ~ ʀ] (Kleine (2003:263)).


  • Kleine, Ane (2003), "Standard Yiddish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 261–265, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001385CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>