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Yiddish Internationalisms 2: Consonants.

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Published on Aug 24, 2010

A guide to pronouncing internationalisms (words from Latin and Greek) in Yiddish, with their cognates in English and Spanish. Yiddish internationalisms are pronounced in a way that does not exactly match any other language but is closest to their pronunciation in the Slavic languages, German and Israeli Hebrew. As you will hear in this film the English pronunciation of internatioanlisms is very different from how these words are pronounced in many European languages. Yiddish in America has been heavily influenced by American English and if you speak Yiddish as your first language from a "heimishe" background you may notice that your pronunciation of these words is sometimes closer to American English than to the normal/"correct" Yiddish pronunciation. The pronunciations I use are the ones that were used in literary Yiddish in Europe, as well as almost all spoken dialects in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Lithuania. The Yiddish spoken in Russia was heavily influenced by Russian in its pronunciation of internationalisms, especially during the Soviet era so my pronunciation does not match this Russified Yiddish. This pronunciation, as well as the Americanized pronunciations are not usually viewed as being "correct", although they have been/are more common in colloquial speech in certain places.

The pronunciation of Yiddish internationalisms is a fascinating subject for comparative linguistics, as well as sociolinguistics and human migration.

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