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Yiddish pronunciation?

11 Oct 02 - 12:37 PM (#801174)
Subject: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: GUEST,TNDARLN at work

The word is from a children's book, and is used as a term of endearment: mother for child. The word is spelled "shaynkeit", and I was able to determine from Yiddish websites that the "ay" gets a long I, as in shine. But I didn't know about the ei, and whether the two vowels got one syllable or not. Could someone help with this?

Thanks in advance! T

11 Oct 02 - 01:07 PM (#801197)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu

Different pronunciations, depending on region. This one's connected with Hochdeutsch "schoenheit," meaning "beauty." The first vowel doesn't exist in Standard English, but you can make it by saying the vowel of "make" ([e] in the International Phonetic Alphabet) and rounding your lips. In the Yiddish I heard among Jews in St. Louis, the Standard German vowel is unrounded, and the diphthong in the second syllable loses its offglide, so the word would have been, I think, "shane-kate," or with the heavy stress on the first syllable, the second element might be reduced: "shane-kit," especially in rapid or informal speech.

11 Oct 02 - 01:08 PM (#801202)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: GUEST,herbroth@san.rr.com

First off, I'd disagree that "ay" is automatically pronounced "I". Yiddish, like most other languages, has regional dialects,but the more usual pronunciation of "sheyne" (pretty, beautiful, etc.) would be "shay-neh." The "-keit" suffix is analagous to English "-ness" and is pronounced as "kite."

11 Oct 02 - 01:22 PM (#801220)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: GUEST,TNDARLN at work

You guys are great! Thanks!

11 Oct 02 - 03:13 PM (#801294)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: EBarnacle1

In Yiddish, as in German, "ei" is pronounced "ay," as in mine. The "Schayn" part of the word, as mentioned above, is a transliteration. The 'correct' spelling is schoen. The ambiguity arises due to the difficulty in using Hebrew lettering, with its limited vowel menu, in pronouncing words derived from German.

11 Oct 02 - 07:49 PM (#801458)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?

I think a vowel was left out for the pronunciation"

shayn i kite (shaynikeit)   The I is as in a short E.

Oy---such lovely little thing---who may this shanyikeit be?

Bill H

12 Oct 02 - 12:23 AM (#801560)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: Sorcha

So, you have come up with "shane-kite" (sort of) right? Except that the "shane" is almost 2 syllables..........

12 Oct 02 - 12:34 AM (#801563)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: mousethief

I wonder if the original isn't shoenigheit? That would explain the "kite" ending and the extra syllable in the middle.


12 Oct 02 - 08:10 AM (#801667)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?

I really appreciate y'all's input on this. The book is Molly's Pilgrim, written by Barbara Cohen. Molly and her family are newly immigrated from Russia, and the Cossacks are mentioned. Molly's mama calls her "shaynkeit".

I copied the word exactly as it appears in the book, which is on about third grade level. The hills of East Tennessee don't have a large Yiddish speaking population [that's supposed to be funny] and so anything y'all give me is more info than I had, and again, is greatly appreciated.

We're going to dramatize this story for our Thanksgiving program; and while I want to be fairly authentic, when it comes outta' the mouth of one of my young'uns it's gonna sound anything but Yiddish.

So- shehn' eh kite?

Reminds me of the first time I taught Tzena. Came out Zay na with a drawl. Most "ehs" come out as "aaayyyyyys" 'round here. My middle name is Jane, and I have an aunt that pronounces it with about 3 syllables!

12 Oct 02 - 06:48 PM (#801941)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?
From: BH

Many (many) years ago while in the army I was stationed in Columbus GA. On the High Holy Days we were invited to the local synagogue--lovely community --and what a delight to hear Hebrew chanted with a Georgia drawl.

Hope the Thanksgiving program is a success---shaynkeit, ya'all

An aside---if you pronounce Tzena as Tsayna---you are saying "teeth"

Bill Hahn

13 Oct 02 - 08:58 AM (#802178)
Subject: RE: Yiddish pronunciation?


Thanks, Bill, I will be more careful.