vikipeediya:IPA for Yiddish

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, web b
d ד (daled) do, bed d
דaaזaaש (daled zayen shin) joy, edge dzh
f פaaֿ ף (fey, i.e. pey with rafe on nonfinal form) fool, leaf f
ɡ ג (giml) go, beg g
h ה (hey) hen h
j י (yud) yes y
k כaaּ (kof with dagesh)[1]
ק (kuf)
skin, thick k
l ל (lamed) bell l
ʎ ל million 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 פaaּ (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)
שaaׂ (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)
תaaּ (tof with dagesh)[1]
sting, bet t
ts צ ץ (tsadek) tsunami, pizza ts
טaaש (tes shin) chair, teach tsh
v בaaֿ (veys, i.e. beys with rafe)[1]
וaaו (tsvey vovn)
voice, have v
χ ח (khes)[1]
כ ך (khof, i.e. kof with no dagesh)
Similar to Scottish loch kh
z ז (zayen) zoo, rose z
ʒ זaaש (zayen shin) pleasure, beige zh
Full vowels (monophthongs)
IPA Letter(s) English examples Romanization
a אaaַ (pasekh alef) father (but not a long vowel) a
ɛ ע (ayin) bed e
ɪ י (yud) bid i
ɔ אaaָ (komets alef) boss o
ʊ ו (vov) foot u
ɛaaj יaaי (tsvey yudn) day, pain ey
aj ײaaַ (pasekh tsvey yudn) fine, why ay
ɔaaj וaaי (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. אaaײaaזaaל [ˈaaɛaajzl̩] 'donkey'
ˌ Secondary stress, e.g. מaaאaaַaaמaaעaa־aaלaaשaaוaaן [ˈaamaməaaˌaalɔaaʃaan̩] 'Yiddish as mother tongue'


  1. a aa i E u oo Only in words of Semitic origin.
  2. Not a separate phoneme of Yiddish, but an allophone of /n/ before /ɡ, k/
  3. Depending on speaker, the rhotic /r/ may be realized either as an alveolar trill [r], an alveolar tap [ɾ], or a uvular trill [ʀ].