Spelling Yiddish with Roman letters (i.e. transliteration) is an inexact science.

Many people try to spell the words phonetically, the way they remember them. Many people use "sch" or "ch", or "tz" or "ts" or "ei" or "ai", etc. There is no consistency to how the average person spells Yiddish words with Roman letters.

Since Dictionaries must be based on standards, the editors of this Yiddish Dictionary have chosen to use the Roman letter transliteration standard used by the YIVO institute. Please click on the link to see a complete chart of their transliteration standard.


Guide to Roman Spelling of Yiddish words (used by this Dictionary),
based on the YIVO standard.



Important romanized letters
used by this Dictionary
(Based on the YIVO standard)
Example
Yiddish Word
kh   (NOT ch) ikh (NOT ich)
khazer (NOT chazer)
kinderlekh (NOT kinderlech)
sh   (NOT sch) shul (NOT schul)
shnorer (NOT schnorer)
shnorer (NOT schnorrer)
NO double letters kadish (NOT kaddish)
meshuge (NOT meshugge)
tsimes (NOT tsimmes)
ts   (NOT tz) tsibele (NOT tzibele)
tsimes (NOT tzimes)
k (NOT c) kaput (NOT caput)
kafe (NOT cafe)
k (NOT q) kvort (NOT qvort)
-k   (NOT -ck) avek (NOT aveck)
shtik(NOT shtick)
ey   (NOT ei) vey(NOT vei)
ay   (NOT ai) fayn (NOT fain)
oy   (NOT oi) oy(NOT oi)
oyf (NOT oif)