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Yiddish QWERTZ Keyboard for the Mac

This is a phonetic Yiddish keyboard layout for the Macs with a QWERTZ physical keyboard. It is based on the Yiddish Klal, created by Isaac L. Bleaman.

QWERTY is the standard keyboard layout in English-speaking and many other countries, whereas QWERTZ prevails in German-speaking and some other European countries.

Our version of the Yiddish keyboard layout makes it easier to type Yiddish for anybody who is used to German keyboards. Not only is Z next to T and Y next to X, but punctuation marks and various symbols are also where you'd expect them to be.

Other than that, the Yiddish layout follows the principles of the above-mentioned Yiddish Klal, i.e.:

  • Typing a will yield a pasekh alef, אַ
  • o will yield a komets alef, אָ
  • e will yield an ayen, ע
  • v will yield tsvey vovn, װ (which Unicode treats a single character)
  • p will yield a pey, פּ
  • f will yield a fey, פֿ
  • …, etc.

To type the final letters, hold

  • F will yield a langer fey, ף
  • M will yield a shlos mem, ם …, etc.

Doublets (when YIVO transliteration corresponds to multiple Yiddish characters):

  • t will yield a tes, ט
  • T will yield a tof, תּ
  • s will yield a samekh, ס
  • S will yield a sof, ת
  • W will yield a sin, שׂ (w will yield a shin, ש)
  • V will yield a veys, בֿ (v will yield tsvey vovn, װ, as mentioned above)
  • k or q will yield a kuf, ק
  • K or Q will yield a kof, כּ

Other letters will be less intuitive for those familiar with the YIVO system of transliteration, e.g., because it sometimes uses a combination of several Latin letters for a single Yiddish letter (e.g., צ is [ts]). These letters will need to be memorized:

  • A will yield a shtumer alef, א
  • x will yield a khof, כ (and X a langer khof, ך)
  • H will yield a khes, ח (h is just a hey, ה, as expected)
  • c will yield a tsadek, צ (and C a langer tsadek, ץ)
  • w will yield a shin, ש (and W a sin, שׂ)
  • j or E will yield tsvey yudn, ײ (a single Unicode character)
  • y will yield pasekh tsvey yudn, ײַ (two Unicode characters)
  • O or Y will yield vov yud, ױ (a single Unicode character)

Letter combinations:

  • For זש type either z w or, as a shortcut, type Z
  • For דזש type either d z w or, as a shortcut, type G or J or D
  • For טש type either t w or, as a shortcut, type R (mnemonic: between the t and w on the keyboard)



Снимок экрана 2021-06-18 в 11.59.30


Снимок экрана 2021-06-18 в 12.00.09

Caps Lock

Caps Lock turns this keyboard layout into a regular German QWERTZ layout.

Снимок экрана 2021-06-18 в 12.48.53

Caps Lock + Shift

Снимок экрана 2021-06-18 в 12.49.14