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Yiddish Reader Style Guide


  • Use phonetic spellings on auxiliary words:
    • אַף, אַפֿן
    • באַ, באַם
  • List of nonstandard spellings that should be followed unless canonical source text spells them to YIVO standard:
    • זענען, זענט, etc
    • קענען, קענט, etc
  • Always use וואו and וואוי instead of ווו and וווי
  • Spell Hebrew words as they are spelled in Hebrew, and including the final letter form when there's a Yiddish suffix
  • Spell vocabulary words, including words with detachable prefix, according to dictionary (to facilitate lookup)
  • Nonstandard compounds (ex: דעמזעלבן), follow the source text, but spell components according to the normal rules.

Punctuation and Characters:

  • Use horizontal bar (―) with a space on either sidefor dialogue, „ציטאַט־צייכנס“ for quotations, Makaf (־) for hyphenation, and Geresh (׳) and Gershayim (״) for contractions and acronyms, respectively.
  • Use Geresh for contractions in the beginning of words (ex: כ׳האָב) but not for standard דעם contractions (ex: מיטן).
  • Use rafe on פֿ and בֿ where necessary.
  • Always use compound characters: אָ, אַ, יִ, פֿ, פּ, בֿ, ײַ.
  • Never use compound characters: וו, וי, יי
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