A standardised Yiddish braille code
proposed by Vivian Aldridge

The aim of this proposal is to define a standard code for the writing of Yiddish in braille.

I know of no accepted listing of Yiddish braille, of no producers of Yiddish braille and of no publications in Yiddish braille. If anyone else does know of any of these, I should be very grateful for information.

My proposal is based on Hebrew braille as expounded in Rivka Rosenzweig's "Book of Braille", published by the Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped, Netanya, Israel in 1995.

I hope to be able to define a Yiddish braille code in cooperation with the Central Library in Israel in the near future.

For technical reasons, my proposal is at present only available here in PDF-Format or, on request, as a Word 97 file. I am particularly aware that the mixture of Latin and Hebrew scripts may render it inaccessible to blind readers of this page. For this I am very sorry and hope to find a reasonable solution in the near future. In the mean time, I should like to invite blind readers to contact me by e-mail and see if I can send them the information they want in some other form.

Owing to the constraints of time, the examples are not yet as numerous as is intended. The examples that have been selected but not yet realised include texts with full pointing as in Hebrew, with antiquated, German-influenced orthography and with various forms of emphasis (different font, bold, italic, increased letter spacing). Two extreme examples are a section of a text book on Yiddish and part of the text of Elia Bachur's "Bovo Dantono" of 1541.

I have tried to formulate a few brief rules for the use of Hebrew braille signs for Yiddish together with what seem to me to be the main points for discussion connected with them.

I am no expert on Yiddish, a language with which my contact has been through reading, songs and a few audio and video tapes. My knowledge of Hebrew comes almost exclusively from reading Yiddish, which means that I can recognise words and have internalised one or two grammar rules, but hardly more. It is, therefore, quite likely that I have missed some important points in the writing of Yiddish or have not fully understood the Hebrew code on which I base my proposal. Almost certainly there are mistakes in the examples, in particular due to my lack of knowledge of pronunciation and of Hebrew.

I should be very grateful for constructive suggestions and, especially, for the correction of mistakes in the document and in my thinking.

Please send all comments, suggestions and corrections by e-mail to the author. The e-mail address consists of: "author" und "@" und "braille.ch" - without spaces, of course.

The proposal as of 11th December 2000

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