Jewish-Languages Mailing List

March 2002

Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 15:00 -0800
From: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Printing, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian

Hello All!

Does anyone know about the development of printing presses for the
publishing of works in Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian? Or perhaps I
should say, are these languages sufficiently different in their
orthography that they would require a slightly different set of type
than that afforded by Hebrew, in the way that Dzhudezmo and Yiddish do?

I mentioned in my first e-mail that I had heard of the printing of
Judeo-Persian newspapers and other texts in Palestine in the late 19th
century, but had really only seen one modern Judeo-Persian work, a
phrase-book for immigrants (representing Persian, German, Russian,
Spanish, and Hebrew, I think that's all of them...) which had an
introduction in Judeo-Persian in Hebrew script. It occurs to me that I
always assumed that the Judeo-Persian newspapers were in Hebrew script,
but actually haven't seen them to verify this. How often is this
language printed in Persian script?

Has any kind of mass-publishing of Judeo-Arabic in Hebrew script
occurred, other than in scholarly publications that distribute printed
editions of manuscript works?

Lots of questions. I hope that they are stimulating rather than merely

All the best!


Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 12:44 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: In search of Judeo-Persian scholars

James Ward's interesting question reminds me that we still don't have
anyone to write the Judeo-Persian description for the website. As the
people who have written (or are finishing up) the descriptions for
Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Greek, etc., can tell you, it does not take
much time. If you or someone you know is interested in doing this, please
contact me at sbenor @ - thanks!


Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 12:47 -0800
From: Heidi G. Lerner <lerner @>
Subject: Computing and Jewish Studies

I would like to propose a session at the 2002
Association of Jewish Studies conference (Los Angeles,
CA, Dec. 15-17, 2002) meeting that looks at present and
future developments in computing and Jewish Studies.
Topics for papers could include:
1) the application and use of digital media (images,
audio and video);
2) new developments in text encoding, hypermedia,
text analysis, and text corpora;
3) the cultural and social impact of computing and new
electronic media;
4) use of information technology in curriculum
5) impact of multilingual computing and Unicode on
Jewish Studies;
6) electronic publishing
This message is being cross-posted to several lists.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me at:
lerner @

Heidi G. Lerner
Hebraica/Judaica Cataloger
Catalog Dept.
Stanford Univ. Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
ph: 650-725-9953
fax: 650-725-1120
e-mail: lerner @

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 13:02 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: borrowing Hebrew verbs

There was recently a useful summary on Linguist List about why nouns are
more easily borrowed than verbs. It included a bibliography on this
topic. You can read it at

I'm wondering how Jewish languages borrow Hebrew verbs. In Yiddish,
Judezmo, and Jewish English there are (a) periphrastic constructions and
(b) verbal morphology combined with loan words, which are often originally
agentive nouns:

(a) maskim zayn, ser mafsik, to be mevatel
(b) hargenen, malshinar, pasken ("He paskens")

Do other Jewish languages form verbs in similar ways?

-Sarah Bunin Benor
Stanford University

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 09:17 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: AJS Call for Papers (posted to H-Judaic)

Below is the information about AJS 2002 Call for Papers. As Lewis Glinert
posted a few months ago, the suggested topics for Language this year are:

- Jewish discourse

- The emergence of modern Hebrew

- Trends in Jewish literacy

- Typology and theory of Jewish languages

- Jewish language and gender

- Language shift between Jewish languages

- Jewish language death

Feel free to post ideas for specific panels to this list.


From: jbaskin <jbaskin @ OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>
Subject: FYI: AJS Call for Papers

Call for Paper information for the 2002 AJS conference in Los Angeles is
now posted on the AJS website, <>. All submissions
will be electronic this year. Deadline for submissions is April 19. At
the time of submission, conference registration fees and 2002-2003
membership dues must also be paid. New members are welcome.

Judith Baskin, Vice-President for Program

Judith R. Baskin
Director, The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies
Professor of Religious Studies
5273 University of Oregon
jbaskin @

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 17:48 -0800
From: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Re: Printing, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian

Hello Everybody,

Professor Norman Stillman sent these interesting responses to my query
regarding modern printing of Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian. They are
well worth reading! To those of you who have privately responded to my
earlier questions, the fact that I am sending this one and not yours
does not mean that I considered your reply to not be worth reading,
but rather that I am only now establishing a procedure for
redistributing information.

Best wishes,


From: norman stillman <nstillman2001 @>
Date: Sun Mar 03, 2002 06:43:37 AM US/Pacific
To: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Re: Printing, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian

In response to James Ward's query:

Books, periodicals,and individual printed sheeted
in Judeo-Arabic were pubished in the 19th and 20th
centuries throughout the Arabic-speaking world and as
far east as Calcutta. These texts were published in
both Rashi and square typeset. The largest number of
Judeo-Arabic publications were printed in Tunisia. See
the Harvard catalogue of Hebrew publications in the
subsection on Judeo-Arabic. See also Eusebe Vassel,
<<La litterature populaire des Israelites tunisiens,>>
in Revue Tunisienne (1904-1907), and Robert Attal,
Periodique juifs d'Afrique du Nord (Jerusalem:
Ben-Zvi Institute, 1980.

From: norman stillman <nstillman2001 @>
Date: Mon Mar 04, 2002 11:53:55 PM US/Pacific
To: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Re: Printing, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian

Dear James,

Please feel free to post my or anyone else's

By the way, I do not think that I answered your
query concerning modifications for Arabic sounds not
found in Hebrew. There was no standardized format for
transcribing certain sounds. Sometimes diacriticals
were added to certain Hebrew letters, so that <<Sadi>>
with a dot above or a slash might be used for Arabic
<<DaD>>, but at the same time elsewhere, one finds
<<daleth>> used for it as well.

With best wishes,


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 13:43 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: list details

Hello, subscribers. Some of you have brought to my attention a few issues
about posting messages to the list:

1) When you respond to someone's query, please respond to the whole list,
unless you have a reason not to. This is the common practice of some other
lists (including H-Judaic), and it facilitates an easy and useful exchange
of information. I think this is an especially good idea on this list,
where scholars of one Jewish language might be interested in issues of
another Jewish language.

2) Please do not post messages in HTML format, as this can cause problems
for certain mailers.

Please contact me with any questions about list protocol.

Sarah Bunin Benor
Jewish-Languages list moderator

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 14:02 +0900
From: Tsuguya Sasaki <ts @>
Subject: Archives

Dear subscribers,

I am happy to inform you that the updated archives of this
mailing list are ready for your viewing pleasure at the following
new location:

New messages posted to the list will be archived every Friday.

Tsuguya Sasaki

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 13:10 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Solitreo

A professor at the University of Pennsylvania has a letter from Bulgaria
from 1900 written in Solitreo, and he'd like to have it transliterated
into Latin letters. The letter is six lines long and written in very
flowery handwriting (I was not able to decipher much of it even with the
help of Bunis' textbook). If you are willing to try it, please contact
Jacob Nachmias <nachmias @> to arrange details of

-Sarah Bunin Benor

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 06:57 +0100
From: Jacob Hassán <hassan @>
Subject: carta en solitreo

Caro Jacob Nachmias:

Tendré mucho placer en intentar "descifrar" (o meldar) la carta
escrita en solitreo, que he conocido a través de la lista
"jewish-languages" de Sarah Bunin Benor. Please send me a reproduction
of good quality to my postal address below. Thank you.
Sano y bueno que estés.

De / Ex / From:
Iacob M. Hassán
Estudios Sefardíes, CSIC; Duque de Medinaceli 6; 28014 Madrid (España)
tf. (34)91-429.0626 (ext. 2802), cel. (34)609-13.1914; fax (34)91-369.0940
e-mail: hassan @

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 15:31 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Fw: Ladino Transliteration Of Hebrew Letters

Hello to the hevra!

I'm forwarding three messages which may be of interest. The first two
are from the Unicode list, the last, just a bit of pre-exodus cheer.
Note that the first of these is in UTF-8 format, and not all the
characters may convert properly through the list-serv (it requires
either the Arial MS Unicode or Code2000 font). If anyone would like to
receive a copy directly, please feel free to e-mail me.

Kol tuv,

----- Original Message -----
From: Robert
To: unicode @
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 1:00 AM
Subject: Ladino Transliteration Of Hebrew Letters

Hello, Unicoders!!
About the transliteration of the Hebrew letters for the Ladino
(Judeo-Spanish, Ŷuđeẑmo) language, an acceptable system for that
is one used by Padre (=Father) Pascal Recuero (which looks
Esperanto-like, as can be seen just below):
ʾalef—' (apostrophe)
beth-rafeh—{b-bar (b with crossbar through ascender)}**
————[or, use b̶ (which'll put crossbar through body instead)]
gimmel-rafeh—ǥ (g-bar [bar through descender])
gimmel-garshem—ŷ (y-circumflex)
gimmel-wariqaʾ—ĉ (c-circumflex)
daleth-rafeh—đ (d-bar [bar through ascender])
heʾ-mappiq—ḥ (h-underdot)
waw—ṿ (v-underdot)
double waw ligature—w, vowels /u/, /o/, or diphthongs /wu/, /wo/
waw-yudh ligature—diphthongs /uy/, /oy/, /we/
zayin—ẑ (z-circumflex)
zayin-garshem—ĵ (j-circumflex)
zayin-rafeh—dẑ (digraph of *d* with *z-circumflex*)
kheth-rafeh—ḫ (h-rocker [breve underneath], also called *kharn*)
teth—ṭ (t-underdot)
teth-rafeh—ḍ (d-underdot)
yudh—ẏ (y-overdot)
double yudh ligature—y, vowels /i/, /e/, or diphthongs /yi/, /ye/
yudh-waw ligature—vowels /ü/, /ö/, or diphthongs /yu/, /yo/
kaf-rafeh——{k-bar (k with crossbar through ascender)}**
————[or, use k̶ (which'll put crossbar through body instead)]
lamedh-wariqaʾ—ĺ (l-acute)
nun-wariqaʾ—ñ (n-tilde)
samekh—ṣ (s-underdot)
ʿayin-rafeh—ġ (g-overdot)
ʿayin-garshem—ṅ (n-overdot)

This transliteration system for Ladino is based on Padre Recuero's
scheme (used in a Spanish book on the Haketia dialect in Morocco);
while it looks Esperanto-like in a modified Spanish-style dress,
it's the best romanization scheme for Ladino that I've read and heard
*Kheth* is respelled , while *shin*'s rendered with , and *taw* having
a *rafeh* atop gets rewritten with —all like in Spanish!! What's more—*
`ayin* with a *garshem* to its left is rendered as an (and read as the
*ng* nasal sound, like in _thi*ng*_).
I do hope this e-mail will help you in the area of Ladino. Please print
off this message for your reference. Thank You!

Robert Lloyd Wheelock
Augusta, ME USA

**The needed characters {b-bar} and {k-bar} both need to be proposed
into Unicode, along with the {y-breve} that Latin and a few other
languages use. ——R.L.W.

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 15:31 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Fw: Ladino Transliteration Of Hebrew Letters

----- Original Message -----
From: "Miikka-Markus Alhonen" <Miikka-Markus.Alhonen @>
To: "Robert" <bob4you27 @>
Cc: <unicode @>
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:53 AM
Subject: RE: Ladino Transliteration Of Hebrew Letters

> On 19-Mar-02 Robert wrote:
> > **The needed characters {b-bar} and {k-bar} both need to be proposed
> > Unicode, along with the {y-breve} that Latin and a few other languages
> <b-bar> = U+0180
> <y-breve> = <y> <breve> = U+0079 U+0306
> <k-bar>, however, might be missing. This one is quite frequent also in
> linguistics, where a bar through some letters (b, d, k) means a
> pronunciation of the plosive.
> In some books about Semitic linguistics spirantized /g/ is shown as a
> <g>. Should this be represented with small letter yogh U+021D?
> Best regards,
> Miikka-Markus Alhonen

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 15:32 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Fw: Farshtaist

By: Arthur H. Rosen

Yiddish was the secret code therefore I don't farshtaist,
A biseleh maybe here and there, the rest has gone to waste.
Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist,
My bobbeh spoke it beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.
So och un vai as I should say, or even oy vai iz mir,
Though my pisk is lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.

And I'm no Chaim Yonkel, in fact I was shtick naches,
But when it comes to Yiddish though, I'm talking out my toches.
Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that I don't know it better
(Though it's really nisht kefelecht when one needs to write a letter).
But, when it comes to characters there's really no contention,
No other linguist can compete with honorable mentshen.

They have nebbishes and nebechels and others without mazel,
Then too, shmendriks and shlemiels and let's not forget shlimazel.
These words are so precise, and descriptive to the listener,
So much better than "a pill" is to call someone farbissener.
Or that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria,
And you'll agree farklempt says more than does hysteria.

I'm not haken dir a tsheinik and I hope I'm not a kvetch,
But isn't mieskeit kinder than to call someone a wretch?
Mitten derinnen, I hear bobbeh say, "It's nechtiker tog, don't fear,
To me you're still a maiven Zol zein shah, don't fill my ear.
A lieben ahf dein kepele, I don't mean to interrupt,
But you are speaking narishkeit? And a gezunt auf dein kop!"