Galitzaner Pronuciation #galicia

Mike Sturm

I'd like to add one idea to the recent thread about the name "Shaya".
which pertains names in general. It is important to remember that
Galitzianer have a unique pronunciation of both Hebrew and Yiddish.
Vowels in Galitzianer Yiddish sound radically different >from
standard YIVO Yiddish taught today. I would be interested if any
scholarly works have been done to codify Galizianer gramatical and
pronunciation departures >from standard YIVO Yiddish in modern
textbooks. Similiar differences exist in Hebrew pronunciation.

Our unique pronunciation of both Hebrew and Yiddish must be taken
into account when considering the transliteration or translation of
names and places between Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and English.

It is regrettable that the Galitzianer accent is all but lost. All
4 of my grandparents came >from Polish Galicia and settled in the
U.S. about 100 years ago. They all spoke Yiddish and "davened"
(prayed) in Hebrew with the same Galitizaner pronunciation, but
forced the next generation to learn the common "Litvak"
pronunciation to avoid predjudice. It is interesting however, that
the Polish transliterations in many of the records I've seen follow
the Galitzianer pronunciation as I remember it.

Transiliteration is further complicated by the fact that eveyone now
learns modern Hebrew, a third set of pronunciation rules. A
youngster will begin the Chanukah blessings "Bah-rooch-at-tah,"
someone of my generation educated in the U.S. will say
"Baw-rooch-at-taw," and my grandparents would have said, "Bpp-reech
at-too." My mother of blessed memory, Tzivia REISEL (rhymes with
"eye") not RAY-ZEL, would answer Ooh-mine, not Aw-main.

Fortunately, all European Jews seem to pronounce latke the same -
so whether your tradition is latkes or soofganiot, have a Happy

Mike Sturm
Staten Island, NY
Tarnobrzeg, Sobow
HOROWITZ, WEINER Oswiecim, Krakow

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