Unicode Settings for Yiddish Special Characters

It's important to standardize our usage of Unicode for Yiddish so that we can effectively share documents, search for text strings, etc. Most Yiddish letters are straightforward, but others involve special characters and/or combinations of basic Unicode characters. It is possible to obtain characters which appear to be the same, but which actually use different codes (e.g., when deciding which pintl to add to a shin to create a sin). The following chart is intended to help standardize the creation of Yiddish characters. The selection of characters is consistent with those used by Noyekh Miller in preparing the extensive and growing collection of Yiddish texts on the Mendele web page. Please send any comments about Unicode for Yiddish to the UYIP discussion group. To see the complete official list of Unicodes for Hebrew and Yiddish, see <http://www.unicode.org/charts/> and  <http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/reference/WinCP.asp>.

Yiddish Character Unicode hex Unicode Subset Comments

makefsampa.GIF (247 bytes)



makef (Yiddish hyphen) *
makefsampb.GIF (243 bytes)



minus sign (English hyphen) *



long dash (en dash)



underline symbol (for forms)

( )

0028, 0029


Parenthesis – Same as English, except need to place them backwards (left paren. on key for right paren., etc) so that they won’t appear backwards when typing R2L.

kolan.gif (123 bytes)



Yiddish colon – (different code from the English colon at 003A, subset 0)

geresh.gif (566 bytes)



Geresh – Yiddish apostrophe (different from the curved English apostrophe at Unicode 0022, subset 0)

gershayim.gif (423 bytes)



Gershayim – Yiddish double apostrophe (different from a curved quotation mark)

gendz1.gif (223 bytes)
muster1.gif (640 bytes)



Yiddish superscript (upper left) ending quote / Yiddish subscript (lower right) beginning quote

gendz2.gif (219 bytes)
muster2.gif (840 bytes)



Yiddish superscript (upper left) ending quote / Yiddish superscript (upper right) beginning quote (often used for book titles, etc.)
pasalef.gif (191 bytes) Alef + 05B7 5 Pasekh-alef
khomalef.gif (196 bytes) Alef + 05B8 5 Komets-alef
veys.gif (143 bytes) Beys + 05BF 5 veys
vovmel.gif (139 bytes) Vov (05D5) + 05BC 5 Melupm vov
kof.gif (153 bytes) Plain khuf + 05BC 5 Kof (with dagesh)
yud-01.gif (74 bytes) Yud (05D9) + 05B4 5 khirek yud
yud-02.gif (88 bytes) 05F2 + 05B7 5 Pasekh-tsvey-yudn
pey.gif (171 bytes) Plain fey + 05BC 5 Pey (with dagesh)
fey.gif (163 bytes) Plain fey + 05BF 5 Fey (standard orthography)
sin.gif (214 bytes) Shin + 05C2 5 sin

tof.gif (162 bytes)

Sof + 05BC 5 tof

* A word about the makef and the hyphen. In a well designed font, the makef (Yiddish hyphen) should be even with the top of the letters, as in the above example, pictured in Times New Roman. Unfortunately, most fonts which come with Windows are poorly designed and misplace the makef too high, making it hard to read. When using these other fonts, some people will prefer to use an English hyphen (or minus sign) which places the dash about mid-level between the top and bottom of the surrounding letters.

Click here for another list of Unicode settings for Yiddish characters, based on the UYIP keyboad layout designed by Mark David, (the Yiddish keyboard layout which is similar to an Israeli Hebrew keyboard).