Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary
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Using the On-line Dictionary

The Basics

  1. Enter the word or phrase in the input box on the left.
  2. Click the Search Button.
Details:

Input Choices

You can search for dictionary entries either by the English words they contain, or by the Yiddish words used to translate them.
  • To search for English, make sure the button for “Search” is selected, right below the text input box.
  • You can search for Yiddish words by entering them in the input box either using Hebrew letters, or by using the standard YIVO transcription into Latin letters.

Search Details

  • Multi-word searches
    • If more than one word is entered in the input box, the system will try to find entries that contain all of those words in one subentry. If there are any, only those results are shown.
    • If there are no entries containing all of the words, the system will show containing some of the words.
    • Any words that were searched for but not included in the result shown will be listed at the top, followed by an asterisk. Clicking on the asterisk will take the user to a form where the user can enter a comment, such as suggested that the word should be included. Clicking the “Save” button will save the comment, clicking “Cancel” will bring the user back to the search page without saving the comment.
  • Spell-Checking
    If any of the words entered in the input box are not found at all in the dictionary, the system will use a spell-checking algorithm to try to find any similar words that are in the dictionary, and show some of those results instead.
  • Nothing found
    If even the spell-checking algorithm can't find any matches, then the message “Couldn’t find anything similar to ...” will appear.

Results

  • If the system finds just one entry matching the words being searched for, that entry is displayed.
  • If the system finds more than one entry:
    • A list of alternatives is displayed, labeled “Choices”
    • At first, the first entry in the list of alternatives is displayed below the list.
    • Any of the other alternatives can be displayed by clicking on it in the list.
    • Often the system will consider some alternatives better than others. In this case, the best alternatives will be at the top of the list; they will be followed by a dashed line, and the other alternatives. Both groups of alternatives will be in alphabetical order.
    • If the system finds more than 20 alternatives, the list will at first be limited to 20, but at the bottom the word “More...” will appear, and the user can get the complete list by clicking that word.
    • Any alternatives that involve substituting a similar word for a word that wasn't found will be marked with a †.

Output

  • Dictionary entries are displayed with the English on the left and the Yiddish on the right.
  • If the “Add Transliteration” button is checked (underneatch the input box), a transliterated version of the Yiddish is added after the Yiddish text.
  • Note that the Yiddish text contains accent marks that are not part of the Yiddish orthography.
  • If the entry was found by substituting a similar word for a word that wasn't found, this will be noted at the top. Each word that wasn't found is followed by an asterisk; if the user feels that the word should have been found, a remark can be left by clicking on that asterisk.
  • Underlined abbreviations in the entries can be clicked to see an explanation of the abbreviation.
  • For more details on the content of the entries, see the guidelines for using the dictionary.