"How can anyone who is able to enjoy the beauties of a Virgil, a Tasso, a Shakespeare, who can follow the logical conclusions of a Liebnitz and Kant--how can such a one find pleasure in the Old Testament, so deficient in form and taste, and in the senseless writings of the Talmud?"
-Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

Monday, April 03, 2006

Microsoft's Sephardic Pronunciation

What the hell, man? I speak with a different nusach. Microsoft sucks.

(click to enlarge)

17 Comments:

Shabbos is Yiddish, not English or Hebrew. Shabbat is the proper Hebrew term in the 21st century.
Blogger amechad, at 12:36 PM  
Shabbos is proper Ashkenazi Hebrew. Shin with a patach, Bet with a kamatz, Saf without a dagesh. simple, that's how it's pronounced.

Who are you to say what's proper in a language in the 21st century?
Anonymous a s e, at 12:45 PM  
My Hebrew Chumash doesn't display a dot in the last letter of the word "Shabbos". According to my pronunciation, that would be read as shabboS. In Hebrew. From the bible.

Perhaps I misunderstand you amechad. It would seem that Shabbos is Hebrew.
Blogger Q, at 12:54 PM  
Go to Israel and say Shabbas. That's what I mean.

עברית מודרני כמו שמדברים במדינת ישרעל כעת ב2006

I remember being on a shared-cab from the airport and some yeshiva guy wanted to go to Ramos Beis. The driver had no idea where he wanted to go. (He wanted to go to RamoT BeT)
Blogger amechad, at 12:59 PM  
Oh and q. I don't speak Biblical Hebrew. Just Modern Hebrew. If you want to say Biblical Hebrew, that's another story and if you want to say that Microsoft's US-English is not correct for Ashkenazi Biblical Hebrew, that's fine, too, but that's not modern Hebrew. The correct transliteration in modern Hebrew for שבת is Shabbat. Note, I specifically said "modern Hebrew"
Blogger amechad, at 1:01 PM  
How does someone call themselves "Am Echad" while holding a prejudice against a pronunciation scheme with a history and internal logic that a signifigant segment of this am uses? Are Southerners or Midwesterners of Northerner Americans wrong in how they pronounced American English?

THAT said, I took this whole post to be tongue-in-cheek. Clearly Microsoft is not at fault for offering the more common documented spelling of a word in its spell check.
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell, at 1:09 PM  
Two points for Mississippi Fred MacDowells tounge AND cheek.

It would seem the art of wit is dieing. Thanks for recognizing this post for what it is.
Blogger Q, at 1:19 PM  
Mississipi Fred asks, "Are Southerners or Midwesterners of Northerner Americans wrong in how they pronounced American English?"

If there is a standard academically acceptable and approved way, then yes.

In the case of Hebrew, it is the Academy of the Hebrew Language (העקדמיה ללשון העברית) and I suspect they wouldn't approve of Shabbas in modern Hebrew. Again, non-modern Hebrew is another story but not עברית מודרנית.

It's simply a different language otherwise. I'm not saying it is a bad thing the other languages, but I am referring to modern Hebrew.
Blogger amechad, at 1:30 PM  
Apparently we can only be am echad if we all think, speak and act the same way.

Oh, and Amechad - any linguist will tell you that there are these funny things called "dialects" - where the same language is spoken differently (and correctly) by people in different regions.

HA!
Blogger Robbie, at 1:40 PM  
>If there is a standard academically acceptable and approved way, then yes.

The "accepted" way of speaking Modern Israeli Hebrew has no bearing on the accepted ways of speaking Hebrew in Ashkenazic dialects, but that isn't the point. Any linguist who was born after, say, 1920 would agree with me that different pronunciations in languages are valid (which is to say, not a speech impediment) if they are functional.
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell, at 1:50 PM  
Try saying Shabbas in any street in Israel. No one does it. It's not the same as saying "pitron" vs. "pitaron" where people do both. NO ONE says Shabbas in modern Israeli Hebrew. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
Blogger amechad, at 1:52 PM  
What they say in Israel really doesn't matter when you're talking about the joke here!

MS Word only had the standard Sephardic pronunciation.

Q was pointing out that they don't have his, and making a funny reference to anti-semitism.

It's bad when you have to explain the joke.
Blogger Robbie, at 1:56 PM  
>Try saying Shabbas in any street in Israel. No one does it. It's not the same as saying "pitron" vs. "pitaron" where people do both. NO ONE says Shabbas in modern Israeli Hebrew. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

Of course they don't, because in Israel the vernacular is Modern Israeli Hebrew. But lots of tourists wish each other "gut shabbos" or even "good shabbos," unless they're too embarassed to be overheard. and of course there are the infamous "shabbos, shabbos" shouters at cars.

In short: what's your point? No one is disputing that in Modern Israeli Hebrew the correct vocalization is "shabbat." Why would you dispute that plenty of people say shabbos as well? (Also for the record, I've already agreed that Microsoft is correct in making that correction since only "shabbat" is a well known English transcription of the Hebrew word and Microsoft's programs can't be expected to recognize other, less common permutations.)
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell, at 2:11 PM  
Ashkenazi Hhareidim in Israel say Shabbos... i have a Shai Tsherka "Baba" Torah comic book with a picture of a Talmudic-era anachronistic "Hhasid" saying שאבס
Btw, it's אקדמיה with an alef.
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg), at 2:16 PM  
Unfortunately, I have never been to Israel. But I find it a bit incredulous that you never hear "Shabbos" on the street given that there are many Ashkenazi olim and Yiddish speakers in Eretz Yisrael. Have they given up "bas mitzvah" and "oy vey" as well???
Blogger MissShona, at 3:17 PM  
Miss Shona,

You will hear it, as Steg and I explained. But you don't hear it that much because while I maintain that it is a perfectly valid Hebrew pronunciation it is not the vernacular of any native Hebrew speaker. There is, therefore, little point in using it in regular conversation in Israel, since almost no one actually speaks and understands Hebrew only that way. It would be like knowing French based on how it is written in English (e.g., pronouncing "bonjour" as "bonn-joor") and then saying that in France, even while you know how people in France pronounce it. There's just no reason to do that.
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell, at 3:47 PM  
the correct transliteration in modern Hebrew for שבת is Shabbat. Note, I specifically said "modern Hebrew"

You know, you might be right! I have an old copy of Modern Hebrew and Grammar and Composition by Harry Blumberg, Ph.D. On page xv he provides a table of long vowels for Ashenazic and Sefardic pronounciations:

Ashenazic:

קמץ גדול: aw as in "law"
צירה: e as in "they"
חולם: o as in "go"

Sefardic:

קמץ גדול: a as in "father"
צירה: e as in "met"
חולם: aw as in "law"

For, ת, he provides one way on page xiv to pronounce it: t

It's looks like, according to this information, that שבת in Askenazic Modern Hebrew is: Shabawt.
Anonymous Al Gore, at 5:38 PM  

Add a comment