Using the Safari app on your iPhone/iPad, touch this link.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
There are a number of different Yiddish language immersion options for people who have the time/money and who want to improve their Yiddish-language skills in a relatively short time-frame:
- Yiddish Book Center program in Florida (January 2016: 1 week)
- Yiddish Book Center program in Amherst (March 2016: 1 week)
- Yiddish Book Center Summer Program (Summer 2016: 7 weeks)
- YIVO Uriel Weinreich Summer Program (Summer 2016: ~1 month)
- Tel Aviv University Summer Program (Summer 2016: ~1 month)
- Vilnius Yiddish Institute Summer Program (Summer 2016: ~1 month)
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The movie The Matrix is one of my favourite sci-fi movies. The Matrix digital rain represents the activity of the virtual reality environment of the Matrix on screen. Quite a few screen savers have been created by people who liked the effect. I decided to create my own version which used Hebrew/Yiddish characters:
To see the effect, you can just click on the html file that you download in step#1 below and you'll see it in your browser. To install it as your own screen saver on a Mac (sorry, I haven't done Windows/Unix versions), just do the following:
- Download Hebrew/Yiddish Matrix HTML file (titled: Hebrew-Matrix.html). Then, move the file to wherever you want it to be (or just leave it where it was downloaded).
- Open the Mac System Preferences app and click on the "Desktop & Screen Saver" icon.
- In the screen saver configuration app, scroll down the left side to the bottom and select the "WebSaver" screen saver.
- On the right-hand side of the screen saver configuration app, click on the "Screen Saver Options..." button and select the file that you downloaded in step#1. You should then see the Matrix display shown in the box above the "Screen Saver Options..." button. You can click on the "Preview" button there or just wait until the screen saver starts up.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Im my last post (Ideal Yiddish Keyboard), I talked about the Yiddish Pasekh Keyman keyboard layout and how it represented (to my thinking, at least) the ideal keyboard layout for typing Yiddish. Also, since it was supported on Windows, Internet browsers, Linux, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Mac platforms, it was available everywhere. Unfortunately, the iPhone/iPad version of the keyboard had one major limitation: since it was a direct port of the desktop keyboard layout, the keys were a bit small and crowded on the smaller iPhone/iPad devices as the keyboard added a 4th row of keys for the numbers and it attempted to squeeze 52 keys (as is the case on Desktop keyboards) instead of the usual ~33 keys on iOS keyboards. So, in order to make a better Yiddish keyboard for iOS, I created my own Yiddish-ZC layout for iOS devices. The Yiddish-ZC layout retains most of the nice layout choices of the Yiddish Pasekh keyboard but it is optimized for use on small phone/tablet devices.
As a comparison, here is the Yiddish Pasekh layout:
And, here is my new Yiddish-ZC layout:
One nice additional enhancement is that I've implemented "long-press" functionality so that you can access more keys without switching from the unshifted to the shifted layouts. Any key with a "dot" in the upper-right corner of the key has "long-press" capabilities (e.g. - if you press and hold the key, a popup will appear with alternative keys that you can select):
For the keys on the default (unshifted) layout, most of the "long-press" keys are variations on the base key. So, for example, a long-press on the Yiddish tsadek (צ) character will show the final-form lange tsadek (ץ) character:
Or, pressing the period (.) character will show many of the commonly-used punctuation characters:
This makes typing much faster because you don't have to be switching so frequently between the unshifted and the shifted keyboard layouts. However, the long-press is a "convenience" technique and you can always switch to the other shifted (which contains many of the keys that are available via "long-press" on the unshifted layout) and numeric layouts as well (even though all of the keys you'll need to type Yiddish text will be available to you on the default (unshifted) layout, numbers and some special characters are only on the shifted/numeric layouts):
If you would like to try out my new Yiddish-ZC layout, installation is fairly simple:
- Install the Keyman app for iPhone/iPad from the Apple App Store (you can choose either the Free or the Pro version but the Pro version is needed if you want to be able to use the Yiddish-ZC keyboard as a system keyboard which will be available in any other app).
- Using the Safari app on your iPhone/iPad, touch this link. That will automatically open the Keyman app that you downloaded in step #1 and ask if you want to install the Yiddish-ZC keyboard. Just touch the Install button and the keyboard will be installed.
I would be very interested in getting feedback on the layout and usability of this keyboard. You can send me a twitter direct message (@beresheit) or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Update-25-Jul-2015: I was told by someone with an Android device that my Yiddish-ZC keyboard works well on Android devices as well! I have no way to test it (I don't use Android devices); however, the above 2 installation steps should work fine with one change - download the Keyman App for Android in step #1. Also, in step #2, you should use the Google Chrome browser (some of the Android browsers won't work with the link but the Google Chrome browser does).
Update-3-Sep-2015: The keyboard has now been updated to automatically fill in Yiddish "final form" characters where appropriate. This will automatically convert any of the following characters: "כנפֿצ" to their final form equivalents: "ךןףץ" if the character is not followed by another Yiddish character. In order to use this functionality you must re-download the keyboard as well as install the latest version of the Keyman app. You will also need to power down and restart your device after re-installing the app.
Update-4-Nov-2015: When any of the following 5 vowels/vowel-combinations appear at the beginning of a word, they need to be preceded by a "א" (shtumer alef): י ,ו ,יי ,ײַ ,וי
This has been implemented as a "long-press" on the "אַ" key:
Update-7-Nov-2015: In order to ensure that users of this keyboard could enter all of the keys defined in the standard Yiddish Orthography, the following additional keys have been added to the "Shift" layer of the keyboard layout: "פ", "בּ", "דזש", "זש", "טש", "וֹ". In addition, they can be accessed through "long-press" on keys in the "Normal" layer. See this revised layout for the "Shift" layer:
Thursday, June 25, 2015
In my Hebrew Keyboard Bookmarklets post, I talked about how to setup Internet browser bookmarklets for a number of different keyboard layouts for typing in Hebrew or Yiddish. However, since then, I've come across a different keyboard layout that is the best one I've seen for typing Yiddish (for Hebrew, I prefer my own Hebrew-ZC layout). The reasons I consider it ideal are:
- I am a fast English touch-typist and therefore I prefer a QWERTY-Phonetic layout that attempts to match Yiddish letters to English phonetic equivalents. This lets me reuse my "finger muscle memory" when typing Yiddish. I also want the Yiddish layout to be fairly similar/consistent with my own Hebrew-ZC layout as I will still be using that for Hebrew. I don't want to learn a completely new keyboard layout that I will only use for the occasions that I type in Yiddish.
- I want to keep punctuation, special characters, and numbers on the same keys (as much as possible). Most other Hebrew/Yiddish keyboard layouts move special characters and punctuation characters around and this drives me crazy!
- I want to be able to use the same keyboard layout everywhere: Mac, Windows, Linux, Internet browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android. (Mac, Internet, & iPhone are the main requirements for me but I do need occasional Yiddish keyboard access on the others as well)
- Ideally, there should be a "visual" representation of the keyboard so that people who only use it occasionally can see the "mappings".
- Windows: Download the Keyman utility and Yiddish keyboard layout here.
- Internet Browsers: If you're a developer creating a web page, you can easily add the Yiddish keyboard to your web page using KeymanWeb. If you want to use the Yiddish keyboard to type text in a text field on any web page, you can create a Keyman Bookmarklet that will let you do this. The Yiddish Pasekh bookmarklet is here: YiddishKeyboard (just drag it to your browsers Favourites bar and click it whenever you're on a web page with a text box that you want to type Yiddish into).
- Linux: There's a KMFL utility that aims to be source compatible with keyboards developed for Keyman. I rarely use Linux now so I haven't tried using the utility on Linux; however, it looks like it should work.
- iPhone/iPad: The Keyman iOS app includes the Yiddish Pasekh keyboard layout. The Pro version lets you use the keyboard as a "system" keyboard (e.g. - a keyboard in any other app).
- Android: The Keyman Android app includes the Yiddish Pasekh keyboard layout. The Pro version lets you use the keyboard as a "system" keyboard (e.g. - a keyboard in any other app).
- Mac: There wasn't a Keyman solution available for the Mac so I used the Ukulele keyboard layout editor to re-create the Yiddish Pasekh keyboard as a Mac keyboard layout. To use it on your Mac, do the following steps:
- Download the YiddishPasekh.keylayout and YiddishPasekh.icns keyboard layout files to some temporary location (like the desktop).
- Move the 2 keyboard layout files to /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ or ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ (Note: keyboard layouts in ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ can't be selected in password dialogs or on the login window).
- Restart the computer. Logging out and back in is not enough.
- Enable the new keyboard layout from System Preferences. (if you don't know how to do this, follow these instructions)
There are a number of minor differences from the original Keyman Yiddish Pasekh layouts that were added so that all YIVO-specified Yiddish characters were covered by the keyboard layout. The reason this needed to be done was because the Keyman utility allows for "rules" to be created to automatically put in certain characters based on context. The Mac Ukulele utility doesn't provide this capability so the characters have to be manually entered.:
- יִ (khirik yud): This has been added on the i key.
- וּ (melupm vov): This has been added on Shift+u.
- ךןףץ Final Forms: The lange khof, lange nun, lange fey, & lange tsadek final form characters used at the end of a word need to be manually entered. They are on the shifted keys of the "normal" characters. (Note: the final-form characters are also present on the Keyman keyboard layout but there were rules setup to automatically convert regular characters to final-form characters in the Keyman layout so the final form characters didn't usually need to be explicitly typed. On the Mac keyboard layout however they do need to be explicitly typed.)
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
To play the English lyrics, click here to go to Youtube site.
To play the Yiddish lyrics:
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
IntroductionDan Sieradski's "31 days, 31 ideas" posts included his Hebrew Input Widget post. In it, Dan complains about the hassles he has when he has to setup a computer for Hebrew input or when he wants to enter Hebrew text in a browser when he's on a public computer (e.g. - when traveling or when using someone else's machine). This post attempts to provide a solution for that problem by providing a set of browser bookmarklets that can be easily used to enable/disable Hebrew input. Simply bookmark this post in Delicious (or some other online bookmark service), and you're set - just follow the instructions below whenever you're in a browser and you need to enter Hebrew or Yiddish text in a text area!
Text Areas (for testing purposes)Text area#1:
- Hebrew Bookmarklets: Drag one of the following 4 bookmarklets to your Bookmark Bar (depending on which Hebrew keyboard layout you're most comfortable with):
Hebrew-SIL (using the SIL Hebrew keyboard layout - this is probably the better format to use if you're more accustomed to typing in English than Biblical Hebrew)
Hebrew-Tiro (using the Tiro Hebrew keyboard layout - this is the better format to use if you are accustomed to using an Israeli Hebrew keyboard)
Hebrew-QWERTY (using the Mac Hebrew QWERTY keyboard layout - this is the better format to use if you are used to this keyboard layout on the Mac and don't need all of the Biblical Hebrew characters)
Hebrew-ZC (using my own Hebrew-ZC custom keyboard layout - this format combines (IMHO) the best qualities of the Hebrew-QWERTY and Tiro keyboard layouts, supports Biblical Hebrew characters, and is a very efficient layout for someone who is a fast touch typist on US English keyboards)
- Assistive Bookmarklets: Drag the following 2 bookmarklets to your Bookmark Bar:
- Click the "Hebrew" bookmarklet (whichever one you selected above) to enable Hebrew input in any textarea on the current HTML page that you are on (this works on any HTML page, not just this one but I've added two textarea's to this post so that you can experiment here). Type in Hebrew (the Hebrew that appears will correspond to the keyboard layout that you selected in step #1 above. If you're not familiar with the keyboard layout you selected, you will need to print out the keyboard layout from the documentation page specified next to the keyboard in step #1).
- Click the "No Hebrew" bookmarklet to revert back to standard keyboard input in all textareas (e.g. - when you want to resume typing in English or whatever language was the default before you clicked the Hebrew bookmarklet).
- Click the "RTL/LTR" bookmarklet to toggle the text direction in all textareas (if you're mixing Hebrew and English, you may prefer right-to-left or left-to-right rather than the default for the textarea).
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
I've updated my previous post (Yiddish Dictionary/Translate in Browser) to include a bookmarklet link to The Complete Works of Sholem Aleichem site. Refer to that page for all the different bookmarklets/links but I've duplicated it here so that you can try it out:
The following bookmarklet lets you input Yiddish (Hebrew characters) and it will bring up a list of all matches of the entered text in the Complete Works of Sholem Aleichem (the site was created by Refoyl Finkel). This utility is very useful if you want to see sample usages of the entered word in Yiddish texts. If you select a word on any web page before pressing this bookmarklet, the selection dialog will be pre-populated with the word you selected.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Yiddish Dictionary/Translate Bookmarklets and links: There are a number of excellent Yiddish/English dictionaries/translation utilities online. You may find you that you prefer one or the other or you may find that you use several of them. Try them out and see which ones you prefer. I've created bookmarklets that make it easier to pre-populate the search dialogs for several of these. Just drag each of these (or, whichever ones you choose to use) to your browser's bookmarks bar and read the descriptions/instructions.
The following 3 bookmarklets translate from English to Yiddish, Transliterated Yiddish (e.g. - Latin characters) to English, and Yiddish (Hebrew characters) to English using the Yiddish Dictionary Online web site for the translations. If you select a word on any web page before pressing these bookmarklets, the selection dialog will be pre-populated with the word you selected.
Sample results for "family":
Sample results for "family":
Sample results for "family":
Sample results when the Yiddish text of "The Internationale" was pasted into the Glosser utility:
- Other online Yiddish Dictionaries - a page which lists a number of other Yiddish dictionaries (including some specialist ones) that are available online
- YIVO list of Yiddish Dictionaries - a YIVO list of different Yiddish dictionaries
- Pakn Treger Yiddish Dictionaries article - a very good Pakn Treger article about Yiddish dictionaries
- How to choose your Yiddish Dictionary article - a good summary of available dictionaries and how to choose which one(s) to use