In Chassidishe pronunciation, I am under the impression that the וּ makes a "i" sound, correct? If this is so, do they differentiate between הוא and היא in davening? How? Seems like it would sound the same.

  • Not all Chassidim pronounce it this way. I've heard this pronunciation among Stamar and Vishnitz. I'm sure there are others. From what I could tell, the "oo" sound is pronounced somewhere between "oo" and "ay". It seems to have a slight diphthong starting as "oo" with a slide to "ay". The "ee" sound is "ee". It is hard to notice to the untrained ear, but there is a difference from what I can tell. There is a Satmar man whom I see in my shul, frequently. I'll ask him, B"N, next time I see him. – DanF Aug 30 '16 at 17:01
  • @DanF - B''H thank you. Please ask him for me. I'm very curious with the Chassidish Hebrew. – ezra Aug 30 '16 at 17:02
  • It's possible that they don't differentiate, just as those who pronounce patach and kamatz [gadol] identically therefore don't differentiate, via pronunciation, between "יָם" ("sea") and "יַם" ("sea of"), for example. – Isaac Moses Aug 30 '16 at 21:01
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    @IsaacMoses Or perhaps more strikingly: "אדנָי" (God) and "אדנַי" (my masters) – Double AA Aug 30 '16 at 22:30
  • Is your question whether they fulfill their obligation in prayer, or simply what they do? If the former, then consider clarifying that. If the latter, then this does seem to be on topic any more than "which language do most Hassidic programmers use" both ask about people (presumably Jews), but not about Judaism itself. – mevaqesh Aug 30 '16 at 23:02

Most American and European Chassidim use what is often (wrongly) called Chassidish pronunciation. However, Hungarian is probably a more precise term, as even non-Chassidim that stem from parts of Austria, Hungary, and southern Germany use this pronunciation.

A large majority do not distinguish between וּ and י ִ, pronouncing both /i/ as in English fleece, French fini, and German Ziel. However a minority pronounce the former /y/ as in French cru, German schützen, and Scandinavian syn.

Source: Myself and everyone around me...

  • Hungarian pronunciation is also thought of as Galitzianer pronunciation, as it is thought to originate there. AFAIK, Oberlander Hungarians don't use this style. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 30 '16 at 23:43
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt True, but Unterlanders do. – Adám Aug 30 '16 at 23:48
  • @Adám - Boruch Hashem, todah rabbah and yashar koach to you! One question though...how do you pronounce the shuruk/melupim? – ezra Aug 31 '16 at 17:51
  • @EzraHoerster You mean me personally? I started off with /u/, switched to /i/, and eventually settled on /y/. Well, at least I try during davening. When speaking Yiddish, I just stick to /i/, despite confusing homonyms like אין and און. – Adám Aug 31 '16 at 18:35

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