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
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 17:01
  • @DanF - B''H thank you. Please ask him for me. I'm very curious with the Chassidish Hebrew.
    – ezra
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 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
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 21:01
  • 1
    @IsaacMoses Or perhaps more strikingly: "אדנָי" (God) and "אדנַי" (my masters)
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 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
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


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. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 23:43
  • 1
    @NoachMiFrankfurt True, but Unterlanders do.
    – Adám
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 23:48
  • @Adám - Boruch Hashem, todah rabbah and yashar koach to you! One question though...how do you pronounce the shuruk/melupim?
    – ezra
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 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
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 18:35

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