The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2860   Message #1641777
Posted By: Wilfried Schaum
05-Jan-06 - 03:22 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hinei Ma Tov
Subject: RE: Hinei Ma Tov - Lyric Addition
Joe, my corrections are aimed at the meanings of the words and the translation first.
I have transliterated letter by letter (I'm a semitist). Albeit the Hebrew alphabet gave the consonants only there is a system of added dots and dashes to mark the vowels - with a lot of shades not represented in Latin alphabets -, invented later.
The song - and this I must state apodictically - is NOT Yiddish, but biblical Hebrew, about the times of David and Salomo.

The problem of transliteration into English or German can be easily solved. I prefer the German way (naturally), because Yiddish is basically a German language with a lot of Hebrew words adapted to German articulation (e.g. change of stress and vowels). In Yiddish some Hebrew letters representing sounds unknown to German are now used to denote German sounds, e.g. the 'Ain for a subdued, or murmured E. Also the difference between the sounds ai and ei are clearly distinguished (in German both represented by ei). So you can transliterate letter for letter and have the correct sounds.
The crux with English transliterations is that they are mostly ethnoorthographic transscriptions. Often singers, familiar with neither the language nor the script, write down the words they think they hear in an insufficient way.

Aren't you the people calling Milano Milan? :-)