Double yod

sawyeric1

Senior Member
English - American
I've been seeing a lot of double yods in words I've been learning. I have a small vocabulary, and I've already found six different ways יי is pronounced: עייף, חיים אחיין, אימייל, מייבש, מעיין. It's very confusing to remember when to spell with יי, because of all these varieties in pronunciation. Do any native speakers have helpful ways that they think about it that makes it easy for them?

Thanks
 
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Whenever a yud is pronounced as a consonant in the middle of a word (i.e. not the beginning or end of a word) and is not adjacent to a vowel letter or another yud, it is spelled as a double yud. Separately, the double yud is used to write the "ey" (as in they) and "ay" (as the y in my) sounds of foreign words.
     
    Last edited:

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    חיים is a loanword? From what language? I thought it was like the most Hebrew sounding word ever.
    Is חיים pronounced cheym or chaym? No it isn't. It's chayim. The first yud is the consonant, the second one is a vowel letter. So the first yud is adjacent to the second one which is a vowel letter, so it is only written once, rather than writing חייים.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Because it is סיכוי plus the plural suffix ים. How would you think it should be spelled?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I see why there is confusion. In מוסלמי, the yud is a vowel and is dropped when you add the plural suffix, but in סיכוי, it is a consonant, so there is no way you can drop it, otherwise yo'd have two vowels in a row. If that doesn't make enough sense, then maybe this will: sikuy + im = sikuyim, the first yud is the consonant "y", the second one is the vowel "i".
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    There are a number of general rules. Yod is doubled, usually, when you pronounce it.

    But in the middle of a word, when it is before or after a vowel - it is not doubles: מצוין, ציון.

    At the end of a word it is not doubles except when the plural, dual or the form "my" are indicated.

    That's for Hebrew words, for foreign words it has more rules.
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    When the sound is IYA and not AYA at the end of a word or just shwa + YA, the Yod is doubled:
    Ochlosiya
    Medalya
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    No. Medalya is not pronounced MedalIYA. Thus it has only one yod.

    Sukkariya, on the other hand, has two yod: סוכרייה.

    Though we usually say sukarya!

    This is something that sometimes needs to be checked in the dictionary.
     
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