Yiddish: on the back of early 20th century photo

iem

New Member
Russian
Hi,

I would like to ask for help in translation of the script on the back of the early 20th century photo. The scanned image of the script is attached.

I visited local Synagogue and asked the rabbi's apprentice to translate the script. He could name only a few letters. He said it's Yiddish written in Hebrew alphabet.

The photo shows a little girl.

I have more scripts to translate. If you can help me with this or point to someone who can help me, this would be really appreciated.

Thanks,
Igor
 

Attachments

  • Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    I can tell very few letters, the two first words I cannot read at all, the writing is really not clear. Anyway, what I could make out: סונשעפ???לע?בולד (the question marks are letters I couldn't figure out). I hope this helps you.
    Can't think of what this could be, I don't know any Yiddish (you can ask Yiddish questions on the Other languages forum).
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    I can tell very few letters, the two first words I cannot read at all, the writing is really not clear. Anyway, what I could make out: סונשעפ???לע?בולד (the question marks are letters I couldn't figure out). I hope this helps you.
    Can't think of what this could be, I don't know any Yiddish (you can ask Yiddish questions on the Other languages forum).
    Thanks Tamar, I appreciate your help. I will ask in Other languages forum too.
     

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    Hi,

    Please note that your photo is upside down (i.e. rotated 180º). Could you please re-upload the photo so that it will be easier to read it?

    Thanks.
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    I think that the last word בילד is actually "bild" ("picture" in German).
    The rest is hard to decypher...
    Yes, the rabbi's apprentice also told me that he can read "bild". I did not pay much attention to this since this does not give any new information. It might be important though, for example to try to figure out other letters based on the graphological analysis of how "bild" is written. Thank you for your assistance.
     

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    These are the letters that I think I managed to figure out:
    ד??ס ??ז ס??שעפיינעלעס בילד
    d??s ??z s??shepeineles bild

    Does it ring any bell?
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    These are the letters that I think I managed to figure out:
    ד??ס ??ז ס??שעפיינעלעס בילד
    d??s ??z s??shepeineles bild

    Does it ring any bell?
    amikama, thank you for spending your time translating this cryptic message :)

    Let me give you some background. I'm Russian, my grandmother was Jewish. I found this photo (with the script in question on the back) along with other photos of my Jewish relatives. Some have Hebrew/Yiddish writings on their back too. So I became very curious what's written there.

    Unfortunately the only two languages I know are Russian and English. I have no command of Yiddish, Hebrew, or German (ok I know "bild" but it's common knowledge). So as long as Google does not know what "shepeineles" is, I have no idea what it is either :(

    I should admit I'm very surprised that such apparently simple text turned out to be so difficult to translate. By no means I imply that you or other people who helped me here and in synagogue did not do their best to translate this text. I mean it is amazing that such everyday, common thing as a description of a family photo can be so hard to translate. It is neither Linear Script B, nor Maya script. It was written just a century ago and it is written in a fairly common languages.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I see that the major problem is distinguishing the individual letters in the script which is complicated by bad handwriting and age of the photo. This actually prevents the 'real' translation to begin.
     

    nurBahnhof

    New Member
    English
    It might be helpful to see more of this person's handwriting. Do the other items that you need translated appear to use similar handwriting? It would be helpful to see how certain letters and especially how certain combinations of letters are written.

    I only know a little Yiddish and don't have much experience reading handwritten Yiddish. I have to take a lot of liberty to make any sense of this writing. Perhaps it says something like דאָס איז סאַשעפֿײַנעלעס בילד (dos iz sashefayneles bild=This is Sashe-Faynele's photo).

    The first word looks like "dos", so I think those two lines are an aleph. The word "iz" should have a silent aleph in front, but it takes a lot of imagination for me to see that first letter as an aleph. It could be something like וײַז (vayz=show) with a single vov (should be a double vov װײַז) or even ומז (umz) or ימז(imz).

    I broke up the long word how it made sense to me, but there is no evidence of that break in the writing. Do you have any idea who is in the photo or do you know the names of relatives and friends of your grandmother? I interpreted the second letter as an aleph (which can be an a or o sound), but it could also be a double vov (v sound) which doesn't make sense to my ear or a double yud (ey or ay sound). I don't know how the writer distinguishes feys and peys, so the "f" in "feyneles" can be a "p" or "f" sound.

    If you cannot find anybody that can read the writing, you might post the picture on JewishGen's ViewMate.
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    It might be helpful to see more of this person's handwriting. Do the other items that you need translated appear to use similar handwriting? It would be helpful to see how certain letters and especially how certain combinations of letters are written.

    I only know a little Yiddish and don't have much experience reading handwritten Yiddish. I have to take a lot of liberty to make any sense of this writing. Perhaps it says something like דאָס איז סאַשעפֿײַנעלעס בילד (dos iz sashefayneles bild=This is Sashe-Faynele's photo).

    The first word looks like "dos", so I think those two lines are an aleph. The word "iz" should have a silent aleph in front, but it takes a lot of imagination for me to see that first letter as an aleph. It could be something like וײַז (vayz=show) with a single vov (should be a double vov װײַז) or even ומז (umz) or ימז(imz).

    I broke up the long word how it made sense to me, but there is no evidence of that break in the writing. Do you have any idea who is in the photo or do you know the names of relatives and friends of your grandmother? I interpreted the second letter as an aleph (which can be an a or o sound), but it could also be a double vov (v sound) which doesn't make sense to my ear or a double yud (ey or ay sound). I don't know how the writer distinguishes feys and peys, so the "f" in "feyneles" can be a "p" or "f" sound.

    If you cannot find anybody that can read the writing, you might post the picture on JewishGen's ViewMate.
    nurBahnhof, thank you for your thorough post! It seems that I actually did find the right person who can read the writing and this person is you :) You are the first to come up with a complete translation of the writing and I really appreciate your attention to my question.

    I know the names Raisa (my grand-grandmother's name), Wolf (my grand-grandfather's name, Russian form is Vladimir), Zlata (my grandmother's name, Russian form is Zinaida or Zina), Mark (my grandmother brother's name), Revekka (my grandmother sister's name, short forms are Rivka or Riva). That's the only who I know of -- there is definitely a lot of others.

    I have little idea who is on the photo unfortunately. I thought I might try to find some clues here and there and then see what I can figure out.

    I am going to post other examples of this handwriting soon.

    Thank you for your advice to visit JewishGen's ViewMate site, I will do this in addition to posting my questions on this website.
     

    Yak

    New Member
    US, English
    Hey, just want to confirm nurBahnhof's analysis. The only thing I might say is it might actually be דאס איז סאשע פײגעלעס בילד. It looks like it could be a נ or a ג to me and פֿײגעלע seems more likely to be a child's name than פֿײנעלע.

    (That is, "this is Shasha Feygele's picture".)
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    Hey, just want to confirm nurBahnhof's analysis. The only thing I might say is it might actually be דאס איז סאשע פײגעלעס בילד. It looks like it could be a נ or a ג to me and פֿײגעלע seems more likely to be a child's name than פֿײנעלע.

    (That is, "this is Shasha Feygele's picture".)
    Hi Yak, I appreciate your help and your version of the translation. With the kind assistance of the members of this forum, yourself including, I believe this mystery is now solved.

    Thanks everyone!
     

    iem

    New Member
    Russian
    I thought Sasha was a boy's name, but Feygele is a girl's name. Feygele means "little bird".
    Thank you, Forero. I looked up "feygele" in Google (in both English and Russian). As I understand it can be either a feminine name or just "a little girl" (according to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/feygele).

    Regarding 'Sasha', in Russian (and in other languages too) it can be either masculine or feminine. You are right that it is more common for boys rather than for girls.
     
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