Yiddish: Shayna

Riddells

New Member
English
Can anyone translate Shayna in Yiddish writing big enough that I can print out for a project? I've gotten a translation once before but when I went to blow it up it distorted. I'd like to get it for a tattoo. If anyone could help I would be thankful!! :)

Shayna
 
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  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I assume you mean to transliterate Shayna. How do you pronounce it? The first syllable is unclear to me. Is it /ʃaɪ/ rhyming with "shy" or /ʃeɪ/ rhyming with "shame"?
     

    nurBahnhof

    New Member
    English
    Do you want the original Yiddish or do you want a transliteration?

    It looks like it comes from the Yiddish word sheyne (the feminine form of the word for beautiful, as in "a sheyne meydl"). This is written in Hebrew letters as שײנע. You can copy this and use any Hebrew font or size you want.

    If you would like a transliteration it might be something like שײנאַ, but as Flaminius mentioned, it depends on how you pronounce it.

    If it's for a tattoo, I would definitely check with somebody who knows more Yiddish than I do.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It looks like it comes from the Yiddish word sheyne (the feminine form of the word for beautiful, as in "a sheyne meydl"). This is written in Hebrew letters as שײנע.
    Just for the records, as "meydl" is neuter and not feminine it would be "a sheyn meydl" without "e" at the end. But otherwise I agree with you, שײנע is the feminie form.

    EDIT: The question seems to be about the American female first name "Shayna". As it is an American name, the spelling in Roman letters is probably to be considered "original". But the Yiddish word it is derived from is certainly שײנע.
     
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    Riddells

    New Member
    English
    It rhymes with "shame" to answer your question. So i could in reality use any form of translation ya'll just provided?
     

    Riddells

    New Member
    English
    I have a translation but it wont' let me post it b/c it is URL and i haven't made 30 posts. I just want to make sure it looks right so i don't make a mistake. Is it prossible i can send it to anyone?
     

    nurBahnhof

    New Member
    English
    Thanks berndf. I've seen "אַ שײנע מײדל" (I guess it's a different dialect), but I was taught that it was neuter, so I should have written "dos sheyne meydl" or used a feminine word for an example.

    Riddells, here's an example of the word in cursive and print:
    i35 DOT tinypic DOT com SLASH 9bd746.png

    You will probably want to use a different Hebrew font or find someone who does Hebrew calligraphy to make a nice version.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Thanks berndf. I've seen "אַ שײנע מײדל" (I guess it's a different dialect), but I was taught that it was neuter, so I should have written "dos sheyne meydl" or used a feminine word for an example.
    Now it gets difficult. :) It is not a contradiction to what I wrote. Yiddish still has the strong and weak adjective declensions from German. When used with the definite article (i.e. "dos") the declension pattern changes.
     

    nurBahnhof

    New Member
    English
    I guess I'm missing something. In both Harkavy and Weinreich's dictionary, "meydl" can be either feminine or neuter. I've seen writers like Zalman Shneour and Abraham Sutzkever use meydl as a feminine noun (such as "a sheyne meydl" or "di meydl"). I guess this occurs in Litvish Yiddish, since I've been told it doesn't use neuter and that its diminutives take the gender of the root.

    Since I was taught that meydl was neuter, I should have written "dos sheyne meydl" if I wanted to give an example using both "sheyne" and "meydl".

    Of course, I could have avoided all this if I had just chosen a feminine noun in the first place.

    Hopefully this is a little clearer than my last message. But I'm not very good at Yiddish and would appreciate any corrections.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I guess this occurs in Litvish Yiddish, since I've been told it doesn't use neuter and that its diminutives take the gender of the root.
    Interesting! I wasn't aware of this. Thank you very much!

    PS: I have never systematically studied Yiddish. As a native speaker of a language which is very close to Yiddish I picked up some knowledge from having been occasionally exposed to it. If my memory doesn't fail me, the Yiddish I heart was always that of Galician or Hungarian Jews. And, if I had ever heart "die Meydl" I would have remembered because it represents a major deviation from German grammar. So what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me.
     
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    jordkutz

    New Member
    English
    In northern (Litvak) Yiddish like Sutzkever speaks there is no nueter tense (dos). Hence, meydl becames di. The case system is also radically different in this dialect.

    In American Hasidic Yiddish the gender is falling out entirely but that's a whole other issue. As far as the tatoo, here's the spelling:

    shin, two yuds, nun, eyin. Find someone who knows the Hebrew alphabet otherwise forget it. Are you getting just sheyne or something else too?
     

    Shaymin

    New Member
    United States English
    Just for the records, as "meydl" is neuter and not feminine it would be "a sheyn meydl" without "e" at the end. But otherwise I agree with you, שײנע is the feminie form.

    EDIT: The question seems to be about the American female first name "Shayna". As it is an American name, the spelling in Roman letters is probably to be considered "original". But the Yiddish word it is derived from is certainly שײנע.
    This is incorrect. Shayna has always been a feminine Yiddish name. It is not an "American" name. It is used in the United States by Jews, but it also used by Jews in other countries. It appears in several transliterations as: Scheina (German); Chaina (French) and Szejna (Polish). The correct Latin transliteration is Shaynah.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    This is incorrect. Shayna has always been a feminine Yiddish name. It is not an "American" name. It is used in the United States by Jews, but it also used by Jews in other countries. It appears in several transliterations as: Scheina (German); Chaina (French) and Szejna (Polish). The correct Latin transliteration is Shaynah.
    Thank you for the clarification. What spelling are we then talking about in Yiddish? Is it שײנאַ? And if so, is it derived from the adjective שײן at all?
     
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