US/World News

Yiddish word sparks spelling bee debate

 

(JNS.org) Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old from Queens, N.Y., won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, carrying a $30,000 prize, by correctly spelling “knaidel,” the Yiddish word for matza ball. But no sooner had the 13-year old hoisted his trophy above his head for all to see then Yiddish experts raised questions over the correct spelling of the word. For example, linguists at the New York-based YIVO Institute for Jewish Research – considered to be the final word in all things Yiddish — told the New York Times that the preferred historical spelling of the word is “kneydl.” The competition uses Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as the authority on how to spell.

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