Q&A: Are the Yiddish and the Hebrew cursive scripts the same style?

Pretty much—since the modern Hebrew cursive (MHC) is based on the Ashkenazi cursive style that began to emerge in the 18th century, or thereabouts.

Here’s a fairly typical example of Yiddish handwriting:

Typical example of Yiddish handwriting

And here’s an example of modern Hebrew cursive:

Typical example of modern Hebrew cursive handwriting

As you can see, the Yiddish cursive is more compact and the writer has a greater tendency to join up adjacent letters than the Hebrew one (both European influences).

Another common difference is that Yiddish writers tended to write the letter bet ב (b) like the number 2, whereas the typical MHC bet is different:

But for the fact that Yiddish is essentially a dialect of German, and its use of the letter א to indicate the /a/ vowel, and ע for /e/ vowels, a Hebrew-speaking Israeli could read it reasonably easily.

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