[Mendele] Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements--Yiddish Bible App

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Thu May 10 21:07:43 EDT 2012

Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements

May 10, 2012

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From:”Ze'ev Clementson zeevclem at gmail.com
Subject: Yiddish Bible iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch App:

I would like to announce the availability of my Yiddish Bible
iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch App. It is available on the Apple iTunes App
Store (link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yiddishbible/id494049348?mt=8).
If you do a search on the Apple iTunes App Store for "Bible", you will
see the (literally) hundreds of Bible applications that are available.
If you narrow your search to "Hebrew Bible" or "Jewish Bible", you
will still get dozens of results. However if, prior to the release of
my app, you had searched for "Yiddish Bible", you would not have seen
a single Yiddish Bible application. Now, that is no longer the case -
my Yiddish Bible app is available on the app store. With the ability
to toggle between Yiddish-only and Yiddish/English,
Yiddish/Transcription, Yiddish/Hebrew parallel formats and with a
built-in Yiddish/English dictionary, it is also a very useful app for
people who are either learning Yiddish or who are trying to improve
their knowledge of Yiddish.

This app is based on the Yehoash Yiddish translation of the Hebrew
Bible and has the following features:

1. Bible: The Yiddish Bible is accessible in several different
versions (Yiddish, Yiddish/English, Yiddish/Hebrew, and
Yiddish/YIVO-transcription) and it is easy to switch between versions
by pressing a button while viewing the Bible text. All versions are
resident on the device and no Internet access is required to view the
texts. The Yiddish text is based on the Yiddish translation done by
Yehoash (Solomon Blumgarten) in the early part of the 20th century and
has been updated to reflect current YIVO standards for Yiddish
spelling and to correct some typographical errors. The Hebrew text is
based on the Leningrad Codex and the English text is based on the
original Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation of 1917. The
YIVO transcription text was programmatically generated by Refoyl
Finkel. When reading the text, one can touch a Yiddish word and a
pop-up definition of that word will be displayed (if no "exact" match
for the word is found in the dictionary, the "closest match"
definition will be displayed instead). In additon to a "Book"-based
reading approach, it is possible to also toggle to a "Parashah"-based
approach (a Parashah is the weekly synagogue Torah/Haftarah reading).

2. Words: This is useful for learning more about specific Yiddish
words and for discovering related words. There are four different ways
to learn more about words:

2.a. Words: By selecting the first two letters of the Yiddish word, a
listing will be displayed of all Yiddish words that begin with those
two letters. Initially, ranges of words will be displayed. When the
user touches a range, all of the words in that range, along with a
brief English translation of each word, will be displayed. This
provides an extremely fast method to lookup words in the dictionary.
The entire word dictionary is maintained on the device so no Internet
access is required to display the Yiddish words and definitions.

2.b. X-Late: Displays the Google Translate web page (Internet access
required) with "Detect Language" and "Yiddish" pre-selected as the
source/target languages. Note: in order to enter Yiddish (or any) text
correctly, the relevant keyboard needs to have been enabled in the iOS
Settings application (under General/Keyboard/International Keyboards).

2.c. Dict: Displays PDF scans (Internet access required) of all of the
pages of "Harkavy's Yiddish/English, English/Yiddish Dictionary" (1910
edition). This dictionary uses a somewhat Germanized orthography and
is apparently more directed to Yiddish speakers rather than English
speakers. The dictionary is accessed as part of this app due to it's
historical significance and also because it is useful when reading
classical Yiddish literature.

2.d. Search: This search facility searches the on-device
word/definition list (not the Harkavy dictionary) for an English or
Yiddish word/words or word fragment (you will need to enable the
Hebrew keyboard in the iOS Settings app in order to enter a Yiddish
word). Wildcards can also be used in the search - use '_' to match any
single character and use '%' to match any number of characters. For
example, 'wa%r' would return definitions that include either the word
'water' or the word 'wander' (as well as others). When using the Words
tab functionality, "swipe right" and "swipe left" will allow the user
to navigate back/forward through pages that were previously displayed.

3. Topics: There are links to key topics (over 200
people/places/things) in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. One can
access topics by:

3.a. Bible book: for example, one can select all topics for the book of Exodus.

3.b. "Meta" Topics: topics that deal with concepts that relate to the
Yiddish Bible in general (e.g. - the Yiddish language).

3.c. All Topics: one can also toggle from a "Book"-based list of
topics to an alphabetical list of all available topics.

4. Maps: There are maps of almost every location (over 1,000
locations) mentioned in the Yiddish Bible (the lattitude/longitude
locations are based on data from the OpenBible.info site; however, the
application does not access that site). It is possible to display
multiple different locations on a map and to clear previously selected
locations from a map. By selecting a location on the map and touching
the "callout detail disclosure" symbol (the "right arrow"), one can
see a listing of all verses in the Yiddish Bible that mention that
location. One can access Maps by:

4.a. Bible book: for example, one can select maps for locations that
are mentioned in the book of Exodus.

4.b. All Maps: one can also toggle from a "Book"-based list of
locations to an alphabetical list of all available locations.

Ze'ev Clementson


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