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Spelling Bee Controversy: Was Winning Word 'Knaidel' Spelled Wrong? (VIDEO)

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By Jessica Rodriguez , Christian Post Contributor
June 3, 2013|12:28 pm
  • Spelling bee controversy has hit the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week, after the winning word was later claimed to have been spelled incorrectly.
    (YouTube/FrostXRaven Screen Shot)
    Spelling bee controversy has hit the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week, after the winning word was later claimed to have been spelled incorrectly.

Spelling bee controversy has hit the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week, after the winning word was later claimed to have been spelled incorrectly.

The word "Knaidel" was spelt to win the competition, however, since the result was confirmed some Yiddish speakers and experts have said that the winning word was not spelled corrected. They believe that the word can be spelled a number of ways, none of which was the spelling that won the contest – "kneydl," "knadel," or even "kneidel."

The problems seems to stem from the fact that Yiddish uses a non-Roman alphabet, and so therefore has no standardized transliteration into English. That means multiple ways of spelling certain words often emerge.

However, despite the controversy it is highly doubtful that winner Arvind Mahankali will have the title taken away.

The spelling used in the Bee was in fact based on the Merriam-Webster standard spelling of the word, and that is what the Spelling Bee hopefuls studied prior to the competition.

So organizers of the event have simply said there is no controversy at all, and that the contestant spelled the word absolutely correctly according to the dictionary promoted by the competition as the standard for the Spelling Bee.

However, that explanation has not satisfied some, and according to the New York Times, the YIVO institute for Jewish Research, the Second Avenue Deli, in Midtown Manhattan, and a group of Yiddish speakers at the Riverside Y Senior Center at the Bronx, were still voicing their dissatisfaction at the result.

However, even among those groups there was no clear consensus over which way was the correct spelling, showing what an impossible job the organizers of the Bee had.

Here is a video of the Spelling Bee victory with the word "Knaidel" winning the competition:

 

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