The Guardian has a article outlining the pitfalls of spelling and pronouncing Yiddish words. Attempting to discover whether one should say Hanukkah or Chanukah is complex within itself.

Guardian Style prefers the former (although the latter occasionally sneaks past), the Oxford Style Manual opts for Hanukkah, with Chanukkah as “a scholarly and US variant”, while Collins agrees on Hanukkah, but lists Chanukah as its variant.

The article continues by exploring how the adoption of Yiddish words into the English language has created a hybrid language. This means that the definition of some Yiddish words have transformed beyond recognition, often meaning two entirely different things to Yiddish speakers and Yiddish novices.

In English we usually use schlep as an intransitive verb (dragging ourselves) rather than the transitive original (dragging an object). And that whereas we use chutzpah admiringly, for Yiddish speakers it’s more negative – the usual example is “a man who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the courts as an orphan”. But all living languages evolve and, as the theory of hybridity argues, no meeting of cultures is one-way.

via: The Guardian