Wikipedia key to pronunciation of Hebrew / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Modern and Biblical Hebrew language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-he}}, {{IPAc-he}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Since Modern Hebrew has both non-Oriental and Oriental pronunciations in Israel, certain letters may be transcribed differently depending on the background of the speaker. See Modern Hebrew phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Hebrew.

IPA BiblicalIPA ModernLetter(s)RomanizationEnglish approximation
b בּ (Beť dǝgušah) b bet
d דּ (Daleť dǝgušah) d dark
ð d ד (Ďaleť rafah) ď, dh, d this
f פ ף (Fei rafah) f or fool
ɡ גּ (Gimel dǝgušah) g go
ɣ ɡ ג (Ǧimel rafah) ǧ, gh, g go
h ה (Hei) h hen
ħ[1] χ ח (Ḥeť) or ch no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j י (Yoď) y yes
k כּ (Kaf dǝgušah)
k skin
l ל (Lameď) l left
m מ ם (Mem) m man
n נ ן (Nun) n no
p פּ (Pei dǝgušah) p spin
q[1] k ק (Qof) q or k k is equivalent to skin. q has no English equivalent; like cup, but uvular (i.e. with the tongue further back).
r[2] ʁ ר (Resh) r Somewhat like run/French rouge
s ס (Samekh)
שׂ (Sin smalit)
s see
ts[3] צ ץ (Ṣadi) ṣ, ts (or tz) cats
ʃ שׁ (Šin Yemanit) š or sh she
t תּ (Taw) t sting
t ט (Ṭeť) ṭ, t sting
θ t ת (Ťaw) ť, th, t thing
v ב (Veť rafah)
v voice
w v ו (Vav) v vote
x χ כ ך (Ǩaf rafah) ǩ or ch/kh no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx, Scottish loch
z ז (Zayin) z zoo
ʕ[1] ʔ ע (Ayin) ʿ or ' no English equivalent, but the sound has merged in non-Oriental Hebrew to the sound below
ʔ א (Alef)
ʾ or ' uh-(ʔ)oh

Marginal sounds (used in transliteration and loan words)
[3] ג׳ (Gimel with geresh) ǧ or j joy
ŋ נג (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
ʒ ז׳ (Zayin with geresh) ž beige
[3] צ׳ ץ׳ (Ṣadi with geresh) č or ch chair
θ[4] ת׳ (Tav with geresh) th thing
ð[4] ד׳ (Dalet with geresh) th the
w[5] וו (double Vav) w we
ɣ[6] ע' (Ayin with geresh) gh
IPA Biblical IPA Modern Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
a Hebrew_Patah.svg (Patach) a father
e Hebrew_Zeire.svg (Zeire) e bed
ɛ e Hebrew_Segol.svg (Segol) ɛ, e bed
ə e Tilde_Schwa.svg (Shva) ǝ, e bed
i יHebrew_Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud), Hebrew_Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i see
o Hebrew_Holam.svg (Holam alone), וֹ (with any mater lectionis) o story
ɔ o Hebrew_Qamaz.svg (Kamatz katan) ɔ, o story
a Hebrew_Qamaz.svg (Kamatz) ɔ, a father
u וּ (Vav with shuruk), Hebrew_Backslash_Qubuz.svg (Kubutz) u boot

IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ei יHebrew_Segol.svg (Segol-Yud), Hebrew_Zeire.svg (Zeire) ei day
ai יHebrew_Patah.svg (Patach-Yud), יHebrew_Qamaz.svg (Kamatz-Yud) ai why
oi וֹי (Vav with holam male-Yud) oi boy
ui וּי (Vav with shuruq-Yud) ui two years
ao (rare) אוֹ (Alef-Vav) ao cow
ju (rare) יוּ (Yud-Vav with shuruk) yu cute
ij (rare) יְHebrew_Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud with Shva Nach)
i.e. "נִיְלֵן" [nijˈlen]
iy like see

Other symbols
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable): אֹכֶל ('food') /ˈʔoχel/, אוֹכֵל‏ ('eating' [participle]) /ʔoˈχel/
ˌ Secondary stress, e.g. הַאֻמְנָם? ('oh, really?') /ˌhaʔumˈnam/
ː Long vowels (in Tiberian Hebrew) can be transcribed using the IPA gemination sign ː: the word for "hand" would be יָד /jaːd/ in absolute state and יַד־ /jad/ in construct state.[7] Indicating normative consonant gemination uses a double consonant: גַּנָּב ('a thief') /ɡanˈnav/ not /ɡaˈnːav/