Help:IPA for Hebrew

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Modern/Israeli Hebrew language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. Since Modern Hebrew has both non-Oriental and Oriental pronunciation, certain letters may be transcribed differently depending on the background of the speaker. See Hebrew phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Hebrew.

Note: An image of the chart is also available.
Consonants
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
b בּ (Beth) b bet
β ב (Veth) v, ḇ between bet and voice
d דּ (Daleth)
ד (Dhaleth)
d dark
[1] ג׳ (Gimel with geresh) ǧ, j joy
f פ ף (Fe) f or , ph fool
ɡ גּ (Gimel)
ג (Ghimel)
g go
h ה (He) h hen
ɦ ה (He) h Received Pronunciation behind
ħ[2] ח (Heth) , h no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j י (Yod) y yes
k כּ (Kaph)
ק (Qoph)
k skin
l ל (Lamed) l left
m מ ם (Mem) m man
n נ ן (Nun) n no
p פּ (Pei) p spin
q[2] ק (Qoph) k, q no English equivalent; like kup but with the tongue further back
ʁ[3] ר (Resh) r Somewhat like run; French rouge
s ס (Samech)
שׂ (Sin)
s see
ʃ שׁ (Shin) š or sh she
t ט (Tet)
תּ (Tav)
ת (Thav)
t, th sting
ts[1] צ ץ (Tsadi) ts or tz, z cats
[1] צ׳ ץ׳ (Tsadi with geresh) č or ch chair
v ב (Veth)
ו (Vav)
וו (double Vav)
v, voice
w[4] וו (double Vav)
ו (Vav)
w we
χ ח (Heth)[2]
כ ך (Chaph)
/h or /ch/kh Similar to Scottish loch
z ז (Zayin) z zoo
ʒ ז׳ (Zayin with geresh) ž or j beige
ʔ א (Aleph)
ע (Ayin)[2]
ʾ or ' uh-(ʔ)oh
ʕ[2] ע (Ayin) ʿ or ' no English equivalent


Marginal sounds
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ð ד׳ (Dhaleth with geresh) th this
ŋ נג (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
θ ת׳ (Thav with geresh) th thing
Vowels
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ä ~ a Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach), Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) a between trap and palm
ä(ː) ~ ɑ(ː) ָ (Kamatz) a, ā palm
ɛ Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol), Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) e dress
e(ː) יHebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire-Yod), Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire) e, ei, ē face
e ~ ɪ ~ i Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i , e kit
i(ː) יHebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yod), Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i fleece
ɔ ָ  (Kamatz katan), Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) o cloth
o(ː) ֹ  (Holam alone), וֹ (with any mater lectionis) o, ō cloth, but less open
o ~ ʊ ~ u וּ (Vav with shuruk), Hebrew Backslash Qubuz.svg (Kubutz) u foot
u(ː) וּ (Vav with shuruk) u, ou, ū groose


Diphthongs
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
יHebrew Patah.svg (Patach-Yod), ָי (Kamatz-Yud) ai price
ɔɪ וֹי (Vav with holam male-Yod) oi choice
ʊɪ וּי (Vav with shuruq-Yod) ui similar to Australian choice, but the first vowel is Near-close vowel
ɑʊ (rare) אַוּ (Alef-Vav) ao mouth
ɛʊ (rare) אֶוּ (Alef-Vav) eu similar to Irish mouth, but the first vowel is less open
(rare) יְHebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud with Shva Nach)
i.e. "נִיְלֵן" [niɪˈlen]
iy like see


Other symbols
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable), e.g. אֹכֶל ('food') /ˈʔo:xɛl/, אוֹכֵל‏ ('eating' [participle]) /ʔo:ˈxe:l/
ˌ Secondary stress, e.g. הֲאֻמְנָם? ('oh, really?') /ˌhəʔʊmˈnɑ:m/
ː Long vowels (in Tiberian Hebrew) can be transcribed using the IPA gemination sign ː, e.g. the word for "hand" would be יָד /jɔːd/ in absolute state and יַד־ /jad/ in construct state.[5] Indicating normative consonant gemination is done with a double consonant, e.g. גַּנָּב ('a thief') /ɡanˈnɔv/ not /ɡaˈnːɔv/

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c /dʒ, ts, tʃ/ are officially written with a tie-bar in the IPA /d͡ʒ, t͡s, t͡ʃ/, respectively. The tie-bar is omitted for simplification.
  2. ^ a b c d e In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /ħ, ʕ, q/ have merged with /χ, ʔ, k/, respectively, while /ħ, ʕ/ are still distinguished by Oriental Hebrew speakers.
  3. ^ /ʁ/ is uvular for most speakers, though some speakers, mostly Orientals, retain an alveolar pronunciation: [r]~[ɾ].
  4. ^ In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /w/ appears in a few words, mostly loanwords. Example: וואו (wow) /waw/. Sometimes, in words which originally have /w/, it is approximated to [v].
  5. ^ Vowel length and quality in Tiberian Hebrew is a matter of debate; this is just one possible example