ISO 259

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ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew, dating to 1984, with updated ISO 259-2 (a simplification, disregarding several vowel signs, 1994) and ISO 259-3 (Phonemic Conversion, 1999). It is designed to deliver the common structure of the Hebrew word throughout the different dialects or pronunciation styles of Hebrew, in a way that it can be reconstructed into the original Hebrew characters by both man and machine. It is part of a series of standards (ISO 259) dealing with the Romanization of Hebrew characters into Latin characters.

ISO 259 is neither a character-by-character transliteration nor a phonetic transcription of one pronunciation style of Hebrew, but is instead phonemic from the view point that all the different dialects and pronunciations of Hebrew through the generations can be regarded as different realizations of the same structure, and by predefined reading rules every pronunciation style can be directly derived from it.


ISO 259-3: Hebrew romanization
Hebrew א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת ג׳ ז׳ צ׳ שׂ
Latin ʾ or  ˀ b g d h w z y k l m n s ʿ or  ˁ p c q r š t ǧ ž č ś

Each consonant character in the Hebrew script is converted into its unique Latin character. ISO 259-3 has five vowel characters, corresponding to the five vowel phonemes of Modern Hebrew: a, e, i, o, u. In addition there is a sixth sign for denoting the vowel /ej/ or /e/ that is written followed by ⟨י⟩ in common Hebrew spelling: ei.

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