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ISO 259-3 is a standard for the phonemic conversion and representation of Hebrew in the Latin script. 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 259-3 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.
Tables of conversion
Each consonant character in the Hebrew script is converted into its unique Latin character:
|Latin||ʾ or ˀ||b||g||d||h||w||z||ḥ||ṭ||y||k||l||m||n||s||ʿ or ˁ see note||p||c||q||r||š||t||ǧ||ž||č||ś|
^note According to the standard, the ayin (ע) can be represented either as ʿ, U+02BF ʿ modifier letter left half ring (HTML:
ʿ) or as ˁ, U+02C1 ˁ modifier letter reversed glottal stop (HTML:
ˁ). The latter is often confused with ˤ, U+02E4 ˤ modifier letter small reversed glottal stop (HTML:
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.