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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 Template:IPA 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.

BH MH Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
b בּ‎ (Beť dǝgušah) b bet
d דּ‎ (Daleť dǝgušah) d dark
ð d ד‎ (Ďaleť rafah) ď, dh, d BH: this
MH: dark
ɸ f פ ף‎ (Fei rafah) f or fool
ɡ גּ‎ (Gimel dǝgušah) g go
ɣ ɡ ג‎ (Ǧimel rafah) ǧ, gh, g BH: Spanish fuego
MH: go
h ה‎ (He) h hen
ħ[1] χ ח‎ (Ḥeť) or ch BH: hen but pharyngeal
MH: Scottish loch
j י‎ (Yoď) y yes
k כּ ךּ‎ (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 BH: cup, but uvular.
MH: skin.
r[2] ʁ ר‎ (Resh) r BH: trilled or tapped run.
MH: 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
β v ב‎ (Veť rafah)
v voice
w v ו‎ (Vav) v BH: would
MH: vote
x χ כ ך‎ (Ǩaf rafah) ǩ or ch/kh Scottish loch
z ז‎ (Zayin) z zoo
ʕ[1] ʔ ע‎ (Ayin) ʿ or ' BH: No equivalent; Arabic 'ayn (ع)
MH: uh-(ʔ)oh
ʔ א‎ (Alef)
ʾ or ' uh-(ʔ)oh

Marginal sounds (used in transliteration and loan words)
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English
[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
BH MH Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
a  (Patach) a father
e  (Zeire) e Scottish bay
ɛ e  (Segol) ɛ, e BH: bed
MH: Scottish bay
ə  (Shva) ǝ, e BH: comma
i י(Hiriq-Yud), (Hiriq) i see
o  (Holam alone), וֹ‎ (with any mater lectionis) o story
ɔ o  (Kamatz katan) ɔ, o BH: off
MH: story
a  (Kamatz) ɔ, a BH: maw
MH: father
u וּ‎ (Vav with shuruk), (Kubutz) u boot

IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ei י (Segol-Yud), (Zeire) ei day
ai י (Patach-Yud), י (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) יְ(Hiriq-Yud with Shva Nach)
i.e. "נִיְלֵן‎" [nijˈlen]
iy like see

Other symbols
IPA Explanation
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/


  1. ^ a b c In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /ħ, ʕ, q/ have merged with /χ, ʔ, k/ respectively, but /ħ, ʕ/ are still distinguished by Oriental Hebrew speakers.
  2. ^ The sound is uvular for most speakers, but a few speakers, mostly Sefardim and some news broadcasters, retain an alveolar pronunciation: [r]~[ɾ].
  3. ^ a b c /dʒ, ts, tʃ/ are officially written with a tie-bar in the IPA /d͡ʒ, t͡s, t͡ʃ/ respectively, but the tie-bar is here omitted for simplicity.
  4. ^ a b Sometimes confused by speakers who don't hear a distinction between [ð] and [θ].
  5. ^ In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /w/ appears in a few words, mostly loanwords: וואו (wow) /waw/. In some words that originally had /w/, it is approximated to [v].
  6. ^ In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /ɣ/ appears in a transliteration from Arabic, like: ע'ין (Ghayn) /ɣain/.
  7. ^ Vowel length and quality in Tiberian Hebrew is a matter of debate, and that is just one possible example.

See also[edit]