Help:IPA for Hebrew

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Modern Hebrew language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. 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 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 (Bet Dgusha) b bet
d ד‎ (Dalet) d dark
[1] ג׳‎ (Gimel with geresh) ǧ or j joy
f פ ף‎ (Fei Rafa) f or fool
ɡ ג‎ (Gimel) g go
h ה‎ (Hei) h hen
ħ[2] ח‎ (Chet) or ch no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j י‎ (Yud) y yes
k כּ‎ (Kaph Dgusha)
ק‎ (Qoph)
k skin
l ל‎ (Lamed) l left
m מ ם‎ (Mem) m man
n נ ן‎ (Nun) n no
p פּ‎ (Pei dgusha) p spin
q[2] ק‎ (Qoph) q or k no English equivalent; like cup but with the tongue further back
r[3] ר‎ (Resh) r Somewhat like run
ʁ[3] French rouge
s ס‎ (Samech)
שׂ‎ (Sin Smalit)
s see
ʃ שׁ‎ (Shin Yemanit) š or sh she
t ט‎ (Tet)
ת‎ (Tav)
t sting
ts[1] צ ץ‎ (Tsadi) ts (or tz) cats
[1] צ׳ ץ׳‎ (Tsadi with geresh) č or ch chair
v ב‎ (Vet Rapha)
ו‎ (Vav)
וו‎ (double Vav)
v or ḇ/w voice
w[4] וו‎ (double Vav)
ו‎ (Vav)
w we
χ ח‎ (Chet)[2]
כ ך‎ (Chaph Rafa)
ḥ/ḵ or ch/kh Similar to Scottish loch
z ז‎ (Zayin) z zoo
ʒ ז׳‎ (Zayin with geresh) ž 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) Romanisation English approximation
ð ד׳‎ (Dalet with geresh) th this
ŋ נג‎ (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
θ ת׳‎ (Tav with geresh) th thing
Vowels
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English approximation
a ָ‎ (Kamatz), Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach) a father
e Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire), Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol), Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) e bed
i יHebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud), Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i see
o ֹ‎  (Holam alone), וֹ‎ (with any mater lectionis), ָ‎  (Kamatz katan) o story
u וּ‎ (Vav with shuruk), Hebrew Backslash Qubuz.svg (Kubutz) u boot


Diphthongs
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ei יHebrew Segol.svg (Segol-Yud), Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire) ei day
ai יHebrew Patah.svg (Patach-Yud), ָי‎ (Kamatz-Yud) ai why
oi וֹי‎ (Vav with holam male-Yud) oi boy
ui וּי‎ (Vav with shuruq-Yud) ui we
ao (rare) או‎ (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
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable): אֹכֶל‎ ('food') /ˈʔoχel/, אוֹכֵל‏‎ ('eating' [participle]) /ʔoˈχel/
ˌ Secondary stress, e.g. הֲאֻמְנָם?‎ ('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.[5] Indicating normative consonant gemination uses a double consonant: גַּנָּב‎ ('a thief') /ɡanˈnav/ not /ɡaˈnːav/

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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 omitted for simplification.
  2. ^ a b c d e In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /ħ, ʕ, q/ have merged with /χ, ʔ, k/ respectively, but /ħ, ʕ/ are still distinguished by Oriental Hebrew speakers.
  3. ^ a b /ʁ/ is uvular for most speakers, but a few speakers, mostly Orientals, retain an alveolar pronunciation: [r]~[ɾ].
  4. ^ 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].
  5. ^ Vowel length and quality in Tiberian Hebrew is a matter of debate, and that is just one possible example.