Help:IPA/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 Classical IPA Modern 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 this
f פ ף‬ (Fei rafah) f or fool
ɡ גּ‬ (Gimel dǝgušah) g go
ɣ ɡ ג‬ (Ǧimel rafah) ǧ, gh, g go
h ה‬ (Hei) h hen
ħ[1] χ ח‬ (Ḥeť) or ch no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j י‬ (Yoď) y yes
k כּ‬ (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 no English equivalent; like cup but with the tongue further back
r[2] ʁ ר‬ (Resh) r Somewhat like run/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
v ב‬ (Veť rafah)
v voice
w v ו‬ (Vav) v vote
w[4] וו‬ (double Vav) w we
x χ ח‬ (Chet)[1]
כ ך‬ (Ǩaf rafah)
ǩ or ch/kh Similar to Scottish loch
z ז‬ (Zayin) z zoo
ʕ[1] ʔ ע‬ (Ayin) ʿ or ' no English equivalent
ʔ א‬ (Alef)
ʾ or ' uh-(ʔ)oh


Marginal sounds
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English approximation
[3] ג׳‬ (Gimel with gereš) ǧ or j joy
ð ד׳‬ (Dalet with geresh) ď, dh this
ŋ נג‬ (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
ʒ ז׳‬ (Zayin with geresh) ž beige
[3] צ׳ ץ׳‬ (Ṣadi with geresh) č or ch chair
θ ת׳‬ (Tav with geresh) th thing
Vowels
IPA Classical IPA Modern Letter(s) Romanisation English approximation
a Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach) a father
e Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire) e bed
ɛ e Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol) ɛ, e bed
ǝ e, ∅ Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) ǝ, e bed
i יHebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud), Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i see
o ֹ‬  (Holam alone), וֹ‬ (with any mater lectionis) o story
ɔ o ָ‬  (Kamatz katan) ɔ, o story
a ָ‬ (Kamatz) ɔ, a all
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. 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.[5] Indicating normative consonant gemination uses a double consonant: גַּנָּב‬ ('a thief') /ɡanˈnav/ not /ɡaˈnːav/

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d 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. ^ is uvular for most speakers, but a few speakers, mostly Orientals, 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 omitted for simplification.
  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.