Talk:Waw/Vav (letter)

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For the Record[edit]

A Roman Catholic medical institution has been known to administer the marking of the forehead of individuals with a mark similar to the Hebrew and Aramaic letters shown in the article. One does not even have to be older than five to seven years of age to receive the mark. The mark does not guarantee a long life free of being murdered at the hands of another, either. If, after dying, one requests to go to Heaven dead, a fella in Heaven raises them from the dead and traces his finger across the mark; then the individual is set back down upon the Earth in a continuation of life. Gnostics (talk) 03:18, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Syriac letters[edit]

Why are the Syriac version of the letters either undetailed, not given enough detail, or not included in the article? example Ayin doesn't have a Syriac part of it even though it's part of the Syriac alphabet. Please add a more detailed part of the Syriac alphabet, the Syriac/Aramaic alphabet is older than the Hebrew alphabet. (talk) 08:35, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Why font variants for Hebrew?[edit]

I don't think we should be showing two font variants for the Hebrew letter vav in the summary table. For almost all letters, the two forms are very similar, much more similar than the variants in Arabic (for example). The space would be much better used to show more distant variants such as Syriac. Note that I have also argued against showing font variants in the Greek alphabet article. I know that the other Phoenician letters have two variants -- that should be changed in time.... --Macrakis 01:45, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


It is unclear whether this letter is pronounced like English W or V. Anything it depends on (e.g. variant of Hebrew, time in history, etc.) Georgia guy 19:42, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Pronounciation Answer[edit]

According to the article W is not a native phenome of that region, therefore it follows that they would pronounce it as V. Scratchnloved 23:55, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


To my knowledge "you loved" is 'ahavta' (אהבת) for masculine singular, for feminine singular it would be 'ahavt' which is written the same way in Hebrew but with different nikkud.--rjc 16:33, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Vav and not Waw[edit]

When did post-ancient Jews start calling this letter Vav, ie when did the sound change from /w/ to /v/ occur? Obviously, Ruth רות, for example, isn't pronounced "Revet", neither is עםוס pronounced "Amevos", so Waw maintains its original value in biblical times, as can be seen in Greek transliterations of Hebrew names. עזםות is transliterated as Αζμωθ, with an omega for the Waw. Avot, which I would write Abot, has a Waw for the /o/ and a Bet for the /v/. -- spincontrol 09:02, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know, vav originated as /w/ or /β̞/; the long /o/ was originally the diphthong /aw/, as even today the difference between spoken Arabic and literary Arabic shows, e.g. "day" in literary Arabic is pronounced /jaum/ and in spoken Arabic /joːm/ (Modern Hebrew /jɔ̝m/) – similarly to the way English "faun" is pronounced /fɔːn/ whereas German preserves the diphthong pronunciation /faun/. Don't know when the shift occurred, though. Dan Pelleg (talk) 17:52, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

When was it ever pronounced [β̞] though? I thought the sound was [w] in Biblical Hebrew (which it still is in Mizrahi dialects) and this changed to [v] under the influence of European languages.AlexanderKaras (talk) 07:30, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Is it only coincidental that in Persian it's also vav? TFighterPilot (talk) 09:04, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
According to the Hebrew alphabet subsection of the article on alphabets in the Encyclopedia Britannica "though it must be borne in mind that for several letters (waw, het, tzade, qof, shin, sin, and so forth) the exact original phonetic value is still uncertain." However they do seem to think that "waw" is the best idea we have of the original pronunciation. Someone with authoritative knowledge on the subject should rework the "Hebrew Vav" subsection to include the distinction between modern Hebrew "vav" and the ancient and classical Hebrew "waw".Lpt101095 (talk) 04:58, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

THe move away from "waw" was undiscussed, and very ill-advised. These things should be discussed in detail, and with the proper expertise, but this should happen before people start moving things around on a whim.

I respect that this letter happens to be pronounced as /vav/ in Modern Hebrew. This is worth noting, but this is an article about a family of Iron Age script, not about the phonology of Modern Hebrew. For details on the phonology of Modern Hebrew, kindly turn to Modern Hebrew phonology. --dab (𒁳) 10:41, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Lumping all genetically related letters from different Semitic languages in single articles was a bad decision (I suppose it was discussed somewhere?). Would anybody think it sane to combine e.g. the three articles about Latin Y, Greek Υ and Cyrillic У into one? Or even better, let's lump them all in here – they all decended from Phoenician waw.png – Phoenician Waw – didn't they. Dan 19:16, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
When I was a child of ten to twelve, I had the privilege of living in Germany, in the small town of Ramstein (in the Rhineland Palatinate), a town surrounded by a neat and trim forest, and mediaeval castles, and many a quaint villages overlaid with cobblestones, &c. It was there that I had my first encounter with the German language. European Jewry, of course, was steeped for many centuries in the German culture, and Yiddish (the Lingua Franca of European Jews) has its marked German influence, as everyone knows. However, what very few people know is that in the German language there is no "W" sound, as in English. In German, as also in Yiddish, the "W" is pronounced as an English "V," as in wasser (water) = pronounced "vasser;" or the German was, (what) = pronounced "vass." So, naturally, having no "W" sound, the Jews of Europe who had been reared upon the German language, when they saw the Hebrew letter ו (wāw), they pronounced it as "vāv." When European Jewry came up to Israel and spread their native speech in their new homeland, the same vernacular was quickly caught on by the common masses. The Yemenite Jews, as far as I know, are the only Jews in Israel who continue to read wāw as wāw (i.e. as the English "w") in all of their biblical lections and liturgical readings. Originally, all Jews in Arab countries pronounced the wāw (vāv) as the English "W".Davidbena (talk) 00:44, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Maltese "u" (sometimes "w")[edit]

May be worth noting a comparison to the Maltese "u" (sometimes written /pronunced "w" ). NOte to self. 「ѕʀʟ·」 05:39, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

However, this article is about the related graphemes, not phonemes, isn't it? Dan 18:15, 2 December 2012 (UTC)