Hebraization of English

The Hebraization [ [http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Hebraize Random House Unabridged Dictionary: Hebraize] ] of English (or Hebraicization [ [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hebraicize Random House Unabridged Dictionary: Hebraicize] ] of English) is the use of the Hebrew alphabet to transliterate English words.

For example, the English name spelled "Timothy" in the English alphabet can be Hebraized as "טימותי" in the Hebrew alphabet.

Hebraization includes any use of the Hebrew alphabet to transliterate English words. Usually it is to identify an English word in the Hebrew language. The term "transliteration" means using an alphabet to represent the letters and sounds of a word spelled in another alphabet, whereas the term "transcription" means using an alphabet to represent the sounds only. Hebraicization can do both.

The table below concisely shows the most common way in which transliteration is applied using the Modern/Israeli Hebrew pronunciation.

Also see Romanization of Hebrew for the method for going from Hebrew to a Latin or English script.

Because vowels are not consistent in English, they are in their own table at the end.



Final letters

Five letters in Hebrew, Nun, Mem, Tsadi, Pe/Fe, and Kaf, all have final or sofit (Hebrew: סוֹפִית "sofit") forms. That means, that the letter's appearances change when they are at the end of words from כ, פ, צ, מ, נ to ך, ף, ץ, ם, ן respectively. These final forms are almost never used in transliterations.

Vowels and diphthongs

Since vowels are not consistent in English, they are more difficult to transliterate into other languages. Sometimes they are just transliterated by the actual English letter, and other times by its actual pronunciation (which also varies). For the most accurate transliteration, below is a table describing the different vowel sounds and their corresponding letters.

Hebrew has only 5 vowels sounds, with lack of discrimination in Hebrew between long and short vowels. In comparison, English which has 12 vowel sounds (5 long, 7 short). As a result, words such as sit/seat (aprox. /IPA|sɪt/ and /IPA|sit/), hat/hut (aprox. /IPA|hæt/ and /IPA|hat/), and cop/cope (aprox. /IPA|kɒp/ and /IPA|kope/) are transliterated to seat (IPA|/sit/), hut (/IPA|hat/), and cope (/IPA|kope/). The English pronunciation can be known through prior context.

Vowels will sometimes be put into Hebrew by their letters, and not by their sounds, even though it is less accurate phonetically. For example, any sort of "a" sound written with the letter "o", (ex. mom, monitor, soft), will often be transliterated as an "o" vowel, that is, with a vav (ו). The same is the case for an -or ending (pronounced -er), it will also often be transliterated with a vav as well. If the word written with an a, or ah, as in spa, or spawn, it will be treated as an "a".

If there is an "ah" sound at the end of the word, (ex. cola), a He (ה) is used for that letter a.

The picture of the "O" represents whatever Hebrew letter is used.


* [http://hebrew-academy.huji.ac.il/PDF/LAT-HEB.pdf Hebrew Academy]

ee also

*International Phonetic Alphabet
*Hebrew phonology
*Hebrew alphabet
*Romanization of Hebrew

External links

* [http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/IPA_chart_(C)2005.pdf The International Phonetic Alphabet (revised to 2005)] Symbols for all languages are shown on this one-page chart.

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