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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 resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-he}}, {{IPAc-he}} and Resource: 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.

IPA Biblical IPA Modern Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
b ‎ (Be? d?gu?ah) b bet
d ‎ (Dale? d?gu?ah) d dark
ð d ?‎ (?ale? rafah) ?, dh, d this
f ? ?‎ (Fei rafah) f or p? fool
? ‎ (Gimel d?gu?ah) g go
? ? ?‎ (?imel rafah) ?, gh, g go
h ?‎ (Hei) h hen
?[1] ? ?‎ (?e?) ? or ch no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j ?‎ (Yo?) y yes
k ‎ (Kaf d?gu?ah)
k skin
l ?‎ (Lame?) l left
m ? ?‎ (Mem) m man
n ? ?‎ (Nun) n no
p ‎ (Pei d?gu?ah) p spin
q[1] k ?‎ (Qof) q or k k is equivalent to skin. q has no English equivalent; like cup but with the tongue further back
r[2] ? ?‎ (Resh) r Somewhat like run/French rouge
s ?‎ (Samekh)
‎ (Sin smalit)
s see
s? ts[3] ? ?‎ (?adi) ?, ts (or tz) cats
? ‎ (?in Yemanit) ? or sh she
t ‎ (Taw) t sting
t? t ?‎ (?e?) ?, t sting
? t ?‎ (?aw) ?, th, t thing
v ?‎ (Ve? rafah)
v voice
w v ?‎ (Vav) v vote
x ? ? ?‎ (?af rafah) ? or ch/kh Similar to Scottish loch
z ?‎ (Zayin) z zoo
?[1] ? ?‎ (Ayin) ? or ' no English equivalent, but the sound has merged in non-Oriental Hebrew to the sound below
? ?‎ (Alef)
? or ' uh-(?)oh

Marginal sounds (used in transliteration and loan words)
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English
d?[3] ‎ (Gimel with gere?) ? or j joy
? ‎ (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
? ‎ (Zayin with geresh) ? beige
t?[3] ‎ (?adi with geresh) ? or ch chair
? ‎ (Tav with geresh) th thing
ð ‎ (Dalet with geresh) th the
w[4] ‎ (double Vav) w we
IPA Biblical IPA Modern Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
a Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach) a father
e Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire) e bed
? e Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol) ?, e bed
? e Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) ?, e bed
i ?Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud), Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i see
o ?‎  (Holam alone), ‎ (with any mater lectionis) o story
? o ?‎  (Kamatz katan) ?, o story
a ?‎ (Kamatz) ?, a father
u ‎ (Vav with shuruk), Hebrew Backslash Qubuz.svg (Kubutz) u boot

IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
ei ?Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol-Yud), Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire) ei day
ai ?Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach-Yud), ‎ (Kamatz-Yud) ai why
oi ‎ (Vav with holam male-Yud) oi boy
ui ‎ (Vav with shuruq-Yud) ui two years
ao (rare) ‎ (Alef-Vav) ao cow
ju (rare) ‎ (Yud-Vav with shuruk) yu cute
ij (rare) Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud with Shva Nach)
i.e. "?‎" [nij'len]
iy like see

Other symbols
IPA Explanation
' Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable): ‎ ('food') /'?o?el/, ?‎ ('eating' [participle]) /?o'?el/
? Secondary stress, e.g. ?‎ ('oh, really?') /?ha?um'nam/
: Long vowels (in Tiberian Hebrew) can be transcribed using the IPA gemination sign :: the word for "hand" would be /ja:d/ in absolute state and ?/jad/ in construct state.[5] Indicating normative consonant gemination uses a double consonant: ?‎ ('a thief') /?an'nav/ not /?a'n:av/


  1. ^ a b c In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /?, ?, q/ have merged with /?, ?, k/ respectively, but /?, ?/ are still distinguished by Oriental Hebrew speakers.
  2. ^ The sound is uvular for most speakers, but a few speakers, mostly Orientals and some news broadcasters, retain an alveolar pronunciation: ~.
  3. ^ a b c /d?, ts, t?/ are officially written with a tie-bar in the IPA /d, t?s, t/ respectively, but the tie-bar is here omitted for simplicity.
  4. ^ In Modern Israeli Hebrew, appears in a few words, mostly loanwords: ? (wow) /waw/. In some words that originally had , it is approximated to .
  5. ^ Vowel length and quality in Tiberian Hebrew is a matter of debate, and that is just one possible example.

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