ו (vav/waw) - Pronunciation

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Hemza

Senior Member
French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
I disagree with two things in that table regarding vav:
- The Tiberian pronunciation is unknown whether it was [v] or [w].
- In Mishaic Hebrew, there is already some confusion between bet and vav, showing that they were pronounced the same (at least by some people) at the time.
If I understand well, "bet" and "vav" are sometimes confused with each other? Like the verb "to write", you mean that it can be pronounced either "katabti" (like in Arabic) or "katavti"?
 
  • arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    If I understand well, "bet" and "vav" are sometimes confused with each other? Like the verb "to write", you mean that it can be pronounced either "katabti" (like in Arabic) or "katavti"?
    no, bet is a letter that either delivers the sound b or v, depends if its with dagesh or not. its katavti with a vet, not a vav
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    If I understand well, "bet" and "vav" are sometimes confused with each other? Like the verb "to write", you mean that it can be pronounced either "katabti" (like in Arabic) or "katavti"?
    First of all to clarify, Mishnaic Hebrew was the Hebrew of the first few centuries A.D., during which most of the Hebrew daily prayers were written.

    At that time, "I wrote" was almost certainly always pronounced "katavti", with a "v". The question is whether they pronounced the letter vav as "w" or "v". The link that origumi gave said that it was pronounced "w", but actually there is evidence of confusion between bet and vav. Take for example the words אביב (aviv, "spring") and אביו (aviv, "his father"). Today, these words are pronounced exactly the same, but at some point historically, "spring" was pronounced "aviv", while "his father" was pronounced "aviw". The question is then whether these two words were pronounced the same way in Mishnaic Hebrew. The confusion I was referring to is when someone writes a vav when the word should have a bet, or when someone writes a bet when the word should have a vav. There is evidence that such confusion existed in Mishnaic Hebrew, proving that some people already pronounced words like "his father" and "spring" the same way.

    In case you're interested, Syrian Jews say "katabti" for "I wrote" (but they pronounce vav as "v", not "w").
     
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    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    It reminds me my Arabic teacher, he was Syrian and could speak perfect French, but he was rolling the "r" because he thought it "made more sense" and that sounded more "true" and "beautiful" to his ears. We were like?.... :)
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    First of all to clarify, Mishnaic Hebrew was the Hebrew of the first few centuries A.D., during which most of the Hebrew daily prayers were written.

    At that time, "I wrote" was almost certainly always pronounced "katavti", with a "v". The question is whether they pronounced the letter vav as "w" or "v". The link that origumi gave said that it was pronounced "w", but actually there is evidence of confusion between bet and vav. Take for example the words אביב (aviv, "spring") and אביו (aviv, "his father"). Today, these words are pronounced exactly the same, but at some point historically, "spring" was pronounced "aviv", while "his father" was pronounced "aviw". The question is then whether these two words were pronounced the same way in Mishnaic Hebrew. The confusion I was referring to is when someone writes a vav when the word should have a bet, or when someone writes a bet when the word should have a vav. There is evidence that such confusion existed in Mishnaic Hebrew, proving that some people already pronounced words like "his father" and "spring" the same way.

    In case you're interested, Syrian Jews say "katabti" for "I wrote" (but they pronounce vav as "v", not "w").
    Many thanks for explanation.

    Could be it because of the differences of Hebrew dialects a while ago? I mean may be, those differences of pronounciation comes from the fact that there were regional dialects or even Hebrew-Aramaic speakers?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    It reminds me my Arabic teacher, he was Syrian and could speak perfect French, but he was rolling the "r" because he thought it "made more sense" and that sounded more "true" and "beautiful" to his ears. We were like?.... :)
    Off topic: the rolled "r" isn't a mistake in French, it exists in some rural areas ;). But I admit that saying this as your Syrian teacher was saying is a bit weird :D. I'm sure it was just a pretext because he couldn't pronounce it correctly :D (joking).

    In Hebrew, it makes sense to say what I've said since the "r" is originally rolled. As I said, I'm no one to tell to people how to speak but I want to stick to old Hebrew, even if it can sound odd to a Hebrew speaker :). That's because why Modern Hebrew sound weird to me: those three letters "ר ,ח ,כ" are pronounced the same, as a "כ" and I hear too much "כ", it doesn't sound beautiful (again, no offense, that's just my opinion, my French friends find Arabic horrible lol) that's why I prefer to adopt the old Hebrew pronounciation :).
     
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    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    If anything, ר is closer to Arabic ghayn, isn't it? It's certainly not pronounced the same as כ and ח. It's sometimes so soft that you barely hear it, like noix / noir in French.
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Ok now, how are you planning on pronouncing words like אח (brother)? will you pronounce it like أخ (as it is in arabic) or like أح ? won't you feel you "miss" something?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    If anything, ר is closer to Arabic ghayn, isn't it? It's certainly not pronounced the same as כ and ח. It's sometimes so soft that you barely hear it, like noix / noir in French.
    No (as far as I know) the "ר" is like "ر" (ra) a rolled "r". The "ghayn" is written like this "غ" which is like the French "r". Those are two different letters. I meant that some letters (sorry, I avoid to quote them to avoid mistakes as I did) are pronounced in modern Hebrew like the "kh" sound right? Or the "ghayn", I forgot :(.

    Ok now, how are you planning on pronouncing words like אח (brother)? will you pronounce it like أخ (as it is in arabic) or like أح ? won't you feel you "miss" something?
    I plan to pronounce it as it was pronounced in old Hebrew :). I suppose it's pronounced like the Arabic one (أخ) right?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Sorry, I think I made everyone confused. I'll try to explain my point:

    When I hear modern Hebrew, I hear sounds like "kh" or "gh" (Arabic "خ" or "غ") but I NEVER hear the sounds "ha" (Arabic "ح"). Same with "kaf": I always hear "k" but never "q" (the glottal one "ق") while those sounds exist in Hebrew.

    Example: how do you say in modern AND old Hebrew "a horn"? in Arabic (transcripted) it's "qurn" (with the ק/ق) and I'm pretty sure that it's the same in old Hebrew. And I think that in modern Hebrew, this sound is pronounced like an English "k" right?

    So I would like to pronounce Hebrew with all the letters and not replacing some with other sounds like modern hebrew speakers seem to do.

    I'm sorry if I hurt anyone with my opinion about modern Hebrew pronounciation but I prefer the old one.

    I've found a video on youtube of a guy who explain how to pronounce all the letters in biblical Hebrew so it helped me a lot. BUT he said that "ו" was pronounced like "w" in English and at the end, he speaks about a letter, "taw" (English "w") but he pronounce it "tav" (English "v). It's confusing, I'm sorry if I bother you with all my questions, but I'm a bit lost, I wasn't expecting Hebrew alphabet to be sooo confusing :D for me and it's annoying as hell because it's really close to Arabic!!!
     
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    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    In a previous post, you said that כ, ח and ר are all pronounced the same in modern hebrew, namely kh. That's not the case. כ (without dagesh) and ח are, but ר is a whole different sound , similar to french r or close to Arabic ghayn.

    Now, no : in biblical hebrew, ح and خ merged into one sound, ح, noted ח. So Biblical Hebrew makes no difference between those two radicals. אח was pronounced أح, unlike Arabic. Same with 'ayn and ghayn, that merged into 'ayn, hence the very disturbing pair ערב / מערב (Arab / Western)
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    In a previous post, you said that כ, ח and ר are all pronounced the same in modern hebrew, namely kh. That's not the case. כ (without dagesh) and ח are, but ר is a whole different sound , similar to french r or close to Arabic ghayn.

    Now, no : in biblical hebrew, ح and خ merged into one sound, ح, noted ח. So Biblical Hebrew makes no difference between those two radicals. אח was pronounced أح, unlike Arabic. Same with 'ayn and ghayn, that merged into 'ayn, hence the very disturbing pair ערב / מערב (Arab / Western)
    I FINALLY understood what is "dagesh" :D.

    Yes, sorry, I was wrong, I thought modern Hebrew pronounce those letters a a "kh" while it's actually as a "gh". So I prefer to avoid this pronounciation and stick to old Hebrew's pronounciation.

    So why the guy in the video about old Hebrew pronounciation I watched, was making a distinction between the letters "khaf" and "het"? Are you sure it merged?
     
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    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    כ without dagesh is like german ch,
    כ with dagesh is like english k.
    ב dagesh is b
    ב dageshless is v
    ח is kh
    ק is lost, nowadays its like k, and if anyone can provide its original sound...
    anything else?
     

    bazq

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    כ without dagesh is like german ch,
    כ with dagesh is like english k.
    ב dagesh is b
    ב dageshless is v
    ח is kh
    ק is lost, nowadays its like k, and if anyone can provide its original sound...
    anything else?
    You make it seem as if there's a distinction between a כ without a degesh, and ח, when there clearly isn't.
    They are both pronounced χ.

    Before ק shifted to /k/ it was probably /q/ or an ejective /k'/.
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Regarding the merger I was referring to earlier : the two semitic inherited phonemes /kh/ and /H/ merged in pre-biblical times into /H/, whereas Arabic kept them distinct.
    Much later, in modern times, that /H/ raised to /kh/.

    So whereas Arabic has /'akh/ (brother), /khamsa/ (five) but /waaHid/ (one), Biblical Hebrew had /'aH/, /Hamesh/, /eHad/ with /H/ for all three, and Modern Hebrew /'akh/, /khamesh/, /ekhad/ with /kh/ for all three.

    You're free to choose your side, either biblical or modern, but pronouncing אחד (one) and חמש (five) with two different types of sound for ח is NOT an option...
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    You make it seem as if there's a distinction between a כ without a degesh, and ח, when there clearly isn't.
    They are both pronounced χ.

    Before ק shifted to /k/ it was probably /q/ or an ejective /k'/.
    there should be, im telling how it should be.
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    So the difference that we "should" make, is "German ch" for כ (w/o dagesh) on one side, and "kh" for ח on the other. How would you qualify the difference between those two sounds? In what ways is German ch different from kh?

    Moreover, when you say "should", what type of hebrew are you referring to?
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    kh is like the arabic equivalent of khet (guys who know how to show the correct api sound please do)
    when i say should, i mean some sort of combination of ashkenazi and temani pronunciation rules. the way we should be speaking is:
    for בגד כפת
    ב dagesh b, no dagesh v
    ג dagesh g, no dagesh temani thingy (or is it the other way around?)
    ד dagesh d, no dagesh ditto
    כ dagesh k, no dagesh ch
    פ dagesh p, no dagesh f/ph
    ת dagesh t, no dagesh th

    ק arabic thingy
    ע is like 3
    א regular a sounds
    ה h

    is there any letter i missed with confusions?
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I think that in the wildest dreams of the revitalists and purists, nobody ever ever had this type of Hebrew as a target...

    Well, are you starting tomorrow?
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    I think that in the wildest dreams of the revitalists and purists, nobody ever ever had this type of Hebrew as a target...

    Well, are you starting tomorrow?
    im saying what should be, as ashkenazi i dont think i can produce now all of beged kefet, im too old to learn the sounds. same for q.
    i am though trying to put (avri gilad style) khet and ayin correctly.
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Ok, so you're talking about how it probably *was*.

    Plus you forgot :
    ט, like emphatic t in Arabic.
    צ, like emphatic s in Arabic (but this sounds is a merger of three Arabic consonant : ض ص and ظ).

    And I would precise :
    ד without dagesh : like ذ

    @Hemza: we need to do all the above ;) Either you go Biblical, or you don't...
    BehaSlaHa welehith-ra'oth !
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Regarding the merger I was referring to earlier : the two semitic inherited phonemes /kh/ and /H/ merged in pre-biblical times into /H/, whereas Arabic kept them distinct.
    Much later, in modern times, that /H/ raised to /kh/.

    So whereas Arabic has /'akh/ (brother), /khamsa/ (five) but /waaHid/ (one), Biblical Hebrew had /'aH/, /Hamesh/, /eHad/ with /H/ for all three, and Modern Hebrew /'akh/, /khamesh/, /ekhad/ with /kh/ for all three.

    You're free to choose your side, either biblical or modern, but pronouncing אחד (one) and חמש (five) with two different types of sound for ח is NOT an option...
    Thanks for those explainations. I'll go for Biblical Hebrew, so the sound "kh" wasn't pronounced in Biblical Hebrew so I shall pronounce "ח" as a "H". But in the video, the guy was clearly making a difference between the letter "khaf" and the letter "Het". I'm not saying you're wrong, but WHO must I trust? You or the guy in the video?

    Ps: if you want the video, I can send you the link by private message.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    כ is pronounced either as /k/ or /x/; that is, kaf or khaf. I believe this feature was imported from Aramaic into Hebrew sometime between the 5th and 1st centuries BC. If you don't care about the pronunciation of Modern Hebrew you might as well pronounce it as /k/ in all cases, then you wouldn't have any instances of /x/ at all.

    It's amusing to hear it from an Arabic native, this is exactly what many Hebrew speakers would say about Arabic (and also about Dutch maybe, but this is irrelevant here).
    This sounds strange to me. I would guess, since Modern Hebrew has /x/ as a reflex of three proto-Semitic phonemes and Arabic only of one, Modern Hebrew would have a much higher proportion of /x/ than in Arabic.

    kh is like the arabic equivalent of khet (guys who know how to show the correct api sound please do)
    If you mean like Arabic ح (IPA: /ħ/) than your use of 'kh' is very confusing. We usually use 'kh' to transliterate /x~χ/, equivalent to German 'ch'. The presence of k makes us think it's a velar sound, whereas /ħ/ is pharyngeal. It would be better if you used a capital H to transcribe this sound, as is fairly common with regards to Arabic.
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    If you mean like Arabic ح (IPA: /ħ/) than your use of 'kh' is very confusing. We usually use 'kh' to transliterate /x~χ/, equivalent to German 'ch'. The presence of k makes us think it's a velar sound, whereas /ħ/ is pharyngeal. It would be better if you used a capital H to transcribe this sound, as is fairly common with regards to Arabic.
    I speak hebrew, not arabic, i write as it was and is usually done by most people to show how hebrew letters should be pronounced.
    i honestly dont get why everyone is so confused, khet kh is the way temanim aslim say khet, same goes for ayin and all the rest of beged kefet, kuf, etc etc.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    The problem is when you write 'kh' people read it as the Ashkenazi pronunciation of ח, not the Yemeni one which is the one you seem to mean. This is what's getting people confused.
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Everyone is so confused because /kh/ is NEVER used to note the /H/ sound of yemenite ח. It's up to you to choose not to follow the conventions, but don't be surprised when people don't get what you aim at.
     

    k8an

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    The fact is that most Hebrew speakers are shockingly ignorant about Arabic and the same can be said if Arabic speakers about Hebrew. Hebrew speakers often think they know something about Arabic, but the reality is very different.

    This thread will likely go round and round in circles because of this. I suggest keeping threads to a specific topic (pronunciation of vav) in order to keep things tidy.
     
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    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    as i said hadronic, most people use kh to denote the temani khet sound. at least the people i know, and it makes sense really because if you notice, old english used kh for names and stuff with this kind of sound.
     

    bazq

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    thanks for the correction; in any case, today, most people in israel (at least those i know) use kh for yemenite khet.
    Yes, some people use kh to represent ח and ch to represent כ when writing in the Latin alphabet (others use one of them to represent both), but do note that such transcriptions are "ill suited" to a linguistic discussion, let alone a historic one. It's not about פלצנות, it just helps to avoid misunderstandings like the one we encountered above.
     
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    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    This is all confusing because there were many mergers and splits in the History of Hebrew.

    Here's a short summary, using Hebrew letters to represent written letters and Arabic letters to represent sounds.

    In pre-classical Hebrew:
    - ח represented both ح and خ
    - כ/ך represented only ك
    - ק represented only ق

    At some point, ح and خ merged to ح

    At some point later, ك split into both ك and خ

    In classical Hebrew:
    - ח represented only ح
    - כ/ך represented both ك and خ
    - ק represented only ق


    Later, in some dialects, ح and خ merged to خ, and ك and ق merged to ك

    In Modern Hebrew (for most speakers):- ח represents خ
    - כ/ך represents both ك and خ
    - ק represents ك

    A similar story happened with ג and ע, and the sounds ج* and ع and غ, except that after Classical Hebrew, ع instead merged with ء, while غ merged back with ج*
    * the Egyptian ج "g"
     

    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Only in loanwords. It is actually written with double-vav.
    But contrarily to what arliepi states, double-vav is not, and by far, only used for that. In 99.99% of cases, it's the plain old "v" sound.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    thanks for the correction; in any case, today, most people in israel (at least those i know) use kh for yemenite khet.
    Hello, that's why I've got confused, because I was thinking you use "kh" for the letter "khaph". At least, that's how I understood it until now (and others too). For the "khet", I would have used "H". Good thing it has been clarified :).


    This is all confusing because there were many mergers and splits in the History of Hebrew.

    Here's a short summary, using Hebrew letters to represent written letters and Arabic letters to represent sounds.

    In pre-classical Hebrew:
    - ח represented both ح and خ
    - כ/ך represented only ك
    - ק represented only ق

    At some point, ح and خ merged to ح

    At some point later, ك split into both ك and خ

    In classical Hebrew:
    - ח represented only ح
    - כ/ך represented both ك and خ
    - ק represented only ق


    Later, in some dialects, ح and خ merged to خ, and ك and ق merged to ك

    In Modern Hebrew (for most speakers):- ח represents خ
    - כ/ך represents both ك and خ
    - ק represents ك

    A similar story happened with ג and ע, and the sounds ج* and ع and غ, except that after Classical Hebrew, ع instead merged with ء, while غ merged back with ج*
    * the Egyptian ج "g"
    What do you mean by "classical Hebrew" and "pre classical"?

    If it's too long to explain, it's ok, I'll do some research on internet ;). From what you wrote, I guess I was thinking about the "pre classical Hebrew". That's how I would like to pronounce it and I don't care if it sounds weird nowadays :).

    Thank you all for your help. I have to admit that when I wrote my post, I thought one reply would be enough, I wasn't expecting more than 70 :D. But you all helped me a lot so thank you.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    What do you mean by "classical Hebrew" and "pre classical"?

    If it's too long to explain, it's ok, I'll do some research on internet ;). From what you wrote, I guess I was thinking about the "pre classical Hebrew". That's how I would like to pronounce it and I don't care if it sounds weird nowadays :).
    Classical Hebrew is just a term I made up. I guess it represents Biblical Hebrew as seen and idealized by the Tiberian Masoretes (5th-10th century C.E.), while pre-Classical is probably what Biblical Hebrew really was in Biblical times. The problem is that no one really knows when any of these changes took place.
     
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    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Thank you :). So I'll keep your message, it's well made it will help me for pronounciation ^^.
    Just remember one more thing: The history of the vowels is even more complicated. It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Just remember one more thing: The history of the vowels is even more complicated. It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels.
    O_0

    So it's not like in Arabic? Or is spoken Hebrew different from written Hebrew like Arabic?
    Ps: Do you advise me to stop learning Hebrew and try another language? Joking :D
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    O_0

    So it's not like in Arabic? Or is spoken Hebrew different from written Hebrew like Arabic?
    Ps: Do you advise me to stop learning Hebrew and try another language? Joking :D
    No, it's not like Arabic. Classical Arabic has three vowels (a, i, u), which can all be long or short (and two diphthongs: ay, aw). If you go back far enough to way before Biblical times, Hebrew had the same system. Classical Hebrew has six vowels (a, e, i, o, u, ə). Three of them (a, e, o) can be long, short, or ultra-short (ultra-short may have actually been the same as short). Two of them (i, u) can be long or short. And the shva (ə) is always ultra-short. Tiberian Hebrew has seven (or eight if shva was considered different) vowels (a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u), with no length distinctions. Modern Hebrew only has five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) with no length distinctions. The actual vowel system of Biblical Hebrew in Biblical times is unknown.
     
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    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Just remember one more thing: The history of the vowels is even more complicated. It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels.

    How so? As far as I know, that is exactly what is done in the services of most American congregations; and it is certainly what is taught in most Hebrew Schools -- unless you maintain that the vowels of Biblical Hebrew are considerably different than the vowel sounds used today.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Just remember one more thing: The history of the vowels is even more complicated. It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels.

    How so? As far as I know, that is exactly what is done in the services of most American congregations; and it is certainly what is taught in most Hebrew Schools -- unless you maintain that the vowels of Biblical Hebrew are considerably different than the vowel sounds used today.
    Are you trying to say that American congregations use the Biblical Hebrew consonants? They most certainly do not.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Are you trying to say that American congregations use the Biblical Hebrew consonants? They most certainly do not.
    We were talking about vowels, I believe. As for consonants, how would we know the difference, as there is no recording of Biblical speech?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    We were talking about vowels, I believe.
    To clarify, when I said "It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels", I meant the combination of both at once.

    As for consonants, how would we know the difference, as there is no recording of Biblical speech?
    While we don't know what the consonants sounded like, we have pretty good guesses. If you're interested in what we do and do not know about Biblical Hebrew, I can recommend the book In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language.
     
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    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    To clarify, when I said "It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels", I meant the combination of both at once.

    That's what I thought. Are you saying that in American congregations when the Torah and Haftorah are read, or other Biblically-based liturgy, such as the Shema, that it is being pronounced "weirdly" in some way?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    To clarify, when I said "It would be very weird to try to pronounce words with the Biblical Hebrew consonants and the Modern Hebrew vowels", I meant the combination of both at once.

    That's what I thought. Are you saying that in American congregations when the Torah and Haftorah are read, or other Biblically-based liturgy, such as the Shema, that it is being pronounced "weirdly" in some way?
    You are completely misunderstanding me. I am not referring to the written text of the Bible, but the pronunciation of the consonants in Biblical times. American congregations do not use the Biblical Hebrew pronunciation of the consonants. All congregations I have ever heard of use either their own traditional pronunciation (Askenazi, Sefardi, etc., and many subdivisions thereof), the Modern Hebrew pronunciation, or some sort of mix of the two. None of those options correspond to the Biblical Hebrew pronunciation of consonants.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    as i said hadronic, most people use kh to denote the temani khet sound.
    That is a convention essentially only used in Israel and conflicts with the Western convention to use kh to denote the sound of German ch in oriental languages (e.g. Khalif and Khan). Neither of them is "right" or "wrong". You just have to be aware of the difference in transcription conventions.

    In the English speaking world, the transcription kh = /ħ/, i.e. Yemenite ח, is unknown. The digraph kh can either stand for /kʰ/ for transcriptions from languages that contrast /k/ and /kʰ/ (which Hebrew doesn't) or for /x/~/X/, i.e. the sound of Hebrew כ without dagesh. As hadronic explained you, in English and other Western languages, we rather use H the transcribe the sound of Yemenite ח. The traditional academic transcriptions are for כ and خ and for ח and ح.
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Hello everyone and sorry for not giving back news.

    I found 2 videos of prayer in Hebrew. The first one was recitated by a Yemeni and the second, it was stated that it was sephardi (Iberian or North African? Are they the same?) pronounciation. I had the impression to hear Arabic, the "ק", "ע" , "צ" and the "ט" (hope to not be wrong this time with letters :D) were pronounced (in the second video) and this is how I would like to pronounce Hebrew. It's not for conversing in Hebrew for the moment (I know no Hebrew speaker and my level is still far from being good).

    Ps: I have a friend who is Algerian-Tunisian. I guess he has the sephardic prononuciation (although he didn't speak Hebrew for 8 years) but it's not like in the video AT ALL, when he tells me how he pronounces :(. Which one is wrong? The video, stating that it's "sephardi pronounciation" or my friend who has been influenced by ashkenazi pronounciation, considering we live in France so they're kind of mixed?
     
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    hadronic

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I guess you got it by now : There isn't such a thing as "being wrong". There isn't one stage where you can say "this is Hebrew !!!". You choose your side, and go for it. (but don't try to speak with an Israeli after :D)
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I guess you got it by now : There isn't such a thing as "being wrong". There isn't one stage where you can say "this is Hebrew !!!". You choose your side, and go for it. (but don't try to speak with an Israeli after :D)
    I don't think I've said somewhere that modern Hebrew or any dialect/version of it is "wrong", I wouldn't allow myself to say such thing especially that even in Arabic dialects, some letters aren't pronounced like in standard Arabic. It's just that I want to adopt one of the pronounciation which isn't the modern one :).

    I guess I would be mocked but I don't care ;).
     
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