Help:IPA for Hebrew

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Modern/Israeli Hebrew language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. Since Modern Hebrew has both non-Oriental and Oriental pronunciation, 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.
IPA Letter(s) Romanization English approximation
b בּ (Bet Dgusha) b bet
d ד (Dalet) d dark
[1] ג׳ (Gimel with geresh) ǧ or j joy
f פ ף (Fei Rafa) f or fool
ɡ ג (Gimel) g go
h ה (Hei) h hen
ħ[2] ח (Chet) or ch no English equivalent; like hen but with the tongue against the pharynx
j י (Yud) y yes
k כּ (Kaph Dgusha)
ק (Qoph)
k skin
l ל (Lamed) l left
m מ ם (Mem) m man
n נ ן (Nun) n no
p פּ (Pei dgusha) p spin
q[2] ק (Qoph) q or k no English equivalent; like cup but with the tongue further back
r[3] ר (Resh) r Somewhat like run
ʁ[3] French rouge
s ס (Samech)
שׂ (Sin Smalit)
s see
ʃ שׁ (Shin Yemanit) š or sh she
t ט (Tet)
ת (Tav)
t sting
ts[1] צ ץ (Tsadi) ts (or tz) cats
[1] צ׳ ץ׳ (Tsadi with geresh) č or ch chair
v ב (Vet Rapha)
ו (Vav)
וו (double Vav)
v or ḇ/w voice
w[4] וו (double Vav)
ו (Vav)
w we
χ ח (Chet)[2]
כ ך (Chaph Rafa)
ḥ/ḵ or ch/kh Similar to Scottish loch
z ז (Zayin) z zoo
ʒ ז׳ (Zayin with geresh) ž beige
ʔ א (Aleph)
ע (Ayin)[2]
ʾ or ' uh-(ʔ)oh
ʕ[2] ע (Ayin) ʿ or ' no English equivalent

Marginal sounds
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English approximation
ð ד׳ (Dalet with geresh) th this
ŋ נג (Nun-Gimel) ng ring
θ ת׳ (Tav with geresh) th thing
IPA Letter(s) Romanisation English approximation
a ָ (Kamatz), Hebrew Patah.svg (Patach) a father
e Hebrew Zeire.svg (Zeire), Hebrew Segol.svg (Segol), Tilde Schwa.svg (Shva) e bed
i יHebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq-Yud), Hebrew Hiriq.svg(Hiriq) i see
o ֹ  (Holam alone), וֹ (with any mater lectionis), ָ  (Kamatz katan) o story
u וּ (Vav with shuruk), Hebrew Backslash Qubuz.svg (Kubutz) u boot

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. הֲאֻמְנָם? ('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/


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 /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.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 In Modern Israeli Hebrew, /ħ, ʕ, q/ have merged with /χ, ʔ, k/ respectively, but /ħ, ʕ/ are still distinguished by Oriental Hebrew speakers.
  3. 3.0 3.1 /ʁ/ is uvular for most speakers, but a few speakers, mostly Orientals, retain an alveolar pronunciation: [r]~[ɾ].
  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.