Romanization of Hebrew

Romanization Of Hebrew

Romanization of Hebrew

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Hebrew uses the Hebrew alphabet with optional vowel points. The romanization of Hebrew is the use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words.

For example, the Hebrew name spelled ("Israel") in the Hebrew alphabet can be romanized as Yisrael or Yiśrāʼēl in the Latin alphabet.

Romanization includes any use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words. Usually it is to identify a Hebrew word in a non-Hebrew language that uses the Latin alphabet, such as German, Spanish, Turkish, and so on. 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. Romanization can do both.

To go the other way, that is from English to Hebrew, see Hebraization of English.

Inconsistency in Hebrew transliteration

There are no hard and fast rules in Hebrew-to-English transliteration, and many transliterations are an approximation due to lack of equivalence between the English and Hebrew alphabets. Conflicting systems of transliterations often appear in the same text, as certain Hebrew words tend to associate with certain traditions of transliteration. For example,

"For Hanukkah at the synagogue Beith Sheer Chayyim, Isaac donned his talis that Yitzchak sent him from Bet Qehila in Tsfat, Israel."


With numerous transliteration systems in use, the inconsistency is wild.

Historic instances

Early romanization of...
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