Ibn Rushd: the voice of rationality

History, critique of religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Iraq, Iran, Mexico and Spain.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Hebrew Alphabet

As promised to the other readers on Zaydoun's blog, here are the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. You can spell your name now!

א = ‘alef (‘)
ב = beth (b)
ג = gamel (g)
ד = dalet (d)
ה = he (h)
ו = vav (v/w)
ז = zayin (z)
ח = het (h)
ט = tet (t)
י = yod (i/y)
כ ,ך = kaf (k/kh)
ל = lamed
מ ,ם = mem (m)
נ ,ן = nun (n)
ס = samekh (s)
ע = ‘ayin (‘)
פ ,ף = pe’ (f/p)
צ ,ץ = tsade (ts/tz/z)
ק = qof (q)
ר = resh (r)
שׁ, שׂ = shin, sin (sh, s)
ת = tau (t)

Some letters represent two different sounds like sin/shin and pe' is both f and p. As you can see, 5 letters have 2 forms: one regular and one final. The final forms of the letters are on the left. I have included the English equivalent of the letters on the right, with some modifications. Since my computer can't put dots underneath the letters you have a partial transliteration. The letter "het" is usually written with a dot under the h, the "tsade" as an s with a dot, and the "tet" is a t with a dot. The letter "yod" is sort of like an i sound and when it occurrs at the beginning of the word, it can be like y. This is what usually comes up as j in English: this is because in the Middle Ages, Latin users shaped their is differently and the j was born.

Hope you all enjoy!


At 5:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that the second letter in the alphabet, beta, came from the Hebrew/Arabic (Semitic) word "bet", which means "house"? Originally, the letters of the alphabet were pictagrams. "A" was an bull with two horns.

Angry Viking

At 8:40 pm, Blogger ibn said...

Yes I did know that.

At 5:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole alphabet evolved from hieroglyphics before being codified into the modern form it is today. And went on to influence in one way or another every alphabet. The original 'tav'/'tau' was the same as the modern Latin 'T', etc.


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