The Info List - Hebrew Alphabet

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Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs
32 c. BCE

32 c. BCE

Demotic 7 c. BCE

Meroitic 3 c. BCE

Proto-Sinaitic 19 c. BCE

Ugaritic 15 c. BCE Epigraphic South Arabian 9 c. BCE

Ge’ez 5–6 c. BCE

Phoenician 12 c. BCE

Paleo-Hebrew 10 c. BCE

Samaritan 6 c. BCE

3 c. BCE


Paleohispanic (semi-syllabic) 7 c. BCE Aramaic 8 c. BCE

4 c. BCE Brāhmī 4 c. BCE

Brahmic family
Brahmic family

E.g. Tibetan 7 c. CE Devanagari
13 c. CE

Canadian syllabics 1840

Hebrew 3 c. BCE Pahlavi 3 c. BCE

Avestan 4 c. CE

Palmyrene 2 c. BCE Syriac 2 c. BCE

Nabataean 2 c. BCE

4 c. CE

N'Ko 1949 CE

Sogdian 2 c. BCE

Orkhon (old Turkic) 6 c. CE

Old Hungarian c. 650 CE

Old Uyghur

Mongolian 1204 CE

Mandaic 2 c. CE

Greek 8 c. BCE

Etruscan 8 c. BCE

Latin 7 c. BCE

Cherokee (syllabary; letter forms only) c. 1820 CE

Runic 2 c. CE Ogham
(origin uncertain) 4 c. CE

Coptic 3 c. CE Gothic 3 c. CE Armenian 405 CE Georgian (origin uncertain) c. 430 CE Glagolitic 862 CE Cyrillic c. 940 CE

Old Permic 1372 CE

1443 (probably influenced by Tibetan) Thaana
18 c. CE (derived from Brahmi numerals)

v t e

The Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
(Hebrew: אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי‬,[a] Alefbet Ivri), known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language, also adapted as an alphabet script in the writing of other Jewish languages, most notably in Yiddish
(lit. "Jewish" for Judeo-German), Djudío (lit. "Jewish" for Judeo-Spanish), and Judeo-Arabic. Historically, there have been two separate abjad scripts to write Hebrew. The original, old Hebrew script, is known as the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, which has been largely preserved, in a variant form, in the Samaritan alphabet. The present "Jewish script" or "square script" to write Hebrew, on the contrary, is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet
Aramaic alphabet
and was known by Jewish sages as the Ashuri alphabet
Ashuri alphabet
(lit. "Assyrian"), since its origins were alleged to be from Assyria.[2] Various "styles" (in current terms, "fonts") of representation of the Jewish script letters described in this article also exist, as well as a cursive form which has also varied over time and place, and today is referred to as cursive Hebrew. In the remainder of this article, the term "Hebrew alphabet" refers to the Jewish square script unless otherwise indicated. The Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
has 22 letters. It does not have case, but five letters have different forms when used at the end of a word. Hebrew is written from right to left. Originally, the alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants, but is now considered an "impure abjad". As with other abjads, such as the Arabic
alphabet, scribes later devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel points, known in Hebrew as niqqud. In both biblical and rabbinic Hebrew, the letters י‬ ו‬ ה‬ א‬ can also function as matres lectionis, which is when certain consonants are used to indicate vowels. There is a trend in Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
towards the use of matres lectionis to indicate vowels that have traditionally gone unwritten, a practice known as "full spelling". The Yiddish
alphabet, a modified version of the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
used to write Yiddish, is a true alphabet, with all vowels rendered in the spelling, except in the case of inherited Hebrew words, which typically retain their Hebrew spellings. The Arabic
and Hebrew alphabets have similarities because they are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet.


1 History 2 Description

2.1 General 2.2 Vowels 2.3 Alphabet

3 Pronunciation

3.1 Alphabet

3.1.1 Shin and sin 3.1.2 Dagesh 3.1.3 Sounds represented with diacritic geresh 3.1.4 Identical pronunciation 3.1.5 Ancient Hebrew pronunciation 3.1.6 Regional and historical variation

3.2 Vowels

3.2.1 Matres lectionis 3.2.2 Vowel
points Meteg Sh'va Comparison table

3.3 Gershayim

4 Stylistic variants

4.1 Yiddish

5 Numeric values of letters 6 Transliterations and transcriptions 7 Religious use 8 Mathematical use 9 Unicode
and HTML 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links

14.1 General 14.2 Keyboards


Paleo-Hebrew alphabet

The Aleppo Codex, a tenth century Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
of the Hebrew Bible. Book of Joshua
Book of Joshua

Main article: History of the Hebrew alphabet A distinct Hebrew variant of the Phoenician script, called by scholars the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, emerged around 800 BCE.[3] Examples of related early inscriptions from the area include the tenth-century Gezer calendar, and the Siloam inscription
Siloam inscription
(c. 700 BCE).[4] The paleo- Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
was used in the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Following the exile of the Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
in the 6th century BCE during the Babylonian captivity, Jews
began using a form of the Assyrian Aramaic alphabet, which was another offshoot of the same family of scripts. The Samaritans, who remained in the Land of Israel, continued to use the paleo-Hebrew alphabet. During the 3rd century BCE, Jews
began to use a stylized, "square" form of the Aramaic alphabet
Aramaic alphabet
that was used by the Persian Empire
Persian Empire
(and which in turn had been adopted from the Assyrians),[5] while the Samaritans continued to use a form of the paleo-Hebrew script called the Samaritan alphabet. After the fall of the Persian Empire
Persian Empire
in 330 BCE, Jews
used both scripts before settling on the square Assyrian form. The square Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
was later adapted and used for writing languages of the Jewish diaspora
Jewish diaspora
– such as Karaim, the Judeo-Arabic languages, Judaeo-Spanish, and Yiddish. The Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
continued in use for scholarly writing in Hebrew and came again into everyday use with the rebirth of the Hebrew language
Hebrew language
as a spoken language in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in Israel.


א‬ ב‬ ג‬ ד‬ ה‬ ו‬ ז‬ ח‬ ט‬ י‬ כ‬ ך‬ ל‬ מ‬ ם‬ נ‬ ן‬ ס‬ ע‬ פ‬ ף‬ צ‬ ץ‬ ק‬ ר‬ ש‬ ת‬  •  ﭏ‬

Features: Abjad • Mater lectionis • Begadkefat

Variants: Cursive • Rashi • Solitreo • Braille

Numerals: Gematria • Numeration

Ancillaries: Diacritics • Punctuation • Cantillation

Translit.: Romanization of Hebrew • Hebraization of English • IPA • ISO

Computers: Keyboard • Unicode
and HTML

General[edit] In the traditional form, the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
is an abjad consisting only of consonants, written from right to left. It has 22 letters, five of which use different forms at the end of a word. Vowels[edit] In the traditional form, vowels are indicated by the weak consonants Aleph
(א‬), He (ה‬), Vav (ו‬), or Yodh (י‬) serving as vowel letters, or matres lectionis: the letter is combined with a previous vowel and becomes silent, or by imitation of such cases in the spelling of other forms. Also, a system of vowel points to indicate vowels (diacritics), called niqqud, was developed. In modern forms of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish
and to some extent Modern Hebrew, vowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with the weak letters acting as true vowels. When used to write Yiddish, vowels are indicated, using certain letters, either with or without niqqud-diacritics (e.g., respectively: "אָ", "יִ" or "י", "ע"), except for Hebrew words, which in Yiddish
are written in their Hebrew spelling. To preserve the proper vowel sounds, scholars developed several different sets of vocalization and diacritical symbols called nequdot (ניקודות‬, literally "applying points"). One of these, the Tiberian system, eventually prevailed. Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, and his family for several generations, are credited for refining and maintaining the system. These points are normally used only for special purposes, such as Biblical books intended for study, in poetry or when teaching the language to children. The Tiberian system also includes a set of cantillation marks, called "trope", used to indicate how scriptural passages should be chanted in synagogue recitations of scripture (although these marks do not appear in the scrolls). In everyday writing of modern Hebrew, niqqud are absent; however, patterns of how words are derived from Hebrew roots (called shorashim or "triliterals") allow Hebrew speakers to determine the vowel-structure of a given word from its consonants based on the word's context and part of speech. Alphabet[edit] Unlike the Paleo-Hebrew writing script, the modern Ashuri script
Ashuri script
has five letters that have special final forms,[c] called sofit (Hebrew: סופית‎, meaning in this context "final" or "ending") form, used only at the end of a word, somewhat as in the Greek or in the Arabic and Mandaic alphabets.[b] These are shown below the normal form in the following table (letter names are Unicode
standard[6][7]). Although Hebrew is read and written from right to left, the following table shows the letters in order from left to right.



Gimel Dalet



Zayin Het Tet Yod Kaf

א‬ ב‬ ג‬ ד‬ ה‬ ו‬ ז‬ ח‬ ט‬ י‬ כ‬


Lamed Mem


Samekh Ayin


Tsadi Qof Resh



ל‬ מ‬ נ‬ ס‬ ע‬ פ‬ צ‬ ק‬ ר‬ ש‬ ת‬

ם‬ ן‬ ף‬ ץ‬

Pronunciation[edit] Alphabet[edit] Main articles: Biblical Hebrew
Biblical Hebrew
phonology, Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
phonology, International Phonetic Alphabet
International Phonetic Alphabet
for Hebrew, and Yiddish
phonology The descriptions that follow are based on the pronunciation of modern standard Israeli Hebrew.

letter IPA Name of letter

Unicode[6][7] Hebrew[8] Modern Hebrew pronunciation Yiddish
/ Ashkenazi pronunciation

א‬ [ʔ], ∅ Alef אָלֶף‬ /ˈalef/ /ˈaləf/

בּ‬ [b] Bet בֵּית‬ /bet/ /bɛɪs/, /bɛɪz/

ב‬ [v] בֵית‬ /vet/ /vɛɪs/, /vɛɪz/

ג‬ [ɡ] Gimel גִּימֵל‬ /ˈɡimel/ /ˈɡiməl/

ד‬ [d] Dalet דָּלֶת‬ /ˈdalet/, /ˈdaled/ /ˈdaləd/, /ˈdaləs/

ה‬ [h]~[ʔ], ∅ He הֵא‬ /he/, /hej/ /hɛɪ/

ו‬ [v], [w] Vav וָו‬ /vav/ /vɔv/

ז‬ [z] Zayin זַיִן‬ /ˈzajin/, /ˈza.in/ /ˈzajin/

ח‬ [x]~[χ] Het חֵית‬ /χet/ /χɛs/

ט‬ [t] Tet טֵית‬ /tet/ /tɛs/

י‬ [j] Yod יוֹד‬ /jod/, /jud/ /jud/

כּ‬ [k] Kaf כַּף‬ /kaf/ /kɔf/

כ‬ [x]~[χ] כַף‬ /χaf/ /χɔf/

ךּ‬ [k] כַּף סוֹפִית‬ /kaf sofit/ /ˈlaŋɡə kɔf/

ך‬ [x]~[χ] כַף סוֹפִית‬ /χaf sofit/ /ˈlaŋɡə χɔf/

ל‬ [l] Lamed לָמֶד‬ /ˈlamed/ /ˈlaməd/

מ‬ [m] Mem מֵם‬ /mem/ /mɛm/

ם‬ מֵם סוֹפִית‬ /mem sofit/ /ˈʃlɔs mɛm/

נ‬ [n] Nun נוּן‬ /nun/ /nun/

ן‬ נוּן סוֹפִית‬ /nun sofit/ /ˈlaŋɡə nun/

ס‬ [s] Samekh ְסָמֶך‬ /ˈsameχ/ /ˈsaməχ/

ע‬ [ʔ], ∅ Ayin עַיִן‬ /ˈajin/, /ˈa.in/ /ˈajin/

פּ‬ [p] Pe פֵּא, פה‬ /pe/, /pej/ /pɛɪ/

פ‬ [f] פֵא, פה‬ /fe/, /fej/ /fɛɪ/

ף‬ פֵּא סוֹפִית, פה סופית‬ /pe sofit/, /pej sofit/ /ˈlaŋɡə fɛɪ/

צ‬ [t͡s] Tsadi צַדִי, צדיק‬ /ˈtsadi/ /ˈtsadi/, /ˈtsadək/

ץ‬ צַדִי סוֹפִית, צדיק סופית‬ /ˈtsadi sofit/ /ˈlaŋɡə ˈtsadik/, /ˈlaŋɡə ˈtsadək/

ק‬ [k] Qof קוֹף‬ /kuf/, /kof/ /kuf/

ר‬ [ɣ]~[ʁ] Resh רֵישׁ‬ /ʁeʃ/ /ʁɛɪʃ/

שׁ‬ [ʃ] Shin שִׁין‬ /ʃin/ /ʃin/

שׂ‬ [s] שִׂין‬ /sin/ /sin/

תּ‬ [t] Tav תּו‬ /tav/, /taf/ /tɔv/, /tɔf/

ת‬ תו‬ /sɔv/, /sɔf/

Note that dotless tav, ת, would be expected to be pronounced /θ/ (voiceless dental fricative), but this pronunciation was lost among most Jews
due to its not existing in the countries where they lived (such as in nearly all of Eastern Europe). Yiddish
modified this /θ/ to /s/ (cf. seseo in Spanish), but in modern Israeli Hebrew, it is simply pronounced /t/. Shin and sin[edit] Further information: Shin (letter) Shin and sin are represented by the same letter, ש‬, but are two separate phonemes. When vowel diacritics are used, the two phonemes are differentiated with a shin-dot or sin-dot; the shin-dot is above the upper-right side of the letter, and the sin-dot is above the upper-left side of the letter.

Symbol Name Transliteration IPA Example

שׁ‬ (right dot) shin sh /ʃ/ shop

שׂ‬ (left dot) sin s /s/ sour

Historically, left-dot-sin corresponds to Proto-Semitic *ś, which in biblical-Judaic-Hebrew corresponded to the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /ɬ/, as evidenced in the Greek transliteration of Hebrew words such as balsam (בֹּשֶׂם‬) (the ls - 'שׂ') as is evident in the Targum Onkelos.[citation needed] Dagesh[edit] Main article: Dagesh Historically, the consonants ב‬ beth, ג‬ gimel, ד‬ daleth, כ‬ kaf, פ‬ pe and ת‬ tav each had two sounds: one hard (plosive), and one soft (fricative), depending on the position of the letter and other factors. When vowel diacritics are used, the hard sounds are indicated by a central dot called dagesh (דגש‬), while the soft sounds lack a dagesh. In modern Hebrew, however, the dagesh only changes the pronunciation of ב‬ beth, כ‬ kaf, and פ‬ pe, and does not affect the name of the letter. The differences are as follows:

Name With dagesh Without dagesh

Symbol Transliteration IPA Example Symbol Transliteration IPA Example

beth בּ‬ b /b/ bun ב‬ v /v/ van

kaf [9]כּ ךּ‬ k /k/ kangaroo כ ך‬ kh/ch/x /χ/ loch

pe פּ‬ p /p/ pass פ ף‬ f/ph /f/ find

In other dialects (mainly liturgical) there are variations from this pattern.

In some Sephardi and Mizrahi dialects, bet without dagesh is pronounced [b], like bet with dagesh In Syrian and Yemenite Hebrew, gimel without dagesh is pronounced [ɣ]. In Yemenite Hebrew, and in the Iraqi pronunciation of the word "Adonai", dalet without dagesh is pronounced [ð] as in "these" In Ashkenazi Hebrew, tav without dagesh is pronounced [s] as in "silk" In Iraqi and Yemenite Hebrew, and formerly in some other dialects, tav without dagesh is pronounced [θ] as in "thick"

Sounds represented with diacritic geresh[edit] Main articles: Geresh and Hebraization of English The sounds [t͡ʃ], [d͡ʒ], [ʒ], written "צ׳‬", "ג׳‬", "ז׳‬", and [w], non-standardly sometimes transliterated וו‬, are often found in slang and loanwords that are part of the everyday Hebrew colloquial vocabulary. The apostrophe-looking symbol after the Hebrew letter modifies the pronunciation of the letter and is called a geresh.

Hebrew slang and loanwords

Name Symbol IPA Transliteration Example

with a geresh ג׳‬ [d͡ʒ] ǧ[10] ǧáḥnun [ˈd͡ʒaχnun] גַּ׳חְנוּן‬

Zayin with a geresh ז׳‬ [ʒ] ž[10] koláž [koˈlaʒ] קוֹלַאז׳‬

Tsadi with a geresh צ׳‬ [t͡ʃ] č[10] čupár (treat) [t͡ʃuˈpar] צ׳וּפָּר‬

Vav with a geresh or double Vav וו‬ or ו׳‬(non standard)[] [w] w awánta (boastful act) [aˈwanta] אַוַּנְטַה‬

The pronunciation of the following letters can also be modified with the geresh diacritic, the represented sounds are however foreign to Hebrew phonology, i.e., these symbols mainly represent sounds in foreign words or names when transliterated with the Hebrew alphabet, and not loanwords.

of non-native sounds

Name Symbol IPA Arabic
letter Example Comment

with a geresh ד׳‬ [ð] Dhāl (ذ) Voiced th Dhū al-Ḥijjah (ذ و
الحجة)‎ ד׳ו אל-חיג׳ה‬ * Also used for English voiced th * Often a simple ד
is written.

Tav with a geresh ת׳‬ [θ] Thāʼ (ﺙ) Voiceless th Thurston ת׳רסטון‬

Ḥet with a geresh ח׳‬ [χ] Khāʼ (خ) Sheikh (شيخ)‎ שייח׳‬ * Unlike the other sounds in this table, the sound [χ] represented by ח׳‬ is indeed a native sound in Hebrew; the geresh is however used only when transliteration must distinguish between [χ] and [ħ], in which case ח׳‬ transliterates the former and ח the latter, whereas in everyday usage ח without geresh is pronounced [ħ] only dialectically but [χ] commonly.

Resh with a geresh ר׳‬ or ע׳‬ [ʁ] Ghayn (غ) Ghajar (غجر) ר׳ג׳ר‬ Sometimes an ʻayin with a geresh (ע׳‬) is used to transliterate غ – inconsistently with the guidelines specified by the Academy of the Hebrew Language

A geresh is also used to denote acronyms pronounced as a string of letters, and to denote a Hebrew numeral. Geresh also is the name of one of the notes of cantillation in the reading of the Torah, but its appearance and function is different. Identical pronunciation[edit] In Israel's general population, many letters have the same pronunciation. They are as follows:

Letters Transliteration Pronunciation

א‬ Alef* ע‬ Ayin* not transliterated Usually when in medial word position: /./ (separation of vowels in a hiatus)

When in initial or final word position, sometimes also in medial word position: silent


' or ’ /ʔ/ (glottal stop)

ב‬ Bet (without dagesh) Vet ו‬ Vav v /v/

ח‬ Het כ‬ Kaf (without dagesh) Khaf kh/ch/h /χ/

ט‬ Tet תּ‬ Tav t /t/

כּ‬ Kaf (with dagesh) ק‬ Qof k /k/

ס‬ Samekh שׂ‬ Sin (with left dot) s /s/

צ‬ Tsadi* תס‬ Tav-Samekh* and תשׂ‬ Tav-Sin* ts/tz /ts/

צ׳‬ Tsadi (with geresh) טשׁ‬ Tet-Shin* and תשׁ‬ Tav-Shin* ch/tsh (chair) /tʃ/

* Varyingly Ancient Hebrew pronunciation[edit] Some of the variations in sound mentioned above are due to a systematic feature of Ancient Hebrew. The six consonants /b ɡ d k p t/ were pronounced differently depending on their position. These letters were also called BeGeD KeFeT letters /ˌbeɪɡɛdˈkɛfɛt/. The full details are very complex; this summary omits some points. They were pronounced as plosives /b ɡ d k p t/ at the beginning of a syllable, or when doubled. They were pronounced as fricatives /v ɣ ð x f θ/ when preceded by a vowel (commonly indicated with a macron, ḇ ḡ ḏ ḵ p̄ ṯ). The plosive and double pronunciations were indicated by the dagesh. In Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
the sounds ḏ and ḡ have reverted to [d] and [ɡ], respectively, and ṯ has become [t], so only the remaining three consonants /b k p/ show variation. ר‬ resh may have also been a "doubled" letter, making the list BeGeD KePoReT. (Sefer Yetzirah, 4:1)

ח‬ chet and ע‬ ayin represented pharyngeal fricatives, צ‬ tsadi represented the emphatic consonant /sˤ/, ט‬ tet represented the emphatic consonant /tˤ/, and ק‬ qof represented the uvular plosive /q/. All these are common Semitic consonants. שׂ‬ sin (the /s/ variant of ש‬ shin) was originally different from both שׁ‬ shin and ס‬ samekh, but had become /s/ the same as ס‬ samekh by the time the vowel pointing was devised. Because of cognates with other Semitic languages, this phoneme is known to have originally been a lateral consonant, most likely the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /ɬ/ (the sound of modern Welsh ll) or the voiceless alveolar lateral affricate /tɬ/ (like Náhuatl

Regional and historical variation[edit] The following table contains the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters in reconstructed historical forms and dialects using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The apostrophe-looking symbol after some letters is not a yud but a geresh. It is used for loanwords with non-native Hebrew sounds. The dot in the middle of some of the letters, called a "dagesh kal", also modifies the sounds of the letters ב, כ and פ in modern Hebrew (in some forms of Hebrew it modifies also the sounds of the letters ג, ד
and/or ת; the "dagesh chazak" – orthographically indistinguishable from the "dagesh kal" – designates gemination, which today is realized only rarely – e.g. in biblical recitations or when using Arabic

Symbol Pronunciation

(modern, casual, younger, widely spoken to modern Hebrew) (ancient, pure, proper, liturgical [religiously written and read on religious texts]) *(the only surviving dialect still in use today is the Yemenite dialect and has distinction to Arabic
in maintaining the pure forms of pronunciation as the Hebrew pronunciation has been modified and simplified through time - which has been lost)

Israeli Ashkenazi Sephardi Yemenite* Reconstructed English equivalent to classical Hebrew Arabic
Equivalent (very distinctive to Yemenite dialect - old spoken form of Hebrew)

Tiberian Mishnaic Biblical

Letter in Arabic Letter in English

א [ʔ, -] [ - ] [ʔ, -] [ʔ, -] [ʔ, -] [ʔ, -] [ʔ] camp أ, ا 'alīf, 'alīf hamzah

בּ [b] [b] [b] [b] [b] [b] [b] rib ب bā'

ב [v] [v~v̥] [b~β~v] [β] [v] [β] write, white ؤ wāw hamzah

גּ [ɡ] [ɡ~ɡ̊] [ɡ] [dʒ] [ɡ] [ɡ] [ɡ] give; gym (Yemenite dialect: like the distinctive "j" in Arabic) ج jīm

ג [ɡ~ɣ] [ɣ] [ɣ] [ɣ] ghost, grass غ ghayn

דּ [d] [d~d̥] [d̪~ð] [d̪] [d̪] [d̪] [d̪] dip د dāl

ד [d̪~ð] [ð] [ð] [ð] adze, that ذ ḏāl

ה [h~ʔ, -] [h, -] [h, -] [h, -] [h, -] [h, -] [h] hat ه hā’

ו [v] [v~v̥] [v] [w] [w] [w] [w] woven و wāw

וּ [u] [uː, iː] [uː] [əw] ? ? ? moon (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
long vowel: ḍammah wāw)

ـُو ḍammah wāw

וֹ [o̞] [əʊ, ɔj, ɛj, ɐʊ] [o] [œ] ? ? ? moan (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
long vowel: fatḥah wāw, however, less aspirated and pronounced like Arabic) ـَو fatḥah wāw (not as heavy as in Arabic)

ז [z] [z~z̥] [z] [z] [z] [z] [z] zebra ز zayn / zāy

ח [x~χ] [x] [ħ] [ħ] [ħ] [ħ] [ħ, χ] heart, heap ح ḥā’

ט [t] [t] [t̪] [t̴̪] (1) [t̴̪] [t̪ˤ] (2) [t̪ʼ] (3) batter ط ṭā’

י [j] [j] [j] [j] [j] [j] [j] yacht ي yā’

ִי [i] [i] [i] [i] ? ? ? pit, jew (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
letter: yā’ hamzah) ئ yā’ hamzah

כּ [k] [k] [k] [k] [k] [k] [k] calf, cap ك kāf

כ ך [x~χ] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] psyche خ khā’

ל [l] [l~ɫ] [l] [l] [l] [l] [l] lamp ل lām

מ ם [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] mimosa م mīm

נ ן [n] [n] [n̪] [n̪] [n̪] [n̪] [n̪] nun (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
nasalized letter: nūn)

ن nūn

ס [s] [s] [s] [s] [s] [s] [s] adze, that (origin of samekh may be similar to the Ancient Egyptian "dj" (IPA: ḏ) - possibly like the distinctive Arabic
letter: ḍād) ض/ س

sīn (the only non-native letter in Arabic
which does not exists - rendered closest to sīn)

ע [ʔ, - ] [ - ] [ʕ, ŋ, - ] [ʕ] [ʕ] [ʕ] [ʕ, ʁ] art (aka "heavy long stop"; similar to hamzah)

ع ‘ayn

פּ [p] [p] [p] [p] [p] [p] [p] pen - non-native letter in Arabic

פ ף [f] [f] [f] [f] [f] [ɸ] far, sipher (Biblical Hebrew) ف fā’

צ ץ [t͡s] [t͡s] [t͡s] [s̴] (1) [s̴] [sˤ] (2) [sʼ, ɬʼ, θʼ] (3) hassle, sap ص ṣād

ק [k] [k] [k] [ɡ], [ɢ], [q] [q] [q] [kʼ] (3) queen, picker (all classical dialects like the distinctive Arabic letter: qāf) ق qāf

ר [ɣ~ʁ] [ɹ]~[ʀ] [r]~[ɾ] [r]~[ɾ] [ʀ] [r] [r] rap; wrap (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
letter: rā’) ر rā’

שׁ [ʃ] [ʃ] [ʃ] [ʃ] [ʃ] [ʃ] [ʃ] shin ش shīn

שׂ [s] [s] [s] [s] [s] [s] [ɬ] sin س sīn

תּ [t] [t] [t] [t̪] [t̪] [t̪] [t̪] torn ت tā’

ת [s] [θ] [θ] [θ] torn; think (Yemenite dialect - like the distinctive Arabic
letter: thā’) ث thā’

velarized or pharyngealized pharyngealized sometimes said to be ejective but more likely glottalized.

Vowels[edit] Matres lectionis[edit] Main article: Mater lectionis א‬ alef, ע ayin, ו‬ vav and י‬ yod are letters that can sometimes indicate a vowel instead of a consonant (which would be, respectively, /ʔ/, /ʔ/, /v/ and /j/). When they do, ו‬ and י‬ are considered to constitute part of the vowel designation in combination with a niqqud symbol – a vowel diacritic (whether or not the diacritic is marked), whereas א‬ and ע are considered to be mute, their role being purely indicative of the non-marked vowel.

Letter Name of letter Consonant indicated when letter consonantal Vowel designation Name of vowel designation Indicated Vowel

א‬ alef /ʔ/ — — ê, ệ, ậ, â, ô

ע ayin /ʔ/ — — ê, ệ, ậ, â, ô

ו‬ vav /v/ וֹ‬ ḥolám malé ô

וּ‬ shurúq û

י‬ yud /j/ ִי‬ ḥiríq malé î

ֵי‬ tseré malé ê, ệ

points[edit] Niqqud
is the system of dots that help determine vowels and consonants. In Hebrew, all forms of niqqud are often omitted in writing, except for children's books, prayer books, poetry, foreign words, and words which would be ambiguous to pronounce. Israeli Hebrew has five vowel phonemes, /i e a o u/, but many more written symbols for them:

Name Symbol Written Position Israeli Hebrew

IPA Transliteration English example


vowel written below consonant [i] i week


vowel written below consonant [e̞], ([e̞j] with succeeding yod) eh (precise pronunciation); ei (imprecise due to modern pronunciation, even if with succeeding yod – see Note 2) man, main


vowel written below consonant [e̞] e men


vowel written below consonant [ä] a camp

Kamatz סָ‬ vowel written below consonant [ä], (or [o̞]) ah, (or oh) father, more


vowel written above consonant [o̞] o home

Male וֹ‬ isolated vowel written on its own


isolated vowel written on its own [u] u moon


vowel written below consonant

Note 1: The symbol "ס‬" represents whatever Hebrew letter is used. Note 2: The pronunciation of zeire and sometimes segol – with or without the letter yod – is sometimes ei in Modern Hebrew. This is not correct in the normative pronunciation and not consistent in the spoken language.[11] Note 3: The dagesh, mappiq, and shuruk have different functions, even though they look the same. Note 4: The letter ו (vav) is used since it can only be represented by that letter. Meteg[edit] Main article: Meteg By adding a vertical line (called Meteg) underneath the letter and to the left of the vowel point, the vowel is made long. The meteg is only used in Biblical Hebrew, not Modern Hebrew. Sh'va[edit] Main article: Sh'va By adding two vertical dots (called Sh'va) underneath the letter, the vowel is made very short. When sh'va is placed on the first letter of the word, mostly it is "è" (but in some instances, it makes the first letter silent without a vowel (vowel-less): e.g. וְ wè to "w")

Name Symbol Israeli Hebrew

IPA Transliteration English example


[e̞] or ∅ apostrophe, e, or silent deuce (the "e" not aspirated or pronounced as if it is almost silent) - when placed on the first letter of the word but in the medial or final position, it makes the letter (consonant or vowel) silent

Reduced Segol

[e̞] e men

Reduced Patach

[ä] a father

Reduced Kamatz


[o̞] o more

Comparison table[edit]

comparison table [12]

length (phonetically not manifested in Israeli Hebrew) IPA Transliteration English example

Long Short Very Short

ָ‬ ַ‬ ֲ‬ [ä] a far

ֵ‬ ֶ‬ ֱ‬ [e̞] e men


[o̞] o more

וּ‬ ֻ‬

[u] u soon

ִי‬ ִ‬ [i] i ski

Note I: By adding two vertical dots (sh'va) ְ‬ the vowel is made very short.

Note II: The short o and long a have the same niqqud.

Note III: The short o is usually promoted to a long o in Israeli writing for the sake of disambiguation

Note IV: The short u is usually promoted to a long u in Israeli writing for the sake of disambiguation

Gershayim[edit] Main article: Gershayim The symbol ״‬ is called a gershayim and is a punctuation mark used in the Hebrew language
Hebrew language
to denote acronyms. It is written before the last letter in the acronym, e.g. ר״ת‬. Gershayim is also the name of a note of cantillation in the reading of the Torah, printed above the accented letter, e.g. א֞‬. Stylistic variants[edit] Further information: Cursive
Hebrew, Rashi script, Ashuri alphabet, and History of the Hebrew alphabet The following table displays typographic and chirographic variants of each letter. For the five letters that have a different final form used at the end of words, the final forms are displayed beneath the regular form. The block (square, or "print" type) and cursive ("handwritten" type) are the only variants in widespread contemporary use. Rashi is also used, for historical reasons, in a handful of standard texts.

Letter name (Unicode) Variants

Contemporary Early modern Ancestral

Block serif Block sans-serif Cursive Rashi Phoenician Paleo-Hebrew Aramaic

Alef א א


Bet ב ב


Gimel ג ג


Dalet ד ד


He ה ה


Vav ו ו


Zayin ז ז


Het ח ח


Tet ט ט


Yod י י


Kaf כ כ


Final Kaf ך ך

Lamed ל ל


Mem מ מ


Final Mem ם ם

Nun נ נ


Final Nun ן ן

Samekh ס ס


Ayin ע ע


Pe פ פ


Final Pe ף ף

Tsadi צ צ



Final Tsadi ץ ץ

Qof ק ק


Resh ר ר


Shin ש ש


Tav ת ת



Symbol Explanation

װ ױ ײ ײַ ‬ These are intended for Yiddish. They are not used in Hebrew, aside from in loan words[d].

בֿ‬ The rafe (רפה‬) diacritic is no longer regularly used in Hebrew. In Masoretic Texts and some other older texts, lenited consonants and sometimes matres lectionis are indicated by a small line on top of the letter. Its use has been largely discontinued in modern printed texts. It is still used to mark fricative consonants in the YIVO
orthography of Yiddish.

Numeric values of letters[edit] Main article: Hebrew numerals Following the adoption of Greek Hellenistic alphabetic numeration practice, Hebrew letters started being used to denote numbers in the late 2nd century BC,[13] and performed this arithmetic function for about a thousand years. Nowadays alphanumeric notation is used only in specific contexts, e.g. denoting dates in the Hebrew calendar, denoting grades of school in Israel, other listings (e.g. של ב
א׳, של ב
ב׳ – "phase a, phase b"), commonly in Kabbalah
(Jewish mysticism) in a practice known as gematria, and often in religious contexts.

The lower clock on the Jewish Town Hall building in Prague, with Hebrew numerals
Hebrew numerals
in counterclockwise order.

letter numeric value

letter numeric value

letter numeric value

א 1 י 10 ק 100

ב 2 כ 20 ר 200

ג 3 ל 30 ש 300

ד 4 מ 40 ת 400

ה 5 נ 50

ו 6 ס 60

ז 7 ע 70

ח 8 פ 80

ט 9 צ 90

The numbers 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 are commonly represented by the juxtapositions ק״ת, ר״ת, ש״ת, ת״ת, and ק״תת respectively. Adding a geresh ("׳") to a letter multiplies its value by one thousand, for example, the year 5778 is portrayed as ה׳תשע״ח, where ה represents 5000, and תשע״ח represents 778. Transliterations and transcriptions[edit] Main articles: Romanization of Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew orthography, Yiddish, and Yiddish
orthography The following table lists transliterations and transcriptions of Hebrew letters used in Modern Hebrew. Clarifications:

For some letters, the Academy of the Hebrew Language
Academy of the Hebrew Language
offers a precise transliteration that differs from the regular standard it has set. When omitted, no such precise alternative exists and the regular standard applies. The IPA
phonemic transcription is specified whenever it uses a different symbol from the one used for the regular standard Israeli transliteration. The IPA
phonetic transcription is specified whenever it differs from IPA
phonemic transcription.

Note: SBL's transliteration system, recommended in its Handbook of Style,[14] differs slightly from the 2006 precise transliteration system of the Academy of the Hebrew Language; for "צ" SBL uses "ṣ" (≠ AHL "ẓ"), and for בג״ ד
כפ״ ת with no dagesh, SBL uses the same symbols as for with dagesh (i.e. "b", "g", "d", "k", "f", "t").

Click "show" to view extended table including examples.

Hebrew letter example Translation

Standard Israeli transliteration – regular[15] example

standard Israeli transliteration – precise[15] example

IPA phonemic transcription example

IPA phonetic transcription example

א consonantal, in initial word positions

אִם if none[A1] im

[ʔ] [ʔim]

א consonantal, in non initial word positions

שָׁאַל asked ' sha'ál ʾ shaʾál /ʔ/ /ʃaˈʔal/

א silent

רִאשׁוֹן first none[A2] rishón

בּ בֵּן son b ben

ב טוֹב good v tov

גּ גַּג roof g gag g gaḡ

ג ḡ

ג׳ ג׳וּק roach ǧ[B1][10] ǧuk

/d͡ʒ/ /d͡ʒuk/

דּ דּוּד boiler d dud d duḏ

ד ḏ

ה consonantal

הֵד echo h hed

ה silent

פֹּה here none[A3] po

ו consonantal

וָו hook v vav w waw

וּ הוּא he u hu

וֹ לוֹ to him o lo

[o̞] or [ɔ̝] [lo̞, lɔ̝]

ז זֶה this z ze

ז׳ זָ׳רְגוֹן jargon ž[B2][10] žargón

/ʒ/ /ʒarˈɡon/

ח חַם hot ẖ [C1] ẖam ḥ ḥam /x/ or /χ/ /xam/ [χ] [χam]

dialectical [ħ] [ħam]

ט קָט tiny t kat ṭ kaṭ

י consonantal

יָם sea y yam

/j/ /jam/

י part of hirik male (/i/ vowel)

בִּי in me i bi

י part of tsere male (/e/ vowel or /ei/ diphthong)

מֵידָע information e medá é médá /e/ or /ej/ /meˈda/ or /mejˈda/ [e̞] or /e̞j/ [me̞ˈda] or [me̞jˈda]

כּ, ךּ[9] כֹּה so k ko

כ, ך סְכָךְ branch-roofing kh [C2] skhakh ḵ sḵaḵ /x/ or /χ/ /sxax/ [χ] [sχaχ]

ל לִי to me l li

מ, ם מוּם defect m mum

נ, ן נִין great-grandson n nin

ס סוֹף end s sof

ע in initial or final word positions

עַדְלֹאיָדַע Purim-parade none[A4] adloyáda ʿ ʿadloyádaʿ

only in initial word position[ʔ] [ˌʔadlo̞ˈjada]

dialectical /ʕ/ /ˌʕadloˈjadaʕ/

ע in medial word positions

מוֹעִיל useful ' mo'íl ʿ moʿíl /ʔ/ /moˈʔil/

dialectical /ʕ/ /moˈʕil/

פּ[D] טִיפּ tip p tip

פ, ף פִסְפֵס missed f fisfés

צ, ץ צִיץ bud ts tsits ẓ ẓiẓ /t͡s/ /t͡sit͡s/

צ׳, ץ׳ ריצ׳רץ׳ zip č[B3][10] ríčrač

/t͡ʃ/ /ˈrit͡ʃrat͡ʃ/

ק קוֹל sound k kol q qol

ר עִיר city r ir

[ʀ] or [ʁ] [iʀ] or [iʁ]

dialectical [r] or [ɾ] [ir] or [iɾ]

שׁ שָׁם there sh sham š šam /ʃ/ /ʃam/

שׂ שָׂם put s sam ś śam

תּ תּוּת strawberry t tut t tuṯ

ת ṯ

Hebrew letter

Standard Israeli transliteration – regular[15]

standard Israeli transliteration – precise[15]

IPA phonemic transcription

IPA phonetic transcription

א consonantal, in initial word positions



א consonantal, in non initial word positions

' ʾ /ʔ/

א silent


בּ b

ב v

גּ g g

ג ḡ

ג׳ ǧ[B1][10]


דּ d d

ד ḏ

ה consonantal


ה silent


ו consonantal

v w

וּ u

וֹ o

[o̞] or [ɔ̝]

ז z

ז׳ ž[B2][10]


ח ẖ[C1] ḥ /x/ or /χ/ [χ]

dialectical [ħ]

ט t ṭ

י consonantal



י part of hirik male (/i/ vowel)


י part of tsere male (/e/ vowel or /ei/ diphthong)

e é /e/ or /ej/ [e̞] or [e̞j]/

כּ, ךּ[9] k

כ, ך kh[C2] ḵ /x/ or /χ/ [χ]

ל l

מ, ם m

נ, ן n

ס s

ע in initial or final word positions

none[A4] ʿ

only in initial word position[ʔ]

dialectical /ʕ/

ע in medial word positions

' ʿ /ʔ/

dialectical /ʕ/

פּ[D] p

פ, ף f

צ, ץ ts ẓ /t͡s/

צ׳, ץ׳ č[B3][10]


ק k q

ר r

[ʀ] or [ʁ]

dialectical [r] or [ɾ]

שׁ sh š /ʃ/

שׂ s ś

תּ t t

ת ṯ


A1^ 2^ 3^ 4^ In transliterations of modern Israeli Hebrew, initial and final ע (in regular transliteration), silent or initial א, and silent ה are not transliterated. To the eye of readers orientating themselves on Latin (or similar) alphabets, these letters might seem to be transliterated as vowel letters; however, these are in fact transliterations of the vowel diacritics – niqqud (or are representations of the spoken vowels). E.g., in אִם ("if", [ʔim]), אֵם ("mother", [ʔe̞m]) and אֹם ("nut", [ʔo̞m]), the letter א always represents the same consonant: [ʔ] (glottal stop), whereas the vowels /i/, /e/ and /o/ respectively represent the spoken vowel, whether it is orthographically denoted by diacritics or not. Since the Academy of the Hebrew Language
Academy of the Hebrew Language
ascertains that א in initial position is not transliterated, the symbol for the glottal stop  ʾ  is omitted from the transliteration, and only the subsequent vowels are transliterated (whether or not their corresponding vowel diacritics appeared in the text being transliterated), resulting in "im", "em" and "om", respectively. B1^ 2^ 3^ The diacritic geresh – "׳" – is used with some other letters as well (ד׳, ח׳, ט׳, ע׳, ר׳, ת׳), but only to transliterate from other languages to Hebrew – never to spell Hebrew words; therefore they were not included in this table (correctly translating a Hebrew text with these letters would require using the spelling in the language from which the transliteration to Hebrew was originally made). The non-standard "ו׳" and "וו" [e1] are sometimes used to represent /w/, which like /d͡ʒ/, /ʒ/ and /t͡ʃ/ appears in Hebrew slang and loanwords. C1^ 2^ The Sound /χ/ (as "ch" in loch) is often transcribed "ch", inconsistently with the guidelines specified by the Academy of the Hebrew Language: חם /χam/ → "cham"; סכך /sχaχ/ → "schach". D^ Although the Bible
does include a single occurrence of a final pe with a dagesh ( Book of Proverbs
Book of Proverbs
30, 6: "אַל-תּוֹסְףְּ עַל-דְּבָרָיו: פֶּן-יוֹכִיחַ בְּךָ וְנִכְזָבְתָּ.‬"), in modern Hebrew /p/ is always represented by pe in its regular, not final, form "פ", even when in final word position, which occurs with loanwords (e.g. שׁוֹפּ /ʃop/ "shop"), foreign names (e.g. פִילִיפּ /ˈfilip/ "Philip") and some slang (e.g. חָרַפּ /χaˈrap/ "slept deeply"). Religious use[edit] The letters of the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
have played varied roles in Jewish religious literature over the centuries, primarily in mystical texts. Some sources in classical rabbinical literature seem to acknowledge the historical provenance of the currently used Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
and deal with them as a mundane subject (the Jerusalem Talmud, for example, records that "the Israelites took for themselves square calligraphy", and that the letters "came with the Israelites from Ashur [Assyria]");[16] others attribute mystical significance to the letters, connecting them with the process of creation or the redemption. In mystical conceptions, the alphabet is considered eternal, pre-existent to the Earth, and the letters themselves are seen as having holiness and power, sometimes to such an extent that several stories from the Talmud
illustrate the idea that they cannot be destroyed.[17] The idea of the letters' creative power finds its greatest vehicle in the Sefer Yezirah, or Book of Creation, a mystical text of uncertain origin which describes a story of creation highly divergent from that in the Book of Genesis, largely through exposition on the powers of the letters of the alphabet. The supposed creative powers of the letters are also referenced in the Talmud
and Zohar.[18][19]

The four-pronged Shin

Another book, the 13th-century Kabbalistic
text Sefer HaTemunah, holds that a single letter of unknown pronunciation, held by some to be the four-pronged shin on one side of the teffilin box, is missing from the current alphabet. The world's flaws, the book teaches, are related to the absence of this letter, the eventual revelation of which will repair the universe.[20] Another example of messianic significance attached to the letters is the teaching of Rabbi Eliezer that the five letters of the alphabet with final forms hold the "secret of redemption".[20] In addition, the letters occasionally feature in aggadic portions of non-mystical rabbinic literature. In such aggada the letters are often given anthropomorphic qualities and depicted as speaking to God. Commonly their shapes are used in parables to illustrate points of ethics or theology. An example from the Babylonian Talmud
(a parable intended to discourage speculation about the universe before creation):

Why does the story of creation begin with bet?... In the same manner that the letter bet is closed on all sides and only open in front, similarly you are not permitted to inquire into what is before or what was behind, but only from the actual time of Creation.

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Hagigah, 77c

Extensive instructions about the proper methods of forming the letters are found in Mishnat Soferim, within Mishna Berura
Mishna Berura
of Yisrael Meir Kagan. Mathematical use[edit] See aleph number and beth number and gimel function. In set theory,


displaystyle aleph _ 0

, pronounced aleph-naught or aleph-zero, is used to mark the cardinal number of an infinite countable set, such as


displaystyle mathbb Z

, the set of all integers. More generally, the


displaystyle aleph _ alpha

(aleph) notation marks the ordered sequence of all distinct infinite cardinal numbers. Less frequently used, the


displaystyle beth _ alpha

(beth) notation is used for the iterated power sets of


displaystyle aleph _ 0

. The 2nd element


displaystyle beth _ 1

is the cardinality of the continuum. Very occasionally, gimel is used in cardinal notation. Unicode
and HTML[edit]

An example of a Hebrew keyboard.

Main articles: Unicode
and HTML for the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
and Hebrew keyboard The Unicode
Hebrew block extends from U+0590 to U+05FF and from U+FB1D to U+FB4F. It includes letters, ligatures, combining diacritical marks ( Niqqud
and cantillation marks) and punctuation.[6] The Numeric Character References is included for HTML. These can be used in many markup languages, and they are often used in Wiki to create the Hebrew glyphs compatible with the majority of web browsers. Standard Hebrew keyboards have a 101-key layout. Like the standard QWERTY
layout, the Hebrew layout was derived from the order of letters on Hebrew typewriters. See also[edit]

Hebrew braille Hebrew diacritics Hebrew punctuation Help:Hebrew Inverted nun Koren Type Significance of numbers of Judaism

Notes[edit] a^ "Alef-bet" is commonly written in Israeli Hebrew
Israeli Hebrew
without the maqaf (מקף, "[Hebrew] hyphen"), אלפבי ת עברי, as opposed to with the hyphen, אלף־בי ת עברי. b^ The Arabic
letters generally (as six of the primary letters can have only two variants) have four forms, according to their place in the word. The same goes with the Mandaic ones, except for three of the 22 letters, which have only one form. c^ In forms of Hebrew older than Modern Hebrew, כ״ף, בי״ ת and פ״א can only be read b, k and p, respectively, at the beginning of a word, while they will have the sole value of v, kh and f in a sofit (final) position, with few exceptions.[9] In medial positions, both pronunciations are possible. In Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
this restriction is not absolute, e.g. פִיזִיקַאי /fiziˈkaj/ and never /piziˈkaj/ (= "physicist"), סְנוֹבּ /snob/ and never /snov/ (= "snob"). A dagesh may be inserted to unambiguously denote the plosive variant: בּ = /b/, כּ = /k/, פּ =/p/; similarly (though today very rare in Hebrew and common only in Yiddish) a rafé placed above the letter unambiguously denotes the fricative variant: בֿ = /v/, כֿ = /χ/ and פֿ = /f/. In Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew
orthography, the sound [p] at the end of a word is denoted by the regular form "פ", as opposed to the final form "ף", which always denotes [f] (see table of transliterations and transcriptions, comment[D]). d^ However, וו (two separate vavs), used in Ktiv male, is to be distinguished from the Yiddish
ligature װ (also two vavs but together as one character). e1^ e2^ e3^ e4^ e5^ The Academy of the Hebrew Language
Academy of the Hebrew Language
states that both [v] and [w] be indistinguishably represented in Hebrew using the letter Vav.[21] Sometimes the Vav is indeed doubled, however not to denote [w] as opposed to [v] but rather, when spelling without niqqud, to denote the phoneme /v/ at a non-initial and non-final position in the word, whereas a single Vav at a non-initial and non-final position in the word in spelling without niqqud denotes one of the phonemes /u/ or /o/. To pronounce foreign words and loanwords containing the sound [w], Hebrew readers must therefore rely on former knowledge and context. References[edit]

^ "Hebrew alphabet." Encyclopedia Britannica. "Square Hebrew became established in the 2nd and 1st centuries bce and developed into the modern Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
over the next 1,500 years." ^ Babylonian Talmud
(Sanhedrin 21b–22a); Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
(Megillah 10a). Cf. Mishnah
(Megillah 1:8): "The Books [of Scripture] differ from phylacteries and Mezuzahs only in that the Books may be written in any language, while phylacteries and Mezuzahs may be written in the Assyrian writing only." See: The Mishnah
(ed. Herbert Danby), Oxford University Press: London 1977, p. 202. ^ Saénz-Badillos, Angel (1993). A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 16.  ^ Saénz-Badillos, Angel (1993). A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 61–62.  ^ A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 1993. ISBN 0-521-55634-1.  ^ a b c Chart of Hebrew glyphs at unicode.org ^ a b Unicode
names of Hebrew characters at fileformat.info. ^ Kaplan, Aryeh. Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation. pp. 8, 22. ^ a b c d "ךּ" is rare but exists, e.g. last word in Deuteronomy
7 1 (דברים פרק ז׳ פסוק א׳) in the word "מִמֶּךָּ‬" – see תנ״ך מנוקד, דברים פרק ז׳. There is a single occurrence of "ףּ", see this comment[D]. ^ a b c d e f g h i Transliteration
guidelines preceding 2006-update Archived 2011-11-16 at the Wayback Machine., p. 3 Academy of the Hebrew Language ^ Laufer, Asher (2008). Chapters in Phonetics and Phonetic Transcription. Jerusalem: Magnes. pp. 207–211. ISBN 978-965-493-401-5.  ^ Hebrew lessons for Christians ^ Sirat, Colette (1976), Ecriture et civilisations, Paris: Editions du CNRS. ^ Resources for New Testament Exegesis – Transliteration
Standards of The SBL Handbook of Style ^ a b c d Transliteration
guidelines Archived 2014-07-03 at the Wayback Machine. by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, November 2006 ^ Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 21b ^ Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Pesach 87b, Avodah Zarah 18a. ^ Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot 55c ^ Zohar
1:3; 2:152 ^ a b The Book of Letters. Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock. 1990 ^ " Transliteration
Rules" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-03.  issued by the Academy of the Hebrew Language.


 Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, §5 ff. Hoffman, Joel M. 2004. In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language. New York: New York University Press. Saenz-Badillos, Angel. 1993. A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Steinberg, David. History of the Hebrew Language. Mathers table Hebrew Alphabet

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hebrew alphabet.


How to draw letters Official Unicode
standards document for Hebrew Hebrew Alphabet
Charts Hypertext Hebrew Alphabet Interactive Hebrew Alphabet
Lesson Mobile OCR Hebrew Dictionary


LiteType.com – Virtual & Interactive Hebrew Keyboard Mikledet.com – For typing Hebrew with an English keyboard (Hebrew keyboardHebrew layout) Prize Find: Oldest Hebrew Inscription Biblical Archaeology Review

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Hebrew language


Language Alphabet History Transliteration
to English / from English Numerology


Biblical (northern dialect) Mishnaic Medieval Modern

Reading traditions

Ashkenazi Sephardi Italian Mizrahi (Syrian) Yemenite Samaritan Tiberian (extinct) Palestinian (extinct) Babylonian (extinct)





Rashi Braille Ashuri Cursive Crowning Paleo-Hebrew


Alef Bet Gimel Dalet Hei Vav Zayin Het Tet Yud Kaf Lamed Mem Nun Samech Ayin Pei Tsadi Kuf Reish Shin Taw


Tiberian Babylonian Palestinian Samaritan

Shva Hiriq Tzere Segol Patach Kamatz Holam Kubutz and Shuruk Dagesh Mappiq Maqaf Rafe Sin/Shin Dot


with Niqqud
/ missing / full Mater lectionis Abbreviations


Diacritics Meteg Cantillation Geresh Gershayim Inverted nun Shekel sign Numerals


Biblical Hebrew Modern Hebrew Philippi's law

Law of attenuation


Biblical Modern

Verbal morphology Semitic roots Prefixes Suffixes Segolate Waw-consecutive


Revival Academy Study Ulpan Keyboard Hebrew / ancient / modern Israeli literature Names Surnames Unicode
and HTML

Reference works

Brown–Driver–Briggs Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament

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Types of writing systems


History of writing Grapheme


Writing systems

undeciphered inventors constructed

Languages by writing system / by first written accounts






Arabic Pitman shorthand Hebrew

Ashuri Cursive Rashi Solitreo

Tifinagh Manichaean Nabataean Old North Arabian Pahlavi Pegon Phoenician


Proto-Sinaitic Psalter Punic Samaritan South Arabian

Zabur Musnad

Sogdian Syriac

ʾEsṭrangēlā Serṭā Maḏnḥāyā

Teeline Shorthand Ugaritic




Asamiya (Ôxômiya) Bānglā Bhaikshuki Bhujinmol Brāhmī Devanāgarī Dogri Gujarati Gupta Gurmukhī Kaithi Kalinga Khojki Khotanese Khudawadi Laṇḍā Lepcha Limbu Mahajani Meitei Mayek Modi Multani Nāgarī Nandinagari Odia 'Phags-pa Newar Ranjana Sharada Saurashtra Siddhaṃ Soyombo Sylheti Nagari Takri Tibetan

Uchen Umê

Tirhuta Tocharian Zanabazar Square Zhang-Zhung

Drusha Marchen Marchung Pungs-chen Pungs-chung


Ahom Balinese Batak Baybayin Bhattiprolu Buhid Burmese Chakma Cham Grantha Goykanadi Hanunó'o Javanese Kadamba Kannada Karen Kawi Khmer Kulitan Lanna Lao Leke Lontara Malayalam Maldivian

Dhives Akuru Eveyla Akuru Thaana

Mon Old Makassarese Old Sundanese Pallava Pyu Rejang Rencong Sinhala Sundanese Tagbanwa Tai Le Tai Tham Tai Viet Tamil Telugu Thai Tigalari Vatteluttu

Kolezhuthu Malayanma



Boyd's syllabic shorthand Canadian syllabics

Blackfoot Déné syllabics

Fox I Ge'ez Gunjala Gondi Japanese Braille Jenticha Kayah Li Kharosthi Mandombe Masaram Gondi Meroitic Miao Mwangwego Sorang Sompeng Pahawh Hmong Thomas Natural Shorthand



Abkhaz Adlam Armenian Avestan Avoiuli Bassa Vah Borama Carian Caucasian Albanian Coorgi–Cox alphabet Coptic Cyrillic Deseret Duployan shorthand

Chinook writing

Early Cyrillic Eclectic shorthand Elbasan Etruscan Evenki Fox II Fraser Gabelsberger shorthand Garay Georgian

Asomtavruli Nuskhuri Mkhedruli

Glagolitic Gothic Gregg shorthand Greek Greco-Iberian alphabet Hangul Hanifi IPA Kaddare Latin

Beneventan Blackletter Carolingian minuscule Fraktur Gaelic Insular Kurrent Merovingian Sigla Sütterlin Tironian notes Visigothic

Luo Lycian Lydian Manchu Mandaic Medefaidrin Molodtsov Mongolian Mru Neo-Tifinagh New Tai Lue N'Ko Ogham Oirat Ol Chiki Old Hungarian Old Italic Old Permic Orkhon Old Uyghur Osage Osmanya Pau Cin Hau Runic

Anglo-Saxon Cipher Dalecarlian Elder Futhark Younger Futhark Gothic Marcomannic Medieval Staveless

Sidetic Shavian Somali Tifinagh Vagindra Visible Speech Vithkuqi Wancho Zaghawa


Braille Maritime flags Morse code New York Point Semaphore line Flag semaphore Moon type


Adinkra Aztec Blissymbol Dongba Ersu Shaba Emoji IConji Isotype Kaidā Míkmaq Mixtec New Epoch Notation Painting Nsibidi Ojibwe Hieroglyphs Siglas poveiras Testerian Yerkish Zapotec


Chinese family of scripts

Chinese Characters

Simplified Traditional Oracle bone script Bronze Script Seal Script

large small bird-worm

Hanja Idu Kanji Chữ nôm Zhuang


Jurchen Khitan large script Sui Tangut


Akkadian Assyrian Elamite Hittite Luwian Sumerian

Other logo-syllabic

Anatolian Bagam Cretan Isthmian Maya Proto-Elamite Yi (Classical)


Demotic Hieratic Hieroglyphs


Hindu-Arabic Abjad Attic (Greek) Muisca Roman



Celtiberian Northeastern Iberian Southeastern Iberian Khom


Espanca Pahawh Hmong Khitan small script Southwest Paleohispanic Zhuyin fuhao


ASLwrite SignWriting si5s Stokoe Notation


Afaka Bamum Bété Byblos Cherokee Cypriot Cypro-Minoan Ditema tsa Dinoko Eskayan Geba Great Lakes Algonquian syllabics Iban Japanese

Hiragana Katakana Man'yōgana Hentaigana Sogana Jindai moji

Kikakui Kpelle Linear B Linear Elamite Lisu Loma Nüshu Nwagu Aneke script Old Persian Cuneiform Vai Woleai Yi (Modern) Yugtun

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1829 braille International uniformity ASCII braille Unicode
braille patterns


French-ordered scripts (see for more)

Albanian Amharic Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Belarusian Bharati

(Hindi  / Marathi  / Nepali) Bengali Punjabi Sinhalese Tamil Urdu etc.

Bulgarian Burmese Cambodian Cantonese Catalan Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) Czech Dutch Dzongkha (Bhutanese) English (Unified English) Esperanto Estonian Faroese French Georgian German Ghanaian Greek Guarani Hawaiian Hebrew Hungarian Icelandic Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) Iñupiaq IPA Irish Italian Kazakh Kyrgyz Latvian Lithuanian Maltese Mongolian Māori Navajo Nigerian Northern Sami Persian Philippine Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Samoan Scandinavian Slovak South African Spanish Tatar Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) Thai & Lao (Japanese vowels) Tibetan Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese Welsh Yugoslav

Reordered scripts

Algerian Braille

Frequency-based scripts

American Braille

Independent scripts

Japanese Korean Two-Cell Chinese

Eight-dot scripts

Luxembourgish Kanji Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)

Symbols in braille

music Canadian currency marks Computer Braille
Code Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8/GS6) International Phonetic Alphabet
International Phonetic Alphabet
(IPA) Nemeth braille code


e-book Braille
embosser Braille
translator Braille
watch Mountbatten Brailler Optical braille recognition Perforation Perkins Brailler Refreshable braille display Slate and stylus Braigo


Louis Braille Charles Barbier Valentin Haüy Thakur Vishva Narain Singh Sabriye Tenberken William Bell Wait


Institute of America Braille
Without Borders Japan Braille
Library National Braille
Association Blindness organizations Schools for the blind American Printing House for the Blind

Other tactile alphabets

Decapoint Moon type New York Point Night writing Vibratese

Related topics

Accessible publishing Braille
literacy RoboBraille

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Electronic writing systems

Emoticons Emoji iConji Leet Unicode

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Internet slang
Internet slang

3arabizi Alay (Indonesia) Denglisch Doge Fingilish (Persian) Greeklish Gyaru-moji (Japan) Jejemon (Philippines) Leet
("1337") Lolspeak / LOLspeak / Kitteh Martian language (Chinese) Miguxês (Portuguese) Padonkaffsky jargon
Padonkaffsky jargon
(Russian) Translit Volapuk

See also English internet slang (at Wiktionary) SMS language

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The Northwest Semitic abjad




















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History Phoenician


Hebrew Aramaic Syriac

Authority control

GND: 44445