Rules for Pronunciation

This page describes the rules of pronunciation, as used by the Amsterdam Portuguese community. See references below.
An extensive listing of the pronuniation, including all exceptions in the reading can be found in Hochmát Shelomóh, ISBN 0-933676-37-9

Some browsers do not show the punctuation correctly, therefore you can find all, including the hyperlinks to the recordings, in this pdf file.

 

Rules for pronunciation of letters.

For ease of reading, Hebrew words are transliterated in this site, based on http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm

Recording of the letters (JBS)

Letter

Pronunciation

Transliteration

Pronunciation Example

א

Silent

 

ב

B

V

B

B

ג

Ch

G

G

G

ד

D

D

 

ה

H

H

 

ו

V

V

 

ז

Z

Z

 

ח

Ch

Ch

 

ט

T

T

 

י

Y

Y

 

כ

Kh

Kh

 

K

K

 

ל

L

L

 

מ

M

M

 

נ

N

N

 

ס

S

S

 

ע

Ng

פ

F

F

 

P

P

 

צ

Tz

Tz

 

ק

K

K

 

ר

R

R

 

Sh

Sh

 

S

S

 

ת, תּ

T

T

 

Rules for Pronunciation of vowels.

Recording of the examples (JBS)

אָ אַ אֲ

A

 

אֳ

O

 

אֶ

I

 

אֵ

I

 

אִי אִ

I

 

אֻ וּ

U

 

אְ

Uh/silent 

 

 

Rules for Pronunciation of special vowels.

Recording of the examples (JBS)

Vowels

Pronunciation

Example

¨t

a

¨t

o

V¨t

aha

אַהּ

aha

V¥t

ehe

§t

a

§tU

Sheva is silent

h§t

i

°h§t

u

 

In 1956, Mr Jacq. Pais, the teacher of our community, made a booklet to teach the children Hebrew reading. The first 8 pages have Hebrew words transliterated to Dutch. Below I bring some examples. It shows how to pronounce the letters and the vowels for Dutch speakers.

Although the booklet’s name is “שפה ברורה”, it was referred to as  “koe doet boe boe”, the last line of the first page, see last example below.

 koe -doet-boe.jpg (101409 bytes)

Recording of the examples (JBS)

Dutch

transliterated

je jas zit goed

יְ יַס זֶת גוּט

de jacht hond zit hier

דְ יַחת הֹנט זֶת הִיר

dat gewicht is goed

דַת גְוֶכת אֵס חֻת

als nicht komt ga ik

אַלס נֵגת קֹמת גָ אֶק

koe doet boe boe

קֻ דֻת בֻ בֻ

Sheva rules.

A short summary of the shuva rules can be found here. For a more complete list se e.g. 

http://www.torahresource.com/Hebrew%20MP3/Sheva%20rules.pdf

Sheva Na rules, as formulated by R’ Eliyahu Bachur (16th cent.). It 

1)     occurs under the first letter of a word; 

2)     is the second of two Shevas in the middle of a word; 

3)     occurs after a long unaccented vowel; 

4)     occurs under a letter which has a Dagesh; 

5)     occurs between identical letters. 

All other Shuvas are Nach (‘silent’). The letters begad kefat normally receive a Dagesh at the beginning of a word or in the middle of a word after a Shuva Nach

 

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