Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Alunarada, May 6, 2006.


Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia

  1. Hallelujah

  2. Halleluyah

  3. Alleluia

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alunarada Banned

    Please choose the one you would write ;)
  2. My choice was based on the spelling I first discovered as a child, and which I have always used subsequently.

  3. maxiogee Banned

    I'm a lapsed Roman Catholic, and thus hold any "H" in the
    word as heretical, or I would if I weren't already a heretic myself.
  4. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    I did not vote because I do not write any of these regularly. I can tell you what I've most commonly seen in hymnals.

    Hallelujah - 90% of the time - In most US hymns, the "H" is strongly pronounced. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus comes to mind.)

    Halleluyah - I cannot honestly say I've seen this. If I had, I have not seen it often.

    Alleluia - Again, this looks strange to my eye.

    For reference, I did a basic "google" search:

    Hallelujah - 9,140,000 results (probably includes that chorus)

    Halleluyah - 122,000 - and Google gave me a spelling prompt - "Are you sure you don't mean "Hallelujah." This leads me to wonder if many of those 122,000 are not misspellings themselves.

    Alleluia - About 2,590,000 Google hits. I also found THIS link which says that this spelling is the Greek alternative.
  5. Alunarada Banned

    oh! that's pretty interesting, as I've mostly seen "Alleluia".

    thank you.
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    How is the "j" in "Hallelujah" pronounced? As in "jar"?

  7. Hi Outsider,

    No, it is the same as "y" - "yah!" :)

  8. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    Hee. I also grew up seeing Alleluia in RC hymnals, but once I joined the choir of my public high school, it started to seem incomplete compared to Hallelujah.

  9. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    The link does not get it quite right.

    In Ancient and Koine Greek, each word which starts with a vowel sound (and r) has a sign for rough breathing or smooth breathing. The rough breathing is effectively an h sound. The smooth breathing sign is a raised comma - with the tail pointing to the left. The rough breathing sign is similar, but the tail points to the right.

    In the Koine Greek of the New Testament, the word is written Allelouia with rough breathing, and an accent on the final a. It would have been pronounced hallelooya.

    Modern Greek does not have rough breathing, and discarded the breathing signs over 20 years ago. Modern Greeks say Ellas, but Ancient Greeks said Hellas. Similarly, in Modern Greek there is no h in Hercules, Homer, Herodotus or hippopotamus.

    In the Latin Vulgate, the word is written Allelúia. The Catholic church pronounces its Latin like Italian, so there is no h sound in liturgical Latin, even when it is written.
  10. Looks as if the modern Greeks are dropping their aitches Brioche, just like many native English speakers. ;)

    Thanks for the interesting information.

  11. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Thank you.
    That's a very unusual value for a "j" in English.
  12. mjscott Senior Member

    I say alleluia when what I'm saying is going up.
    I say hallelujah whe what I'm saying is about something that's already in the here-and-now.
  13. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Modern Greek has a very heavy h, written X. It's like the Spanish J.
  14. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    American English
    Probably because it's the original Latin usage of "j" to represent an "i" sound. The last syllable in all three words is pronounced identically as "-ia", whether it's written with "i", "j" or "y".
    What do you mean "going up"? Is this a euphemism for praying?
  15. mjscott Senior Member

    Yes--for some reason when worshipfully saying it, I would spell it alleluia. If I thought the block was cracked on my engine and found out that it was only a minor repair less than $150, I would say, "Hallelujah!"
  16. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    American English
    Do you think that some people consider this swearing?

  17. Oooh no Fenix! I sometimes shout "Hallelujah" when I successfully remove the cork from a wine bottle.

    I've even gone so far as to add, "What a day of rejoicing!" ;)


  18. I never use the word "alleluia" when I'm praying, let alone think about the spelling. Am I going wrong somewhere? :confused:

    What's the difference between "going up" (prayer) and something in the "here-and-now"? Surely prayer is in the here-and-now.

    Thanks Mjscott.

  19. mjscott Senior Member

    Worshipful song comes to mind with alleluia.
    "....on earth as it is in heaven."
    When the blessing is realized in the here-and-now, hallelujah....
    ....Could be just one believer's quirk! :)

    Best wishes!
  20. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I agree with mjscott. If I mean "wonderful!" I'd emphasize the H in Hallelujah (I expect the j spelling despite the y pronunciation). This may be used with some sarcasm - that car finally got out of my way. Hallelujah. (It's about time.)

    I'm accustomed to the Alleluia pronunciation and spelling in both singing and worship. I did not emphasize the H when singing the Hallelujah chorus of the Messiah, even though it was spelled that way in the text.
  21. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Interesting! I didn't know.

    Words made from proper nouns are a special case. :)
  22. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    I would say alleluia in a prayer but would sing Halleluiah! in the famous Messiah chorus.

    What's the etymology of (h)alleluia? I thought it was Hebrew.
  23. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Yes, it is Hebrew and in Hebrew it starts with an h.

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