Transliterating the letter י (yod)

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Diadem, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    What is the rule, according to the Hebrew Academy, for transliterating a י when it is not dageshed (י), e.g. in the word שָׁמַיִם? Likewise, what is the rule for when it is dageshed, e.g. in the word/ phrase וַיִּקְרָא?
     
  2. ystab Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Yod is transliterated as /y/, and like every Dageshed letter, should be doubled when it is dageshed /yy/. Exceptions are when the Dagesh stems from a prefix. In ויקרא the ו is a prefix (vav consecutive), therefore the י should be transliterated with a single y.
     
  3. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    See here: http://hebrew-academy.huji.ac.il/hahlatot/TheTranscription/Documents/ATAR1.pdf. There are two sets of rules, one is "simple" and the other is "exact".

    "Simple" ויקרא = vayikra. "Exact" ויקרא = vayyikra'.
    שמיים is always shamayim (I think).

    Personally I consider these rules as a huge failure for the Academy. Should one buy a designated keyboard to honor the rules? Or learn crazy key combinations? Or use the same nearly unseen sign for א and ע? Oh please.
     
  4. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    It is not an invention of the Hebrew Academy. It has been a long academic tradition in western oriental studies to transliterate the Semitic phoneme /ʔ/ with a sign resembling the Greek spiritus lenis and the the phoneme /ʕ/ with a sign resembling the Greek spiritus asper.
     
  5. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    But since those past days a new invention emerged, called a computer (or mobile phone, or tablet). These devices have a keyboard with certain keys. Characters that do not appear on the keyboard are doomed. Same about letters marked as ` or '. So the academic tradition, good as it was for dozens or hundreds of years, is not necessarily the correct thing today.
     
  6. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    As owner (before retiring) of a prominent American multilanguage communications company I should note that no transliteration system is universally accepted/used for transliteration of Hebrew or Arabic into Latin characters.

    That's why, for example, we still celebrate Hanukah, Chanukah, Hanukkah, and several other variations of the Feast of Lights.
     
  7. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    I think that for Arabic "chat letters" provide a good solution agreed by the Internet community at least in each country/dialect/accent.

    For Hebrew it's a mess, balagan, in the Internet and real world. However there's a robust Academic tradition (as berndf mentioned).
     
  8. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    >>I think that for Arabic "chat letters" provide a good solution agreed by the Internet community at least in each country/dialect/accent.<<

    Just amazing some of the things the Internet hath wrought. On the other hand, the US press hasn't adopted this; and, for example, major media spell the transliterated name of the late former Libyan dictator in more ways than you can shake a stick at.
     
  9. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    LOL, something like this. But then I guess it's mainly the result of Western ignorance and an attempt to follow the local pronunciation in whatever Arabic dialect.
     
  10. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    Exactly. I published an article about the spelling in my newsletter back when his name was being mentioned in the press so often because of the Lockerbie tragedy.
     
  11. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    The spellings with "Kh" and "Gh" are definitely due to Western influence. But I would consider all the other ones to be valid. They all address different requirements, some trying to transliterate it according to scholarly rules, while others trying to transliterate it so that English speakers would be more likely to pronounce it correctly (not that that every works).
     
  12. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    I just stumbled upon a perfect example that typifies how little the "authorities" are obeyed when it comes to transliterating Hebrew into Latin characters, which, as I noted earlier follows no universally accepted practice. This from a Wikipedia entry:

    Geneivat da'at or g'neivat daat or genebath da'ath (Hebrew: גניבת דעת‎, "theft of the mind", from גנבה "stealing" of דעת "understanding") is a concept in Jewish law and ethics that refers to a kind of dishonest misrepresentation or deception. It is applied in a wide spectrum of interpersonal situations, especially in business transactions.[1]

     
  13. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    These transliterations have existed long before the Academy. So it's not that the authorities are not obeyed, but that there weren't any authorities when the words were first transliterated. They are also missing ones like "gneivas daas".
     
  14. Yuzer Junior Member

    Hebrew
    My family lived in the Balkan for centuries speaking Western Romance dialects, they transliterated neither ע, א or even ה.
    Ashkenazi Jews also transliterated according to their own pronunciation.

    The "exact" transliteration seems to differentiate stem letter rather than resemble pronunciation. Otherwise they would differentiate between dagesh and rafe in ג, ד and ת.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  15. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    The conventions of the Hebrew Academy are derived for academic (linguistic) and not from popular tradition. That was the point I made.

    One of these two words shouldn't be "pronunciation" but something else. There must be a typing mistake. Could you reformulate, please? I am not getting what point you are trying to make.
     
  16. Yuzer Junior Member

    Hebrew
    It's more speculative history than actual linguistics. The language is what people talk today, not centuries ago.

    It should have been "transliteration", my bad.
     

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