Manachem Begin

  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I believe it's "Men-ACH-im BAY-gin", with accented syllables in capital letters. At least, that's how I've heard it pronounced on the news. The "CH' in "ACH" is a guttural sound. The "gin" has a hard "g" as in in in the word "begin", not a soft "g" as in the alcohol known as "gin".
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    The 'ch' is pronounced similar to the German 'ch' in Bach. And 'Begin' is actually pronounced more like 'bgeen' -- the 'b' and 'g' being clustered or with a slight shwa in between and the 'ee' as in 'keep'.

    You may have better luck asking this question in the Hebrew forum.
     

    yuvali

    Member
    Hebrew, Israel
    Hey all. Native hebrew speaker from Israel here.

    Menachem is pronounced: Me (like in the english word 'MEn') - Na (like in 'BanaNA') - Chem, where the ch is like in the scotish 'loCH', or like the sound you make in preparation for spitting (as somebody pointed-out in a different thread) + em (like in 'thEM').

    Like in most names in hebrew, there are actually two ways to pronounce this name. The first, is the most common way this (and other hebrew names) is pronounced - with a 'stress' or an 'emphasis' on the middle syllable: me-NA-chem. Pronouncing any hebrew word with a stress on a non-last syllable is called "Mil-El", in the hebrew grammar. A word with stress on its last syllable is called "Mil-Ra" (Ra like in 'RUn').

    Most hebrew (first) names are pronounced in MilEl. In some cases, a name can be pronounced in both ways. The MilEl way is considered to be the "friendly" way to pronounce it, in the sense of that this is the way all your friends, and people who know you will call you. The MilRa way, is considered to be the "formal" or "offical" way of saying it, in the sense of that this is how the name will be mentioned on the media and on the news etc.

    For example, the "formal" way of pronouncing the name Yosef (hebrew-original version for Josef) is in MilRa (yoSEF), but all of Yosef's friends will call him YOsef (like you would call Josef, only with yo).


    Likewise with Menachem.
    Menachem, by the way, is a verb meaning "Comforting", but only when pronounced in MilRa (menaCHEM).

    As for Begin; this is pronounced Be (like in 'BEd') - Gin (like in the english 'beGIN').


    - Yuval
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    And 'Begin' is actually pronounced more like 'bgeen' -- the 'b' and 'g' being clustered or with a slight shwa in between and the 'ee' as in 'keep'.
    Hmmm...you must be misunderstanding something.

    As Yuvali said (welcome to the forums!), it's pronounced /-gin/. The /é/ sounds kind of like the "ai" in "pair" (not a schwa!) and the "i" sounds like the "i" in "pig" (not the "ee" in "keep"). The emphasis is on the first syllable.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Is the name not spelled בְגִין ?
    To tell the truth I’ve never heard the name pronounced by a native speaker but it is my understanding that the שוא-נע vowel (אְ ) is used to indicate that there is either a very short vowel (compare with the ‘e’ in remote when said fast) with a consonant or that there is no vowel after it (like the Arabic sukuun. Remember the קְטנה discussion?), and that the חיריק חסר vowel (אִ ), and likewise the חיריק מלא vowel (אִי ) (which is a combination of the diacritic and the letter yod -- used frequently in unpointed words containing the חיריק vowel) is pronounced like the ‘ee’ in keep. So from that I extrapolated what I thought was the pronunciation.

    So, I guess from what has been said the name should be spelled בֵיגן with the צירה vowel followed by a yod? I did not think there was a vowel sign representing a short ‘i’ as in big. If I've spelled the name wrong how should it be spelled, and what are the vowels used show pronunciation?

    Edit: I am aware of the 'BAY-gin' pronunciation, but I just thought that was the English, or non-native, pronunciation of the name.
     

    hellolo

    New Member
    Hebrew, Israel
    Edit: I am aware of the 'BAY-gin' pronunciation, but I just thought that was just the English, or non-native, pronunciation of the name.

    As for Begin; this is pronounced Be (like in 'BEd') - Gin (like in the english 'beGIN').
    As a native-speaker, I do not say it as BAY-gin, but as Yuvali has explained - Be(like in BEd) - Gin (like in beGIN)

    As for the 'BAY-gin', I believe that only non-native speakers/English speakers say it that way.
    If that is not what you've meant, then... sorry... :/

    Good evening.
     

    maxl

    Senior Member
    Hebrew, Israel
    To Josh
    Why should there be a shwa in the first syllable of Begin? If at all vocalized (since this is not a Hebrew word, but a family-name of Slavic origin, possibly from Polish biegun), it would be with a segol. As for the pronunciation, yuvali has supplied us with the definitive description and explanation.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    As a native-speaker, I do not say it as BAY-gin, but as Yuvali has explained - Be(like in BEd) - Gin (like in beGIN)

    As for the 'BAY-gin', I believe that only non-native speakers/English speakers say it that way.
    If that is not what you've meant, then... sorry... :/

    Good evening.
    Oh yes. I was still being influenced by the first response from JamesM. I meant Be-gin with the 'e' as in bed. And that's what I should have wrote with my question about the correct pronunciation.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    To Josh
    Why should there be a shwa in the first syllable of Begin? If at all vocalized (since this is not a Hebrew word, but a family-name of Slavic origin, possibly from Polish biegun), it would be with a segol. As for the pronunciation, yuvali has supplied us with the definitive description and explanation.
    That's how I saw it spelled. If the shwa is wrong then someone needs to correct the Wikipedia article on him. Thanks for the information on the origin of his name. That helps explains the pronunciation. As for why it is spelled the way it is in Hebrew I suppose they used the yod to represent the 'i' sound, although it seems, to me, that it could have been better represented by two segols - בֶגֶן - since it is not a long vowel.
     

    maxl

    Senior Member
    Hebrew, Israel
    Thanks for the reference to Wikipedia. The vocalization there is indeed wrong. On the stree-signs here, (one not too far from my place), it is vocalized with a segol.
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    To Josh
    Why should there be a shwa in the first syllable of Begin? If at all vocalized (since this is not a Hebrew word, but a family-name of Slavic origin, possibly from Polish biegun), it would be with a segol. As for the pronunciation, yuvali has supplied us with the definitive description and explanation.
    Interesting, I have never thought of it as a Slavic name. Are you sure? I trust that you know for sure that it is not a Hebrew word; it's just that it does not remind me of anything familiar. :)

    Jana
     

    maxl

    Senior Member
    Hebrew, Israel
    Well, many ashkenazi family names ending in -in are either entirely of Slavic origin, e.g. Rabin - the Polish form of Rabbi, or by using the Slavic suffix -in to derive family-names from proper names of females, with the original meaning being 'son of FEM', e.g. Beylin - 'son of Biela (which itself is Slavic)', Rivkin - 'son of Rivke', Malkin, - 'son of Malke', Surkin 'son of Surke' (diminutive of Sure = Sarah derived with the Slavic suffix -ka>ke) etc.
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Begin was born in Brisk (Brest-Litovask) -- that's my poor transliteration from the Hebrew, sorry. I just sent a query to the historical division of the Prime Minister's Office and asked for the correct nikud of his family name.

    Well, I can always try, can't I?
    :)
     
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