pronunciation of yud

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by tapuz, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. tapuz New Member

    I would like to ask few simple questions about (modern) hebrew pronunciation.

    When asking 'מאין' it sounds 'meain' but on some other words the yud doesn't sound as 'i'. For example 'איפה' sounds 'eefo', 'בית' is 'bet' and so on.

    So when you have consonant with patah/qamats + yud, it's just prolonged 'a' not 'ai' and the the same with tsere/segol? How would you pronounce תימן Yemen, teeman or teiman?

  2. ks20495 Senior Member

    Hebrew and English
    A 'י that follows that a צירי or a סגול is silent. Thus, "תֵּימָן" is pronounced [teman]. However, some Hebrew speakers pronounce 'צירי/סגול + י as [eɪ] (like "ay" as in "bay" in English).

    (Note that פתח/קמץ look like םָ/םַ and signify the vowel [a]. And צירי/סגול look like םֵ/םֶ and signify the vowel [e].)
  3. tapuz New Member

    I see, thank you! Just one more question, in my textbook there is 'עכשיו' and it is translitterated as `akhshav with clearly no indication of pronunciation of the yud in it. It becomes silent here too, right?
  4. ronniemagia New Member

    Arabic - Palestinian
    I'm not a native Hebrew speaker, so my answer might not be correct. But I think עכשיו is one of those words whose written form has nothing to do with the way it's pronounced, like the word ראש for example, it's written with alef, but pronounced "rosh" with o
  5. origumi Senior Member

    איפה is pronoucned ey-fo. בית is pronounced ba-it.

    I think that practically nobody says "Teman" or "efo", it's always "Teyman" and "eyfo". Do you say that the "י" should be silent in these cases? Even when the "י" is clearly part of the root (as in Teyman תימן from root y-m-n ימן = the right hand = the south)?

    I am not sure about the etymology of עכשיו, where the "י" comes from, yet agree that it is never pronounced. I cannot even imagine how it could sound.

    As far as I can tell consonant "י" is normally pronounced in modern Hebrew, with an exception when it's followed by a vowel "י". In this case the consonant is omitted as in מאין which is pronounced me-a-in and not me-a-yin.
  6. yuval9 Senior Member

    In modern Hebrew (Israeli accent) when you have tsere/segol (E vowel) and Yod after it, we usually pronounce the Yod very shortly. So תימן might sound more like Teman than Teyman, but we do pronounce a short Y sound.
    In transliteration we usually write it as "ei" - Teiman.
    איך - Eikh. (sounds very similar to "ekh")
    For some words you will probably hear the "ey" better: כיצד (Keitsad), ביצה (Beitsa)

    About the word מאין. "yi" is always pronounced as "i". examples: ישראל,חיים

    In the word עכשיו the Yud is not pronounced
  7. ks20495 Senior Member

    Hebrew and English
    First, I gave that answer, because I thought it was the simplest way to present it. Technically, all forms of the vowel [e] (סגול, סגול מלא, צירי, צירי מלא) are pronounced [e]. It shouldn't matter if the 'י is part of the root.

    In practice, most (myself included) pronounce "םֵי" as [eɪ] (ey). (Although I think that [?efo] and [teman] do not sound particularly unnatural.)

    This is true in practice. And, in these cases, the 'י is realized as consonantal -- [kejtsad] and [bejtsa].
  8. tapuz New Member

    Thank you all. This really helped a lot.
    Toda raba :)
  9. wolfman1 Member

    English - USA
    איפה can be pronounced ey-fo, but its extremely common as a native speaker to just say e-fo. not sure if there is a formal rule, but i think to be proper you should enunciate.

    בית can be pronounced ba-eet or bet, it depends. "bet" is a possessive/descriptor (smichut? i am not good at formal definitions)


    בית אבות : bet
    הבית שלי : ba-eet
    ביתי - bey-tee
    הבית יפה: ba-eet
    בית קברות : (cemetary) bet
    בית חולים : (hostpital) bet
    בית מעץ: (house from wood) ba-eet
    בית עץ : (wooden house) bet

    i hope i am being informative and not just throwing things at you :)

    also, as a native speaker (who moved away young and has little formal hebrew knowledge, but then again, so many israelis dont), I can tell you that i never think of the pronunciation of yud, it just comes natural. There is a pattern, and the "irregular" words are common enough. either way, it is not a huge error to make, and you will not be looked at TOO funny

    again, sorry to drag on!
  10. tapuz New Member

    Thanks for your input mate! Sorry for the late reply.
  11. stefan99 Member

    I should add that the י is also not pronounced when is indicates some plural forms, namely the pronominal flexion of a noun (or construct infinitive or some prepositions) when the object is plural and mine.

    Here the י is not pronouced. Its goal in only to tell the reader that the object is plural.

Share This Page