Questions about Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation

A place for those new to Biblical Hebrew to ask basic questions about the language of the Hebrew Bible.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
squee333
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:45 pm

Questions about Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation

Postby squee333 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Is the Ashkenazi pronunciation given here: https://books.google.com/books?id=KEYEA ... &q&f=false still used? Do people who ue it say "zayin" or "zoyin" for ז? "alef" or "olef" for א? "daled" or "doled" for ד? Do they use Eastern or Westen Yiddish? Is there a variety of Ashkenazi pronunciation that was used by stereotypical Jewish immigrants to New York City in the 1890s–1930s that could also conceivably be represented by a medieval grammar? Sorry if this question doesn't make a lot of sense...

User avatar
SteveMiller
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:53 pm
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Contact:

Re: Questions about Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:24 pm

Squee,
We say zayin, alef and daled.
Your links do not seem to correspond to your questions.
All 4 of my grandparents immigrated to Baltimore from Lithuania in your timeframe.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

ralph
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Questions about Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation

Postby ralph » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:39 pm

squee333 wrote:Is the Ashkenazi pronunciation given here: https://books.google.com/books?id=KEYEA ... &q&f=false still used? Do people who ue it say "zayin" or "zoyin" for ז? "alef" or "olef" for א? "daled" or "doled" for ד? Do they use Eastern or Westen Yiddish? Is there a variety of Ashkenazi pronunciation that was used by stereotypical Jewish immigrants to New York City in the 1890s–1930s that could also conceivably be represented by a medieval grammar? Sorry if this question doesn't make a lot of sense...


Ashkenazi pronunciation is still used though nowadays it is used moreso by the more religious ashkenazim.. Many modern orthodox ashkenazim now use israeli pronunciation or something between sephardi and israeli.

For how the letters are , one has to look at the vowels

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_alphabet (I'm assuming those vowels)

Zayin is with a patach. So it's Ah Zayin not Zoyin

Aleph has a kamatz, so t'd be Oleph.

Dalet has a kamatz.. (I'm not sure if Ashkenazim spell it Dalet Lamed dalet.. )

Note that the Oh of Kamatz is a sound that exists in British English but barely exists in American English if at all. So British English pronunciatioin of Clock, dock, tod. British pronunciation of the 'o' in orange, not american pronunciation of orange.

There is some variety in Ashkenazi pronunciation when it comes to the pronunciation of the Cholam vowel. Some say Oh like the 'o' in boat. (Yemenites might also pronounce cholam like that). But there are some ashkenazim that go all over with the cholam. Ay, Oy, Ow. So, many ways of saying 'Torah'! There is a classic ashkenazi siddur (siddur sefas yisrael on opensiddur website), that is really emphatic that it's Oh and that all the rest is corruption!

Accordng to your book p5, it's Zoyin in "German/Polish". That suggests your book thinks that it's spelt with a Kamatz. (The Kamatz is pronounced as 'O' by ashkenazim and ah by sephardim - and by sephardim as oh in some situations). Patach is pronounced the same by ashkenazim and sephardim. ah.

So, your book would be spelling Zayin with a kamatz.

Which differs from wikipedia... Maybe Ashkenazim spell Zayin with a Kamatz, I don't know

And the proper way to do it is to see what vowels they use when they spell it.. What your book does is crazy, in that it doesn't tell you how the different groups pronounce the vowels, then later it gives you a bunch of words and tells you for each word how each group would pronounce it. Just know for each vowel how it is pronounced, know what vowel you are reading, e.g. is it a kamatz, is it a patach, e.t.c. and then you can work it out for each word very easily, how to pronounce it.

talmid56
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Questions about Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation

Postby talmid56 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:58 pm

The folks at http://www.chabad.org are also willing to answer this kind of question by email. I asked them one a little while back and a very helpful person there got back in touch in a couple of days. Leave a message under the "Ask the Rabbi" section.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים


Return to “Beginners' Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests