the sound of the tsere

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SteveMiller
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the sound of the tsere

Post by SteveMiller »

I have been pronouncing the tsere in ‎ בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית as "ei" in "eight".
But I have also been pronouncing the tsere in ‎ אֵ֥ת as "e" as in "bed".
What would be the correct way to pronounce these 2 words in Gen 1:1?

I see that this vowel chart gives the ei sound to tsere
https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Gramm ... _list.html

And this vowel chart gives the tsere the sound of the first "e" in "excellent"
http://www.walkingkabbalah.com/hebrew-vowels/

What is correct?

Thanks
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)
ralph
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by ralph »

As some background, you should know that Segol - the three dots, are eh. Like the 'e' in bed. That's true in sephardi, ashkenazi, and israeli, pronunciations.

The hebrew4christians site is focussed on Biblical Hebrew, it's mostly pretty good and can be used by people of any and no religion. Somebody did recently spot an error in it here https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Gramm ... owels.html where it says "yellow", and the site's author doesn't care.

The other site you mention, whose focus isn't hebrew, shows Israeli pronunciation And in that, the vowels Tsere and Segol are pronounced the same, and like the Segol, as Eh. It actually mentions a book "first hebrew primer" that is pretty good, and for biblical hebrew. And that book rightly says tsere is "ei" and segol is "eh".

In Israeli pronunciation i.e. modern israeli pronunciation, Tsere is "eh" like "bed". Like the vowel "segol"(the three dots)

In ashkenazi, Tsere and Segol are distinct. Tsere is Ei(eight). Segol is Eh(bed).

In sephardi, i'm not sure.

For ashkenazi-

Gen 1:1 Et is with Tsere, "Ei". (eight)

Gen 1:4 Et-HaOr, Et is with Segol. "Eh". (bed)
Last edited by ralph on Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ralph Zak
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Jason Hare
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by Jason Hare »

In modern Hebrew, there is no pronunciation difference between tsere and segol. Most users of Hebrew today will not make a distinction between the sounds.

I also learned that tsere was "ey" as in "they." I now pronounce tsere and segol the same (like kamats and patach are the same).
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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SteveMiller
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by SteveMiller »

Thanks Ralph and Jason.
I learned Ashkenazi pronunciation in Hebrew school at first, and then at some point we switched to Sephardi following the state of Israel.
That made things simpler.
Then based on what you said, modern Israeli Hebrew evolved the pronunciation to be simpler than Sephardi.
That explains the differences I am encountering with vowel charts for my class.

I am wondering why it seems that I always remember the et pronounced as "e" in bed whether it had a tsere or segol.
Here is a video someone in my class sent me where the reader pronounces all the tsere's as "e" as in "bed".
I deduce he is using modern Israeli pronunciation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7mRLBgjYB0

Here is another video also sent to me of a guy who pronounces it just like I do. Long "ei" in bereshit, but short "e" as in "bed" for the et's.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CywuJZVURjM&t=17s
Any idea on why he (and I) pronounce it this way?

Ralph,
The Hebrew4Christians site is not wrong about the Chateph Qamets and Qamets Chatuph sounding like "o" in yellow.
See Jason's answer to my previous post on that.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)
ducky
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by ducky »

Hi,

The Ashkenazi pronounces the Tsere as "ey" (as in "day")
and that is an artificial pronunciation that was made to differ it from the Segol.

*****

The sound of the Tsere is just "e" as in "bed".

***

As for the Segol, it is a vowel that was used only in the Tiberian accent.
(its sound was something between "a" and "I")
But it was not used by the common speakers.

(The Babylonian MT for example has a "Patah" sound whenever there is a Segol in the Tiberian MT
And as for the "Sephardi" - they pronounced it as "e" (as "bed"))

So basically, the Segol was not even pronounced by most communities.
***

The Sephardi accent which is the common one pronounces both Segol and Tsere as "e".
But Ashkenazi, differed the Tsere to be an "ey".

*****************************
So "be-re-shit"
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SteveMiller
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by SteveMiller »

Thanks David
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)
ralph
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by ralph »

Jason Hare wrote: Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:15 am In modern Hebrew, there is no pronunciation difference between tsere and segol. Most users of Hebrew today will not make a distinction between the sounds.

I also learned that tsere was "ey" as in "they." I now pronounce tsere and segol the same (like kamats and patach are the same).

Kamatz and Patach are not the same, not even in israeli hebrew. And that's a big subject. I can prove that in another thread. I just started a thread on that so discussion of kamatz gadol and kamatz katan could go there, and I have a question that puzzles me that you may have some thoughts on, regarding kamatz gadol and kamatz katan.
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ducky
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by ducky »

What is the proof?
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Jason Hare
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Re: the sound of the tsere

Post by Jason Hare »

ducky wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:09 am What is the proof?
I don't think you'll find any Israeli that pronounces kamats (gadol) any differently from pataḥ. Obviously.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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