Biblical Hebrew Transcription (was: Jeremiah 23:2)

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Fri Sep 18 11:48:18 EDT 1998

Ben, Tim, and Peter have checked in with their ideas about the
transcription scheme.  I was going to let it go a bit longer before I
summarized the suggestions, but Tim apparently is a bit anxious ;^> (He
sent me another copy off-list.  I guess he was afraid I didn't get the
first one!)

Both Tim and Peter seem to like X for Cheth, and it goes along with a
common scheme for Chi in Greek.  Since look-alikes seem to be a bit of
concern, perhaps it's better to go with Tim's suggestion for Teth,
namely "+".  I'm afraid that "J" would get confused in some minds with
yod, and "U" is definitely a vowel in most people's minds.  However, if
we can agree on "C" for tsade, it certainly does more to bring a
sibilant to my mind than does "5".

As far as dagesh goes, why don't we give the option of using the period
or doubling the consonant?  I think this would keep everyone happy.
After all, we're just trying to come to an easier way to describe the
portion in question, right?  I would suggest a similar "non-position"
for shewa.  If a person doesn't want to write a silent shewa, then don't
do it!  In fact, if a person doesn't want to include any of the nikkud,
that's optional as well.

If the digraphs go away, case no longer makes a difference.  The greek
list suggests the text be capitalized throughout.  We might want a
similar suggestion, although this again would be non-binding.

Oh, and if we are doing away with "look-alikes," we might want to search
for a replacement for sere.  We probably also need a replacement for
shureq.  (Ben, I saw it as a waw with a dagesh.  That's why I had the
word order that I did.)

Based on the suggestions and the reactions I just stated above, here's
what the "Modified Crick Transliteration Scheme" looks like now:

Consonants          Vowels
(Capitalized)       (lower case)

Aleph    '          Patah        A
Beth     B          Qamets       @
Gimel    G          Segol        E
Daleth   D          Tsere        " or "Y [plene]
Heh      H          Hireq        I or IY [plene]
Vav(waw) W          Holem        O or OW [plene]
Zayin    Z          Qamets Hatuf @
Cheth    X          Qibbuts      U
Teth     +          Shureq       W.
Yod      Y          Shewa        :
Kaph     K          Hatef Patah  :A
Lamedh   L          Hatef Segol  :E
Mem      M          Hatef Qamets :@
Nun      N
Samek    S
Peh      P          Miscellaneous
Ayin     `
Tsade    C          Ketiv        *
Qoph     Q          Qere         **
Resh     R          Dagesh       .
Sin      &          Meqqeph       -
Shin     $
Tav      T

So far, we have heard from very few of the members.  We really need the
blessings or comments of the rest of you if we are to have any
confidence in recommending this scheme to people who ask.


Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

zellmer at

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