Zion

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Wed Aug 8 12:29:33 EDT 2001


>Why is Zion transliterated with a non-consonantal yud; Zion instead of
>Ziyon?

As no-one has responded, here's a rough guess. Most initial yods are transliterated
as a consonant, usually with a "j" as in "Jeremiah" (with exceptions such as before
sibilants, "Isaiah", "Ishmael" and "Israel"). The others are normally translated
vocalically (with some exceptions of the theophoric element -yh, like Elijah,
Abijah).

At least this is how it appears with the English translations from the time of the
AV onwards. The AV set a "standard", which all readers accepted and have used from
that time onward, influencing all subsequent translations. How many English-speaking
people would now ever accept, say, "Yirmiyahu" instead of "Jeremiah"? Zion has
always been (using phonetic represntation) /zaijon/ and I can't see many ever
attempting /tsijun/.

(It's a bit like the fact that Windows is rather mediocre, but everyone knows it and
loves it.)


Ian






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