Comparison of Hebrew and English Alphabets

Comparison of Hebrew and English Alphabets

Hebrew et English

Video 2: Comparison of Alphabets

English Alphabet on Colorful Hebrew Alphabet

Comparison of Hebrew and English alphabets



Comparison of Alphabets: English and Hebrew

Clarification sur l'Alphabet Utilisé dans la Langue Anglaise

In our publications, we refer to the "English alphabet" to simplify understanding for uninitiated. However, it is important to clarify that the English language actually uses the Roman alphabet, also known as the Latin alphabet.

The Roman alphabet is one of the most widespread writing systems in the world, used by many languages, including English and German, which are not Romance languages. This alphabet consists of 26 letters, ranging from A to Z. It is important to clarify that the Roman alphabet is not exclusive to the English language, but is shared by many other languages, including Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, as well as non-Romance languages like English and German.

This clarification aims to prevent any future confusion and to provide accurate and reliable information to our readers.







Comparison of letters one to one

 


The Alèph א and the a

As for the Alèph « א » and « a » there is undoubtedly an association between the two letters. The name "Alphabet" takes its roots from the first two letters,the « Aleph and Beith », « Alpha and Beta» in Greek, which they inherited from the Semitic civilizations of the Middle East. However, while Aleph is particularly associated with the « a »,sound, it can sometimes carry other vowel sounds like "e", "i", "o", or "u". The word with vowel marks (nekudot) will indicate the specific vowel to use.

The Aleph has the peculiarity of primarily carrying vowel sounds because it has no consonant sound. While it's considered a consonant due to the historical context of the Hebrew alphabet lacking vowels, it must be admitted that the "א" (Aleph) cannot truly be a consonant as it lacks any consonant quality. To be a consonant, one must have consonant characteristics

The « א / alèph »has lost its consonant sound and today it is more akin to a vowel.

The "א" (Aleph) is the first letter of the alphabet. The word "alphabet" itself is formed from the two letters "א" (Aleph) and "ב" (Beith), which became "α" (Alpha) and "β" (Beta) in Greek. Thus, there's no doubt that it is associated with the vowel sound "a" due to its name "Aleph" on one hand, and because the Greeks considered it so, as well as the many alphabets constructed on the same model around the world, on the other hand. This association goes back to those ancient times.

It's commonly said that the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet were originally all consonants. So it's to be believed that in those ancient times, the Aleph had a consonant sound, in addition to carrying the vowel sound "a". However, today it seems to have lost that consonant aspect along the way, as its primary function in modern Hebrew is to break the sound between two syllables (when placed at the beginning of a syllable).

Note that it doesn't exclusively carry the "a" vowel sound. It can also carry the other vowel sounds "e", "i", "o", and "u". It's important to remember that the pronunciations of ancient times can only be speculated upon. We can somewhat trace their history by studying ancient texts, but these texts were not accompanied by audio recordings to testify to their pronunciation.



 


The ב an the letters b and v

The Beith « בּ » corresponds to the « b » indeed, but turns into « v » when it becomes « ב »

 


The Guimèl ג and the letters c and g

The Guimel corresponds to the sound « g ». So why is it replaced by a « c » in the English alphabets?
Well, it turns out that the letter Guimel « ג » means ״Camel״ in Semitic languages, and precisely, "Camel" in Roman languages starts with a « c ». This is the case in most languages, often even in African languages. In other languages, it might also start with a « k »and become a derivative of "Kamel".

Note that the Guimel « ג »had a second pronunciation in the past, and this is still the case in the Arabic language. It can be pronounced as both "Gue" and "Je". In Arabic, a camel is pronounced "Jamel" and not "Camel".

 


The Dalèt ד and the d



There's nothing to say about the Daleth « ד » which does indeed correspond to the sound« d », so it's in the correct position. However, in Semitic languages, it can have a second pronunciation. The tongue allows a bit of air to pass through instead of blocking it completely to pronounce the « d ».There's no equivalent in English or English for this alternative pronunciation, but the Hebrews used it in the past, and the Arabs are still using it. In fact, they distinguish the second « d »by the presence of a dot on the letter.

 


The Hé ה and the letters e and h


The Hé « ה » has become an « e ». Indeed, it is pronounced as« é »if we set aside its authentic pronunciation that involves an aspirated « h ». But we will see in more detail, in just two letters from now, the reason for this choice. For now, the « é »corresponds well to a definition of the letter which, if we omit the aspirated « h » , somewhat resembles the Aleph « א » which has the essential function of serving as a vowel or a vowel carrier..

On this subject, see the page about vowels.


 


The Vav ו, the letter F and the sons V , O and Ou

In place of the Vav « ו » we have an « f » in English. So, why this choice? Some languages still have difficulty distinguishing between « v » and « f ». There are even exercises for children to help them differentiate between them. If you search for both letters on a search engine, you will find various tools to assist in avoiding confusion. Originally, it was more of an« o »and an« ou », and in Phoenician and Arabic, the letter is named Wāw. In Arabic, the letter serves only as « o »and « ou », and even « woua ».This means that it doesn't transform into« v » but into « w ».

The letter Vav « ו » thus has a dual nature as it is a consonant when pronounced as « v » and a vowel when pronounced as « o » or « ou ».

Regarding this topic, refer to the page on vowels.

 


The Zayin ז and the lettres g and z

Instead of Zayin, we have the letter « g ». The consonant sounds, Ze « z » , and Ge « g », are not very different. Is that the reason? However, the Greek alphabet indeed placed the "zeta" in this position.

 


The 'Heith ח and the h


Instead of the 'Heith,we have used the « h ». And this is where we will better understand the reasons for the « é » in place of the Hé « ה », two positions higher. It's because the 'Heith ח and the Hé « ה » closely resemble each other, both graphically and, from a European perspective, in terms of consonance. The Hé « ה » has its aspirated "h" sound, and the « 'heith » is pronounced like the Spanish "jota," which the English language doesn't have. So, the question of the Hé « ה » arose. To perhaps create some confusion and still fill each position, a decision was made between the two. The one with the weaker consonance takes the « é » sound, which is the « e », and the one with a stronger consonance becomes an « h ». The Greeks had already made this choice, and the English language inherited it.

 


The Teith ט and the letters i and t


The Teith « ט », which corresponds to our « i », has simply disappeared from our alphabet because we did not have a use for two « t » sounds.

 



The Youd י and the letters i and j


As a result, there was a vacant spot. The letter "i," which should have been in the 10th position, took the place of the Teith « ט », thus allowing the « j » to occupy the 10th position. Yes, in this case, we can say that we allowed for some deviations from pure logic. But the « j » is sometimes associated or confused with the « i ».This is the case in many Roman languages. For example "io"means "je"and is common in many Roman-speaking dialects. They use an « i » where we use a « j ». and sometimes vice versa. See for yourself:

Selon le Dictionnaire Encyclopédique Larousse, 1983

 


The Kaf כ and the k


The Kaf « כ », as its name indicates, represents the « k » sound. However, remember the letter « c »replacing the Guimèl « ג » ? We've seen that the word "Chameau" or "Camel" is written with a « c ». It turns out that in other languages, it starts with a « k », "Kamel". Well, note this curiosity: the Kaf looks like a reversed « c »

 


The Lamed ל and the l


The Lamèd ל indeed represents the « l » sound .


 


The Mèm מ and the M

The Mèm מ and the « m ».

 


The Noun נ and the N

The Noun נ and the « n »

 


The Samèkh ס and the letters o and s

The Samèkh « ס » strongly resembles an « O », which it represents in our alphabet. And here, there's quite a story I need to tell you...

At this point, it's necessary to compare the Phoenician, English, and Hebrew alphabets.

Samekh has been substituted for Ayin over time

The Samèkh « ס »was originally represented by a fish bone. Indeed, the word means "fish." In Arabic, this is still the case. The letter that resembled the letter « o »in English was the Ayin, which means "Eye." It's easy to understand why the word "Œil" (Eye) starts with an « o ». The circle likely represented one of the two celestial luminaries. However, for obscure reasons, Hebrew switched the order of these two letters. It assigned to Ayin a graph that strongly resembles our « y », which, it's worth noting, starts the word "Yeux"

So, here's a mystery partially unraveled. The question that remains is why this inversion occurred. But that's a different question altogether. Well, in Hebrew, we'll have to get used to it: our « o » is replaced by a « s »sound.

 


The Ayin ע and the letters o and y

The Ayin « ע », as we've just seen, should have been our « O ». It changed its place but still retains the Ayin sound in its pronunciation. However, modern Hebrew has evolved it. Once guttural, modern usage simplifies it by merely making a stop, a break in sound between the two vowels, thus faintly recalling the sound that used to come from the throat. Primarily a vowel carrier, you'll notice its resemblance to our « Y » even though it doesn't have the same consonant sound.

 


The Pé פ and the letters Pand F

The Pé « פ » corresponds to our « p »,However, it has the particularity of transforming into « f »

 


The Tsadei צ and the x

What can the Tsadei צ be likened to? Perhaps to our x

 


The Kof ק and the q

For the last letters, there is nothing to add. They occupy their natural place. The qof « ק » and the « q »

 


The Reish ר and the r

The Reish « ר » and the « r »

 


The Shin ש and the letter s

The Shin « ש » and the « s »

 


The Tav ת and the letter t

And the Tav ת and the « t »,it ends the ball and goes for a walk. So do, do, do, the little puppets...



Comparison of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets

one by one

Comparison of Alphabets, Phoenician and Hebrew


Comparison of Hebrew and English alphabets

Comparison of Alphabets: English and Hebrew





Comparison of Alphabets

Arabic and Hebrew

Arabic and Hebrew


Comparison of Hebrew and Arabic alphabets


Comparison of Alphabets

English Greek Phoenician Hebrew Arabic

English, Greek, Phoenician, Hebrew, Arabic

Comparison of Alphabets, Arabic and Hebrew, Greek, Phoenician and English


Comparison of Alphabets « abjad » and « abcd »

Phoenician Aramaic Hebrew Arabic Greek English

Alphabets abjad (in image)

Comparison of Abjad Alphabets


Alphabets abjad (in text)

« Alphabets abjad »
Phoenician
Aramaic
Hebrew
Arabic
Greek
English
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
24
11
24
30
30
15
16
24
18
19
20
21
22
*
*
*
*
*
*
𐤀
𐤁
𐤂
𐤃
𐤄
𐤅
𐤆
𐤇
𐤈
𐤉
𐤊
𐤋
𐤌
𐤍
𐤎
𐤏
𐤐
𐤑
𐤒
𐤓
𐤔
𐤕
*
*
*
*
*
*
ʾālef
bēth
gīmel
dāleth

wāw
zayin
'hēth
tēth
yōdh
kaf
lāmedh
mēm
nun
sāmekh
ʿayin

sādē
qōp
rēš
sin
tāw
*
*
*
*
*
*
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
*
*
*
*
*
*
𐡀
𐡁
𐡂
𐡃
𐡄
𐡅
𐡆
𐡇
𐡈
𐡉
𐡊
𐡋
𐡌
𐡍
𐡎
𐡏
𐡐
𐡑
𐡒
𐡓
𐡔
𐡕
*
*
*
*
*
*
alaph
beth
gamal
dalath

waw
zain
'heith
teth
youth
kaph
lamadh
mim
nun
semkath
é

sadhé
qof
resh
shin
tau
*
*
*
*
*
*
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
*
*
*
*
*
*
א
ב
ג
ד
ה
ו
ז
ח
ט
י
כ
ל
מ
נ
ס
ע
פ
צ
ק
ר
ש
ת
*
*
*
*
*
*
aleph
beth
guimel
dalet

vav
zaïn
'heit
teith
yod
kaf
lamed
mem
noun
samekh
ayin

tsadé
qof
resh
shin
tav
*
*
*
*
*
*
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
ا
ب
ج
د
ه
و
ز
ح
ط
ي
ك
ل
م
ن
س
ع
ف
ص
ق
ر
ش
ت
ث
خ
ذ
ض
ظ
غ
alif
bāʾ
ǧīm
dāl
hāʾ
wāw
zāy
ḥāʾ
ṭāʾ
yāʾ
kāf
lām
mīm
nūn
sīn
ʿayn
fāʾ
ṣād
qāf
rāʾ
šīn
tāʾ
ṯāʾ
ḫāʾ
ḏāl
ḍād
ẓāʾ
ġayn
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
*
*
Α
Β
Γ
Δ
Ε
*
Ζ
Η
Θ
Ι
Κ
Λ
Μ
Ν
Υ
Ο
Π
Ξ
*
Ρ
Σ
Τ
Φ
Χ
Ψ
Ω
*
*
α
β
γ
δ
ε
*
ζ
η
θ
ι
κ
λ
μ
ν
υ
ο
π
ξ
*
ρ
ς
τ
φ
χ
ψ
ω
*
*
alpha
bêta
gamma
delta
epsilon
*
zêta
êta
thêta
iota
kappa
lambda
mu
nu
upsilon
omicron
pi
ksi
*
rhô
sigma
tau
phi
khi
psi
oméga
*
*
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
*
*
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
*
*