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Old 12-01-2006, 07:55 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Is there a "ch" sound in Hebrew?

I'm not referring to the gutteral "ch" sound in "Chanukah," but to the actual "ch" sound, as in "church." Does it exist in Hebrew?
Old 12-01-2006, 09:28 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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Originally Posted by panache45
I'm not referring to the gutteral "ch" sound in "Chanukah," but to the actual "ch" sound, as in "church." Does it exist in Hebrew?
Old 12-01-2006, 10:32 PM
Lynwood Slim Lynwood Slim is offline
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rare but it does exist.

Originally Posted by panache45
I'm not referring to the gutteral "ch" sound in "Chanukah," but to the actual "ch" sound, as in "church." Does it exist in Hebrew?
Yes. For example, when Hebrew speakers pronouce the number "19", "chai-esrei" they say "chai" ("ch" as in "church",) though with the tongue in a slightly different position from way American English speakers say "church."

"chai-esrei" is usually transliterated as "tschai-esrei" so that the reader won't inadvertently pronounce the gutteral "ch".

There is another word in Hebrew slang, but very common: "choop-chik", it refers to the orthographic sign put over the Hebrew letter "tsadee" to show that it refers to the '"ch" as in church sound.' This is used when a non-Hebrew word like "Churchill" or "Chechnya" is transliterated into Hebrew.

No words other than "19" and "choop-chik" come to mind.
Old 12-01-2006, 10:45 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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To add to that, the "ch" sound in English is, I believe, a combination of "t" and "sh" sounds. (And "sh" is just our representation of a phoneme that we don't have a single letter for.)
Old 12-02-2006, 08:54 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Clarification: In traditional, ancient Hebrew (prayer Hebrew), no, there is no soft ch-sound. Neither is there a j-sound: Joseph, in ancient Hebrew, is actually Yosef.
In modern Hebrew, however, yes, there is both a soft ch-sound and a j-sound. The soft j-sound is made by an accent mark next to the hard g-sound to indicate softening. I don't remember myself, but I assume the same is done with the ts-sound to make it ch-ish. These were basically added when Hebrew was modernized to become a living language used in a modern society, as opposed to just being used for prayer or study of ancient texts. The need to be able to transliterate English into Hebrew required the addition of new sounds, but not new alphabet letters.
Old 12-02-2006, 08:58 AM
Monty Monty is offline
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This page on the Omniglot lists seven "Common orthography additions (mainly for foreign borrowings)" in the Hebrew abjad.
Old 12-02-2006, 10:00 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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I don't have any specific knowledge of Hebrew, but here isa map of its consonants from Wikipedia. Read the discussion beneath, also. In the map itself I don't see the "ch" sound that we as English speakers are familiar with, but the "ts" sound is very similar and not part of English, and we could easily interpret it as "ch."
Old 12-02-2006, 02:38 PM
susan susan is offline
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Also, since /ch/ is a Yiddish sound, there are plenty of borrowed words that Hebrew speakers use, spelled with a tsadi and accent mark.
Old 12-02-2006, 06:52 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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CKDex and Shoshana said pretty much what I wanted to say, which is that there is no native "ch" sound in Hebrew. It does occur frequently in words which have been borrowed from other languages.

It is pretty much an exact parallel to the guttaral "ch" in English: It exists in exactly zero native English words, but often occurs in words which have been borrowed from other languages which have it, such as German or Hebrew.

I won't argue with Lynwood Slim's example of "chai-esrei", except to say that the "ch" sound there is not represented by a single Hebrew letter, but by two, the first of which has a "t" sound, and the second has a "sh" sound. In my admittedly old-fashioned view, the "t" and "sh" are properly pronounced as two separate syllables, with a slight pause (the "shewa" lack of sound) between them, and it is only a modern slurring which causes them to sound like the English "ch". If anyone wants to say that this has become a legitimate [oh, what's the word for a two-lettered consonant? I know that a two-lettered vowel is a dipthong, but I can't remember the corresponding word for consonants] in modern Hebrew, I'll grumble, but I won't argue.
Old 12-02-2006, 07:03 PM
susan susan is offline
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Consonant cluster?
Old 12-02-2006, 07:30 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:38 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Digraph. Like the "ph" in "digraph." From the Greek meaning 'two letters'.


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