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What are some words commonly mispronounced? (Not by elision/reduction (like ה׳‎→אדְני‎) or assimilation (like תזכרו‎→תשׂכרו‎), but rather words that are pronounced wrong simply because that's how people think they should be pronounced.) I'm excluding from this request errors in stress (emphasis), as those are, alas, too numerous to list. I'm including, however, words mispronounced in a person's own dialect (הברה), though others would consider them correctly pronounced. And I mean any "Jewish" word: a word relevant to, and mispronounced in, Jewish life, be it Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic, or other.

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closed as not a real question by msh210 Feb 5 '12 at 16:38

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I like the allusion to vidui. – Isaac Moses Feb 21 '11 at 16:22
I'm not clear on exactly what you mean by "pronounced wrong simply because that's how people think they should be pronounced". Are you specifying that the mistakes have to be due to whim or that they have to be due to conviction? Does it matter if people have divergent convictions depending on context? (The first divergence that comes to mind is between colloquialism and Torah reading of the "same" word.) – WAF Feb 21 '11 at 19:16
@R'IM, it was quite unintentional. @R'WAF, I guess I meant that people will pronounce them wrong even when asked to pronounce them carefully. – msh210 Feb 21 '11 at 22:58
Are you also excluding mistaken dialects? i.e. correct (or I should say common) in a given dialect, but that dialect is not correct Hebrew? – AviD May 13 '11 at 0:07
@AviD, I don't know why you're saying havara Ashk'nazis is incorrect, but, in any event, yes, I mean to exclude things that are correct in havara Ashk'nazis and used therein. – msh210 May 15 '11 at 3:46

37 Answers 37

There is another issue is with shva nah, it is commonly incorrectly pronounced in Shma.

Like "behol levovho uvhol nafsheho uvhol meodeho" instead of "uv*e*hol nafsheno uv*e*hol meodeho"

Also it sohuld be "sh*e*ma" instead of "shma"

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jutky, whether it is uvchol or uv'chol is a machlokes and either are acceptable. As for the rest, they're usually pronounced incorrectly by those who move the shva as well, as most who do so create a new syllable. Which way is better, I do not know. Btw, many people use an "h" to transliterate a "ches" which is a throat letter, but I have not seen it done for a "chaf" which is a palate letter. – YDK Mar 6 '11 at 23:53
Dittos on the "h" he'arah. Actually the Hes should be transliterated with an "h" with a dot centered underneath it. – Yahu Mar 7 '11 at 0:45
@R'Yahu, as far as I know, there's no "should" in transliteration (unless you are subscribing to a particular scheme, in which case, obviously, you should follow that scheme). Consistency, legibility, and decodability are striven for, but do those imply a ches should be an h with a dot beneath? Not IMO. – msh210 Mar 7 '11 at 0:56
I should point out, as someone who tries diligently to use a bolded 'h' wherever possible for heth, that it's difficult to do these tricks when replying to posts on mi.yodeya. I'm not sure if it's my HTML skills or the tools available here, but it ain't easy. Just to advise jutky - it is very important to be internally consistent AND clear to others what your personal scheme is, which is not easy to determine within your answer. Using an 'h' for a Heth and a Khaf, and also at the end of the word 'nah' is confusing. (I think you mean na' - with an 'ayin - not nakkkhh, am I correct?) – Seth J Mar 9 '11 at 16:32
msh210, you are correct. I am referring to a specific scholarly theme that is commonly used in scholarly publications. – Yahu Mar 24 '11 at 8:43

I'm surprised no one has said this (maybe someone did and I missed it...): In An'im Zmirot, I hear a lot of people say Vayashvucha - וַיָשְוּוּךָ (they will compare you) instead of Vayshavucha - וַיְשַוּוּךָ(they will imagine you)

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I hear people say "Zachor et yom haShabbat l'kodsho" instead of "l'kadd'sho." לקדשו with a kamatz instead of a patach.

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"Shalashudes" to represent Seudah Shlishis. (I know it's supposed to be a form of "Shalosh Seudos", but firstly, it doesn't sound anything like, and secondly, it's the third meal, not 3 meals!)

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Well... as a form of shalosh s'udos, the mispronunciation is by elision/reduction, which the question excluded (simply because cases abound, alas). And as a form of s'uda sh'lishis, I don't think it's a mispronunciation so much as a misnomer. – msh210 Jun 23 '11 at 5:30
See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8754. – msh210 Jul 14 '11 at 22:35
Likewise, a local Rabbi and a good friend of mine keeps saying "SeuDAT Shlisheet", as if the first was semikhut. Reb Artscroll says that the eating the third meal is as if you ate three meals altogether, citing Divrei Emes. Probably a retroactive justification more than anything. – B.BarNavi Aug 10 '11 at 4:25

The bracha on spices is 'borei minei Vesamim' not 'besamim'.

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See also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/6095 and its comments. – msh210 Jan 1 '12 at 6:18

אור Can be one of two words: "ohr" meaning light, or "ur" (or "eer" in hasidic havarah) meaning fire. These two meanings are different words and are pronounce differently, yet almost everyone I know always pronounces it "ohr", even when referring to fire.

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nagah, thanks for this great answer, and welcome to the site: I hope you stick around end enjoy it. – msh210 Jan 1 '12 at 7:34
I haven't met people who are aware of this issue and yet mispronounce. – JNF Nov 4 '12 at 6:57

This is a bit off, but sometimes discussing the case of "Toveling a Toister"

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I would add the conventional usage of " tovel" as a transitive verb in general. I "tovel", but I "matbil" a toaster. – WAF Jul 18 '11 at 12:15
@WAF: (I assume you don't mean that as an answer to this question about mispronunciations. In any event:) We do find taval as a transitive verb: goo.gl/JLEa3. – msh210 Aug 25 '11 at 15:27
@WAF See comments here judaism.stackexchange.com/q/40144/759 – Double AA Feb 2 at 20:05

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