According to many books I have read, a דגש קל can only be present in the letters ב, ג, ד, כ, פ and ת. The Ashkenazi מסורה for pronunciations of the letters ג and ד without a דגש קל has been lost. I have heard that the letter "ג" without a דגש קל is pronounced like the english letter "j" in some Sephardic customs. However, I have neither heard nor read about how a "ד" without a דגש קל is pronounced. Can somebody transliterate it into english?

  • You should know that the likely pronunciation of gimel without a dagesh kal is as a voiced velar fricative. This is, I believe, how Yemenites pronounce it. (Some Yemenites pronounce gimel with a dagesh as some form of ‘j’, but this seems less likely to be how it was originally pronounced.)
    – Joel K
    Jun 8, 2021 at 3:42
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10250/…
    – Joel K
    Jun 8, 2021 at 7:45
  • Is this on topic?
    – Double AA
    Jun 8, 2021 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


According to the predominant Yemenite custom, a “ד" without a דגש קל is pronounced as “th” (as in “the”). The authenticity of this tradition can be seen in Brachos יג, where we are instructed to elongate the pronunciation of the ״ד״ in the אחד of שמע. This is nearly impossible to do when following the prevalent traditions of the Ashkenazim and Sefardim, who have lost the tradition regarding the pronunciation of a “ד.” (Therefore, it is very likely that the Jews of Babylonia pronounced ״ד״ as a “th” sound.)

  • 3
    (1) It may be worth noting that "a 'ד' without a דגש קל is pronounced as 'th' (as in 'the')", is as opposed to being pronounced as "th" (as in "thick"), which is how a 'ת' without a דגש קל is [correspondingly] pronounced. (2) Another support for pronouncing “ד" without a דגש קל as “th” (as in “the”), is that it makes the “ד" more audible in words like "וְלִמַּדְתֶּם" (like in Devarim 11:19), instead of being swallowed into the following "תּ", without resorting to pronouncing the שוא נח under the “ד" as a שוא נע.
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 8, 2021 at 3:27

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