When transliterating an English name to Hebrew (e.g. for a Ketubah or Get), is there a way to distinguish between a "p" and "f" sound? E.g. Fine, NY vs Pine, CO. Would both just be spelled (assuming Ashkenazic conventions) פיין ?

I know Yiddish has its own solution to this problem with the line-over-the-character for "f", but my understanding was in a Ketuba, we stick to only the original, unadorned, 22 Hebrew letters or five finals.

If I recall correctly from Or HaYashar, Pfalz, Germany is just פפלץ

  • The line over the letter is actually a traditional Hebrew convention well before it was a Yiddish convention. (That doesn't solve your issue as you don't want to use Nikkud.)
    – Double AA
    Oct 7 '16 at 15:06

According to the system discussed in Sefer Torat HaSofer which primarily follows the workings of the Israeli Rabbinute, the answer is no. However from practical experience I have also found that Batei Dinim in different cities will at times have their own customs when it comes to transliteration. This is found more commonly in Gittin where the language needs to be more exact, and it needs to be made more abundantly clear exactly who what and where you are talking about.


There is a convention for distinguishing /p/ and /f/ at the end of a word: A final /p/ is transliterated with a non-final פ. For example, my surname “Bishop” is spelled “בישופ”.

  • 1
    Interesting... source? Jul 3 '12 at 16:40

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