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I'm trying to brush up on my Hebrew. As an American Jew, it is still important to me to be able to recite my prayers from the siddur in their original Hebrew.

How do I pronounce "yod" when there is a dot inside of it? Here's how it appeared in my most recent Hebrew lesson: ׁׁׁׁשִיֵּץ

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    It's just like a regular "yod" only you geminate it. – Double AA Dec 25 '13 at 17:30
  • @chay usually a letter with a dot is pronounced with the letter proceding it. – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Dec 25 '13 at 19:42
  • Chaya, Quizlet.com addresses this issue. Check out the following: quizlet.com/.../chapter-2-consonantal-and-vocalic-yodvav-rules-flash-cards... – JJLL Dec 25 '13 at 22:12
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    Definitely off-topic, but welcome. In case you overlooked it, you also have a dot (known as a "dagesh") in the Yud in your name. – Seth J Dec 26 '13 at 4:11
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    @avi No! The question is on-topic if and only if it has to do with Judaism, regardless of whether there's a Hebrew SE or a desire for one. Now that chaya has edited it to make it explicitly about the proper pronunciation of Jewish prayer, which is undeniably a requirement of Judaism, the fact that it has to do with Hebrew grammar does nothing to make it off-topic. – Isaac Moses Dec 26 '13 at 15:36
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Yod, like most other letters, can only get a dot in it called a "dagesh chazak." This indicates that the affected consonant should be geminated, or doubled the way you would double, e.g. the 'b' sound in "subbasement."

So, for the word in your example, שִיֵּץ, you would say "shiy-yatz" rather than "shiyatz," and your name would be pronounced "Chay-ya" rather than "Chaya."

Congratulations on your intention and efforts toward pronouncing prayers correctly! If you can incorporate this detail of correct pronunciation into your habits, you'll be taking a big step toward exceptionally precise pronunciation

  • This is something I've been working on of late (and is a good suggestion regarding your question about improving concentration during davening) – Daniel Dec 24 '14 at 15:58

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