Is there a standard for writing Hebrew words in English letters in the context of religious texts? I see a different way to write the same word or distinction between "כ" and "ק" or "כ" and "ח" and even "ת" and "ט".

To focus on my questions I give examples from real life as it's more common and more accessible then examples in religious texts.

I see "חיה" written as "chaya", "haya", "khaya". Same goes to writing city names such as "פתח תקווה": "Petach Tikva" and I saw "Petach Tikqa" (even in road signs in Israel). And "נצרת" written as "Nazareth", "Natsert", "Natsreth", "Natsrat" and more.

So is there a standard for writing Hebrew words in English letters?

closed as off-topic by rosends, sabbahillel, mevaqesh, Double AA Dec 27 '17 at 15:53

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Judaism within the scope defined in the help center. Note that not all questions about the Hebrew language, about history or news of the Jewish people, about Jewish individuals, or about the State of Israel are necessarily about Judaism." – rosends, sabbahillel, mevaqesh, Double AA
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Your assumption is correct. I gave the examples from everyday life to make my point and sharpen my meaning. – Binyamin Regev Dec 27 '17 at 8:14
  • Thanks for accepting the answer. But if I may share a small tip, it is better NOT to do this early as it might discourage others from offering answers, possibly better ones. For instance someone could come back with the transliteration scheme used by ArtScroll or Koren, and it might be even more useful to you. Best practice I think is to give 2-3 days then come back and accept the best answer. Glad to see you come back though ! – mbloch Dec 27 '17 at 8:16

The challenge is that there are different ways to pronounce Hebrew. Ashkenazim, Sefaradim, Teimanim, etc. all pronounce words differently.

There is a very interesting project called OpenSiddur which developed an open source tool to build your own siddur. As part of this they have incorporated eight(!) different transliteration schemes

See their site for a tool enabling you to transliterate any Hebrew into latin characters using any of the above schemes.

  • This is obvious even for languages other than Hebrew. Try to transliterate English into Hebrew characters. How would you transliterate "Car"? If you went by standard American pronunciation, you might transliterate it as "כר". If you instead were transliterating it from the perspective of a London/BBC accent, you might instead transliterate as "כא" or simply "כ". Which is correct? English is one language! – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 17:23

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