Hanukkah or Chanukah? How do you spell it?
Chanukah. The first letter is not h (ה - "hei"), but ch (ח - "chet") This letter is not pronounced as in "chew" or "charm," but with a rough, frictional sound produced against the roof of the mouth. So it's definitely "Chanukah."
חג חנוכה שמח! (Happy Chanukah!) ✟✡
I personally use the (seemingly) more common H spelling, but it's well known that both are accepted/used by the Jewish community (hence it doesn't matter, take your pick).
Well, it's confusing and there is really no "right" answer. The Hebrew word for Chanukah is חנוכה. There are several problems with spelling it in English (transliteration).
The first letter (called a "chet") is a guttural sound. This sound does not exist in any English word. Some examples from other languages are "achtung" (German) and "loch" (Scottish).
So, this beginning "chet" in Chanukah is sometimes rendered as ch, sometimes as k and sometimes as h.
After that, the other sounds can be accurately transliterated. However, some people want to double the 'n' or the 'k' or both.
As you will notice, I personally prefer "Chanukah."
Thanks for the explanation! Learned something new today.
@GrandmaAlice - I know you have explained this before, but I don't recall the details. Please, enlighten us.
Why only one k instead of two?
Tom, I agree with you, but I had already written my response, before I saw yours.
Bama and Tom, here are some interesting links:
Curly - only one k in the Hebrew word.
I don't really ever find myself spelling that word.
Since the original word is Hebrew, and we don't have 1:1 letter translation, or even all of the same phonemes, there are many ways to spell it.
I recognize either spelling, but realize the one on the left is more accurate at highlighting the breathy sounding H similar to the kh used for he Arabic letter Khaa.
Yes. See my comment above.
Depends. When talking to jews, who usually pronounce it with the hebrew ח, i spell it ch. when talking to non jews, who pronounce it h, i use an h.
to you as well!!
What, like nannukah? Never heard that before.
Not ch like in chat or chill though. Its not a sound used in english. If you want to know what it sounds like, i suggest google.
I don't ; )
Same. And @patrioticparody, NKarta wrote the Hebrew letter Chet, or ח. It's pronounced "ch."
Agreed. However, the second one is closer to hinting at a correct pronunciation.