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NKarta Please excuse my sanity
12/25/16 5:30 pm

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.

patrioticparody Pale Blue Dot
12/26/16 5:44 pm

What, like nannukah? Never heard that before.

goldz oh this world
12/26/16 6:21 pm

Same. And @patrioticparody, NKarta wrote the Hebrew letter Chet, or ח. It's pronounced "ch."

NKarta Please excuse my sanity
12/26/16 6:47 pm

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.

12/25/16 7:21 am

I don't really ever find myself spelling that word.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
12/25/16 7:54 am

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!) ✟✡

12/25/16 9:50 am

Why only one k instead of two?

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
12/25/16 7:28 pm

Curly - only one k in the Hebrew word.

patrioticparody Pale Blue Dot
12/26/16 5:46 pm

Thanks for the explanation! Learned something new today.

BamaGirl ROLL TIDE from Arizona
12/25/16 12:28 am

@GrandmaAlice - I know you have explained this before, but I don't recall the details. Please, enlighten us.

GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
12/25/16 8:25 am

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."


GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
12/25/16 8:27 am

Tom, I agree with you, but I had already written my response, before I saw yours.

Bama and Tom, here are some interesting links:


Laserbeam Crazy bird lady
12/25/16 12:06 am

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).

Tariq5 Utah
12/24/16 11:27 pm

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.

ctskapski x
12/24/16 11:20 pm

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.

FIAT2LUX On Planet Earth
12/25/16 5:39 am

Agreed. However, the second one is closer to hinting at a correct pronunciation.