What does Google prefer? There are a few Hebrew Hanukkah greetings going around, however, they all revolve around the oldest and most popular Hanukkah greeting, which is “happy Chanukkah”. If you want to fit in with the crowd, opt for the Hanukkah spelling, now the most widely used of the choices. LIST: Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hanukkah. Do you ever wonder how do you spell Hanukkah properly? Woody Guthrie's festive songs use spellings "Hanukah Tree" and "Hanuka Gelt," while Adam Sandler calls his series of Jewish celebrity tunes "Chanukah Song." And although there are a few cases when the holiday is written with K-H, that spelling would feel “wrong” to Krinsky, because that transliteration seems further removed from the Chet letter and sound. Sometimes getting the proper spelling of a Hebrew word transliterated into English gets tricky, especially when far more than a trio of options prove technically correct. These kids (and their rabbi) explain. By signing up you are agreeing to our, 'There Is Not Some Separation Between Jesus and Justice.' It is pronounced with a guttural sound that is similar to the /ch/ in loch. This is why you get the pronunciation of “ch” in … The main complication is the first letter, which corresponds to the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet: chet (or het, or heth, or cheth; there’s no right spelling there either). William J. Barber II Uses His Faith to Fight for the Poor, Why 'The Great Gatsby' Now 'Belongs to the People', Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. Hanukkah is far from the only Hebrew-origin word with a multitude of spellings: chuppah or huppah? It follows that the transliterated word should also have one N to represent that sound. As you see throughout this site, we use “Hanukkah,” which a non-scientific study revealed conducted in 2012 found to be the second most popular way to spell the word.eJewish Philanthropy reports Rabbi Sarah Krinsky of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington prefers the spelling that starts with an H, includes one N, adds two Ks and concludes with an H (Hanukkah). Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important Jewish holidays and is celebrated by Jews worldwide. In Hebrew, the language from which the Jewish festival’s name originates, the word for Hanukkah is not easily transliterated into English. Let’s first see what the words “happy” and “Hanukkah” are like in Hebrew: Happy = שמח = Sameach Hanukkah = חנוכה = Chanuka If you type in the aforementioned three spellings, it shows you results for "Hanukkah," a spelling that has been the most popular on the search engine for at least the past 15 years, with second-place spelling "Chanukah" significantly waning in popularity in the past five years. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. Accordingly, Krinksy prefers to double the English K in Hanukkah. We've heard of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, but it's not actually in the Jewish Torah. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. But if you don’t fall into the Hebrew-scholar category, what should you do? "I hope people can find meaning and inspiration in the rich story and customs of the holiday itself and use it as a means of greater interpersonal connection and sense of light in these dark times," Zietman says. So does this mean we can spell Hanukkah however we please? You can blame it on the ch sound being similar to the H sound, making Hanukkah a bit easier for English speakers to understand the pronunciation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are 24 spellings for Hanukkah, during which Jews light candles on a menorah to celebrate the miracle of a one-day oil supply lasting eight after the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C. In Hebrew, it’s “חנוכה”—but since Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, and Hebrew can’t be spelled with English letters, there is no standard English spelling. חַג חֲנוּכָּה שַׂמֵחַ or Hanukkah Sameach literally means "Happy Hanukkah" in Hebrew. As for the spelling of the word, Hanukkah or Chanukah or Chanukkah (etc. In the Hebrew language, which is the language of the bible and was spoken in ancient Palestine, Hanukkah, also spelt as Hanukah, Chanukkah, or Chanukah, means “rededication.” It has a little difference in its spells because it is translated from the Hebrew language, and in English, almost 16 different spellings are found, but the most common ones used are the ones given above. As little as about five years ago, the top spelling choice on the Internet was Chanukah. matzoh, matzo or matzah? Hebrew for Chanukah. She grew up with both, though her organization officially uses Hanukkah. Still, one K is acceptable because the extra K doesn't technically change the way the word sounds. This accounts for why there are so many spelling variants (there are more than 20). About the Author Even in pop culture, there are a number of ways to spell it. The right way to spell Hanukkah. Rachel Bloom's "Santa Baby" parody is "Chanukah Honey" but she included other spellings of the holiday in her CW show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," in a scene where her character Rebecca mulls over which "Happy" holiday banner is best among Chanukah, Hanukah and Hanukkah. The word “Hanukkah” is a transliterated version of the Hebrew term for the holiday, חנוכה. As it’s written in Hebrew, Kaf has a dot called a dagesh in the center of the letter, which “in Hebrew is linguistically being doubled,” Krinsky says. So what spelling is best? You can unsubscribe at any time. “I actually can’t see any linguistic reason why there should be two Ns” Krinsky says. "Personally, I don't think it's really that big of a deal which version people use in writing," Zietman says. All Rights Reserved. Translations in context of "Happy Hanukkah" in English-Hebrew from Reverso Context: With the lighting of each candle. Happy Hanukkah. Whether you’re in tune with the latest spelling trend will be an entirely different story. As little as about five years ago, the top spelling choice on the Internet was Chanukah. Please try again later. Like the Chaf, though, the Chet has a throat-clearing sound that is commonly read as C-H in English, so if you weren't concerned with differentiating the Chet from the Chaf in transliteration, it makes sense you'd want to start the English-letter version of the word with a guttural C-H. kippah, kippa, kipa or kipah? Again, let’s look at the way the holiday is written in Hebrew: Its final letter is a Hei. The name of the eight-day Jewish holiday originates in the language of Hebrew, where it's spelled as חנוכה. The evening of Dec. 10 marks the start of Judaism's eight-night Festival of Lights, Hanukkah. The difficulty begins with the very first letter of the word, which is the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet—ḥet, or chet. The Hebrew Hei functions very similarly to the way the English H can in that “It doesn’t change the pronunciation, like in my name Sarah,” Krinsky says. and when it is transliterated into English it becomes Hanukkah, Chanukkah, Hanukah, and Chanukah. Translation Spell check Synonyms Conjugation Learn how to spell Hannukka (or is it Hanukah? Or Hannukah? With both correct, and about 14 others technically correct too, rest assured that you’ve got a pretty good shot at getting the spelling right. Still, she sees the word written as “Channukah” every year. But, Hanukkah and Chanukah are the two versions that are most widely used and accepted. As Hanukkah is spelled in Hebrew it is written as חנֻכה or חנוכה (Ḥǎnukkâh) and it is translated to mean “to dedicate”. (MORE: Hanukkah 2011: Why the Holiday Is So Popular in America). Hanukkah, therefore, emerged as a celebration of the dedication and refurbishment of the Temple, as the word itself suggests in Hebrew. Although “there is no actual standardized transliteration” when it comes to that letter, Krinsky has seen it commonly written with an H and in prayer books with and an H and a dot underneath it. ).So, if you got an invite for a Hanukkah party and want to fit in, or for once impress your Jewish grandma, here are your essential phrases for this year’s Hanukkah. With so many ways to correctly get the point of Hanukkah across, the proper spelling really turns into a matter of preference and mass appeal. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. Those looking to emphasize the guttural sound of the chet will often use ch, while those looking for the closest English equivalent … Don't say 'Happy Yom Kippur': How to greet someone observing the Jewish Day of Atonement, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. How Rev. So, if you like to slightly buck the trend and go old school, Chanukah is your spelling. Find more Hebrew words at wordhippo.com! There is no English equivalent of the chet sound, which is rendered in transliteration variously with a h, ch or kh. Really want to nerd out on linguistics? To make things more complicated, the first letter in the Hebrew version is pronounced differently in modern Hebrew than it was in classical Hebrew (2,3). Hanukkah is written חנֻכה or חנוכה (Ḥǎnukkâh) in Hebrew, which does make it difficult for many languages to translate it. Dictionary ... Because Hebrew and English use different alphabets and Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, expressing it in English goes beyond translation to transliteration. But times are changing, even in the way the Jewish holiday of lights is celebrated and understood, and the Hanukkah spelling has gone mainstream. The C-H sound can be difficult for English-speakers to master. 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