Dr. Joel M. Hoffman's transliteration system. 

From an email dated 4 Nov 97

Here's the article I posted about the transliteration system:

The beauty of the system is that I've tested it on people who know absolutely no Hebrew, and they can read most of the Hebrew words correctly with no coaching. I make no attempt to capture anything about the original word except how it is pronounced.


As you'd expect (g=gimel, 1=lamed, etc.)

Aleph and Ayin become an apostrophe between two vowels.

Chet is "h" with a dot under it.

Chaf is "ch." (Could also be kh. Either way, you have to tell people what it is.)

Kaf and Koof are both "k." 

Vav and Vet are both "v."

Sin and Samech are both "s."

Tzadi is "tz."

A dagesh does NOT require a doubled letter. (For example, "shabat.") 

A heh or aleph at the end of the word is written as an "h" after the vowel "e," to make it clear that the "e" isn't silent: "sadeh," for example, not "sade."


Patach and kamatz are "a." (Kamatz katan is "o.")

Tzere and Segol are "e." (If you want American pronunciation, use "ei" for tzere.)

"u" and "o" are obvious.