Wiktionary:About Hebrew

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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is a draft proposal. It is unofficial, and it is unknown whether it is widely accepted by Wiktionary editors.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.

Creating Hebrew entries


Entry name


The name of the entry is that of the word or phrase that you are defining.

Diacritics: Nikud (vowel points) shouldn't be indicated on page names, but in headword-line templates with the use of wv and dwv parameters.

The essentials

  1. Language header lets you know the language of the word in question, in this case Hebrew so: ==Hebrew==. See Help:How to edit a page for some basic terminology we use. When there is more than one language header on a page, the language headers should appear in alphabetical order with Translingual and English given priority. Do not use Ancient/Biblical/Classical/Mishnaic/Modern Hebrew in the language header.
  2. Part of Speech header it is the key descriptor for the grammatical function of the term in question (such as 'noun', 'verb', 'root, etc). The definitions themselves come within its scope. This heading is most frequently in a level three heading, and a page may have more than one for a single language.
  3. Headword-line is the line immediately following the part of speech header. In the simplest entries, this will be the entry name in bold, followed by the gender, a romanization, and some basic inflection information. This should be done with the use of the Hebrew headword-line templates.
  4. Definitions or Translations of the word appear as a numbered list in the part of speech section immediately following the headword line, though it is a good idea to include a blank line in between for ease of editing.
  5. Declension/Conjugation should follow the Part of Speech header at a level 4. Use ====Declension==== for nouns and adjectives, and for verbs use ====Conjugation====, or ====Inflection==== for either. For nouns use {{he-decl}}.

A very simple example


This is a simple entry for the word סֵפֶר (séfer), and shows the most fundamental elements of an article:

  1. the word's language (as a level 2 heading),
  2. the {{HE root}} template used to show the root of the word and categorize it,
  3. its part of speech or "type" (as a level 3 heading),
  4. the inflection word itself (using the correct Part of Speech template or the word in bold letters),
  5. a definition (preceded by "#", which causes automatic numbering),
  6. links in the definition or translation for key words,
  7. and declension (optionally).

This example can be copied and used to start an article or section of an article, with the appropriate parts changed.

{{HE root|ספר}}


# [[book]]
# {{lb|he|archaic}} a [[writing]]


A more in-depth example


This is an entry for the word שֶׁלֶג (shéleg). It includes more information than the simple example above, including:

  1. Etymology,
  2. pronunciation,
  3. derived terms, related terms and see also.

There are other possible headers for use. See WT:EL for more information regarding these.


From {{inh|he|sem-pro|*θalg-}}, see it for more.

* {{IPA|he|/ˈʃeleɡ/|a=IL}}


# [[snow]] {{gloss|the frozen, crystalline state of water that falls as precipitation}}


====Derived terms====
* {{l|he|גַּלְשַׁן שֶׁלֶג|gloss=snowboard|tr=galshán shéleg}}
* {{l|he|כַּדּוּר שֶׁלֶג|gloss=snowball|tr=kadúr shéleg}}
* {{l|he|כְּשֶׁלֶג בַּקַּיִץ|gloss=like snow in summer|tr=k'shéleg bakáyits}}
* {{l|he|שֶׁלֶג דְּאְשְׁתָּקַד|gloss=a transient or illusory thing|tr=shéleg d'eshtakád}}
* {{l|he|שִׁלְגּוֹן|gloss=popsicle|tr=shilgón}}
* {{l|he|שִׁלְגִּיָּה|gloss=[[Snow White]]|tr=shilgiyá}}
* {{l|he|שַׁלְגִּית|gloss=snowsled|tr=shalgít}}

====Related terms====
* {{l|he|הִשְׁלִיג|gloss=to bring down snow, to cover with snow|tr=hishlíg}}
* {{l|he|מוּשְׁלַג|gloss=snow-covered|tr=mushlág}}

====See also====
* {{l|he|קֶרַח|tr=kérakh|gloss=[[ice]]}}

Formatting Hebrew entries




For most types of word derivations there are templates, which reduce typing, help keep formatting consistent and make Wiktionary machine-readable. Many of these have shortcuts.

  • To indicate the (Hebrew) root of a term the template {{HE root}} can be used.
  • For terms derived by affixation, use {{affix}}.
  • For calques, use {{calque}}.
  • For blends, use {{blend}}.
  • For inherited terms, use {{inherited}}, or its shortcut {{inh}}.
  • For borrowed terms, use {{borrowed}}, or its shortcut {{bor}}.
  • For terms of uncertain derivation from other languages, use {{derived}}, or its shortcut {{der}}.
  • {{bor}}, {{der}}, {{inh}}, {{calque}} can be used to identify languages in etymology sections.

Headword-line templates


There are a few headword-line templates available for Hebrew which include some Hebrew specific features such as the |wv= and |dwv= parameters. The most commonly used ones are: {{he-noun}} for entries of nouns, {{he-verb}} for verb entries, and {{he-adj}} for adjective entries (and its automatically declining sub-templates {{he-adj-auto}} and {{he-adj-i}}).


  • Hebrew transliterations (that is, romanizations) are not words. Hebrew entries should only be written in the Hebrew script.
  • The headword line of an entry should include romanization, using the tr= parameter of the headword-line template.
  • In some etymology sections, the scholarly romanization may be preferred, in that case usually include both, regular then scholarly, separated by a comma.
  • When linking under certain circumstances to a Hebrew entry, include romanization, using the tr= or equivalent parameter of the link template (such as {{t}} or {{m}}). This is to be done, for example, for a translation (in an English entry) but not, for example, for an inflected form listed on a headword line.
  • If a romanization is missing, it may be requested using {{rfscript|he}}, which adds the entry to Category:Requests for native script for Hebrew terms.
  • The letters are romanized as follows (in general: in some cases it might be necessary to use a romanization that is based not on Modern Israeli Hebrew but on another form).
letter name romanization scholarly romanization notes
א אָ֫לֶף (álef, ʾā́lep̄) ' or [nothing] ʾ Modern Hebrew: omitted (i.e., represented as [nothing]) when word-initial, word-final, or unvowelized (as in קוֹרֵאת (korét))
Biblical Hebrew: Always transliterated (as in רֹאשׁ (rōʾš)).
ב בֵּית (bét, bêṯ) b or v b or b when with a dagesh (or in the spelling of a triliteral root), v when without a dagesh
ג גִּ֫ימֶל (gímel, gî́mel) g g or
ג׳ j ǧ
ד דָּ֫לֶת (dálet, dā́leṯ) dalet d d or
ה הֵא (hé, hēʾ) h h omit word-final ה (i.e., represent it as [nothing]), except when with mapik (הּ)
ו וָו (váv, wāw) v w see the table of vowels, below, for ו as vowel marker
ז זַיִן (záyin) z z
ז׳ zh ž
ח חֵית (khét, ḥêṯ) kh
ט טֵית (tét, ṭêṯ) t
י יוֹד (yód, yôḏ) y y but optionally i when the latter part of a diphthong;
see the table of vowels, below, for י as vowel marker
כ‎, ך* כָּף (káf, kāp̄) k or kh k or k when with a dagesh (or in the spelling of a triliteral root), ch or kh when without a dagesh
ל לָ֫מֶד (lámed, lā́meḏ) lamed l l
מ‎, ם* מֵם (mém, mēm) m m
נ‎, ן* נוּן (nún, nûn) n n
ס סָ֫מֶךְ (sámekh, sā́meḵ) s s
ע עַיִן (áyin, ʿáyin) ' or [nothing] ʿ omitted (i.e., represented as [nothing]) when word-initial, word-final, or when the last consonant of a syllable vocalised with sh'va, like שְׁמַעְיָה (shmayá)
פ‎, ף* פֵּא (pé, pēʾ) p or f p or p when with a dagesh (or in the spelling of a triliteral root), f when without a dagesh
צ‎, ץ* צָדִי (tsadí, ṣāḏî) ts
צ׳‎, ץ׳* ch č Represents "ch" as in chalk.
ק קוֹף (kóf, qôp̄) k q
ר רֵישׁ (résh, rêš) resh r r
ש שִׁין (shín, šîn) or שִׂין (sín, śîn) sh or s š or ś sh when shin (שׁ), s when sin: (שׂ)
ת תָּו (táv, tāw) t t or
* For the letters with two forms, the one on the left is used at the beginning and middle of words, while the one on the right is used at the end of words.


  • Vowels are romanized as follows:
vowel name Modern Hebrew romanization Biblical Hebrew transliteration
(scholarly romanization)
בְ שְׁוָא (shva, šəwāʾ) ' or [nothing] ə or [nothing] an apostrophe when na`, omitted (i.e., represented as [nothing]) when nakh or when adjacent to א or ע which is transliterated other than by [nothing]
בַ פַּתָּח (patákh, pattāḥ) a a
חַ פַּתָּח גְּנוּב (patákh gnúv, pattāḥ gənûḇ) The accent is always indicated on the vowel preceding the furtive patach.
בֲ חֲטַף-פַּתָּח (khatáf-patákh, ḥăṭap̄-pattāḥ) ă
בָ קָמָץ (kamáts, qāmāṣ) a or o ā or o In Modern Hebrew it represents two different vowels: קָמָץ גָּדוֹל (kamáts gadól, qāmāṣ gāḏôl) (a) and קָמָץ קָטָן (kamáts katán, qāmāṣ qāṭān) (o)
בָה קָמָץ־הֵא (kamáts-hé, qāmāṣ-hēʾ) a â
בָיו Spelling of ־וֹ (3rd masculine singular sufix) after a plural masculine noun aw âw
בֳ חֲטַף קָמָץ (khatáf kamáts, ḥăṭap̄ qāmāṣ) o ŏ
בֶ סְגוֹל (segól, səḡôl) e e
בֵ צֵירֵי (tseré, ṣêrê) ē
בֶי סְגוֹל־יוֹד (segól-yód, səḡôl-yôḏ) ê
בֵי צֵירֵי־יוֹד (tseré-yód, ṣêrê-yôḏ)
בֶה סְגוֹל־הֵא (segól-hé, səḡôl-hēʾ)
בֵה צֵירֵי־הֵא (tseré-hé, ṣêrê-hēʾ)
בֱ חֲטַף סְגוֹל (khatáf segól, ḥăṭap̄ səḡôl) ĕ
בִ חִירִיק (khirík, ḥîrîq) i i
בִי חִירִיק־יוֹד (khirík-yód, ḥîrîq-yôḏ) î
בֹ חוֹלָם (kholám, ḥōlām) o ō
בוֹ חוֹלָם מָלֵא (kholám malé, ḥōlām mālēʾ) ô
בֹה חוֹלָם־הֵא (kholám hé, ḥōlām hēʾ)
בֻ קֻבּוּץ (kubúts, qubbûṣ) u u
בוּ שׁוּרוּק (shurúk, šûrûq) û
  • In Modern Hebrew transcriptions, stress is indicated using an acute accent on the vowel of the stressed (or only) syllable (á, é, í, ó, ú).
  • In Biblical Hebrew transliterations, stress is indicated in the same way as Modern Hebrew, but only when non final. Words ending with a guttural letter with pathaḥ furtivum take the accent on the preceding vowel, like רוּחַ (rû́aḥ)

Other diacritics

  • Other diacritics:
diacritic name romanization scholarly romanization notes
בּ דָּגֵשׁ (dagésh, dāḡēš) [nothing] [nothing] or [doubled consonant] The dagesh kal (found at the beginning of a word or after a silent shva) changes the phonetic values of ב‎, כ/ך‎, and פ‎ from v, kh, and f to b, k, and p (and in scholarly transcription of ב‎, ג‎, ד‎, כ/ך‎, פ‎, and ת‎ from , , , , , and to b, g, d, k, p, and t). The dagesh chazak (which must be preceded by a vowel) has the previous effect and also indicates the historical doubling of the consonant.
הּ מַפִּיק (mapíq, mappîq) [nothing] [nothing] The mapik is graphically identical to the dagesh, but occurs only at the end of a word on the letter ה (and rarely on the letter א) to indicate that the letter is not silent. Thus, the letter should be romanized in its usual way instead of being omitted from the romanization.
שׁ shin dot sh š Indicates that the letter ש is pronounced "sh".
שׂ sin dot s ś Indicates that the letter ש is pronounced "s".
בֽ מֶתֶג (méteg, méṯeg) [accent] [secondary stress], [open syllable], [virtual doubling] Used sometimes in Modern Hebrew to indicate word stress. In Biblical Hebrew it indicates that a syllable is "heavy", i.e. either has a secondary stress, it is an open syllable or shows virtual doubling. A שְׁוָא (shva, šəwāʾ) following a syllable with a מֶתֶג (méteg, méṯeg) is always vocal. A קָמָץ (kamáts, qāmāṣ) accompanied by a méteg is always a קָמָץ גָּדוֹל (kamáts gadól, qāmāṣ gāḏôl) and therefore always pronounced /a/.
ב֫ עוֹלֶה (olé, ʿôlê) [accent] [accent] Indicates that the syllable on which it appears is stressed.

Dialects and languages


The standard on English Wiktionary is to treat all of Hebrew as one language, including Biblical, Mishnaic, and Modern Hebrew. All have the same categories, all have the same ==Language== headers, etc. The only exception is in Etymology sections, where to indicate derivation from Biblical Hebrew one can use {{bor|target language|hbo|-}}, and to indicate derivation from Modern Israeli Hebrew one can use {{bor|target language|he-IL|-}}.

In Pronunciation sections, the following can be used and will provide a link to the corresponding Wikipedia article:

  • A Modern Israeli pronunciation can be indicated by the use of {{a|IL}}.
  • Ashkenazi Hebrew with {{a|Ashkenazi Hebrew}}.
    • Ashkenazi Hebrew stress can vary depending on the situation (e.g. davening vs. reading from the Torah), so best practice may be either not to indicate stress at all or to indicate both types (primarily-penultimate and primarily-ultimate). Reduced vowels should be avoided or indicated as allophonic of the actual phonemic vowel.
    • It's probably better to use Litvish, Poylish, etc. pronunciations than YIVO-style Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciations.
  • Sephardi Hebrew with {{a|Sephardi Hebrew}}.
  • Italian Hebrew with {{a|Italian Hebrew}}.
  • Mizrahi Hebrew with {{a|Mizrahi Hebrew}}.
  • Yemenite Hebrew with {{a|Yemenite Hebrew}}.
  • Biblical Hebrew with {{a|hbo}}.

Odd binyanim


The binyan nitpa'el is to be treated as part of the binyan hitpa'el. For the past tense (which is where they differ in form), whichever is more common is to be written as a full entry, and the less common as an entry using {{alternative form of}}. But if the less common one has meanings different from those of the more common one, or if both are equally common, then both should be given full entries.

Binyan pilpel is considered merely a mishkal of pi'el.



The community's decision was to exclude most constructions that are simply one or more proclitics plus a base word; וּבָנוֹת (uvanót), for example, is considered to be covered by the entries for וְ־ (v'-) and בָּנוֹת (banót).

To be decided

  • Where to use k'tiv khaser and where to use k'tiv malé (e.g. for diber, where דבר, and where דיבר).
  • Where to supply vowel signs.
  • Whether roots warrant separate treatment from the words formed from them, and if so, what this treatment should include.
  • How to supply conjugations of verbs, declensions of nouns and adjectives, and pronoun-including forms of prepositions.

Please discuss on the talk-page (Wiktionary talk:About Hebrew)!

Resources for Hebrew language and Hebrew script