[DWJ] on pronunciation, particularly the Biblical kind

Elizabeth Evans er.evans at auckland.ac.nz
Tue Jun 8 22:54:52 EDT 2010

From: A.M. Winslow

On Biblical pronunciations -- for the Old/ Hebrew testament.
I took Hebrew for a year. :)  Here's a pointer: in Hebrew, the accent is most frequently on the last syllable.  Therefore "Deborah" is "de-vor-AH" and Sarah is "Sah-RAH." The 'a' sounds are soft.  Saul's daughter's name is "Mi-CHAL" (the 'ch' is in the back of your throat, like in German or Scottish) NOT "MI-chael," which is how some people pronounce it.
If that helps. :)  Of course, half the time I don't pronounce English as I should . . . especially as I live half in America, half in Scotland, and nobody agrees what "should" is . . .
Sigh.  I do love the English language, though.

Thanks very much for those pointers. I will bear them in mind when it's my turn to read the lesson. I don't think I will get away with saying the more familiar names with the Hebrew pronunciation, because people cling to what they know, particularly in church congregations, and I can just imagine the collective hackles rising if I pronounced "Rebecca" or "Rachel" in an unfamiliar way. I might get away with Michal, though . . .


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