What Hebrew Names Are Spelled the Same in Hebrew As in English?


Quick Answer

There are a handful of names that share the same spelling in English and Hebrew, including Adam, Rachael and David. Other names are similar but have key spelling differences. For example, the "b" in an English name like Abigail would be spelled Avigayil, with a "v."

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Full Answer

Names from the Bible, in particular, have similar spellings and pronunciations whether written and spoken in Hebrew or English. Some popular names that follow this trend include Sara or Sarah, Naomi, and Delilah.

Other names from the Bible often share similar spellings but with simple variations. For example, names such as Jacob or Caleb could become Yaakov or Kalev in Hebrew, changing the "j" sound in English to a "y" and the "b" to a softer "v" sound. Conversely, some Bilblical names are quite changeable in both spelling and pronunciation. For example, Eve in English becomes Chava in Hebrew.

Although several names appear to have identical spelling, it is important to note that the original Hebrew alphabet is completely different from the American Latin alphabet, and therefore the "true" spelling of names in Hebrew requires knowledge of the so-called Judaic or Early Aramaic writing. The characters in this alphabet look similar to other Semitic languages (like Arabic), and the writing direction is right to left.

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