Transliterating Pointed Hebrew Text

Part of our project of digitizing Jewish liturgy is to provide a resource to convert the consonants and vowels of Hebrew into any other script. Ultimately this will be a standard feature in the web application we are building to help folk craft their own siddur, machzor, bentscher or other useful prayer book. Our lead developer, Efraim Feinstein, invented this transliteration engine, a milestone in the creation of our Open Siddur web application (still in development).

The form below provides a demonstration of this open source technology. Try it with some Hebrew now! If you don’t have any handy, try transliterating this phrase from the opening of the Amidah:

אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ׃

Direct link to the Open Siddur Project’s transliterator

Romanization schemas

There is no single standard for Hebrew transliteration. In our demo you can transliterate Hebrew text in eight different ways originally set out in the following sources:

Currently, the demonstration only provides romanization — the transliteration of Hebrew to a Latin script. By incorporating additional transliteration standards for additional scripts, we will be able to convert Hebrew to Greek, Cyrillic, Amharic, etc. (and vice versa). The tables are not fixed, and we can change them if bugs are found or better ways are suggested. Eventually, we will be implementing a table editor to allow editing the tables, creating, and of course, sharing new ones. For now, if you would like to add a transliteration standard to our database, take a look first at these examples.

Transliteration Tool

The source code for this romanizing transliterator is open source, LGPL licensed, so you are free to take this and use it in your web application or website as well. Join us, and help make this a spectacular resource for everyone.

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