Hanukkah is observed by lighting candles on a nine-branched candelabra called a menorah over eight nights. And although there are a few cases when the holiday is written with K-H, that spelling would feel “wrong” to Krinsky, because that transliteration seems further removed from the Chet letter and sound. In Hebrew, it’s “חנוכה”—but since Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, and Hebrew can’t be spelled with English letters, there is no standard English spelling. What does Google prefer? How do you say happy Chanukah in Hebrew? The light miraculously burned for eight nights. So does this mean we can spell Hanukkah however we please? Because Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, there is no one correct way to translate the spelling of the word into English. Let’s see why that version is a favorite. Each variant exists for its own reasons, and each is valid in English. "Personally, I don't think it's really that big of a deal which version people use in writing," Zietman says. The K sound in the middle of “Hanukkah” comes from the Hebrew letter Kaf. Other Hanukkah traditions include eating potato pancakes called latkes and jelly donuts called sufganiyot (because they're foods fried in oil), spinning a top called a dreidel to win chocolate coins called gelt and exchanging gifts. kippah, kippa, kipa or kipah? So if a Hebrew ends with the silent Hei, “why not include (a silent H) in English?” she asks. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are 24 spellings for Hanukkah, during which Jews light candles on a menorah to celebrate the miracle of a one-day oil supply lasting eight after the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C. More on Jewish holidays: Don't say 'Happy Yom Kippur': How to greet someone observing the Jewish Day of Atonement, What is Hanukkah? "I hope people can find meaning and inspiration in the rich story and customs of the holiday itself and use it as a means of greater interpersonal connection and sense of light in these dark times," Zietman says. It follows that the transliterated word should also have one N to represent that sound. Celebrating a miracle and the ability to practice your religion, eating fried foods and winning chocolate, giving and receiving gifts: Hanukkah is a happy holiday however you spell it. Although “there is no actual standardized transliteration” when it comes to that letter, Krinsky has seen it commonly written with an H and in prayer books with and an H and a dot underneath it. This accounts for why there are so many spelling variants (there are more than 20). ), how to wish people Happy Chanukah in Hebrew, how to light the candles and say the blessings.There's also a short blurb on the story of Chanukah. The K sound in the middle of “Hanukkah” comes from the Hebrew letter Kaf. Hanukkah 2011: Why the Holiday Is So Popular in America, Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hanukkah. "In pronunciation, like any way we approach saying a foreign word, it's nice to ask a native speaker how they pronounce it (or find it online) and try to do one's best to make the original sound.". Still, one K is acceptable because the extra K doesn't technically change the way the word sounds. How Rev. Here’s What To Know, Japanese Health Ministry Finds New COVID-19 Variant. In Hebrew, Hanukkah is pronounced with the letter “chet” so it sounds like Chanukah. Don't say 'Happy Yom Kippur': How to greet someone observing the Jewish Day of Atonement, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. As for the spelling of the word, Hanukkah or Chanukah or Chanukkah (etc. Sure, the English spelling differs from greeting card to greeting card. So, if you like to slightly buck the trend and go old school, Chanukah is your spelling. Pronounced with the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, chet, a guttural, throaty sound similar to the "ch" in Johann Brach, according to Chabad. As you see throughout this site, we use “Hanukkah,” which a non-scientific study revealed conducted in 2012 found to be the second most popular way to spell the word.eJewish Philanthropy reports If you type in the aforementioned three spellings, it shows you results for "Hanukkah," a spelling that has been the most popular on the search engine for at least the past 15 years, with second-place spelling "Chanukah" significantly waning in popularity in the past five years. Hanukah is starting soon. So, when the Hebrew word was transliterated in the 17th century, the ḥet became ch (Chanukah). Again, let ’ s what to Know, Japanese Health Ministry Finds New COVID-19 variant ” “... By Jews worldwide Hebrew alphabet—ḥet, or chet the very first letter of the Hebrew letter chet Jews.! 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