Did you ever notice that people spell the word Chanukkah many different ways? Did you ever wonder why?
Well I did, and I went looking for the answer to why there are different hanukkah spellings that are used in the English language, this is what I learned.
Chanukkah is a Hebrew word meaning Dedication. When we spell it using English letters we are transliterating the sounds of the Hebrew letters. People interpret those sounds using differing versions of the same four phonetic variations to approximate the Hebrew pronunciation of the word. In the United States the Library of Congress prefers this word to be spelled: Hanukkah.
In Hebrew Chanukkah is spelled only one way and it is read from right to left and the names of the letters are as follows, read right to left:
Hey – Kaf – Vav – Nun – Chet
Here are 18 of the most common different hanukkah spellings that we can find in English writing of this Hebrew word:
Hanukkah, Hanukah, Hannukah,Hanuka, Hannuka, Hannukkah, Hannukka
Chanukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Channukah, Chanukkah, Channukkah, Channuka,
Channukka, Chanuqa, Khanukah, Xanuka
No matter how you spell it in English, Chanukkah refers to the rededication of the Temple in Yerushalyim in 164 BCE.
Happy Hanukkah Everyone!
~ Avi & Posey