ISO 259

ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew characters into Latin characters, dating to 1984, with updated ISO 259-2 (a simplification, disregarding several vowel signs, 1994) and ISO 259-3 (Phonemic Conversion, 1999).

ISO 259

ISO 259, dating to 1984, is a transliteration of the Hebrew script, including the diacritical signs (niqqud) used for Biblical Hebrew.

ISO 259: Hebrew romanization
Hebrew א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כך ל מם נן ס ע פף צץ ק ר ש שׂ שׁ ת ׳
Latin ʾ b g d h w z y k l m n s ʿ p q r ś š t
Hebrew טַ טָ טֵ טֶ טִ טֹ טוֹ טֻ טוּ טְ חֲ חֳ חֱ
Latin a å e ȩ i o ŵ u ° ă ŏ

The dagesh (dot inside the letter) is always transcribed with an overdot: , ġ, ż, etc. The apostrophe (׳‎) in the table above is the Hebrew sign geresh used after some letters to write down non-Hebrew sounds: ג׳ [d͡ʒ], ז׳ [ʒ], צ׳ [t͡ʃ], etc.[1]

ISO 259-2

ISO 259-2 simplifies the diacritical signs for vowels of ISO 259, and is designed for Modern Hebrew.

ISO 259-2: Hebrew romanization – Simplified
Hebrew א ב בּ ג ד ה הּ ו ז ח ט י כך כּךּ ל מם נן ס ע פף פּףּ צץ ק ר ש שׂ שׁ ת ׳
Latin ʾ b g d h w z y k l m n s ʿ p q r ś š t '
Hebrew טַטָ טֵטֶ טִ טֹ טוֹ טֻ טוּ טְ חֲ חֳ חֱ
Latin a e i o ŵ u none a o e

The dagesh is not transcribed excepted in the indicated cases. The apostrophe (׳‎) in the table above is the Hebrew sign geresh used after some letters to write down non-Hebrew sounds.[1][2]

ISO 259-3

ISO 259-3 is Uzzi Ornan's romanization, which reached the stage of an ISO Final Draft (FDIS)[3] but not of a published International Standard (IS).[4] It is designed to deliver the common structure of the Hebrew word throughout the different dialects or pronunciation styles of Hebrew, in a way that it can be reconstructed into the original Hebrew characters by both man and machine.

It is neither a character-by-character transliteration nor a phonetic transcription of one pronunciation style of Hebrew, but is instead phonemic from the view point that all the different dialects and pronunciations of Hebrew through the generations can be regarded as different realizations of the same structure, and by predefined reading rules every pronunciation style can be directly derived from it.

ISO 259-3: Hebrew romanization – Phonemic
Hebrew א בבּ גגּ דדּ ה ו ז ח ט י כךכּ ל מם נן ס ע פףפּ צץ ק ר ש ת ג׳ ז׳ צ׳ שׂ
Latin ʾ or  ˀ b g d h w z y k l m n s ʿ or  ˁ p c q r š t ǧ ž č ś
Hebrew חֲטַטָטָה- חֱטֶטֵטֶה-‎ טֵה- טִטִי חֳטָטֹטוֹ טֻטוּ טֶיטֵי טְ
Latin a e i o u ei none

Each consonant character in the Hebrew script is converted into its unique Latin character. ISO 259-3 has five vowel characters, corresponding to the five vowel phonemes of Modern Hebrew: a, e, i, o, u. In addition there is a sixth sign for denoting the vowel /ej/ or /e/ that is written followed by ⟨י⟩ in common Hebrew spelling: ei.

The dagesh forte (gemination in Biblical Hebrew) is transcribed with a double consonant. Non-phonemic vowels are ignored, such as:

  • schwa טְ, which is however transcribed with an underscore (_) between two identical consonants in order to distinguish it from a geminate consonant: יְלָדִים [jeladim] "boys" = yladim, הַלְלוּיָהּ [halelujah] "Hallelujah" = hal_luyah,
  • "segolate" vowel (on the second to last consonant an unaccented vowel טֶ, which can also be the vowel חַ on some laryngeal consonants, or יִ, etc.) : גֹּלֶם [golem] "golem" = golm, צֹהַר [tsohar] "opening, window" = cohr,
  • "furtive" pataḥ חַ (an unaccented [a] sound before some final laryngeal consonants): רוּחַ [ʁuax] "breeze, spirit" = ruḥ, but ISO 259-3 also allows -- (in section 5., "SIMPLIFIED VERSION"[5]) -- the transcription with a for non-linguistic purposes: ruaḥ.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Protokół 74. posiedzenia KSNG" [Record of the 74th meeting of KSNG] (PDF). KSNG (Commission on Standardization of Geographic Names outside Poland) (in Polish). 7 November 2012..
  2. ^ ICCU (2009). "Appendice F: Traslitterazione o trascrizione di scritture diverse dall'alfabeto latino — 4. Ebraico". Regole italiane di catalogazione (REICAT) [Italian cataloguing rules] (PDF) (in Italian). pp. 359–360. ISBN 9788871071275.
  3. ^ Kuzar, Ron (2001). "Canaanite". Hebrew and Zionism: A Discourse Analytic Cultural Study. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 274–275. ISBN 3-11-016993-2.
  4. ^ Search for ISO 259 on the ISO website.
  5. ^ a b ISO 259-3

See also


Arpachshad, alternatively spelled Arphaxad or Arphacsad, is one of the postdiluvian men in the Shem–Terah genealogy. According to the Book of Genesis he was one of the five sons of Shem (the son of Noah). He is the twelfth name of the Genesis genealogy that traces Abraham's ancestry from Adam to Terah. Beginning with Adam, nine Antediluvian names are given that predate Noah and the Flood, and nine postdiluvian, beginning with Noah's eldest son Shem and ending with Terah.Arpachshad's brothers were Elam, Asshur, Lud and Aram. Arpachshad's son is called Shelah, except in the Septuagint, where his son is Cainan, Shelah being Arpachshad's grandson. Cainan is also identified as Arpachshad's son in Luke 3:36 and Jubilees 8:1. The Book of Jubilees additionally identifies Arpachshad's wife as Rasu'aya, the daughter of Susan, who was the son (or daughter in some versions) of Shem's older son Elam. (Arpachshad's mother is named in this source as Sedeqetelebab; for competing traditions on the name of Shem's wife see wives aboard the Ark.)

Some ancient Jewish sources, particularly Jubilees, point to Arpachshad as the immediate progenitor of Ura and Kesed, who allegedly founded the city of Ur Kesdim (Ur of the Chaldees) on the west bank of the Euphrates (Jub. 9:4; 11:1-7) — the same bank where Ur, identified by Leonard Woolley in 1927 as Ur of the Chaldees, is located.Until Woolley's identification of Ur, Arpachshad was understood by many Jewish and Muslim scholars to be an area in northern Mesopotamia, Urfa of the Yazidis. This led to the identification of Arpachshad with Urfa-Kasid (due to similarities in the names ארפ־כשד and כשדים) - a land associated with the Khaldis, whom Josephus confused with the Chaldeans. Donald B. Redford asserted that Arpachshad is to be identified with Babylon.Another Arpaxad is referenced in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith as a king of the Medes, and if this supposed Median king is contemporary with the conquest of the Assyrians, he could be identified with Phraortes (c. 665 - 633 BC). If he is contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar II (named as king of the Assyrians in Judith), he might be identified with Cyaxares (r. 625–585 BC).


Ayin (also ayn or ain; transliterated ⟨ʿ⟩) is the sixteenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician ʿayin , Hebrew ʿayin ע, Aramaic ʿē , Syriac ʿē ܥ, and Arabic ʿayn ع‎ (where it is sixteenth in abjadi order only).The letter represents or is used to represent a voiced pharyngeal fricative (/ʕ/) or a similarly articulated consonant. In some Semitic languages and dialects, the phonetic value of the letter has changed, or the phoneme has been lost altogether (thus, in Modern Hebrew it is reduced to a glottal stop or is omitted entirely).

The Phoenician letter is the origin of the Greek, Latin and Cyrillic letter O.


Chokmâh (חָכְמָה ,חכמה ISO 259 ḥoḵmah or khok-maw') is the Biblical Hebrew word rendered as "wisdom" in English Bible versions (LXX σοφία sophia, Vulgate sapientia).The word occurs 149 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible

The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) describes knowledge of the Talmudic order of Kodshim as a high level of wisdom, chokhmah.

It is cognate with the Arabic word for "wisdom", ḥikma حكمة (Semitic root ḥ-k-m).

Adjectival ḥaḵam "wise" is used as a honorific, as in Talmid Chacham (lit. "student of a sage") for a Torah scholar, or hakham Bashi for a chief rabbi.

In the Kabbalah, Chokhmah is the uppermost of the sephirot of the right line (kav yamin, the "Pillar of Mercy") in the Tree of Life.

It is to the bottom right of Keter, with Binah across from it. Under it are the sephirot of Chesed and Netzach. It commonly has four paths going to Keter, Binah, Tifereth, and Chesed. (Some kabbalists attribute a path between Chokhmah and Gevurah.)


Documentation is a set of documents provided on paper, or online, or on digital or analog media, such as audio tape or CDs. Examples are user guides, white papers, on-line help, quick-reference guides. It is becoming less common to see paper (hard-copy) documentation. Documentation is distributed via websites, software products, and other on-line applications.

Professionals educated in this field are termed documentalists. This field changed its name to information science in 1968, but some uses of the term documentation still exists and there have been efforts to reintroduce the term documentation as a field of study.


Eber (Hebrew: עֵבֶר‎, ISO 259-3 ʕeber, Standard Hebrew Éver, Tiberian Hebrew ʻĒḇer, Arabic: عٰبِر‎ ʿĀbir) is an ancestor of the Israelites and the Ishmaelites according to the "Table of Nations" in Genesis 10-11 and 1 Chronicles 1.


Esau (; Hebrew: עֵשָׂו, Modern: ʿĒsáv, Tiberian: ʿĒśaw, ISO 259-3 ʕeśaw; Greek: Ἡσαῦ Hēsau; Latin: Hesau, Esau; Arabic: عِيسُو‎ ‘Īsaw; meaning "hairy" or "rough"), in the Hebrew Bible, is the older son of Isaac. He is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and by the prophets Obadiah and Malachi. The New Testament alludes to him in the Epistle to the Romans and in the Epistle to the Hebrews.According to the Hebrew Bible, Esau is the progenitor of the Edomites and the elder brother of Jacob, the patriarch of the Israelites. Esau and Jacob were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, and the grandsons of Abraham and Sarah. Of the twins, Esau was the first to be born with Jacob following, holding his heel. Isaac was sixty years old when the boys were born.

Esau, a "man of the field", became a hunter who had "rough" qualities that distinguished him from his twin brother. Among these qualities were his red hair and noticeable hairiness. Jacob was a shy or simple man, depending on the translation of the Hebrew word tam (which also means "relatively perfect man"). Throughout Genesis, Esau is frequently shown as being supplanted by his younger twin, Jacob (Israel).


Hebrews (Hebrew: עברים or עבריים, Tiberian ʿIḇrîm, ʿIḇriyyîm; Modern Hebrew ʿIvrim, ʿIvriyyim; ISO 259-3 ʕibrim, ʕibriyim) is a term appearing 34 times within 32 verses of the Hebrew Bible. While the term was not an ethnonym, it is mostly taken as synonymous with the Semitic-speaking Israelites, especially in the pre-monarchic period when they were still nomadic. However, in some instances it may also be used in a wider sense, referring to the Phoenicians, or to other ancient groups, such as the group known as Shasu of Yhw on the eve of the Bronze Age collapse.By the time of the Roman Empire, Greek Hebraios could refer to the Jews in general, as Strong's Hebrew Dictionary puts it, "any of the Jewish Nation", and at other times more specifically to the Jews living in Judea. In early Christianity, the Greek term Ἑβραῖος refers to Jewish Christians as opposed to the gentile Christians and Judaizers (Acts 6:1 among others). Ἰουδαία is the province where the Temple was located.

In Armenian, Italian, Modern Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, Romanian, and a few other modern languages, there is a pejorative connotation associated with the word corresponding to the word Jew; because of that, in each of these languages, the primary word used is that which corresponds to "Hebrew". The translation of "Hebrew" is used also in the Kurdish language and was once used also in French.

With the revival of the Hebrew language and the emergence of the Hebrew Yishuv, the term has been applied to the Jewish people of this re-emerging society in Israel or anything associated with it.

Ismael, Sar-e Pol

Ismael or Ishmael (Persian: إسماعيل‎; Arabic: إسماعيل‎; Hebrew: יִשְׁמָעֵאל, Modern: Yishma'el, Tiberian: Yišmāʻēl ISO 259-3 Yišmaˁel; Greek: Ισμαήλ Ismaēl; Latin: Ismael; ʼIsmāʻīl), is a village in Sangcharak District at Sar-e Pol Province of Afghanistan.

It is located in the northern part of Afghanistan, near the border of Turkmenistan. It is about 2 hours drive from Mazari Sharif, which is the most prominent town in the area. It also has the closest airport near Ismael.


According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites (; Hebrew: יְבוּסִי, Modern: Yevusi, Tiberian: Yəḇûsî ISO 259-3 Ybusi) were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited Jerusalem prior to the conquest initiated by Joshua (11:3 and 12:10) and completed by King David (2 Samuel 5:6-10). The Books of Kings as well as 1 Chronicles 11:4 state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BCE. The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem is disputed.


Leah is described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Laban. She and her younger sister Rachel became the two concurrent wives of Hebrew patriarch Jacob. She had six sons, whose descendants became some of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. She also had a daughter, Dinah.

List of ISO romanizations

List of ISO standards for transliterations and transcriptions (or romanizations):

ISO 9 — Cyrillic

ISO 233 — Arabic

ISO 259 — Hebrew

ISO 843 — Greek

ISO 3602 — Japanese (1989, last reviewed 2013)

ISO 7098 — Chinese

ISO 9984 — Georgian

ISO 9985 — Armenian

ISO 11940 — Thai

ISO 11940-2 — Thai (simplified)

ISO 11941 — Korean (different systems for North and South Korea – withdrawn in 2013)

ISO 15919 — Indic scripts

Misgav Regional Council

The Misgav Regional Council (Hebrew: מועצה אזורית משגב‎, Mo'atza Azorit Misgav ISO 259-3 Moˁaça ʔazorit Miśgabb) is a regional council in the Galilee region in northern Israel. The regional council is home to 27,421 people , and comprises 35 small towns, mostly community settlements but also several Kibbutzim and Moshavim. The population of 29 of these is primarily Jewish, and 6 are Bedouin. The region is noted for the way that communities and non-Jewish communities live side-by-side.

The administrative designation regional council does not imply that every town in some contiguous geographic region belongs to it. Most Arab towns in the region are not part of the regional council, and are considered separate local councils. Neither is Karmiel, a city which lies in the heart of the Misgav region but does not belong to the regional council. The population of Karmiel alone is more than twice that of the entire Misgav Regional Council.

Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel (Hebrew: הַר הַכַּרְמֶל, Har HaKarmel ISO 259-3 Har ha Karmell; Arabic: الكرمل‎, Al-Karmil, or Arabic: جبل مار إلياس‎, Jabal Mar Elyas (lit. Mount Saint Elias/Elijah) is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. The range is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A number of towns are situated there, most notably the city of Haifa, Israel's third largest city, located on the northern slope.

The name is presumed to be directly from the Hebrew language word Carmel (כַּרְמֶל), which means "fresh" (planted), or "vineyard" (planted).


Reu or Ragau (Hebrew: רְעוּ, Rə‘ū ISO 259-3 Rˁu) in Genesis was the son of Peleg and the father of Serug, thus being Abraham's great-great-grandfather.

He was 32 when Serug was born and lived to the age of 239 (Genesis 11:20), according to the Masoretic text. The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch state that his age on fathering Serug was 132, and the Septuagint thus gives age at death as 339.

The Book of Jubilees names his mother as Lomna of Shinar (10:28), and his wife as Ora, daughter of Ur Kesed (11:1). He is said to have been born at the time when the Tower of Babel was begun.


Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script, or a system for doing so. Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written text, and transcription, for representing the spoken word, and combinations of both. Transcription methods can be subdivided into phonemic transcription, which records the phonemes or units of semantic meaning in speech, and more strict phonetic transcription, which records speech sounds with precision.

Romanization of Hebrew

Hebrew uses the Hebrew alphabet with optional vowel diacritics. The romanization of Hebrew is the use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words.

For example, the Hebrew name spelled יִשְׂרָאֵל ("Israel") in the Hebrew alphabet can be romanized as Yisrael or Yiśrāʼēl in the Latin alphabet.

Romanization includes any use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words. Usually it is to identify a Hebrew word in a non-Hebrew language that uses the Latin alphabet, such as German, Spanish, Turkish, and so on. Transliteration uses an alphabet to represent the letters and sounds of a word spelled in another alphabet, whereas transcription uses an alphabet to represent the sounds only. Romanization can do both.To go the other way, that is from English to Hebrew, see Hebraization of English. Both Hebraization of English and Romanization of Hebrew are forms of transliteration. Where these are formalized these are known as "transliteration systems", and, where only some words, not all, are transliterated, this is known as "transliteration policy".

Salah (biblical figure)

Salah (שלח, Shelach, ISO 259-3 Šelḥ Hebrew word #7974 in Strong's Concordance) is an ancestor of the Israelites according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. He is thus one of the table's “seventy names.” He is called Shelah in 1 Chronicles 1:18 and Sala (Greek word #4527 in Strong's) in the Septuagint and Luke 3:35.

In the ancestral line from Noah to Abraham, he is the son of Arpachshad (in the Masoretic Text and Samaritan Pentateuch) or Cainan (in the Septuagint ) and the father of ‘Eber. The name ‘Eber for his son is the original eponym of the Hebrew people, from the root ‘abar (עבר, Hebrew word #5674 in Strong's Concordance), “to cross over.”The Gospel of Luke and Book of Jubilees both agree with the Septuagint in making Salah the son of Cainan, adding the information that his mother was Milcah (the daughter of Madai), while his wife is named as Mu'ak, daughter of Kesed (another son of Arphachsad).

Salah's age at death is given as 433 (Masoretic), 460 (Septuagint), and 460 (Samaritan).Henry M. Morris states that Arpachshad, Salah, and ‘Eber are listed as the most important sons since they were in the line of the promised Seed of the Woman.

Semitic romanization

Romanization schemes for Proto-Semitic and various Semitic languages (Semitic abjads):

Romanization of Arabic

ISO 233

DIN 31635

Romanization of Hebrew

ISO 259

Uzzi Ornan

Uzzi Ornan (Hebrew: עוזי אורנן; ISO 259-3: ʕuzzi ʔornan) (born June 7, 1923) is an Israeli linguist and social activist. Ornan is a member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language, professor of natural languages computing at the Technion and professor emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ornan was a member of the Israeli Canaanite movement, founded by his brother Yonatan Ratosh. He is the founder of the League against religious coercion in Israel and an active supporter of the separation of church and state.

ISO standards by standard number

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