The pronunciation of vav

Question

 
 
 

Hi. I was trying to learn the pronunciation that you are promoting but I saw https://www.tiberianhebrew.com/letters and it seems waw is not always w but most often v. And there are nuances for other letters. Can you comment or make a video regarding that academic research

 
 
 

Answer

 
 
 

Shalom,

 
 
 

The sixth letter of our alphabet is waw, pronounced like a ‘w’ as in ‘water’.

 

The only exception to this rule is when the letter waw is used to indicate a vowel sound, as in חורב or חולם.

 

This is the authentic and ancient pronunciation to the best of my knowledge.

 

Rav Sa’adhya Gaon makes this plain in his commentary on Sepher Y’ssira.

 

This is how some of the S’pharadhi communities (Iraq, and others) used to pronounce this letter. This is how the Temanim pronounce this letter to this day.

 

In various times and locales the authentic pronunciation was confused or lost. In such situations, the letter was pronounced as a ‘v’ as in ‘victory’.

 

These are the basic facts as I know them.

 
 
 

Shalom

 

DHY

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