Happy Chanukah in Hebrew…
There are a few Hebrew Hanukkah greetings going around, however, they all revolve around the oldest and most popular Hanukkah greeting, which is “happy Chanukkah”.
Let’s first see what the words “happy” and “Hanukkah” are like in Hebrew:
Happy = שמח = Sameach
Hanukkah = חנוכה = Chanuka
To say “happy Hanukkah” we literally say “hanukkah happy”. Here is how:
חנוכה שמח = Hanukkah Sameach
You will often hear one more word attached to the beginning of this Hebrew phrase, it’s the word “holiday”. Here is how you write it and say it in Hebrew:
חג = chag = holiday
All together this would be the most popular Hanukkah greeting:
חג חנוכה שמח = chag chanukkah sameach
Hebrew alphabet used in writing Happy Chanukkah in Hebrew
Chet – חֵית
Some of the Serphardi population in Israel pronounce chet in a special way, it comes right from their throat, this is very challenging for foreigners and even native speakers of the Ashkenazi community.
Ashkenazis (and many Sephardis) pronounce it like the famous Spanish “j” in words like “trabajo”.
Gimel – גמל
Sounds just like “g” in good.
If we want to write the sound “j” as in “just”, we follow gimel by the sign ‘. But this is usually the case for foreign names. Here is how we write Los Angeles in Hebrew:
Nun – נוּן
Sounds like the regular “n” in English.
Nun has two forms, depends on its position in a word:
If letter “nun” is in the beginning or in the middle of a word, it’s written like this:
If the letter “nun” is at the end of the word, it looks like this:
He – הֵא
Just like “h” in English.
It is typically not pronounced when it comes at the end of the word.