I can't find anywhere a description of how to convert the Strong Hebrew Dictionary pronunciation transliteration entries into IPA, or a close approximation to IPA. What romanization scheme are they using, so I can figure out how to map it to IPA?

Here or here (JSON vs. XML) is an example of the dictionary entries, and here is a website showing an entry, which says:

  • transliteration: 'armôn
  • pronunciation: ar-mone'
  • word: אַרְמוֹן

I would think the "transliteration" system is more accurate/useful than their "pronunciation" system, but not sure. Either way, what systems are they using so I can figure out how to convert it automatically to IPA?

Since the Wikipedia examples section on romanization schemes lists "shalom", I looked it up for strong's dictionary and it says "šālôm", which corresponds to "SBL Academic" romanization scheme, is that it? That leads me to this random page for SBL Academic romanization scheme, but that doesn't seem the same.


Yeah it doesn't seem to be SBL academic, because for example qōḇel has with an underline below it, but that doesn't exist in the system, and I have seen other examples missing.

Even in strong's hebrew dictionary itself, I don't see a description of the system used. All it seems to say:

Immediately after each word is given its exact equivalent in English letters, according to the system of transliteration laid down in the scheme here following, which is substantially that adopted in the Common English Version, only more consistently and uniformly carried out; so that the word could be readily be turned back again into Hebrew from the form thus given it.

1 Answer 1


AFAICT it is SBL academic with spirantization.

Note that the examples page you linked shows the second word as "ʿălêk̲em", with a character (that is, k with an underline below it), which does not feature in the page you linked either.
(In fact I cannot see any treatment of the dagesh at all; a strange omission.)

Googling "SBL academic romanization" had brought me to this page, where the transliteration options include "SBL Academic" (the default) and "SBL Academic with Spirantization".
The latter is the version with underlines (as can already be seen in their example, עִבְרִית ʿiḇrîṯ, which is unfortunately apparently not a word that occurs in the Bible).

The term "spirantization", in this context, refers to the so-called Begadkefat, a sound change (a kind of lenition) in Biblical-era Hebrew that was apparently still allophonic in Biblical times but became phonemic later.

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