General Question

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Which is correct- "Hanukkah" or "Chanukah?"?

Asked by flyawayxxballoon (1352points) December 21st, 2008

I’m half Jewish, so I should really know this…anyway, happy first night of Chanukah/Hanukkah!

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18 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

I know this!!!! I asked tali this recently. Chanukah is actually the correct form but it’s known better as Hanukkah in America because many cannot pronounce the “Ch” sound. Happy Chanukah to you :)

laureth's avatar

Officially, it’s חֲנֻכָּה or חנוכה—whether or not you put in the C depends upon how you transliterate the characters.

The pronunciation has a bit of a “clearing your throat” sound that a lot of Americans can’t do (like PnL up there says), but the dumbed down H- beginning works just fine. People know what you mean either way.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

It’s just a transliteration from the Hebrew, but in its original form, as written by laureth above, the first letter of the word is a “ch” sound, not a “h” sound.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

That’s what I was thinking, but I’ve seen Hanukkah so much that I wanted to be sure. Thanks PnL, laureth, and quark! =)

90s_kid's avatar

Both are correct. I’m pretty sure even though I am Catholic.
Isn’t there another term, too?

simone54's avatar

It’s spelled C H R I S T M A S.

90s_kid's avatar

We’re not talking about that, simone.

jeanm's avatar

Either. Or…the Festival of Lights.

gailcalled's avatar

The “ch” is the sound at the end of “Bach.” You have to spray and gargle a little. (or Van Gogh when pronounced correctly. Or, in German, ach.)

blondie411's avatar

Either way you spell it enjoy it starting tonight with your latkes!!

Next debate should be, do you like your latkes with applesauce or with sour cream??!!

gailcalled's avatar

And remember to read the Hebrew (that Laureth so kindly provided) from right to left. The “Ch”... חֲ... is at the far right.

cookieman's avatar

I wrote it last year as Chanukah in some print ads I did for work and received complaints from 2 Jewish customers. They said it was incorrect.

I explained it to them as PnL stated above (I had done my research).

They said, “Well we’re not that Jewish”.


augustlan's avatar

@blondie: I love them any way at all!

MacBean's avatar

I think someecards got it right.

Mtl_zack's avatar

As long as it has a big ball of phlem, its ok

occ's avatar

Both are correct – transliterations of the Hebrew. I usually spell it Chanukah. As mentioned above by gailcalled, the “ch” sound is similar the “ch” in “Bach”. In Latin America, my Jewish friends write it “Janukah” since the “J” sound in spanish is similar to the “ch” in Hebrew (think of the sound that the J makes in a spanish name like “Javier”).

La_chica_gomela's avatar

occ, it’s still be written with a j in spanish, even if they’re pronouncing it with a straight up ‘h’ sound and no ‘ba ch’ at all)

Zen_Again's avatar

I can pronounce Ch @PnL – it’s pronounced Ch- like chopped liver.

There is no ח sound (often represented linguistically as KH or X even) in English, thus writing it Ch or H makes no difference.

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