Video: How to Spell Hanukkah
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How to Spell Hanukkah

Hanukkah is the only holiday that freaks out your spell check. And that confusion is deeper than you think.

Published: December 17, 2011


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Visitor Comments: 15

(12) Anonymous, November 21, 2013 7:18 PM

Too much time on your hands

It's a cute video, but I think some of you just have too much time on your hands. Who cares how to spell it? R' Tzvi was just trying to bring out a point. Chill.

(11) Yosef Dov, January 22, 2013 1:21 PM

yet another spelling for Chanukah

I think that an alternate spelling of that holiday should be Annuca, Annucas, or anything like that, because that's a Greek-influenced alteration that goes even better with English, French, and many other European languages than Hannukah or its ilk and certainly Chanukah or its ilk. It's sort of like how to render the name Chana or Hannah - it's often rendered in European languages as Anna, Anne, or anything like that. Notice that Chana and Chanukah have some of the same letters in Hebrew, esp. the "chet" and the "nun". (And Annuca sounds awfully like Annika, a diminutive of Anna, as in Annika Sorenstam, the professional tennis player.) In terms of the suffix, Mattityahu often becomes Mattathias (as well as Matthew), Yonah often becomes Jonas (as well as Jonah), etc. Notice that in this case, an "s" is added in the end, also a Greek influence that has been transposed into other European languages. In summary, something like Annuca, or Annucas if you wish!

(10) Henry Wiltschek, December 24, 2011 3:24 PM

You always learn something new

A very educational presentation.

(9) Lauryn, December 23, 2011 3:50 PM

One K

I really dislike the 2-K versions. This only seems to have started in the last few years. Only one K is necessary, and the 2 Ks look ridiculous. If it was a ch- sound that it was trying to express, then ok, that would make more sense, but it's not. Other than that I have never minded any variation of the H or Ch at the beginning, Chanukah or Hanukah, or even leaving the H off at the end, but the two Ks really irritate me.

Mikhael, December 26, 2011 7:05 PM

@Lauryn RE: Two K's in Hanukka

You write: "I really dislike the 2-K versions. This only seems to have started in the last few years. Only one K is necessary, and the 2 Ks look ridiculous." Actually, two Ks are a very accurate transliteration because "חֲנֻכָּה‎" is spelled in Hebrew with a dagesh (דָּגֵשׁ), which among other things, serves to double a consonant's sound. Of course, the khaf (כ ) with a dagesh becomes a kaf (כּ), but it also doubles the sound. So transliterating חֲנֻכָּה as "Haunkkah" is a very accurate, and has been a convention in linguistically accurate transliteration of Hebrew for quite some time.

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