The list below is for my fellow Orthodox clergy who will be reading Matthew 1 this Sunday – the Sunday before Christmas – and for anyone else interested.  It is a transliteration from Arabic of the names from the genealogy list.  The idea is to give a feel for the semitic pronunciation of the names.  I chose Arabic because it is easy for me to read and I wanted to get this out during the small window I have tonight.  A transliteration from Assyrian/Syriac or a Hebrew retrojection (after all, the first two sets of names in the passage come from scripture) would also be useful, and I will do this at some point.  The names on the left are from the RSV translation into English while the second part of the pair is my transliteration from the Arabic.  I left out names like Abraham, Jacob, Asa, etc. that are commonly known in their English pronunciation.  My notation is also non-standard; I cannot figure out how to get fonts that allow me to put a dot under the letter h, etc.  So here is the key to my transliteration:

-Capital vowels represent long vowel sounds.

-In general stress falls on gutturals, long vowels or doubled consonants.  The last syllable is rarely stressed.

-H is the voiceless pharyngeal fricative while h is as in English and should not be left out.

-The sign ‘ represents the ‘ein – voiced pharyngeal fricative.  The dash in the middle of a name is a glottal stop, while any name that I have started with a vowel is my way of saying it is a glottal stop, which is actually a consonant.

-The q is a uvular plosive stop, the S is a velarized s, where you say the s sound while pushing your tongue toward the velar plate.  The T is also velarized – you pronounce it by flattening your tongue on the velar ridge.

-Ch represents the kh sound – voiceless velar fricative – as in Greek.

Roll the letter r.  Pronounce doubled consonants.  That is about it.  If you are reading this Gospel passage Sunday give it a go!

Perez – fAriS

Zerah – zAraH

Hezron – HaSroon

Amminadab – ‘ameenAdAb

Nahshon – naHshoon

Obed – ‘uwbeed

Rehoboam – raHab’Am

Abijah – abiyyA

Jehoshaphat – yahooshAfAT

Joram – yoorAm

Uzziah –  ‘uzzayya

Jotham – yoothAM

Ahaz – aHAz

Shealtiel – shAlti-eel

Zerubbabel – zarubbAbil

Abiud – abiyhood

Eliakim – iliyAqeem

Azor – ‘Azoor

Zadok – SAdooq

Achim – acheem

Eliud – aliyood

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