Is there a recommended approach to entering Hebrew text? I see lots of it, and some questions/answers will require it (as transliterating into English works poorly).

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    Also related, what "form" of Hebrew should be used: Proper grammatical Hebrew, Yiddish/Hebrew, American Hebrew, "Yeshivish"... I pretty much prefer strict use of proper Hebrew (e.g. Shabbat, not Shabbos, Shabbes, sabbath, etc...)
    – AviD
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 13:44
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    @AviD - I think, in the spirit of "think of this site as asking a crowd of your friends", pronunciation need not be standardized. Sometimes there are nuanced meaning differences between two pronunciations from the same source and other times it is simply natural variation in dialects. Either way, I don't see the need to standardize unnaturally - just maximize comprehensibility.
    – WAF
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 15:21
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    @WAF, On the other hand, though, standardized transliteration can make it much easier to search on the site, if your search contains hebrew word(s).
    – jake
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 16:09
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    @AviD @jake, if the site can decide on a single standard transliteration scheme, then someone who's aware such a scheme exists (it can be advertised) will be better able to search, yes. based on my experience at another site dealing with transliterating Hebrew, I doubt that we'll come to such agreement. But one can always hope. Most people have a way to search for Hebrew characters. Perhaps all questions (including old ones) should have any relevant Hebrew (or other Hebrew-script) words included in Hebrew characters to aid findability?
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 17:18
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    I've posted this (my comment above) as a new question.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 17:28
  • @WAF, @jake, I agree with all the above comments: if there were a standard, it would definitely help searching; however we are unlikely to achieve that. We do need to take into account that this will harm searches, but what ya gonna do... We can at least try, however, to aim for and encourage correct "pronounciation", at least, and then (hopefully) transliteration won't diverge as much. Don't forget, you would also have to account for word forms: e.g. kashrut vs. kosher vs kasher vs kashering vs... this would only get much worse if we also have to deal with non-standard pronounciation...
    – AviD
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 17:48
  • Related to the comments above is judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9870.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 18:45

6 Answers 6


I may be mis-understanding this question, but as far as I can tell it is about typing Hebrew characters for use on the site. If so, the best method which exists (if you don't have native Hebrew support and keyboard stickers) is Mikledet and amazing online Hebrew keyboard emulator which allows you to type with your keyboard and see the Hebrew on-screen.

Additionally, I would recommend pasting Hebrew text which is copied from elsewhere (eg. Bar Ilan, Mechon Mamre) into Google Docs first to format and then moving it over to this site. This is simply because Google Docs has very good RTL support and encoding so it clears most of the formatting issues you mayb have with RTL text. (For instructions on using RTL in Google Docs see here: https://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=65166)


Modern versions of MS Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, and, I'm guessing, other (at least modern) OSes have a "character map" program that will allow you to select Hebrew letters (and vowels) one at a time and copy the lot. Windows also has an on-screen keyboard and you can add a Hebrew keyboard layout; I'm guessing other OSes have the same.

Some instructions can be found here.

Adding ‎ (for the left-to-right mark) (and sometimes ‏ (for the right-to-left mark)) as necessary helps.

  • For the record, those instructions you've linked to aren't for using the character map program, rather they're for installing Hebrew as a second language. This solution is actually much much better than using a character map app where you would have to point and click on each letter you want to "type". Installing the language into the OS lets you just switch back and forth seamlessly and type naturally with your keyboard. So +1 for the awesome link - that really is the way to do it. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 5:38
  • @Bachrach44 yes, see the second half of my first paragraph.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 5:40
  • @msh2010 - Maybe the instructions at the link have changed since you posted it 3 years ago, but that's not instructions for an on screen keyboard - that's to actually use your current physical keyboard. You will simply have to learn that to write an 'א' you type 't'. As I said if you really have to type in Hebrew a lot this is the way to go - It actually takes a lot less time than you think to learn touch typing in another language. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 5:49
  • @Bachrach44 Perhaps I should learn to touch-type in my first language first. :-)
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 5:50

My personal policy is just to transliterate to the best of my ability and italicize. It makes it readable to the most people, which is the point of posting in the first place, and usually doesn't detract from the meaning. When transliteration loses some of the intended meaning (such as in questions about Hebrew letters or the like) I put in the original Hebrew.


A Hebrew keyboard is now built into Mi Yodeya, based on a script originally written by @HodofHod.

In the editor, click on the circled button:

keyboard button

to get this keyboard:


Clicking on keys on the Hebrew keyboard produces Hebrew. Typing on your keyboard continues to produce English. Mix and match as needed.

Use the ‏ key after punctuation that appears at the end of a Hebrew phrase to make the punctuation appear at the end of the word.


On my Android device, I enable a Hebrew keyboard and switch to it whenever I need to enter Hebrew characters.

Open Settings and tap on Language & Input. Tap on the settings icon next to Google Keyboard. Tap Input Languages at the top. Deselect "Use System Language" and then select any keyboard languages you wish to use.

  • The same works for iOS. (Slightly different instructions for how to get to the appropriate setting, obviously.)
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 23:07

If your native language is English and you want to type in Hebrew or Yiddish, you should go to https://www.google.com/inputtools/try/ instead.

How about using google tranlitrate? This link is only useful for native Hebrew speakers. At the bottom of the page there is a bookmarklet you can add to your links and clicking on it will tranlitrate what you type in the page you are viewing.

  • 2
    That looks like a way to generate Hebrew characters, but not necessarily the specific ones you want.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 1:53
  • @IsaacMoses: It's been improved since six years ago, and it's quite useful now. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 11:48
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    Dear Arjang: Google Transliterate is now part of the Google Input Tools suite. Your link is only useful for native Hebrew speakers. If your native language is English and you want to type in Hebrew or Yiddish, you should go here instead. Please edit your post and repoint the link. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 11:49
  • @unforgettableid : thank you for the info, I'll update it , please check.
    – jimjim
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 11:54
  • @Arjang: Better, thank you. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 12:58

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