יום כפור is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, outside of Shabbat. It's a day when we ask for God's forgiveness and request that we be sealed for good in the year to come. Accordingly, there are a few phrases that we say relating to this holiday.
- יום כפור - Proper spelling: Yom Kippur.
- Yud, vav, mem sofit gives us Y-Oh-M, hence, Yom.
- Kaf, peh, vav, reish should give us (with vowels) Ki-Pu-r. So why do we spell this word with two p's? The reason is that there is, what is called, a dagesh chazak, or a hard dagesh. Since the peh is preceded by a letter with a vowel, it receives the hard "peh" sound instead of the normal, easy "peh" sound. Ergo, Kippur.
- Lastly, all transliterations, unless the word is already in the English dictionary (such as "Shalom") should be in italics. That's not a transliteration thing, that's a grammar thing from 9th grade. Also, both words should be capitalized.
- גמר חתימה טובה - Proper spelling: Gamar chatimah tovah.
- Meaning: literally, "A good final sealing." In more natural language, "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for good."
- Other usage: You can also just say "Chatimah tovah."
- Gimel, mem, reish gives us Ga-Ma-r, hence, Gamar.
- Chaf, taf, yud, mem, hei gives us Cha-ti-mah, hence, Chatimah. The important thing to remember here is the hei at the end of the word. This should not be lost in the transliteration. While it does not make much of a sound in modern Hebrew, it is important to include it in the transliteration.
- Some transliterate the chaf as "kh." I prefer "ch" in this system. To me, it looks less archaic.
- Tet, vav, vet, hei gives us To-vah, hence, Tovah. Again, hei at the end means we transliterate it with an "h" at the end as well.
- צום קל - Proper spelling: Tzom kal.
- Meaning: "Easy fast."
- Tzadi, vav, mem sofit gives us Tzom. Some transliterate the tzadi as "ts" like "Tsar." I prefer "tz" because I think it more clearly describes the hard sound of the tzadi.
- Koof, lamed gives us Kal. Some transliterate the koof as a "q." While historically that may be more accurate, in modern usage, it sounds like a "k." Ergo, Kal.
Gamar chatimah tovah and Tzom kal on this Yom Kippur!