Summary of ANSI Z39.25-1975 standard: transliteration of Hebrew

The complete original document can be obtained from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

For the ISO standard for binary representation of Hebrew, check out ISO- 8859-8.

 Blue letters are printed (sans-serif), red letters are handwritten. For those letters which have a different form at the end of a word (i.e. kaf, mem, nun, pe, tzadi) the "sofi" (final) form appears leftmost. Note that a final "kaf" is always a "chaf", and a final "pe" always a "fe". If an "imported" word happens to end with a "p" sound (e.g. endoskop) the "non-final" letter is deliberately used at the end of the word.

Note 29.11.98: draft ISO standard column added (based on article) in Ha'aretz weekend supplement, 27.11.98). The ISO standard, being drafted by a team led by Technion Prof. Uzi Ornan, is intended not for ease of reading but for complete reversibility, including the storage of Hebrew documents in  7-bit ASCII representation .
Hebrew latter Name of Hebrew letter General purpose More strict in TeX type: draft ISO/TC46/SC2 standard remarks
aleph (nothing) ' ' ` vowel stop letter
bet b b b b without dagesh: vet
vet v v v b
gimel g g g g g as in goal, grand 
gimel-tchuptchik j dzh j,dzh g' English J as in John, Russian Dzh as in Dzhuk
dalet d d d d
hey h (*) h (*) h (*) h (*) or nothing if silent hey (at end of word)
vav v, o, u w, o, u v, o, u w, o, u o or u if used as vowel
zayin z z z z
zayin-tchuptchik zh zh zh z' French j as in jardin or Jabotinsky, Russian zh as in Zhukov or Zhabotinskii
chet ch h \d{h} x soft ch as in Bach, Dutch g
tet t t t @ obsolete: tt
yud i,y i,y i,y i,y dep. on context
kaf k c k k without dagesh: chaf
chaf ch kh ch,kh k harsher "kh" sound like in Loch Ness, Tutankhamon; Dutch "ch"
lamed l l l l
mem m m m m
nun n n n n
samech s s \d{s} s obsolete: ss
ayin ` ` & vowel stop (Ashkenazi), deep throat sound (Oriental)
pe p p p p without dagesh: fe
fe f ph f,ph p
tzadik tz,ts z \d{z} c German z as in Weizmann, Zimmer; Polish c
tzadik-tchuptchik tch,tsh ch tch,ch c' Russian Tch as in Tchaikovski
kuf k q k,q q deeper than k (Oriental pron.)
resh r r r r rolling r
shin sh sh sh $ without mappik: sin
sin s s s $' s as in Israel
tav th t t t in Yiddish: pronounced as s
The "tchuptchik" is an apostrophe which, when added to the letters gimel, zayin, and tzadik, produces three new letters which are used in modern Hebrew to represent foreign sounds (in words borrowed from French, English, Russian, ...) that do not exist in Biblical Hebrew. (Recently, I've seen the English "th" transliterated in Hebrew subtitles as tav-tchuptchik.)

 The standard pronunciation of modern Hebrew is a simplified version of the Sephardi pronunciation: in particular, the kaf-kuf, chet-chaf, and tet-tav pairs are pronounced identically and the alef and ayin are both silent vowel stops.

 In the speech of Israelis originating from Arabic-speaking countries, one does hear distinctions between kaf vs. kuf and chet vs. chaf, and the ayin is pronounced as a deep sound in the throat. These are residues of distinctions which are fully functional in Arabic. Many philologists regard the Teimani (Yemenite) pronunciation of Hebrew, which has even finer distinctions, as being closest to how Biblical Hebrew probably sounded.

 Rules of thumb for the opposite direction (and for spelling words borrowed from Greek or Latin in Hebrew) include t being transliterated as tet (e.g. universita), th as tav (theorema), German "au" (a sounds that does not exist in Hebrew) being transliterated as aleph-vav, and German "ue" (likewise nonexistent in Hebrew) as "i" (like in Yiddish)