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This article is about the Semitic letter. Gimel_sentence_0

For other uses, see Gimel (disambiguation). Gimel_sentence_1

"Gimmel" redirects here. Gimel_sentence_2

For the music group, see Gimmel (music group). Gimel_sentence_3


← Bet Gimel Dalet →Gimel_header_cell_0_0_0
PhoenicianGimel_header_cell_0_1_0 Gimel_cell_0_1_1
HebrewGimel_header_cell_0_2_0 ג‎Gimel_cell_0_2_1
AramaicGimel_header_cell_0_3_0 Gimel_cell_0_3_1
SyriacGimel_header_cell_0_4_0 ܓGimel_cell_0_4_1
ArabicGimel_header_cell_0_5_0 جGimel_cell_0_5_1
Phonemic representationGimel_header_cell_0_6_0 d͡ʒ, ʒ, ɡ, ɟ, ɣGimel_cell_0_6_1
Position in alphabetGimel_header_cell_0_7_0 3Gimel_cell_0_7_1
Numerical valueGimel_header_cell_0_8_0 3Gimel_cell_0_8_1
Alphabetic derivatives of the PhoenicianGimel_header_cell_0_9_0
GreekGimel_header_cell_0_10_0 ΓGimel_cell_0_10_1
LatinGimel_header_cell_0_11_0 C, G, ȜGimel_cell_0_11_1
CyrillicGimel_header_cell_0_12_0 Г, ҐGimel_cell_0_12_1

Gimel is the third letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Gīml , Hebrew ˈGimel ג, Aramaic Gāmal , Syriac Gāmal ܓ, and Arabic ǧīm ج (in alphabetical order; fifth in spelling order). Gimel_sentence_4

Its sound-value in the original Phoenician and in all derived alphabets, except Arabic, is a voiced velar plosive ɡ; in Modern Standard Arabic, it represents either a /d͡ʒ/ or /ʒ/ for most Arabic speakers except in Lower Egypt, the southern parts of Yemen and some parts of Oman where it is pronounced as a voiced velar plosive ɡ (see below). Gimel_sentence_5

In its unattested, yet hypothetical, Proto-Canaanite form, the letter may have been named after a weapon that was either a staff sling or a throwing stick, ultimately deriving from a Proto-Sinaitic glyph based on the hieroglyph below: Gimel_sentence_6

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek gamma (Γ), the Latin C and G and yogh , and the Cyrillic Г and Ґ. Gimel_sentence_7

Hebrew gimel Gimel_section_0

Variations Gimel_section_1


Orthographic variantsGimel_header_cell_1_0_0
Various print fontsGimel_header_cell_1_1_0 Cursive HebrewGimel_header_cell_1_1_3 Rashi scriptGimel_header_cell_1_1_4
SerifGimel_header_cell_1_2_0 Sans-serifGimel_header_cell_1_2_1 MonospacedGimel_header_cell_1_2_2
גGimel_cell_1_3_0 גGimel_cell_1_3_1 גGimel_cell_1_3_2 Gimel_cell_1_3_3 Gimel_cell_1_3_4

Hebrew spelling: גִּימֶלְ Gimel_sentence_8

Bertrand Russell posits that the letter's form is a conventionalized image of a camel. Gimel_sentence_9

The letter may be the shape of the walking animal's head, neck, and forelegs. Gimel_sentence_10

Barry B. Powell, a specialist in the history of writing, states "It is hard to imagine how gimel = "camel" can be derived from the picture of a camel (it may show his hump, or his head and neck! Gimel_sentence_11

)". Gimel_sentence_12

Gimel is one of the six letters which can receive a dagesh qal. Gimel_sentence_13

The two functions of dagesh are distinguished as either qal (light) or hazaq (strong). Gimel_sentence_14

The six letters that can receive a dagesh qal are bet, gimel, daled, kaph, pe, and taf. Gimel_sentence_15

Three of them (bet, kaph, and pe) have their sound value changed in modern Hebrew from the fricative to the plosive by adding a dagesh. Gimel_sentence_16

The other three represent the same pronunciation in modern Hebrew, but have had alternate pronunciations at other times and places. Gimel_sentence_17

They are essentially pronounced in the fricative as ג gh غ, dh ذ and th ث. Gimel_sentence_18

In the Temani pronunciation, gimel represents /ɡ/, /ʒ/, or /d͡ʒ/ when with a dagesh, and /ɣ/ without a dagesh. Gimel_sentence_19

In modern Hebrew, the combination ג׳‎ (gimel followed by a geresh) is used in loanwords and foreign names to denote d͡ʒ. Gimel_sentence_20

Significance Gimel_section_2

In gematria, gimel represents the number three. Gimel_sentence_21

It is written like a vav with a yud as a "foot", and is traditionally believed to resemble a person in motion; symbolically, a rich man running after a poor man to give him charity. Gimel_sentence_22

In the Hebrew alphabet gimel directly precedes dalet, which signifies a poor or lowly man, from the Hebrew word dal (b. Gimel_sentence_23

Shabbat, 104a). Gimel_sentence_24

The word gimel is related to gemul, which means 'justified repayment', or the giving of reward and punishment. Gimel_sentence_25

Gimel is also one of the seven letters which receive special crowns (called tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. Gimel_sentence_26

See shin, ayin, teth, nun, zayin, and tsadi. Gimel_sentence_27

The letter gimel is the electoral symbol for the United Torah Judaism party, and the party is often nicknamed Gimmel. Gimel_sentence_28

In Modern Hebrew, the frequency of usage of gimel, out of all the letters, is 1.26%. Gimel_sentence_29

Syriac gamal/gomal Gimel_section_3


Madnḫaya GamalGimel_cell_2_1_0
Serṭo GomalGimel_cell_2_2_0
Esṭrangela GamalGimel_cell_2_3_0

In the Syriac alphabet, the third letter is ܓ — Gamal in eastern pronunciation, Gomal in western pronunciation (ܓܵܡܵܠ). Gimel_sentence_30

It is one of six letters that represent two associated sounds (the others are Bet, Dalet, Kaph, Pe and Taw). Gimel_sentence_31

When Gamal/Gomal has a hard pronunciation (qûššāyâ ) it represents ɡ, like "goat". Gimel_sentence_32

When Gamal/Gomal has a soft pronunciation (rûkkāḵâ ) it traditionally represents ɣ (ܓ݂ܵܡܵܠ), or Ghamal/Ghomal. Gimel_sentence_33

The letter, renamed Jamal/Jomal, is written with a tilde/tie either below or within it to represent the borrowed phoneme d͡ʒ (ܓ̰ܡܵܠ), which is used in Garshuni and some Neo-Aramaic languages to write loan and foreign words from Arabic or Persian. Gimel_sentence_34

Arabic ǧīm Gimel_section_4

The Arabic letter ج is named جيم ǧīm [d͡ʒiːm, ʒiːm, ɡiːm, ɟiːm. Gimel_sentence_35

It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word: Gimel_sentence_36


Position in word:Gimel_header_cell_3_0_0 IsolatedGimel_header_cell_3_0_1 FinalGimel_header_cell_3_0_2 MedialGimel_header_cell_3_0_3 InitialGimel_header_cell_3_0_4
Glyph form:


ج‎Gimel_cell_3_1_1 ـج‎Gimel_cell_3_1_2 ـجـ‎Gimel_cell_3_1_3 جـ‎Gimel_cell_3_1_4

In most Modern Standard Arabic (Literary Arabic) registers and languages that use the Arabic script (e.g. Persian, Urdu, Pashto, Uyghur, Malay, etc) The standard pronunciation taught outside the Arabic speaking world is an affricate d͡ʒ, which was the agreed upon pronunciation by the end of the nineteenth century to recite the Qur'an. Gimel_sentence_37

It is pronounced as a fricative ʒ in most of Northern Africa and the Levant, and ɡ is the prestigious and most common pronunciation in Egypt which is also found in Southern Arabian Peninsula. Gimel_sentence_38

Differences in pronunciation occur because speakers of Modern Standard Arabic pronounce words in accordance to their spoken variety of Arabic. Gimel_sentence_39

In such varieties, cognate words will have consistent differences in pronunciation of the letter: Gimel_sentence_40

The three main pronunciations: Gimel_sentence_41


Other pronunciations: Gimel_sentence_42



  • j: In eastern Arabian Peninsula in the most colloquial speech but d͡ʒ or sometimes ʒ to pronounce Literary Arabic loan words.Gimel_item_2_4

Egyptians always use the letter to represent ɡ as well as in names and loanwords, such as جولف "golf". Gimel_sentence_43

However, ج may be used in Egypt to transcribe /ʒ~d͡ʒ/ (normally pronounced ʒ) or if there is a need to differentiate between them completely then چ can be used instead to represent /ʒ/, which is also a proposal for Mehri and Soqotri languages. Gimel_sentence_44

Palatalization Gimel_section_5

While in most Semitic languages, e.g. Aramaic, Hebrew, Ge'ez, Old South Arabian the Gimel represents a [ɡ], Arabic is considered unique among them where the Gimel or Jīm ⟨ج⟩ was palatalized to an affricate [d͡ʒ] or a fricative [ʒ] in most dialects from classical times. Gimel_sentence_45

While there is variation in Modern Arabic varieties, most of them reflect this palatalized pronunciation except in Egyptian Arabic and a number of Yemeni and Omani dialects, where it is pronounced as [ɡ] due to their substrate languages being Old South Arabian languages. Gimel_sentence_46

It is not well known when this change occurred or the probability of it being connected to the pronunciation of Qāf ⟨ق⟩ as a [ɡ], but in most of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and parts of Yemen and Oman) which is the homeland of the Arabic language, the ⟨ج⟩ represents a [d͡ʒ] and ⟨ق⟩ represents a [ɡ], except in western and southern Yemen and southern Oman where ⟨ج⟩ represents a [ɡ] and ⟨ق⟩ represents a [q], which shows a strong correlation between the palatalization of ⟨ج⟩ to [d͡ʒ] and the pronunciation of the ⟨ق⟩ as a [ɡ] as shown in the table below: Gimel_sentence_47


Language / DialectsGimel_header_cell_4_0_0 Pronunciation of the lettersGimel_header_cell_4_0_1
جGimel_header_cell_4_1_0 قGimel_header_cell_4_1_1
Proto-SemiticGimel_cell_4_2_0 gGimel_cell_4_2_1 Gimel_cell_4_2_2
Parts of Southern ArabiaGimel_cell_4_3_0 gGimel_cell_4_3_1 qGimel_cell_4_3_2
Most of the Arabian PeninsulaGimel_cell_4_4_0 d͡ʒGimel_cell_4_4_1 gGimel_cell_4_4_2
Modern Standard ArabicGimel_cell_4_5_0 d͡ʒGimel_cell_4_5_1 qGimel_cell_4_5_2

Notes: Gimel_sentence_48


  1. Coastal Yemen and southern Oman.Gimel_item_3_5
  2. [ʒ] can be an allophone in some dialects.Gimel_item_3_6
  3. in most Modern Standard Arabic registers ⟨ج⟩ is pronouned [d͡ʒ] or [ʒ], but in Egypt [g], Yemen [ɡ, ɟ], and Sudan [ɟ].Gimel_item_3_7

Ethiopian/Sudanese gimel Gimel_section_6

The dialect of Eastern Africa often utilizes the gimel sofit when the gimel ends a word. Gimel_sentence_49

The letter is a traditional gimel with an add-on curve on the bottom. Gimel_sentence_50

Character encodings Gimel_section_7


Character informationGimel_table_caption_5
PreviewGimel_header_cell_5_0_0 גGimel_header_cell_5_0_1 جGimel_header_cell_5_0_3 گGimel_header_cell_5_0_5 ܓGimel_header_cell_5_0_7 Gimel_header_cell_5_0_9 Gimel_header_cell_5_0_11
Unicode nameGimel_cell_5_1_0 HEBREW LETTER GIMELGimel_cell_5_1_1 ARABIC LETTER JEEMGimel_cell_5_1_3 ARABIC LETTER GAFGimel_cell_5_1_5 SYRIAC LETTER GAMALGimel_cell_5_1_7 SAMARITAN LETTER GAMANGimel_cell_5_1_9 GIMEL SYMBOLGimel_cell_5_1_11
EncodingsGimel_header_cell_5_2_0 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_1 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_2 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_3 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_4 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_5 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_6 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_7 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_8 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_9 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_10 decimalGimel_header_cell_5_2_11 hexGimel_header_cell_5_2_12
UnicodeGimel_cell_5_3_0 1490Gimel_cell_5_3_1 U+05D2Gimel_cell_5_3_2 1580Gimel_cell_5_3_3 U+062CGimel_cell_5_3_4 1711Gimel_cell_5_3_5 U+06AFGimel_cell_5_3_6 1811Gimel_cell_5_3_7 U+0713Gimel_cell_5_3_8 2050Gimel_cell_5_3_9 U+0802Gimel_cell_5_3_10 8503Gimel_cell_5_3_11 U+2137Gimel_cell_5_3_12
UTF-8Gimel_cell_5_4_0 215 146Gimel_cell_5_4_1 D7 92Gimel_cell_5_4_2 216 172Gimel_cell_5_4_3 D8 ACGimel_cell_5_4_4 218 175Gimel_cell_5_4_5 DA AFGimel_cell_5_4_6 220 147Gimel_cell_5_4_7 DC 93Gimel_cell_5_4_8 224 160 130Gimel_cell_5_4_9 E0 A0 82Gimel_cell_5_4_10 226 132 183Gimel_cell_5_4_11 E2 84 B7Gimel_cell_5_4_12
Numeric character referenceGimel_cell_5_5_0 גGimel_cell_5_5_1 גGimel_cell_5_5_2 جGimel_cell_5_5_3 جGimel_cell_5_5_4 گGimel_cell_5_5_5 گGimel_cell_5_5_6 ܓGimel_cell_5_5_7 ܓGimel_cell_5_5_8 Gimel_cell_5_5_9 Gimel_cell_5_5_10 Gimel_cell_5_5_11 Gimel_cell_5_5_12
Named character referenceGimel_cell_5_6_0 Gimel_cell_5_6_1 Gimel_cell_5_6_3 Gimel_cell_5_6_5 Gimel_cell_5_6_7 Gimel_cell_5_6_9 ℷGimel_cell_5_6_11


Character informationGimel_table_caption_6
PreviewGimel_header_cell_6_0_0 𐎂Gimel_header_cell_6_0_1 𐡂Gimel_header_cell_6_0_3 𐤂Gimel_header_cell_6_0_5
Unicode nameGimel_cell_6_1_0 UGARITIC LETTER GAMLAGimel_cell_6_1_1 IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER GIMELGimel_cell_6_1_3 PHOENICIAN LETTER GAMLGimel_cell_6_1_5
EncodingsGimel_header_cell_6_2_0 decimalGimel_header_cell_6_2_1 hexGimel_header_cell_6_2_2 decimalGimel_header_cell_6_2_3 hexGimel_header_cell_6_2_4 decimalGimel_header_cell_6_2_5 hexGimel_header_cell_6_2_6
UnicodeGimel_cell_6_3_0 66434Gimel_cell_6_3_1 U+10382Gimel_cell_6_3_2 67650Gimel_cell_6_3_3 U+10842Gimel_cell_6_3_4 67842Gimel_cell_6_3_5 U+10902Gimel_cell_6_3_6
UTF-8Gimel_cell_6_4_0 240 144 142 130Gimel_cell_6_4_1 F0 90 8E 82Gimel_cell_6_4_2 240 144 161 130Gimel_cell_6_4_3 F0 90 A1 82Gimel_cell_6_4_4 240 144 164 130Gimel_cell_6_4_5 F0 90 A4 82Gimel_cell_6_4_6
UTF-16Gimel_cell_6_5_0 55296 57218Gimel_cell_6_5_1 D800 DF82Gimel_cell_6_5_2 55298 56386Gimel_cell_6_5_3 D802 DC42Gimel_cell_6_5_4 55298 56578Gimel_cell_6_5_5 D802 DD02Gimel_cell_6_5_6
Numeric character referenceGimel_cell_6_6_0 𐎂Gimel_cell_6_6_1 𐎂Gimel_cell_6_6_2 𐡂Gimel_cell_6_6_3 𐡂Gimel_cell_6_6_4 𐤂Gimel_cell_6_6_5 𐤂Gimel_cell_6_6_6

See also Gimel_section_8

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