|Phonemic representation||k, x|
|Position in alphabet||11|
|Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician|
Kaph is thought to be derived from a pictogram of a hand (in both modern Arabic and modern Hebrew, kaph means palm/grip) though in Arabic the a in the name of the letter () is pronounced longer than the a in the word meaning palm ().
|Various print fonts||Cursive
There are two orthographic variants of this letter that alter the pronunciation:
When this letter appears as ? without the dagesh ("dot") in its center it represents , like the ch in German "Bach".
In modern Israeli Hebrew the letter heth is often pronounced as a , but many communities (particularly those of Mizrahi and Sephardi origins, as well as immigrants to Israel from Arab countries and Arab Israelis) have differentiated between these letters as in other Semitic languages.
|Various Print Fonts||Cursive
If the letter is at the end of a word the symbol is drawn differently. However, it does not change the pronunciation or transliteration in any way. The name for the letter is final kaf (kaf sofit). Four additional Hebrew letters take final forms: tsadi, mem, nun, and pei. Kaf/khaf is the only Hebrew letter that can take a vowel in its word-final form, which is pronounced after the consonant, that vowel being the qamatz.
|Final kaf||Kaf sofit|||
|Final khaf||Khaf sofit||?|
The letter is named k?f, and it is written in several ways depending on its position in the word.
There are three variants of the letter:
In Literary Arabic, k?f is used as a prefix meaning "like", "as", or "as though". For example, (/kat?a:?ir/), meaning "like a bird" or "as though a bird" (as in Hebrew, above). The prefix ka is one of the Arabic words for "like" or "as" (the other, /mi?l/, is unrelated). The /ka/ prefix sometimes has been added to other words to create fixed constructions. For instance, it is prefixed to /ða:lik/ "this, that" to form the fixed word ? /kaða:lik/ "like so, likewise."
k?f is used as a possessive suffix for second-person singular nouns (feminine taking k?f-kasrah , /ki/ and masculine k?f-fat?ah /ka/); for instance, kit?b ("book") becomes kit?buka ("your book", where the person spoken to is masculine) kit?buki ("your book", where the person spoken to is feminine). At the ends of sentences and often in conversation the final vowel is suppressed, and thus kit?buk ("your book"). In several varieties of vernacular Arabic, however, the k?f with no harakat is the standard second-person possessive, with the literary Arabic harakah shifted to the letter before the k?f: thus masculine "your book" in these varieties is kit?bak and feminine "your book" kit?bik.
|Unicode name||HEBREW LETTER FINAL KAF||HEBREW LETTER KAF||ARABIC LETTER KAF/CAF||ARABIC LETTER KEHEH||ARABIC LETTER SWASH KAF (SINDHI)|
|UTF-8||215 154||D7 9A||215 155||D7 9B||217 131||D9 83||218 169||DA A9||218 170||DA AA|
|Numeric character reference||ך
|Unicode name||SYRIAC LETTER KAPH||SAMARITAN LETTER KAAF||UGARITIC LETTER KAF||IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER KAPH||PHOENICIAN LETTER KAF|
|UTF-8||220 159||DC 9F||224 160 138||E0 A0 8A||240 144 142 139||F0 90 8E 8B||240 144 161 138||F0 90 A1 8A||240 144 164 138||F0 90 A4 8A|
|UTF-16||1823||071F||2058||080A||55296 57227||D800 DF8B||55298 56394||D802 DC4A||55298 56586||D802 DD0A|
|Numeric character reference||ܟ