In the block quote below I've added an excerpt from an interview transcript with the author of "The First Norton Anthology of World Religions." The transcript has different words for God and "(ph)" noted after those words.
What is the meaning of "ph?" I'm guessing it has something to do with pronunciation. Regardless, under what circumstances do authors, transcriptionists, or both use "(ph)?"
And the proper name of God, Yahweh (ph), as scholars have reconstructed it when written in four letters in Hebrew, was punctuated with vowels - as Hebrew proceeds to do - in a way that invited you to say another word, Adonai (ph), instead of the word Yahweh. ... Or would I say, and so - I mean, one practice is to say Hashem (ph), the name.