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Learn the Hebrew Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Hebrew alphabet easily - at HebrewPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At HebrewPod101, we introduce you to Hebrew writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Hebrew alphabet completely from the start.

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Hebrew!

If you want to master the Hebrew language and become fluent, you must learn the Hebrew alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Hebrew learning beginners!

FREE Hebrew eBook

Download your FREE Hebrew practice sheets PDF today and learn the Hebrew language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Introduction

Hebrew has its own writing system using the Hebrew alphabet. It is written from right to left and contains no vowels. We use it for other Jewish languages as well, such as Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic. In Hebrew, the alphabet is called the alephbet after the first two letters.

The original Hebrew script was closely related to the ancient Phoenician script. By the tenth century BC, the paleo-Hebrew alphabet emerged. It was commonly used during the time of the ancient Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah. This form of the alphabet was preserved in the Samaritan script. During the Babylonian exile, Jews adopted the Aramaic script used in Babylon at the time, which then evolved into the present Hebrew alphabet.

Around 200 CE, the need for vowels was realized and a system of points was developed to indicate vowel sounds, and placed them in and around the letters of the alphabet. This way they did not need to alter any previous texts.

The Hebrew alphabet consists of twenty-two characters, all of which were originally consonants. Five of these letters have a slightly different form, which is used at the end of the word. There is only one case in Hebrew, so there is not distinction between lowercase and uppercase letters as there is in other languages.

Traditionally, vowels were indicated by four weak consonants: Aleph, Heh, Vav, and Yohd. This letter combines with the previous vowel and becomes silent. Today, two of these weak consonants can behave like vowels as well as consonants. We can use Vav to indicate an “-o” as well as a “-v,” and we can use yud as an “-i” and a “-y.”

The system of vowel points is called nikud. Hebrew uses a very structured system in which three letter roots are applied to a pattern to determine the meaning and part of speech of the word. Since Hebrew is so structured, nikud is not used in an everyday context. Israelis know which vowels to use by the structure of the word, the part of speech, and the context within the sentence. You will only find text written with nikud in religious writings, children’s books, and literature for new immigrants.

Block letters are used in texts and on signs, but cursive writing is used almost exclusively in writing. Children learn to write block letters in primary school to learn the letters, but they quickly exchange these for their cursive counterpart.

The Hebrew alphabet is also used to signify numbers. You will find letters used in dates, grades of school, and in religious texts. It’s important to learn the first thirty letter combinations used to signify numbers at the very least.

Hebrew Alphabet Chart

Alphabet

If you take a look at the Hebrew alphabet and the English language do have some connections. They are sometimes only the types of connections that linguists really appreciate, however and English and Hebrew do have some significant differences. Hebrew script has been in use in one form or another for a very long time and is old enough that it even influenced ancient Greek. This script, in various forms, is still in use today.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Hebrew type is a lot more complex than Western type. There are varying degrees of thickness on the letters that do differentiate one from another in some cases. This language is also written right to left, which is a significant challenge for people just learning this language. You’ll find that reading the language is sometimes a bit more difficult than learning to speak it, simply because of the script.

The Hebrew alphabet is ancient. The current alphabet has 22 letters and is referred to as the square script or the block script. It is also related to Assyrian script. This script is what is called an abjad, which is a language that doesn’t use any vowels in its written form. Vowels are indicated by adding specific types of marks to existing letters. In this way, the Hebrew alphabet has much in common with Arabic script. The letters of the alphabet are as follows:

Letter Last case Letter Name Romanization Sounds like Sample word Sample word Romanization
א   Aleph A a in father אבא Aba
ב   Beth B b in boy בית Bait
ג   Gimel G g in green גדר Gader
ד   Daleth D d in door דלת Delet
ה   He H h in high הר Har
ו   Vav V v in valid ורד Vered
ז   Zayin Z z in zoo זחל Zahal
ח   Heth CH h in hole חבר Haver
ט   Teth T t in telephone טייס Tayas
י   Yod Y y in yellow ילקוט Yalkut
כ ך Kaph K k in book כדור Kadur
ל   Lamed L l in lemon לימון Limon
מ ם Mem M m in mother מעטפה Ma’atafa
נ ן Nun N n in cotton נרות Nerot
ס   Samekh S s in ski ספר Sefer
ע   Ayin A a in America ענבים Anavim
פ ף Pe P p in pony פירות Perot
צ ץ Sadhe TS / ZZ zz in pizza ציפור Tsipor
ק   Qoph K k in pink קסם Kesem
ר   Resh R r in room רחוב Rehov
ש   Shin SH s in sugar שולחן Shulhan
ת   Tav T t in team תמר Tamar

Learning to write in this alphabet is a basic part of Hebrew lessons as they are given in language schools. You’ll have to learn this on your own or, if you want, meet some native speakers that you can get some insight. It takes time but learning a language this ancient and exotic generally does take a bit of time in all regards. The alphabet is an important part of Hebrew culture, so be sure to ask anyone knowledgeable about the language and how it fits into the stories that come from this culture. You may be surprised to find out how significant the role of this alphabet is in some of the most important cultural aspects of Israel and its people.

Why is Learning the Hebrew Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Hebrew without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Hebrew words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Hebrew alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Hebrew alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Hebrew

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Hebrew!

If you want to master the Hebrew language and become fluent, you must learn the Hebrew alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Hebrew learning beginners!

FREE Hebrew eBook

Download your FREE Hebrew practice sheets PDF today and learn the Hebrew language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Hebrew Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Hebrew lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Hebrew through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Hebrew lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Hebrew using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Hebrew Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Hebrew lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Hebrew lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Hebrew using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Hebrew at HebrewPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Hebrew Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Hebrew alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Hebrew.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Hebrew

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your HebrewPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at HebrewPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Hebrew. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Hebrew alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Hebrew alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Hebrew music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Hebrew letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Hebrew, and ask your friendly HebrewPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

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Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Hebrew. It’s one of the most important Hebrew phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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