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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Yana here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of your most common Hebrew questions.
The question for this lesson is…
How can one know if a word is written with the letter ט or ת? with ק or ּכ? with ב or ו? with ֹש or ס? and why are they needed if they represent the same sounds?
Like some of the other questions I’ve answered on Ask a Teacher, the confusion here is due, in part, to the long history of the Hebrew language.
In ancient Hebrew, each one of these letters stood for a different sound.
For example
מוֹעֲדִים - Dates, Specific times,
אָנֹכִי - I, me
As time went on, though, this distinction became less important, and each one of these pairs came to have more or less the same sound.
So, the letters ט or ת came to have the T sound, ק or ּכ, the K sound, and ב and ו, the V sound, and ש and ס, the S sound.
Because this amounts to a simple spelling rule, there is no real shortcut to learning, besides memorizing words as they come up. You'll get the hang of it soon, though.
How was it? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!


Please to leave a comment.
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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What Hebrew learning question do you have?

Tuesday at 08:56 PM
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Hi Joshua,

Thanks for commenting and for sharing this! Very interesting indeed!

As Jewish communities lived apart for thousands of years, some developed different pronunciation habits while reading the holy scripts. Another good example is the Ashkenazi pronunciation of "ת" as "S".

Listening to music is definitely a great way to expose yourself to the language and learn new words! Keep up the great work and I'm sure your efforts would pay off quickly! 👍👍



Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 03:58 AM
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I have been to a shephardic synagogue where they were reading the Tav as like a Ph sound ajd somtimes an R sound as well, and then i learned the hebrew from my Tanakh and ill never understand why they did it like that for i still have some of their prayer books where the do the shabbat night prayer where they read shabbat as shabbath. This is confusing but im determined though. I listen to hebrew music where u can understand a opt of times what they are singing as well.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 10:31 PM
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Hi Sandra Schaffner,

Thanks for posting. Learning a new writing system takes time so don't be too worried if it's not all sinking in at once...

You can find a thorough explanation and examples about the Hebrew alphabet here on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_alphabet

Hope that'll help. 😄



Team HebrewPod101.com

Sandra Schaffner
Monday at 12:14 AM
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Please send me the Hebrew alphabet. I am a real beginner and the lesson was too hard for me. I need to start with the alphabet and numbers in Hebrew.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:04 PM
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Hi Mary,

Thank you for posting!

To go to the next lesson you can click on the right pointing arrow on the menu right below the lesson video.

It’s next to “LESSON “.

Alternatively, here’s the series menu so you can choose directly which video you want to watch:


If you have any questions, please let us know.



Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 06:53 PM
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Hello Tana!

Would you please tell that where are the rest of the videos out of those 20 ??

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 11:10 AM
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Hello Tony,

Thank you for your question.

You can find the series here:


We hope you enjoy our lessons!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 12:21 PM
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Hi Yana,

How do I find the 'learn Hebrew in 3 minutes series? I haven't finished it.

Tuesday at 01:56 AM
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I have a question, is there a formal or informal Hebrew?

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:29 PM
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Hi levyrox1,

Well, there's no easy way to learn a language, just work and work :)

I personally found out that learning words as part of a phrase instead of independently might make vocabulary learning faster...

Hope it'll get easier in time :)

Good luck,


Team Hebrewpod101.com