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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!