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Lesson Transcript

Hi!
Welcome to Introduction to Hebrew.
My name is Alisha, and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone! I'm Idit
In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of Hebrew pronunciation.
Pronunciation refers to the manner in which a word is spoken. So don't focus on reading what's onscreen. Instead focus on listening and repeating.
English vs. Hebrew sounds
In Hebrew, there are only 22 letters of the alphabet, and technically they are all consonants.
But some of these letters have more than one sound, so don't think you only have 22 sounds to learn. There are also vowel sounds which are shown by a dot system called nikud.
Many of the sounds are similar to English, like b, v, sh, s and t...
בּ, ב, ש, ס, ת
But there are a few sounds you may not recognize at first.
:Like
ח, ע, צ
In Hebrew, words are stressed differently than in English. Stress is usually on the last syllable of the word.
עבודה, מוצץ, מתלבש
Avodah, motzet, mitlabesh (m)
"work, pacifier, get dressed (m)"
But in some cases, the stress is on the second to last syllable of the word.
לקוח, נוסע, מתלבשת
Lako'akh, nose'a, mit'labeshet (f)
"customer, passenger, get dressed (f)"
Vowels in Hebrew
Letters produce consonant sounds. These sounds are combined with vowel sounds indicated by the nikud.
Vowel sounds you find in Hebrew are all found in English as well.
a, e, i, o, u
There are different notations for these vowels, but, in most cases, the basic vowel sound stays the same. The pattern of the word and the placement of the vowel determines which vowel symbol will be used.
For example, the word for "language," לשון, and the word for "crisis," משבר, both have ah vowels after the first letter. But because of the way the word is constructed, the vowels are notated differently. They also carry a different kind of stress within the word, even though the basic vowel sound is the same.
lashon - "language"
mashber - "crisis"
Consonants with double sounds in Hebrew
Some letters have two sounds, depending on if there's a stress on the consonant or not.
ב is both "b" and "v."
bet
כ is both "k" and "kh."
kaf
פ is both "p" and "f."
peh
There is also one other letter that changes sound according to the dot above it.
That's שׁ and שׂ. It makes the "sh" sound when the dot is on the right, and the "sss" sound when the dot is on the left.
shin and sin
The most daunting group of letters are the gutteral letters.
א, ה, ח, ע, ר
aleph, heh, ħet, ayin, resh
Three of these letters are pronounced deep in the throat. These may feel unusual at first, but are fun to say once you get the hang of them.
ע, ח, ר
ע, ח, ר
ayin, het, resh
The sound of Hebrew
Most of the letter sounds in Hebrew are already letter sounds you use in English. That means that if you were to simply imitate a Hebrew speaker, your pronunciation would be correct a lot of the time!
For example, listen and repeat after Idit.
רכבת
rakevet
"train"
רכבת
rakevet
"train"
Chances are your pronunciation was pretty spot on. The "K," "V," and "T" sounds are practically identical to English. It's only the "R" that's a little different.
Focus on this first letter. It's often written as an "R," but don't be fooled!
This letter is pronounced differently than an English "R!" It's pronounced at the back of the throat instead of forward in the mouth. Listen to Idit say this letter.
ר
ר
It's actually closer to the German or French "R" but without the roll.
Nearly all sounds in Hebrew are identical to English, like the "K," "V," and "T" sounds in this example. Since you already know how to pronounce most of these sounds, we only need to pay attention to the handful of sounds that are completely new to you. They're the ones we need look out for.
In the previous lesson, we taught you how to say "thank you" in Hebrew. Do you remember what it was?
It's...
תודה
todah
Well done! Let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned that Hebrew has 22 letters, but even more sounds. The extra sounds come from the vowels and the consonants that can represent two sounds instead of one. Many of the the sounds in Hebrew are identical to the sounds in English. And there are only a handful of new sounds that you need to learn.
We've covered only the basics of Hebrew pronunciation. If you're interested in learning more, check our "Ultimate Guide to Hebrew Pronunciation." In that video series, we teach you how to pronounce every single sound used in Hebrew.
In the next lesson, we'll introduce you to the basics of Hebrew grammar, where you'll learn about Hebrew word order, and how to build basic phrases in Hebrew.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!
Bye~!

95 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Did you like this video? Please leave us a comment!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:47 PM
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Hi Justin Deveau,


Thanks for commenting on this issue.


The voweled versions of these words are as follows:


"language" - לָשׁוֹן

"crisis" - מַשְׁבֵּר


I hope that helps :)


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Justin Deveau
Tuesday at 04:32 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, they mentioned that the vowels in the words for "language" and for "crisis" are notated differently because of the way the words are constructed, but when they show the Hebrew words they do not show the nikud to show you what they mean.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:17 AM
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Shalom Brenda Webb,


Thank you for posting. We are happy to hear that. 😇

Let us know if you have any questions. Good luck with your Hebrew!


Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Brenda Webb
Thursday at 06:06 AM
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So glad I was able to do the "quiz settings". That helped a lot!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 08:01 PM
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Hi Bob,


Thanks for posting and for sharing this!


This is a great motivation to learn Hebrew! Learning how to read Hebrew will definitely assist you in this effort 👍😄


Enjoy learning!

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 05:16 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Nomi Kopp,


Thank you for posting.

Our quiz is quite sensitive to font types and currently it only accepts the words the way they appear in the vocabulary section.

It doesn't accept for example partial answer or synonym.

If it's a font issue, I recommend you to copy and paste the answer into a txt document, so that all the formatting is removed, then copy and paste it back to the answer box of the quiz.


Our team is working on making the quiz section easier to use in the future.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Sincerely,

Lena

Team HebrewPod101.com

Bob
Friday at 02:33 AM
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I am most interested in knowing how to read Hebrew in the Tanakh.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 05:46 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi tesshiwot,


Thanks for posting and welcome to HebrewPod101!


The Hebrew alphabet is one of the first things one must know in order to start learning the language. For that reason, our beginner series starts with learning all the letters and they're pronunciation and usage.


We are also always available here in the comment section to answer any question, so please feel free to post and use it at your will :)


Enjoy learning Hebrew! 👍❤️️😄


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

tesshiwot
Friday at 03:51 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, my name is Hiwete. I will like to know if its better for me to learn the alphabet before I start your programme?

Thank you

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:44 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Nomi Kopp,


Thanks for posting and bringing this to our attention.


Yes, your answer seems okay to me, I'm not sure why this happened... I will forward this for checking, but in any case, what's most important is that you would know the right answer yourself - which you did 👍😇


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com