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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Hebrew Pronunciation Guide
In this series, you'll master Hebrew pronunciation. Proper pronunciation is essential in Hebrew, and in this series, you'll learn it in a fast, comprehensive, and easy way.
In this first lesson, you'll learn about the building blocks of the Hebrew pronunciation system that will help you in future lessons.
The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters, all of which are consonants. A few of these consonants however, can act like vowels.
But be careful not to fall into a very common trap: as you're learning to *speak* correctly, you shouldn't concern yourself with all the letters. That's right -- forget them! You care about the *sounds* of Hebrew, and here they are:
There are 20 consonant sounds, and 5 vowel sounds. Each symbol that you see here, represents a single sound determined by the IPA, which is a standardized way to represent sounds *without* the baggage that often comes with traditional letters. By using all of these sounds, you can form every single word in Hebrew.
Still seem complicated? Well how about this: of the 20 consonant sounds in Hebrew, you *already know* 15 of the original sounds. That's right, if you're a native English speaker, then you already make these sounds every day.
You can also ignore all of the vowel sounds for the same reason.
The only thing standing between you and Perfect Hebrew Pronunciation is 4 new consonant sounds. You can handle that!
Now let me introduce Yaara, who will be helping you to master these new sounds.
"Hello, I'm Yaara" in Hebrew
Yaara will be giving you native pronunciation examples to imitate. But for this first lesson, just sit back and listen to the unique sounds of Hebrew:
Resh רע "bad"
Tzadik צבע "color"
Khaf אוכל "food"
Aleph מאמר "article"
In the next lesson, we'll look at the top 5 pronunciation mistakes Hebrew learners make. You'll want to make sure not to fall into these common traps.
After that, we'll begin going through the vowels and consonants of Hebrew. This is your chance to learn how to correctly say all of the words you just heard.
We'll finish up the series by covering some special topics that will really make your Hebrew sound natural!
To close this lesson, here's a question for you.
Why is it important to spend time on learning proper pronunciation, even if you're already an advanced speaker?
The answer...
You will be understood, and this will help you build more confidence as you communicate in Hebrew. As beginners, you're creating a strong foundation to build on. And for more advanced students, this is your chance to improve your accent and lose any bad habits you may have picked up.
What is the hardest part of Hebrew pronunciation? Tell us about it in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Hebrew Pronunciation Guide lesson!