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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Hebrew Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn about Hebrew diphthongs.
WHAT ARE DIPHTHONGS?
But what exactly *are* diphthongs?
Diphthong' means *two* *sounds*. It's the term used to describe two vowel sounds that are pronounced close together in the same syllable.
"Take the English word 'pain' for example.
It's not pronounced 'pa-in', but 'pain'.
Or the word 'foul'. It's not 'fo-ul', but 'foul'."
Notice the difference? You can think of it like gliding from one vowel to the next very quickly. So diphthongs, begin one way and end in another.
Hebrew DIPHTHONGS
Hebrew diphthongs are quite similar to the ones in English, so if you know English, then most of them will already be familiar to you.
Let's take a look at a few common diphthongs in Hebrew.
"ַי
מים ""water""
ָי
עיניים ""eyes"""
These diphthongs create the same sound as the English 'eye', or the diphthong in the word 'why'. Try it!
Next is...
"ֶי
ֶי
שילך ""that will go""
מיוחד ""special"""
It's similar to the diphthong in the word 'hey'. Now *you* try!
Next is...
"וֹי
וֹי
גוי ""Gentile""
נוי ""beauty"""
It's the same as the diphthong in the word 'boy'. Try it!
Here's the final one.
"וּי
וּי
פנוי ""available""
נשוי ""married"""
It's the same as the diphthong in the word 'inuit'. Try it yourself!
Well done! In this lesson, you learned about Hebrew diphthongs.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about stress in Hebrew.
Do you have any tricks to help you pronounce diphthongs? Share them in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Hebrew Pronunciation Guide lesson!

28 Comments

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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have any tricks to help you pronounce diphthongs?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:29 PM
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Hi Maria,


Thanks for commenting and for posting your questions!


The adjective "married" in Hebrew has several forms, according to the gender of the noun and its number.


A feminine "married" is "ne'su'ah" (נשואה) while a masculine "married" is "nasui" (נשוי).


The diphthong in the word "מים" is made by a "A" vowel (patach) on the "מ" followed by a "ee" vowel (chirik) on the "י", together they create a similar sound ti the vowel in the English word "eye".


I hope that's clear, please let me know in case you have further questions. 👍😄


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Maria
Tuesday at 08:49 AM
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Another question!


Why does "maim" have the diphthong of "eye" if the niqqud under the letter yod is not the little line I saw in the video but it's a single dot?


Thank you!

Maria
Tuesday at 08:32 AM
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Hello,


The Hebrew word for "married," why isn't it pronounced as "nah sui"? I heard this word in the video and in the vocabulary list below and heard it something like "nuh sui" with a very quick "nuh" and without hearing much of "ah."


Thanks!

HebrewPod101.com
Saturday at 07:02 PM
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Hi lado and Kris,


Thanks for commenting and for sharing your questions and feedback.


@lado - the word "עיניים" is pronounced "ey-na-yim", and written with nikkud: "עֵינַיִם". The diphtong here is "Aa-Yi".


@Kris - ״כמו״ and "כ" do feel close sometimes, but they work pretty much the way you described: "כמו" is more like "like" in English ("הכלב הזה נראה ממש כמו אריה" - "this dog looks just like a lion") while "כ" is closer to the English "as" ("כמתנה" - "as a gift").


I hope this helps, please let us know if further clarification is needed 👍


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Kris
Friday at 02:03 AM
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the first example sentence of מיוחד ends with ke`matanah (as a gift) . Is the prefix ke' related to Kmo (כְּמוֹ) ?

What is the difference? when to use which one?


ps: I find HP101 the best Hebrew online course ever altough it's a pity that the example sentences are a bit high level for a beginner

lado
Thursday at 08:21 PM
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does the word עיניים combine two dipthongs? "ai" and "ei"? seems so confusing without nikkuds for a beginner

HebrewPod101.com
Friday at 03:55 AM
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Hi Jason,


Thank you for your message.


You can also use the lesson materials, such as the [Lesson Notes] and [Lesson Transcript] to assist you with your studies.


And in case of any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team HebrewPod101.com

Jason
Wednesday at 03:30 AM
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No idea what I just watched. I suspect it goes downhill from here.

HebrewPod101.com
Thursday at 06:01 PM
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Hi Abhishek,


Thanks for commenting and for sharing this!


Please let us know in case you have any questions 👍


Yours,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com



Abhishek
Thursday at 12:06 PM
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My name has two diphthongs, Abhishek ABHI (ai) SHEK (ei) whick we find in eye and in hey