hebrew boot camp day one

The first day of Hebrew boot camp is a three hour session where we learn about the course structure (in class tests, a mid-semester exam, and a final exam)

We haven’t covered typing in Hebrew yet, so I may have mixed up some of the characters on this keyboard, but here’s what the Hebrew consonants look like (these are the medials – the ones that go in the middle of a word: a few of them have different forms if they’re the last letter of a word).

Also, I’ve left out the dots (dagesh lene) that modify the sounds of some of the letters, as we’re going to cover them in more detail soon.

א (not voiced – aleph)
ב (b/v – bet)
ג (g – gimel)
ד (d – dalet)
ה (h – he)
ו (v – vav)
ז (z – zayin)
ח (kh – het)
ט (t – tet)
י (y – yod)
כ (k – kaf)
ל (l – lamed)
מ (m – mem)
נ (n – nun)
ס (s – samech)
ע (not voiced – ayin)
פ (p – pesh)
צ (ts – tsade)
ק (k – qof)
ר (r – resh)
ש שׂ (s – sin)
ש שׁ (sh – shin)
ת (t – tav)

If you’re doing well, you’ll be able to spot that a few of the letters look really similar, and are easy to mistake.

In addition to recognising how the letters appear in print, we also need to know how to write them, and what sounds they make.

The main advantage to classroom learning for this (so far) compared to watching a vodcast has been hearing the whole class say the letters aloud: this gives you a sense of how well you’re doing compared to other people. There’s also the obvious benefit of being asked a question that you need to answer immediately: you can run, but can’t hide.

Tomorrow is day two of boot camp: vowels.

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