Hebrew week one

With boot camp out of the way begins the first week of Hebrew proper. First up is a vocab test, with ten of the 20-odd vocab words needing to be translated from Hebrew squiggles to English.

It looks like the repetitive work I’ve done with the vocab cards this week has helped, as I score 10/10. First week is the easiest, as there are no complex rules to worry about. Not for long, as we will see.

This week we learn about nouns. Hebrew only has two noun genders – masculine and feminine; there’s no neuter like in Greek, which should make the tables easier to remember.

With pluralisation, though, there’s the singular, the plural and the dual, so we’re back to six endings. Learning how to spell -ayim is oddly satisfying, as if I’m making progress.

In reality, this next few weeks will be pretty taxing. As we learn the three different rules for pluralisation – normal, segholate (nouns that have the accent on the first syllable) and geminate nouns all make plurals with special rules and caveats that will need to be memorized this week.

The real challenge is to keep volunteering to read passages in Hebrew and write things on the board, even when making mistakes. I don’t especially enjoy being caught out making mistakes in pronunciation and pluralisation, but it seems the best way to go, so I swallow my pride each time.

I apologize if you feel I’m going on about Hebrew too much; several people have asked me how it’s going, and others have asked why. Still working on a good answer to the latter, but I find the former a big encouragement.

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