Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 1





Contents:

         1.a Alphabet
         1.b Verbs
         1.c Nouns
         1.d Sentences

1.a: Alphabet

Let’s dig heavier into consonants:

  • א - doesn't represent any sound. It serves either as a dummy for its following vowel, or purely for archaic reasons.
  • ה - serves either as groan version of [h], as in 'ahead', or as a no-sound.

  • י - a no-sound, or [y] as in 'you','yawn' or 'yankee'.

  • ת - [t], as in 'stuff'.

  • מ - [m], as in 'mom'.

Now, [m] also has a special final form, it goes like that:
  • ם - [m] final.

Note, for instance, that the following words would all sound the same ([mama]): מַםַ, מַאםַ, מַאמַא, מַמַה, מַאמַה

As well as these ones ([titi]): תִתִ, תִיתִי, תִתִי

Now let’s have one more vowel:

  • וֹ - o, as in 'more' (a vertical line, the size of a consonant, and a dot above it).
Note that this vowel, unlike the three from previous lesson, consists not just of dots – but also of a “consonant”.

Let’s practice a bit: first try to read the (fictional) words, then click to hear:

תַבַד listen
אַמַד listen
דַמַת listen
מִנִיר listen
אִיתִב listen
גֵדֵג listen
מוֹנוֹת listen
דַבֵנִג listen
בִמנַאתַה listen

And now listen and try to write down in hebrew. Having done that - click 'show' button to see the right answer:

listen בַב
listen גַנַן
listen דִיבִים
listen גַמַב
listen בַמוֹת
listen מֵבֵת
listen גַגוֹת
listen בִידוֹת

Finally, write in hebrew the following names:

dina listen דִינַה
dona listen דוֹנַה
adam listen אַדַם
dana listen דַנַה

1.b Verbs

We start with the pronouns:
אַנִי [ani] I listen
אַתַה [ata] you, singular, referring to masculine listen
אַת [at] you, singular, referring to feminine listen
אַתֵם [atem] you, plural, masculine – or mixed listen
אַתֵן [aten] you, plural, feminine (when all the referred objects are feminine) listen

So – you can already say:

אַנִי דַנַה [ani dana] I (am) Dana listen
אַתַה אַדַם [ata adam] You (are) Adam listen
אַת דִינַה [at dina] You (are) Dina listen
Note that in hebrew you don't need the 'to be' verb for present tense. Hebrew is quite a compact language, and often some english words become obsolete in translation. We'll denote these by the () brackets.

And there we get to central part of hebrew – verbs and roots. All words, and verbs particularly, are based on 3-consonant roots. Every root has its vague meaning, and the different usages of the root give it the different grammatic forms and meanings. For example – the root R.K.V. means 'drive'. It gives rise to: RaKaV – (he) drove, RoKeV – rider, ReKeV – car, RaKeVet – train, ReKiVa – riding and so on. Very useful - once you know the meaning of the root, you can create dozens of words using typical constructions.

Let's get to verbs now. The good news is there are only 3 tenses – present, past and future (nowhere near the complexity of english!). Today we'll study the present.

There are 4 forms for present conjugation ('XXX' stand for the three consonants of root):
The basic form is XoXeX, and it's also the singular masculin form.
The feminine form is obtained by adding the suffix [et] to the basic form (XoXeXet).
Plural masculin gets [im], and plural feminin – [ot], so it should have been XoXeXim and XoXeXot. However, to make the speech easier and faster, the 'e' sound is omitted from plural forms, and so we have:

[XoXeX] singular masculine
[XoXeXet] singular feminine
[XoXXim] plural masculine
[XoXXot] plural feminine

Let's demonstrate it on the root ב.ג.ד (b.g.d), which means “cheat, betray” (here the ב is pronounced as 'b'):

בוֹגֵד [BoGeD] I (masc.), you (singular masc.), he cheats (and also 'is/am cheating') listen
בוֹגֵדֵת [BoGeDet] I (fem.), you (singular fem.), she cheats listen
בוֹגדִים [BoGDim] we (masc.), you (plural masc.), they (masc.) cheat listen
בוֹגדוֹת [BoGDot] we (fem.), you (plural fem.), they (fem.) cheat listen

Let's learn a couple of verb roots, and start practicing:

  • the root גנב ([g.n.v]) means 'steal'. (here the ב is pronounced as [v])
  • the root אהב ([!.h.v.]) means 'love, like'. (note the first consonant is not pronounced. it will be denoted by !)
  • the root דאג ([d.!.g.]) means 'care,worry'. (note the second consonant is not pronounced)

Now – the first exercise - translate the following to english (and then compare to the correct result by clicking 'show', and listen to the answer):

אַת אוֹהֵבֵת you (sing.fem.) love listen
אנִי אוֹהֵב I (sing.masc.) love listen
אַתֵם דוֹאגִים you (plural masc.) worry listen
אַתַה בוֹגֵד you (sing.masc.) cheat listen
אַתֵם גוֹנבִים you (plural.masc.) steal listen
אַתֵן אוֹהבוֹת you (plural.fem.) love listen
דַן אוֹהֵב דַנַה Dan loves Dana listen

And final exercise for the part - write in hebrew (+ check and listen):

I (masc.) love Dina אַנִי אוֹהֵב דִינַה listen
You (sing. fem.) care (for) Adam אַת דוֹאֵגֵת אַדַם listen
You (plur.masc.) cheat (on) Dina אַתֵם בוֹגדִים דִינַה listen
You (sing.fem.) love Dan אַת אוֹהֵבֵת דַן listen

Don't forget - you can always consult our table of hebrew verbs!

1.c Nouns

Every noun is either masculine or feminine, and can be singular or plural. Totally like the verb in present, the plural form of masculine is constructed by adding suffix יִמ ('im'), and to get the plural of feminine you just add וֹת ('ot').

How can you know whether a noun is masculine or feminine? First of all – by the meaning, that is - 'actress' would surely be feminine, and 'actor' – masculine. Second – in most cases, if the noun ends with either ה or ת - it's feminine, otherwise it's masculine.

All right, let's learn some nouns:

אַהַבַה (f.) [ahava] love listen
מֵאַהֵב (m.) [meahev] lover (masc.) listen
אַגַדַה (f.) [agada] story, fairytale listen
בַמַה (f.) [bama] stage listen
מֵדִינַה (f.) [medina] country, state listen
מַנַה (f.) [mana] portion, dose, dish listen

Exercise – write each of the above nouns in plural, pronounce it and compare to the recorded version and to the correct answer:

loves listen אַהַבוֹת
lovers listen מֵאַהֵבִים
fairytales listen אַגַדוֹת
stages listen בַמוֹת
countries listen מֵדִינוֹת
portions, dishes listen מַנוֹת

1.d Sentences

Let's learn 3 useful words, and start speaking hebrew!

מַה [ma] what listen
מִי [mi] who listen
הִנֵה [hine] here listen
Note that first ה in הִנֵה is pronounced like 'h', while the second is not pronounced at all.

Questions. As in english, there are two ways to construct a question:

  • the direct way - אַתַה אוֹהֵב דַנַה? - literally - you love dana? The same as a statement phrase, except for the rising intonation
  • wh-question – מִי אוֹהֵב דַנַה? - literally - who loves dana?
In both cases – no auxiliary verb and no changes in word order.

And finally, exercise for the day – translate the sentences, and then check out your answers and listen to the audio. As usual, brackets mean you don't need these english words in hebrew.

מַה דַנַה אוֹהֵבֵת? What (does) Dana like? listen
מִי אַדַם? גַנַן Who (is) Adam? (A) gardener listen
דַן גַנַב? (Is) Dan (a) thief? listen
הִנֵה גַן, הִנֵה דַג Here (is) (a) garden, here (is) (a) fish. listen
דַנַה אוֹהֵבֵת בֵגֵד? (Does) Dana like (a) cloth? listen

And now the other way round – write the sentences in hebrew:

I like (a) portion (of) fish. אַנִי אוֹהֵב מַנַה דַג listen
Here (are) sons (of) gardener. הִנֵה בַנִים גַנַן listen
Lover (of) Dana (is) thief. Lover (of) Dana steals. מֵאַהֵב דַנַה גַנַב. מֵאַהֵב דַנַה גוֹנֵב listen
You (plural masc.) love countries. אַתֵם אוֹהַבִים מֵדִינוֹת listen
You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener. Son (of) gardener cheats (on) Dina. אַתֵן דוֹאֵגוֹת בֵן גַנַן. בֵן גַנַן בוֹגֵד דִינַה listen
Dana loves stage, Adam loves fairytales. דַנַה אוֹהֵבֵת בַמַה, אַדַם אוֹהֵב אַגַדוֹת listen

89 comments:

  1. Hello.
    A compliment & a complaint:
    I wanted to let you know how much I love your audio samples, and how you made the writing (a translation) & speaking into one exercise.
    My complaint would be about your choice to not add the word "of" (של) to the list of words for this chapter - I've found it both easy to remember & useful when exercising.
    Best continuation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      How is able to hear the speaking?The blog appears to me without a speaking method!! Does anyone knows how to fix it?
      Greetings from Greece
      George

      Delete
    2. I could only get it to work with Mozilla Firefox

      Delete
    3. Firefox didn't work for me. Only got it tow work with Opera

      Delete
    4. Someone please fix this. I'd like to be able to play the audio with Firefox but I can't. Any suggestions?
      Besides that, congratulations for the site, it's really good!
      -José

      Delete
    5. Does anyone know how to fix that. I'd like to know. I didn't get it to work with firefox.

      Delete
  2. hey Pb, thanks a lot!
    maybe you're right ). anyway - i couldn't put it all in lesson 1, so של only appears in 3rd lesson. keep on! )

    ReplyDelete
  3. The 5th exercise in the verbs: אַתֵמ גוֹנבִימ means you pl. male steal, as it uses both the male plural pronoun and verb conjugation

    ReplyDelete
  4. also, there is a typo on the list of words. the list says that both 'bama' and 'ahava' mean love. I think that bama means stage, but i'm not completely sure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you're right, thanks again. no matter how many times we go through it, there're still typos :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. The page is great!
    But I still have some questions:
    1) You introduce the letter "o" as an waw with a point one the top. But there is never a waw in the texts. Is it missing or is just the point missing?
    2) You don't use the final form of the nun. Why?
    The way you explain the verb grammar is awesome!
    Thank you for this site!

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks a lot! )
    1) not sure i got you.. there are a lot of 'waw'-s in the texts! what texts do you refer to?
    2) ye, i kept the final form till 3rd lesson, to prevent people getting confused right away.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1. In the comment above you say that you're keeping the final נ until the third lesson, however the ן makes some appearances here, though I'm not sure if you've explained that already.

    2. In the exercise above in which 'you love Dan' is to be translated, the phrase indicates that it should be for plural female, however the answer given is for singular female: את איהבת דן

    -Dmetri

    ReplyDelete
  9. hey Dmetri,
    how's life? is weed legal now in california? )
    1) ye, originally i planned to keep the final letters till third lesson, but i decided to go with it from the beginning. i explained the "ן" in lesson 0.
    2) you're right, my mistake ). got it fixed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fairytales is written as loves in nouns exercise, please check if correct, this is my second day of learning...(agadot?)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok fairytales is under stages, Stages is missing...I am takin it is bamot...

    ReplyDelete
  12. you're right, i had it all mixed..
    thanks, and keep on! )

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the site. Thanks.
    In the last set of exercises - You love countries אוֹהַבִים מֵדִינוֹת I don't think a patach is supposed to be under the hey (a sheva maybe, but not a patach.)
    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Next to last exercise sentence should be you, plural. Thanks
    You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener. Son (of) gardener cheats (on) Dina.

    ReplyDelete
  15. very quick and useful method. thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  16. On this sentence, 'You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener...' It says 'you' is supposed to be singular. I translated it to Hebrew, like I'm supposed to do, and then checked it and the 'you' that it said it was, was the plural fem. form of 'you' and it's supposed to be singular.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. this is an awesome site! in the exercises, "You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener" should be (plural fem)--that's what it is in the Hebrew.
    thank you so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks a lot for this!!! It's great and you make it very easy to understand everything.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your exercises are great. Is this sentence really singular in Hebrew? (The last but one) It says "aten". You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener. Son (of) gardener cheats (on) Dina.

    ReplyDelete
  20. im loving this wonderful site!!! Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was wondering... do you think you could put in the infinitive for these verbs? Right now, there are only roots.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh wow, I've thrown together a sloppy self-study of Hebrew over the past few weeks, only just now finding this! It's not fair, it would have made things so easy...
    In any case, great work!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for this great page! I have studied Hebrew for some time and found this page only now :(. I realised, you translated "Dan loves Dana" as דן אוהב דנה. Shouldn't this be דן אוהב את דנה? And more verbs, that require a preposition that you have omitted in translation. Yes I know, you haven't explained it yet, but won't this confuse for further stuying?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Shalom Aleichem, will you please check out the paragraph, related to the 1.d sentences, when you ask the students to write the sentences in Hebrew from the English version.

    The question number five is in singular and the answer is in plural.

    Toda Raba.

    Shalom Aleichem, Lehiraot

    ReplyDelete
  25. Regarding to this sentence: Does) Dana like (a) cloth, I wondering if it the most appropriate answer could be: (Does) Dana Like to Cheat.

    Toda raba, Lehitraot

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Smiling, you made amazing job with your Hebrew lessons. There is a mistake which I think you should change it, in Lesson 0 you wrote that in Hebrew there is a 5 vowels. In the contemporary Hebrew there is no vowels and what you wrote that are vowels is actually nikud, which is used only by olim hadashim or first half year of the first grade in the schools.

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  33. Hello. I'm not sure if you know this, but I found a mistake in the second to last example in the very last example. The example we are to translate is: You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener. Son (of) gardener cheats (on) Dina. However, the answer for the first part is in You (plural fem.) and the plural form of care...On a more complimentary note, I really like this site. Keep up the good work!

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  52. Hi
    Are you using a new consonant (the final)in the word "minir"
    מִנִיר
    "...Let’s practice a bit: first try to read the (fictional) words, then click to hear:
    תַבַד
    אַמַד
    דַמַת
    ... מִנִיר ...
    As I hear it "miniR"
    The sound "R"?
    Thanks
    George Rusky



    ReplyDelete
  53. Okay I'm a little confused by the no sound letters. How am I to know if they're in the word like dina the or if I'm just listening to the word? or am I just being stupid and missing something? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  54. hello there. Thank you very much for your effort. I'm learning right now Hebrew with the help of this blog.
    But I would like to ask you:
    In Lesson 1, the second last sentence is:
    You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener.
    --> you translate the verb "care" in this case as: do!egot... wouldn't it be do!got?

    Kind regards from Switzerland

    ReplyDelete
  55. hi my name is Alex from Genoa. I have started to learn hebrew today and i must say that your lessons are very well structured and useful.
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    thank you for this great opportunity

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  57. The surnames and definite nouns as direct objects are usually preceded by "את":
    אני אוהב את דן
    אני אוהב את דנה

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thank you these classes are fantastic. :) Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  59. last exercise, above the last sentence:

    "You (sing. fem.) care...", then in the sound and the translation it appears as "you(plural.fem).." -> atem doegot.

    I'm really greatfull for this blog, now I begin studying Hebrew. If I go through your material successfully I'll send more feedback.
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  61. Hmm . . .. Could you explain the roots to me again? I'm a bit confused. .. .. :D I just said it was easy!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I thank you for the lesson on the Hebrew verbs. I have been searching and searching the web for any other resources concerning it and they either don't explain well or just assume you already know a lot. This is strictly for beginners -- like me! :) And you explain it very well. The verb table with XoXeX helps tremendously! I imagine, in the very near future, I'll be getting a Hebrew book for verbs but until then, your site is quite invaluable. Thank you so much for this.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Love this site. Teaches the essentials fast. Thanks! One mistake I noticed - at the exercises, the second from last "You care for the gardener's son" - you is plural, feminine (not singular, feminine) based on what is written in Hebrew and the audio.

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  64. Hey! Thanks a million for this site. I'm finally getting it! It is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Best regards from Poland! Ina

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  65. Thank you for sharing with us, this useful course in Hebrew, it is logical, very good structured and easy to follow its instructions.

    Will you please make a correction in the sentence of the last part, related to: אַתֵן דוֹאֵגוֹת בֵן גַנַן. we need to adjust to the ( singular, femenine) as the example require.

    Toda Raba and Shalom.

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  66. I can't believe you've got me writing Hebrew already. It's a bit challenging for me, but do-able and I'm going to try my best to learn each and every day until I go to Israel at the end of March. Thanks so much for these free lessons. There amazing!

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  67. thank you for this lesson.

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  68. Toda! lesson is good.

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  69. Some vowels are incorrect, and some are missing. For instance, I'll give an example of the correct vowels:
    בוֹגֵד is good, except the ב takes a dageysh:
    בּוֹגֵד is correct for M. S..
    בוֹגֵדֵת the tsaeres change to segols, and of course ב takes a dageysh:
    בּוֹגֶדֶת is correct for F. S..
    בוֹגדִים the ג must take a schva, and of course the ב takes a dageysh:
    בּוֹגְדִים is correct for M. P..
    בוֹגדוֹת the ב needs a dageysh and the ג needs a schva:
    בּוֹגְדוֹת is correct for F. P..

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  70. Hi! Love this site!
    I have a couple of questions though:
    In the last exercise it says "You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener."
    And in the translation it says "ATEN ..." I thought "aten" was feminin Plural?

    And how do you now when to put a ' or a ה there and when not?

    Thanks so much for this site! I'm having loads of fun learning!

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  71. In the final 2nd exercise "You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener."
    "You" must be plural, fem.

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  72. For people who are having trouble with the audio samples, try opera browser, it worked for me. Btw great site!

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  73. Hey guys! Since this blog is kinda dead, I tried to make at least this online course on Memrise, making lessons with the vocabulary and some drills using conjugated verb forms.
    Check it out, especially if you have trouble like me quickly remembering the vocab and conjugating verbs: http://www.memrise.com/course/375474/learn-hebrew-easily-blogspot-courses-vocab/

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  74. The Easy Learn Hebrew program is based on the original Hebrew teaching methods developed by Rabbi Lampert, that have enjoyed outstanding success in the classroom environment for over 50 years. What was the crisis point in your life?
    Kim was a crossroads for me. It was really Kim, and marrying her, that pushed me to have to deal with all my stuff. The next crossroads was getting caught in adultery in a three-month affair with one of her best friends. If it hadn't been for that kind of monumental failure -- when you get caught you have to either run or face it. I think it's by the grace of God that I faced it.
    easylearnhebrew source for Easy Learning To Read Hebrew, Hebrew Reading, Hebrew Reading Lessons and online program is the proven system to learn to read Hebrew language, alphabet, Jewish prayer and bible in 7 lessons.

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  75. No wonder the lessons have discontinued. After reading some of these comments, the generous author of this blog has been picked apart and corrected to death! Thanks for running off teacher who was so generous with taking time to give FREE Hebrew lessons. It's not easy to find a teacher who graciously teaches Hebrew using the English language so well. These lessons WERE as close to perfect as it gets for FAST comprehension. Sigh...............

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  76. A huge thank you to the author for the time and effect put in to these lessons.
    Shalom to you and to Israel.

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  77. You made a mistake when giving the instrucction here:

    You (sing. fem.) care (about) son (of) gardener. Son (of) gardener cheats (on) Dina. אַתֵן דוֹאֵגוֹת בֵן גַנַן. בֵן גַנַן בוֹגֵד דִינַה
    Your asking for Singular Fem and in the hebrew version you have put the Plurar Fem.

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  78. hello i am on lesson 1 translating the excercise of the day and a lot of vocab i do not know but it is asking me to translate eg here is a dog here is fish,yet i cannot find this vocab in lesson 1..... have i missed it and if so where can i find it?

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  79. THank you "bigly","muchly" and fondly. I'm a slow learner but you truly know how to explain and to teach. Sorry I didn't find you sooner. Bill Mahoney

    mahoney.bille@gmail.com

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