Lesson 1

The Hebrew Alphabet Then and Now
Lesson Description:
Welcome! – After introducing ourselves, we will start to learn about the history of the Hebrew alphabet. We will discuss its relationship with the Latin alphabet and learn our first 8 Hebrew letters.


New Words in this Lesson Total New Words 15 15

‫א‬

Lesson 1
1

towards from upon no.huji.s.s.) lamp (m.ac. nation (m. = singular English brother (m.hul.) young man.html Lesson 1 2 .) bread.s.) mountain. not he said he saw ‫ָאח‬ ‫אם‬ ֵ ‫הר‬ ַ Nouns ‫לחם‬ ֶֶ ‫ָהר‬ ָ‫נ‬ ‫ַער‬ ַ‫נ‬ ‫ֵר‬ ‫נ‬ ‫עם‬ ַ Proper Noun Prepositions Negative Particle Verbs ‫ארם‬ ֲָ ‫אל‬ ֶ ‫מן‬ ִ ‫על‬ ַ ‫לֹא‬ ‫ָאמר‬ ַ ‫רָאה‬ ָ m.) mother (f. hill (m.s. = feminine Pronunciation ‟ah ‟em har léhem nahar ná‟ar ner ‟am ‟aram ‟el min ‟al lo ‟amar ra‟a s.) Aram (Syria) to. See this website for more practice with the Hebrew alphabet: http://hebrewverb.s. = masculine Note: All Hebrew words are accented on the final syllable unless otherwise marked.s.s. lad (m.) stream.il/newtest/pre_abc.Vocabulary Category Hebrew Transliteration ’āh ’ēm har léhem nāhār ná‘ar nēr ‘am ’ărām ’el min ‘al lō’ ’āmar rā’āh f. food (m.s. river (m.) people.

Slides from the Lesson Lesson 1 3 .

Lesson 1 4 .

Lesson 1 5 .

Lesson 1 6 .

Lesson 1 7 .

developing from a fish into a simple triangle) and/or turned 90° or 180°.E. In fact.C. The transliteration of the letter (i. we will learn the 23 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. which they pronounced “digg. the Western (Latin) alphabet and the Hebrew alphabet have the same origin. This script developed from Proto-Canaanite (ca. both in this course and in other Hebrew tools (e.g. we meet the Hebrew alphabet for the first time.g.” for [d]. We will not learn these in alphabetical order. The earliest form of this script that we have is from the Sinai desert and represents a Canaanite dialect of the 16th century B. a fish.Grammatical Remarks In this lesson. which they pronounced “maym.C. water. all consonants. The Hebrew alphabet has a very long history. In the charts below. rather.g. there are five columns for each letter: 1.E. Lesson 1 8 . 950 B.e. In Lessons 1-2. An example of this sound in an English word * We learn the transliteration because unlike the pronunciation. this is how Hebrew words will be transliterated in printed material. the transliteration system distinguishes between every letter.) to Classical Greek to the Latin that we use for English today. The Hebrew letter 2.C. The Proto-Canaanites developed their letters by drawing a picture of something that began with the sound they wanted to represent – e. The Hebrew name of the letter 3. The two main historical changes we see are that the letters became more abstract (e.E. 1500 B. how we represent the letter in Latin script)* 4. we will group the letters according to their common features.” for the sound [m].) to Ancient Hebrew (ca. The Modern Hebrew pronunciation of the letter 5. etc. Also. commentaries) that you may use.

enter. in.” (The sign [h] technically represents a pharyngeal fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.” The ‫ ח‬sounds like the “ch” in the name of the German composer Bach.ב ָה .ה .)שמע‬ ָ ָ ‫ָנ‬ ַ ָ    Lesson 1 9 . before most words that start with a vowel (apple. though we pronounce the ‫ ח‬today more as the uvular fricative “ch” described above.The Letters ‫ל-מ-נ-ר‬ Hebrew Letter Name Transliteration Pronunciation English Example ‫ל‬ ‫מ/ם‬ ‫נ/ן‬ ‫ר‬   lámed mem nun resh l m n r l m n r light map new air The “final letters” ‫ ם‬and ‫ ן‬are the forms that the letters ‫ מ‬and ‫ נ‬take at the end of a word. the Scottish word loch (“lake”).) Even though in Modern Hebrew the ‫ ע‬is usually pronounced the same way as the ‫ . and in the middle of the expression “uh-oh. up). but is more alveolar (pronounced with the tongue close to the upper middle part of the mouth).g. in words like ‫ . The ‫ א‬is the glottal stop (brief cutting-off of the air flow) that is usually heard at the beginning of English words with a “silent [h]” (honor. and expressions such as “lachaim!” or “chutzpah.א‬ The ‫ . The Letters ‫א-ה-ח-ע‬ Hebrew Letter Name Transliteration Pronunciation English Example ‫א‬ ‫ה‬ ‫ח‬ ‫ע‬   álef heh het áyin ‟ h h „ ‟ h h ‟ honor/uh*oh horse Bach honor/uh*oh These four are known as the guttural letters. We‟ll see in later lessons how this makes the ‫ ע‬behave differently from the ‫.קרא‬and ‫. honest). open. since they are pronounced in the throat.א‬and ‫ ע‬can be silent in modern pronunciation when they appear at the end of a word (e. The ‫ ר‬is not pronounced like an English [r].א‬the original pronunciation was a more emphatic sound (almost like gulping) at the back of the throat.

Read the letters aloud (using their names and/or their pronunciations with any vowel) as you write them. Practice writing the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.Homework 1. * The lower part of the starred letter should continue below the line. * Lesson 1 10 .

2. ‫ֵר‬ ‫נ‬ ‫אם‬ ֵ ‫ָהר‬ ָ‫נ‬ ‫לחם‬ ֶֶ ‫הר‬ ַ ‫עם‬ ַ ‫ַער‬ ַ‫נ‬ ‫רָאה‬ ָ a) ‫אם‬ b) c) d) e) f) g) h) Lesson 1 11 . Read aloud the Hebrew words on the left. Match them to their transliterations in the middle and to their definitions on the right. Read aloud the following words from the vocabulary list and write the consonants of the appropriate word under each picture below. 3.

Read the following Hebrew words aloud and transliterate their consonants into Latin script.4. ‫ַחל‬ ַ‫נ‬ ‫הלם‬ ַָ ‫ָא‬ ‫נ‬ ‫חרה‬ ָָ ‫ַאחר‬ ַ ‫מה‬ ָ ‫ָאמן‬ ַ ‫ע ָה‬ ‫ָנ‬ n a h a l __ā__a__ __ā__ __ā__ā__ __a__a__ __ā__ __ā__a__ __ā__ā__ “nahal” Lesson 1 12 .

Read the letters aloud (using‬‬ ‫. he.ma. ri.ra.ha. hi.ha.na.‫‪Homework Answers‬‬ ‫‪1. ‟i.‟a. Practice writing the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. me. ‟o. hi. ni. hu‬‬ ‫ללללללללללללללללללללללללללללל‬ ‫‪lāmed --. ‟i. ru‬‬ ‫1 ‪Lesson‬‬ ‫31‬ .‟a. hu‬‬ ‫חחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחחח‬ ‫‪hēt --. ne.‪their names and/or their pronunciations with any vowel) as you write them‬‬ ‫אאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאאא‬ ‫‪’ālep --.la. mu‬‬ ‫נננננננננננננננננננננננננננננננננננננ‬ ‫ןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןןן‬ ‫‪nûn --. nu‬‬ ‫עעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעעע‬ ‫‪‘ayin --. ‟u‬‬ ‫́‬ ‫רררררררררררררררררררררררררררר‬ ‫‪rēš --. he. no. ho. lu‬‬ ‫ממממממממממממממממממממממממ‬ ‫םםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםם‬ ‫‪mēm --. le. li. ‟u‬‬ ‫א__‬ ‫ה__‬ ‫ח__‬ ‫ל__‬ ‫מ__‬ ‫ם__‬ ‫נ__‬ ‫ן__‬ ‫ע__‬ ‫ר__‬ ‫ההההההההההההההההההההההההה‬ ‫‪hē --. mi. ‟e. re. ho. ro. ‟e. ‟o. mo. lo.

2. a) e) ‫אם‬ ‫עם‬ b) f) ‫הר‬ ‫לחם‬ ‫נר‬ g) ‫נהר‬ c) d) h) ‫ראה‬ ‫נער‬ 4. ‫ַחל‬ ַ‫נ‬ ‫הלם‬ ַָ ‫ָא‬ ‫נ‬ ‫חרה‬ ָָ ‫ַאחר‬ ַ ‫מה‬ ָ ‫ָאמן‬ ַ ‫ע ָה‬ ‫ָנ‬ nahal hālam nā’ hārāh ’ahar māh ’āman ‘ānāh “nahal” “halam” “na” “hara” “‟ahar” “ma” “‟aman” “‟ana” Lesson 1 14 . not he said 3. Match them to their transliterations in the middle and to their definitions on the right. Read aloud the Hebrew words on the left. towards from upon no. Read the following Hebrew words aloud and transliterate their consonants into Latin script. Read aloud the following words from the vocabulary list and write the consonants of the appropriate word under each picture below. ‫ָאח‬ ‫ארם‬ ֲָ ‫אל‬ ֶ ‫מן‬ ִ ‫על‬ ַ ‫לֹא‬ ‫ָאמר‬ ַ ’āh ’ărām ’el min ‘al lō’ ’āmar brother Aram to.

E. (§5-6 = pp. by A.. (§5 = pp. T. T.O. 18-33) 3. Lambdin. 1976. Joüon. Kautzsch. Revised in accordance with the Twenty-eighth German Ed. Muraoka. Oxford. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. 1996.. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew. Norwich.Recommended Bibliography 1. As Edited and Enlarged by the Late E. Second English Ed. Rome. 1910. (XIII-XVI) Lesson 1 15 . Cowley. P. 24-35) 2..

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