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  5. "אמא ואבא?"

"אמא ואבא?"

Translation:Mom and dad?

June 21, 2016



I have a question about pronunciation. According to the alphabet, א has an uh or an a sound ב has a b sound * מ has an m sound

So, אבא sounds like ahba, more or less. That's ok.

But אמא, which for me should sound like ahma, sounds instead like eema.

Anybody knows why? Thanks!

P.S. Loving the course btw, great job guys!


The letter א is used to carry a vowel. In the case of אמא the vowel is called Chirik and has an ee sound.


I've been reading a bit about vowels but still don't get it. Where is the vowel there? Some characters together form a vowel?


Vowels in Hebrew are called Nikkud - dots and dashes that appear around the letters. This course was designed to teach you how to read without them, and they appear only in certain words when necessary to prevent confusion. Chirik (the ee sound) looks like a dot under the א. like this: אִ


I think it's causing more confusion than kt would if it included Nikkud


Now I get it. Thanks!


Also א is silent and has no sound of its own. The vowel is what gives it any sound


Because in hebrew there is diacritical marks just like arabic So when you add an kmats mark for example (small T under the letter) to the letter א it is spelled (aaa) and when you add an tsirri mark ( two points under the letter) to the same letter א Its spelled (eee) Ps. Sorry for my bad english im arab


is the same with "و" in Arabic, meaning "and"


I answered "Mother and Father" and didn't even get a "almost correct". :(


It worked for me with a ? mark


Maybe you need the question mark?


In my experience in Duolingo it's never about the punctuation. Probably missing, it's Beta after all


So why is this first unit called "letters" when it starts right out with words? How can we possible learn it without knowing the basic alphabet?


agreed. if the characters were taught first hand it'd make everything much easier afterwards, but they do say in the tips and notes that they have a cards deck in memrise teaching all of the characters so that's probably helpful


Will ו always be attached to whatever words come after the first thing/person/subject? If I wanted to write "Dad and mom", would it be ".אבא ואמא" ?


I was struggling to understand why "או" is pronounced "o", and here "ואבא" is pronounced "Ve-aba", even though both contain the letter "Vav". It says in the tips and notes that "א - Aleph" is silent and that "ו - Vav" is pronounced "v". However, I found this useful video which that "ו" can be pronounced "v", "o", and "u", which helps explain why it's sometimes pronounced "o" and sometimes pronounced "v".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJUMyHR0zN4 I hope that helps and recommend giving some of the videos a watch.


The only situation where I can imagine this sentence being used is when a child sees their parents for the first time in 15 years.


Start with letters, like used in greek languange.


Ima ve-aba? is the transliteration.


How do you pronounce the vav? Is it va or ve? I just wanna know how to write it (:


Don't get me wrong, but I find the Arabic course much clearer. It really starts with the alphabet and I have the feeling I am actually learning something. Here they are starting with two-word-sentences and in such small characters I don't get anything


Out of curiosity - I'm pretty sure that in biblical hebrew, the vav can be "or" as well as "and" (depending on context). I'm guessing that's not the case in modern?


I can't recall a situation even in biblical Hebrew where ו means "or". Do you have an example?


My apologies - I was misremembering (it's been a very long time since I studied Classical Hebrew). So I dug out an old grammar and looked it up. I was thinking of the vav-adversative as an "or" when it is actually a "but"


The vav in biblical Hebrew is a fascinating subject, that I only know hints about. I think that most commonly it marks tense.

but which tense? That depends on the verb form after it. The verb forms that in modern Hebrew mark future, with vav prepended, signify past tense - this is very common in the bible: ויסעו בני ישראל ויחנו.

The verb form that in modern Hebrew marks past, with vav prepended, marks something like an imperative or a law: ושמחת בחגך והיית אך שמח.


I think in biblical Hebrew the wav behaves differently (is either conjunctive or disjunctive) based on wether or not it is directly followed by a verb, and it doesn't always get directly translated


One interesting kind of biblical vav is seen in the first word of Genesis 3:1… Now the serpent was more cunning then any beast of the field… Here, the vav serves to tell the reader that there’s a new twist to the story, in other words, pay attention now!

Storytellers in English also use this “Now…” to heighten interest in their listeners.

“Now, Prunella actually had no intention of keeping her promise…”


I'm sorry. Just to clarify -- a single word translates to "and dad?" How? Like, what's the rule?


The word dad = אבא. If you look closely you'll notice there's another letter called Vav (ו) attached to אבא. That Vav is "and". אבא = dad, ואבא = and dad.


I noticed the same for Mom. So, does this rule apply to all words? Like, how does this rule work? I noticed the Vav. But, how do you attach it? If I make sense....


Try reading the tips&notes here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/he/Letters-1 There's also an explanation there about the connected Vav. If things are still unclear please feel free to ask again :)


Why is the א in the word meaning mom pronounced with an "i" sound?


Hebrew does not have vowel letters. Only consonants. The vowel sounds are learnt along with the word, the same writing might be different words if pronounced differently.

For more on this read the welcome thread in the course discussion, or search about Hebrew "nikud"


I answered this earlier in this thread.


So the written Matres lectionis Aleph and Vow dont really say something about the pronounciation. But Imagine I know the pronounciation, but not the spelling of a word. When is an Aleph applied and when do I use the Nikkut without Matres lectionis (aleph, vow, he)?


The rules to go from pronunciation to Matres lectionis (didn't know this term, thanks!) are complex and strewn with exceptions. http://hebrew-academy.org.il/topic/hahlatot/missingvocalizationspelling/ has the latest rulings of the Academy of Hebrew Language. It's a hard read (and in Hebrew...). I'll be happy to try to explain specific cases if you're interested.

Nikkud is used in common texts only rarely, by discretion of the author, to disambiguate or clarify an unknown name. It's used systematically mainly in the following contexts: 1. Children books (children in Israel learn to read first with Nikkud and then without) 2. Poetry 3. Dictionaries etc.


לא משנה כמה פעמים אני רושמ/ת תשובה נכונה תמיד זה אומר שזה לא נכון


איזו תשובה?


I am bit hearing any audio.


אֶלָּא אִם אַתָּה מִתֵּל־אָבִיב.

Edit: I’m bi myself and I wrote it when I lived in Tel-Aviv. Jeez… Or, rather: Moses…


That is what I wrote......

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