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!
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
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
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 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.
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…”
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.