Would have been helpful if the word was introduced first or if it was underlined so we could click on it to see the meaning.
also, in common hebrew (let's call it "todays hebrew") it is pronounced just /e/
you are right. the nikkud "tsere" is pronounced by Ashkenazi accent /ei/ while in Sephardic and Mizrahi just /e/.
The nikkud צירה originally represented probably some form of long /e/, maybe the diphtong /ei/, I'm not sure. In Ashkenazy pronounciation up to the 20th century it was /ei/, and it used to be a known mark of immigrants from eastern Europe to Israel in the first part of the 20th century when they talked Hebrew.
In recent decades צירה is invariably a simple /e/. Where the צירה is followed by a consonant Yod, as in "בני אדם" = /bney adam/ = "humans", we retain the consonant or diphtong. The only exception that jumps to my mind is the "בית" in construct form, /beyt/, which is often contracted to /bet/ but it's still normal to hear /beyt/.
Now כיף is a strange case in itself. It was borrowed from Arabic, where it's pronounced /kef/, and has always been pronounced /kef/ by Hebrew speakers as far as I know. Why was the spelling with the Yod chosen? My guess is that to distinguish it from כף = /kaf/ = spoon, and adopting the Arabic spelling that has Ya; I believe that indeed the Arabic reached /kef/ by contracting /keif/ or /kaif/.
I believe not. "The fun game" would not be המשחק הכיף, it would be המשחק הכיפי.
Haha, in Bugarian кеф /kef/ is a slang-ish term meaning fun or enjoyment. Never knew it came from Hebrew!
@ Bezalel P: Honestly, I could not figure out how to read the nikkud/vowels, so I find it much easier to just remember the pronunciation of words without it. I had a terrible grammar book, but after giving up on trying to understand how the Nikkud are used, I decided that I don't need them at all.
Why does this spell 'kef' and not 'kif'? I was under the impression that a general rule of writing without nikkud was that yod following a consonant renders an 'ee' sound to the consonant immediately preceding it?
Grateful for answers!
as per this post in particular: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7388681/Hebrew-Time-9-Reading-without-vowels
Yod after a consonant is indeed often /ee/, but often a consonant yod following an unwritten /e/ or /a/ vowel. For the unique case of כיף see my long comment above.
A פ at the beginning of a word is generally pronounced /p/. A פ in the middle or end if a word is generally pronounced /f/
You have many /p/ in middle of words, too - for example תפוז elsewhere in this lesson.
When written with nikud, the pay would have a dot inside of it.
This course is without nikud
My understanding was that nikud are vowel markings only, not the consonantal differentiations. Is that wrong? It doesn't make any sense to me to remove them - what exactly is the benefit to the learner (or anyone else)? Maybe someone behind that choice for Duolingo Hebrew could answer?
Technically you are right, but there are a few more grammatical signs which usually go with the nikud, in terms of not showing up. A text without nikud will not have these either.
I would expect textbooks or software teaching Hebrew to have this. I know Rosetta Stone does, all the markings. I much prefer Duolingo though for the pacing and the system of review etc. but this is very disappointing.
If you learn to read Hebrew with vowels it will be much more difficult for you to read modern Hebrew texts such as books, newspapers, road signs etc' which are written almost always without Nikkud. That's the reason they left it out of this course,
BezalelP, I learned to read Hebrew with vowels before I started Duolingo. If I had not, I would have been completely lost when I started. But, already knowing how to read Hebrew and how the vowel system works, gave me a strong foundation. I then had no difficulty whatsoever transferring over to the non-voweled writing.
Are you a contributor? In any case, this is a mistake. As to the welcome page, there is no rationale given for the decision. That vowels are not included in print material has nothing to do with this being an effective way to teach Hebrew. Consonantal markings being removed is even worse.
This, that, it (is), are all the same in Hebrew - ''זה'' or' 'זאת'' depending on the gender of the word.
Your course English-Hebrew – Ghislaine182838
I would like to bring to your attention a problem with this course that I have been taking for the last nine weeks. The individual question sections are well designed but as I do not have a Hebrew keyboard many of the answers to the requested translations rely on the “Use Word Bank” that provides the Hebrew symbol.
However, it is sometimes the case that towards the end of a section you require a English-Hebrew translation without providing a Hebrew keyboard. At the same time the question pages states that if you do not provide an answer “you lose all the points of the section.” A very annoying result after putting a lot of effort to answering all the earlier questions.
Can you not provide Hebrew symbol keyboard?