You are right of course, but you dont usualy refer to other peoples moms as ima. When you do, you will usualy be specific about who's mom it is, except for when you speak to a child, who still thinks only one mom exists :). When you say just ima, without specifying whos mom it is, then the listener will understand you are talking about your mom. /n Just note it is only common when you speak to you dad or si lings, idlf it is a stranger it is common to specify 'my mom' (ima sheli).
It is what it is. The problem is that Duolingo was upgraded, long after Hebrew course was made, to accommodate the Chinese course. That's why those languages are taught in a different way, because the platform has changed. They are working on upgrading the Hebrew course. In the meantime, there are literally hundreds of sites, apps and youtube videos teaching the Hebrew letters. You can try some of those and then return to Duolingo.
Mom is pronounced ima because the aleph is technically a silent letter that can take on different vowel sounds. If duolingo was using the vowels (like most materials for teaching children) you would see that if a letter like aleph has a line or a t below it then it makes an a/ah sound, but if it has 2 or three dots below it it makes an e/eh sound. If the aleph has a dot over the top left corner it makes an i/ee sound so like in ima, I assume. If it has three dots going down diagonally under the aleph then it makes an u/oo sound. The letter vav is also commonly used as a placeholder for vowels like u/oo or oh. I'll put some examples below but it's hard to see the dots unless you zoom in on them:
I found the intro to the alephbet on the Cartoon Hebrew website super helpful. I'm a beginner too and it's confusing here so I recommend taking notes and writing down the new vocab with the pronunciation as soon as it's first given in the program.
A dot top-left from a consonant means oh sound,ee is a single dot under the consonant,this works not only for aleph,just it has no own sound,so you hear only a vowel(btw historically it did mean a specific glottal sound unreproducible by Europeans, but very common for Middle Eastern people))
this has got to be the worst language on here to begin. there is no possible way to guess the pronunciation of characters we don't know and comparing the audio to the statement did not help at all. the arabic is MUCH better done in my opinion. even after learning all the character sounds, things like א do not sound consistent with the audio
Zepfur, go to Memrise.com and do the short Duolingo Hebrew Alef-Bet (Print) class there first. It's also better to do each Duolingo lesson on a computer the first time or a phone app. program the has the grammar lessons available at he beginning of each lesson. There is a tip section that shows how the letters are pronounced. א is considered a silent letter, like in Arabic, that carries vowel sounds, so it does not always have an "ah" sound. Good luck.
That's great, I didn't know that. However, they should have this information somewhere or they should offer the chance to practice with the letters. When you try to learn a completely different alphabet you need to practice a lot with it. Just reading the symbols in a list helps but it doesn't give the learner the opportunity to practice and also become familiar with the sounds. Korean and Arabic offer this type of practice and I find it very helpful although they miss some essential things. My language -Greek- offers it but it has quite a few mistakes as I saw last night that I was checking it.
The thing is that the information is clearly written on the web version, but people either don't know about it, or don't care about it and get frustrated, just like you.
The languages you mentioned were made much later, after the platform upgrade, which helped to teach those languages in a different way. They are working on upgrading the Hebrew tree, but in the meantime, you can check out some from literally hundreds of sites, apps and youtube videos that teach the letters and return to Duolingo.
When someone wants to learn a language you make all options and all helps visible and available or at least you give some basic instructions on where to find them. And I am saying this as a language teacher with a very long experience. However, you are right, there are other resources that may help. I am interested in learning some basic Hebrew and if I see that I like the language, I may decide to continue with it. Right now I am learning Portuguese (Duolingo & Memrise). I have already reached A2 and I have to say that the lessons offered in Portuguese are very engaging. I think all languages that are taught in this platform should try to engage their learners more.
What you may not have picked up on yet is that Hebrew has (unlike Romance languages with 6 forms of verbs, concording with the subject in person and number) 10 forms in the perfect and imperfect (conjugating in agreement with person, number and gender) and 4 forms in the participle (present active), matching gender and number. Eventually it is clear and simple.
In Hebrew, vowels are usually not written. א does not actually have a sound by itself, but it usually indicates that there is a vowel in that spot. So in this case, we have אמא, which in Latin letters says m. It doesn't say what the vowels are, but we infer that they mean ima. There are also other characters that are commonly used to represent vowels, but I'm not sure which ones they are. Different letters can mean different vowels. The only way to know for sure is if they put vowel marks, which they teach in a later lesson, but these aren't usually used.
Slveig, the "ה" at the end of Hebrew words is usually pronounced "ah". But, there is no vowel marking (nikkud) here to let you know that. "Ah/ה" is a verb ending for many feminine, singular verbs. That is, verbs used by a woman or when you are saying that a female did something.