Pronunciation of ב?
Just curious of anyone can better explain the pronunciation of ב. From what I've learned, ב is pronounced as a B with a dagesh, and V without. However I've noticed that in modern texts and fonts there isn't an option for ב with the dagesh.
Is it just pronounced as a B all the time, or is it just contextual and we have to learn when it's used differently?
Thanks for the help!
When at the start it is always B.
when in the middle - There are rules, but they are quite complicated (I don't think that an average Hebrew speaker knows all the rules) - so you will just have to hear how it is pronounced and repeat it. As you probably already known, this is the entire point of the duolingo learning system..
well ב is a "b", but in hebrew a few letters "soften" depending on the sounds that come before it, making things easier and smoother to pronounce. ב softens to a "v" sound, כ (k) softens to "kh", פ (p) softens to "f". i don't think any other letters soften in modern hebrew than those. but in biblical hebrew, ת (t) softens to "th", ד (d) softens to "th" as in the word "there", and ג (g) softens to something that has no english equivalent.
modern hebrew seems to soften the letters less often than biblical hebrew does. in any case, a dot in the letter means its the hard sound. but these dots aren't required to be added. texts aimed at native speakers don't typically have any markings, since native speakers don't need any pronunciation help. the dots are usually added to assist non-native speakers.