It's true that aleph is a glottal stop. But it does get used as an 'a' vowel more and more in modern Hebrew alongside yod for 'ee' and vav for 'oo'. But yes, the reason it can take on different vowel qualities is because it's technically not a vowel but rather a glottal stop.
Hi Kathryn. I'm speaking a few languages in a very high level, including Hebrew. So I'd like to answer your question.
You are absolutely RIGHT in what you wrote:"is mom coming?" Yes, you were right. The meaning of אמא באה? is exactly what you wrote.
You just need to understand that Hebrew, as opposed to English, is more forgiving in the grammatical words order. If it didn't accept your aforementioned way of translation then I can confirm that it is a bug in the Duolingo example, not in your translation. Hope that helps. Enjoy Hebrew
In Hebrew it is more a polite way to add "Ha'im"( האם) to such question that requires a yes or no answer. However, kindly note that in spoken Hebrew you do not use it in most of the cases because you change your intonation so people understand you actually ask a question, rather than giving an info that mom is coming.
To ask questions, therefore, you simply say the sentence in a bit of a higher pitch in your voice, and speak a tiny bit faster. Try it.
To learn the alphabet, google cartoon Hebrew and you’ll find a good site for learning the Hebrew alphabet in a easy-to-remember and fun way.
I’m doing Duolingo on my phone, and the alphabet was in the first lesson in the tips section. However, some people said they couldn’t find them.
It's called "Letters" because they are teaching the Hebrew letters here by the use of short words with only two or three letters in them. It is their hope that students will be able to learn the letters this way by hearing the pronunciation of the words. Good luck with that. I already knew the letters very well before I started the class with Duolingo.
As Theresa said, there is a "Tips" section that talks about the alphabet before each "Letters" lesson and Memrise.com has classes on the Hebrew alphabet. There are also YouTube classes you could look into.