https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pier521573

Need help with reading Hebrew

Hello, I'm still at the begining (kind of) of the Hebrew tree (Determined 1) and I still have problems reading it... I mean, I can know the vowels for verbs in the infinitive form and the first binyamin but every new word is pretty much memorization... I wish the course used Nikkud at least in the first part of the tree because I have no idea how to properly guess the right vowels, even though I read everywhere that "it's logical, it will come naturally, etc".

Can you suggest some materials that go more in depth to integrate?

September 5, 2019

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissSpells

I agree with you completely on the nikkud, I really wish they were included. It is my only real pet peeve with the otherwise excellent Hebrew course. The only thing I can suggest is to use the 'Duolingo Memrise' course, which has audio for every word. I learn all the new words on Memrise first, so I can hear the correct pronounciation and then do the Duolingo unit. I also use Drops for Hebrew vocab (free 5 min a day, clear audio). Personally, I also became so frustrated with the lack of nikkud that I actually took a break from the Duolingo course to do the Mango languages (free through my library account) Hebrew course, which is excellent and does have nikkud but not as in depth as Duo grammar or vocab wise. After brushing up on basics with Mango I felt ready to tackle the Duolingo course again and am glad I did. The lack of nikkud still bothers me (if they were included I wouldn't bother with Memrise, which I find affective but tedious) but aside from that the course is great, and you do start to develop a feel for the vowels but it takes time. I also use the dictation input on my virtual keyboard to speak the Hebrew dictation exercises. It is sort of a reverse approach but for me, the more I say them the words put loud more the patterns sink in. There is also a great Hebrew time post that clarified a few things about reading without vowels. Here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7388681/Hebrew-Time-9-Reading-without-vowels. There is also always the dictionary Morfix if you want to double check any individual word. All I can say is, I share your frustration but I think if you stick with the course it is worth it.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pier521573

What I want to understand is... Is there a criterium for how vowels are placed in nouns just like there is one for verbs? Also the doesn't help that some letters make the same sound so I can't possibly know how to write a new word if I just heard it..

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

Just some of my favourite Hebrew pronunciation playlists first:

Shalom TV/ JBS Rabbi taught Hebrew module. It's a bit much to do the entire series, if you only need the pronunciation and not Hebrew school, but the lesson /videos on tricks for pronunciation & vowels are really helpful. JBS Hebrew: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFYVdHvwACGu0b-foW7PDLuMfFAb6dUPV

My favourite (I liked his videos so much I subscribed to his full course) LINGUISTIX Hebrew Pronunciation for English Speakers: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfwqVVFqlT1v0tS9hhTg7kL1cUVyO4oFY

Fluent Forever Hebrew Pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlmgeS8moU5hoWljcBIvTyJmICuLP-AyC


You can do audio input at doitinhebrew.com and Microsoft translator app (or on Bing.com) if you want to hear TTS, which isn't in the Hebrew Duolingo course. Pealim.com has the tense tables, Memrise Duolingo vocab Hebrew course, imho, is a must as well (or the ANKI one).

There's no trick. MissSpells is spot on. I use songs for memorization (with help from lyricstranslate.com and Hebrewsongs.com ). YouTube videos have also been a great help, and there are lots of Israelis willing to help on YouTube and discord Hebrew servers. Mostly it's like when you see a word in English you don't know how to pronounce and use what you know to guesstimate (and then check if you got it right ).

(Apologies for any grammatical errors, I'm pretty tired).

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissSpells

I don't know if there are patterns for nouns, personally I just memorize them. Using audio input is also a nice little 'cheat' as I don't need to memorize whether a word has a ת or ט i just speak it and let the machine type it out (I am happy to cheat a little as i am much more likely to speak hebrew than write it anyways) I have noticed some vowel patterns for how nouns become adjectives and adverbs. One thing I find really helped things click for me is not to think of words and nouns as separate categories so much, but rather concentrate on the verbs and the three letter root, amd try to see the connections between a word and its root. So from ספר you get the word to count, or tell (a story) recount, and book and the word for author. Once I started paying attention to the root more the vowels became less of a problem for me. I know this doesn't really answer your question though :( Hopefully someone more knowleagable will have an idea.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kris385208

There are definitely patterns for nouns. The easiest to learn are the the nouns related to verbs (I don't know the technical terms), such as סיפור "story" from לספר "to tell." Ah, I just found this, which is very clear: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Hebrew_grammar#Noun_derivation

September 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leonidBr__

Hi to all!

I can give some advice from my experience in learning Hebrew because I know Hebrew well. The main thing is to learn words, learn and understand the root of a word, usually these are three letters, read a small text from a Hebrew textbook and listen to it through headphones many times, until you start to understand it by ear. And yet, I have never used it with vowels

best regards

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pooperscoop54321

I think they should add nikkud until they can get audio for everything. If they had audio for everything, that would be great for memorizing the spelling you will see most often (no nikkud), but there is so little audio that it really hurts the course.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishay520111

The simple answer is yes, you have to memorize it. But it's the same or worse in English for example, where you have to guess both how to spell a new word you've just heard, or how to pronounce a new word you've just read. And if one can do that in English without the option of Nikkud, one should also be able to do it in Hebrew :) it just takes practice and time.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RacheliKaplan

שלום, אני ישראלית ואני מאד מבינה את הבעיה שלך כי בהתחלה למשהו לא ישראלי זה דיי הולך על הגיון... בכל מיקרה לא הבנתי איזה סוג של עזרה אתה מבקש, אשמח לעזור כשתפרט במה.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pier521573

שלום לך חבר! My main issue is finding how to get the right vowels in most nouns... Verbs have their own predictable patterns, whereas the nouns feel like they just require memorization. Also it doesn't help the fact that a lot of letters have multiple reading or the same one, so that when I hear a word I don't know how to write it (tav or teit? Shin or Samekh? Bet or Vav?)

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimitrij_

Despite having been reinstated as an everyday language and modernized in the past 200 years, Hebrew is not phonetic. Like in English, you simply have to memorize how two right end cey wurdz.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RacheliKaplan

אתה כל כך צודק! אני באמת מבינה את הקושי הזה למי שחדש בשפה! ואני חושבת שזה באמת עניין של שינון! אפילו מי שמכיר את השפה יכול לפעמים להתבלבל.... בכל אופן אם תמשיך לשנן אני בטוחה שזה ישתפר לך!!! הכל עניין של תירגול כמו בכל דבר.... אבל זה יבוא! המון הצלחה!!!!!!!!!!

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kris385208

I use the Morfix Israeli English Hebrew dictionary on my phone. It has nikkud and also voice entry. So you can try saying the word in Hebrew, and if you get it wrong, type it in. Very useful!

September 14, 2019
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