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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harvey95093

Hebrew vowels

The Hebrew lessons and the Hebrew dictionary need to show all vowels for all words; otherwise it is very difficult (if not impossible!) for learners to learn the correct pronunciation of new words.

September 22, 2019

13 Comments


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

Right ? When i began this Duo course in Hebrew to refresh my knowledge i was very surprised that they do not use vowels. Oh well, its somewhat more difficult this way but it is still a great way to review Hebrew.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cosmic-Alchemist

I totally agree! They need to add the segol system along with the niqqud system. Segols are: בבּפפּשׁשׂככּ. They especially need to add the niqqud (vowels) for the lessons without audio. I'm glad I'm not the only one with this sentiment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdelta1

Except that vowels are not used anywhere except for prayer books. It starts out pretty simply, so that you can figure it out.


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

Vowels are used in children's book. New learners are no better than children.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdelta1

They're in children's book for children who already speak Hebrew. Adults learning a new language are very, very different from native speaking children learning to read. I speak as the former who is the mother of several examples of the later


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

That's right, adults are much less capable than children when it comes to learning a language. Perhaps that's the reason why most beginner level ulpan textbooks use vowels.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cosmic-Alchemist

Exactly. When Modern Hebrew was in it's infancy, nobody spoke it as a first language, so they used the Segols and Niqquds for better understanding and context. Spoken Hebrew, and Prayers are one thing. Written Hebrew is another.


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

I agree. I wish the were included. One contributers did comment on a previous discussion say they will consider including them in some capacity on the next version so fingers crossed.

I think especially given the course has limited audio it is important because otherwise you can guess wrong and get into bad habits. For me, using Memrise as well to hear the correct pronounciation has helped, but I wish they included the nikud. I also found this post very helpful https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7388681/Hebrew-Time-9-Reading-without-vowels

I think the Arabic course includes the Arabic version of vowels (anyone actually doing the course correct me if I am wrong) so maybe they will reconsider the no vowel stance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cosmic-Alchemist

I noticed that they use some niqqud for Aleph like אַאָ so its not unthinkable. :) Hopefully soon


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

I think they use them when it is necessary to distinguish a word from another possible word (I can't think of examples now).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kingofearth23

The Arabic course uses vowels.


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

I have this problem as well. For me, it would just help a lot to have a Latin or IPA (Phonetic) transcription available. Other language courses have word lists, this would be a great feature to have in a Hebrew word list.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David213373

I just started using an online dictation website (https://www.speechtexter.com/) to help with pronunciation. If you let the site access your microphone, it will do speech to text translations in Hebrew (switch language to ivrit on the upper right of the page.) I figure that if the computer can understand my Hebrew, hopefully a human can, too. I use this tool some times for the exercises that provide written English and want written Hebrew back. For such exercises, I would translate the written English in my head, speak the Hebrew, and then copy-and-paste the written Hebrew that it produces.

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