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Learn to Speak Hebrew

Hebrew Podcasts
Lessons 1-2

Introduction
Learning a new language requires work and commitment, but the unique dialog format of Hebrew
Podcasts makes it easy and fun. You can play each lesson multiple times to internalize the material, and
you can repeat each line out loud to practice pronunciation and memorize expressions.

The lessons are packed with tidbits of information about the features of the Hebrew language including
idiomatic and colloquial expressions and grammar rules. The lessons also touch on Israeli cultural and
geographical topics that you'll find useful especially if you plan to visit Israel.

This electronic book contains the first


two lesson in the Hebrew Podcasts
Learn to Speak Hebrew series.

You can find all the lessons at


http://HebrewPodcasts.com/

The audio files for these lessons are


available as a free download at
http://HebrewPodcasts.com/

The Hebrew Podcasts web site provides additional resources for


Hebrew learners by membership. These includes video versions
of each lesson that you can watch online or on an iPhone or iPod.
They also include flashcards to practice the vocabulary and
expressions in each lesson. You can try the flashcards for lesson
1 at http://hebrewpodcasts.com/cards/flashcards1.php

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Hello and welcome to Hebrew Podcasts.


If you are just starting to learn Hebrew and find that our lesson 1 Transcription
goes too fast, then this easy-level lesson is for you. It’s designed to
prepare you for lesson 1 by covering the basic vocabulary that We’ll use transcription in our lesson
you’ll need in that lesson. guides to help you read Hebrew. You
should read the transcription as if it was
Before we begin, I’d like to encourage you to download the read- English. We’ll use hyphens to help the
along lesson guide that goes together with this lesson. You can pronunciation. We’ll use é and à to better
download it from our web site at http://hebrewpodcasts.com. approximate the Hebrew sounds. Are you
And please let us know what you think about our podcast and give familiar with the expression déjà vu, or
us any suggestions that you may have for how we can improve it. the word résumé? If so, then you should
You can contact us by e-mail at learn@hebrewpodcasts.com or pronounce these two accents accordingly.
using the Feedback form on our web site. Otherwise, pronounce é like the e in let
and pronounce à like the a in bark.
I’m Danny and Noa is here to help me.
Finally we’ll use h (the letter h with an
!‫שלום נועה‬ underscore) to denote the sound of the
letter Het (‫)ח‬. You should refer to lesson 2
!‫שלום דני‬
to learn more about this sound.
Let’s begin.
You’ll see transcription in green. Here are
A great way to learn a language is to speak it out loud. So don’t be a couple of examples:
shy! Repeat after us. Let’s give it a try. I’ll greet Noa Shalom and
you repeat after me: Shà-lom ‫שלום‬
À-ni ‫אני‬
!‫שלום נועה‬
Shà-lom No-à
►the clock indicates that we pause here for you to repeat
!‫שלום נועה‬
Very good!
Now let’s see how to introduce ourselves. Now suppose that I wish
to say “I’m Danny”. First, let’s hear how to say “I”.
Let’s repeat after Noa
‫אני‬
À-ni
‫אני‬
Excellent!
Now I’m ready to say “I’m Danny”
‫אני דני‬
À-ni Dà-ni
‫אני דני‬
Noa, now it’s your turn
‫אני נועה‬
À-ni No-à
‫אני נועה‬
Well done!

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Now let’s use the second person. I’ll say “You’re Noa”
‫את נועה‬ Postcard from Israel
Àt No-à
‫את נועה‬
‫ את‬means you. This is the feminine form. Let’s hear the masculine
form. Noa will say “You’re Danny”
‫אתה דני‬
À-tà Dà-ni
‫אתה דני‬
‫ אתה‬mean you when speaking to a male.
Timna Valley Park is a National Park in
Next, let’s learn how to say thank you. Repeat after Noa9 the Negev desert near Eilat. The Park is
‫תודה‬ noted for its natural sandstone formations.
To-dà It includes what are believed to be the
oldest Copper mines in the world, dating
‫תודה‬
back to at least 4000 BC and worked
Wonderful! almost continuously by many civilizations
including the Egyptians and Romans.
Okay, Noa, let’s say some really simple sentences. To do that, let’s
learn a few nouns and a few verbs.
Let’s start with the nouns. Repeat after Noa, a book is
‫ספר‬
Sé-fér Postcard from Israel
‫ספר‬
Hebrew is
‫עברית‬
Iv-rit
‫עברית‬
A teacher is
‫מורה‬
Mo-ré Soreq Cave is an active cave with a
‫מורה‬ uniquely dense concentration of
stalactites. The cave was discovered in
And a house or a home is 1968 near Bet Shemesh. It is 83 meters
long, 60 meters wide and 15 meters high.
‫בית‬ Some of the stalactites have been dated
Bà-yit as 300,000 years old.
‫בית‬
Great!
Now for the verbs. The following verbs are all in the present tense.
We say these verbs differently depending on the gender of their
subject. In the following examples, Noa will speak about me, so
we’ll hear the masculine form. Repeat after Noa, “You can”
‫אתה יכול‬
À-tà yà-hol
‫אתה יכול‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

You go
‫אתה הולך‬
À-tà ho-léh Postcard from Israel
‫אתה הולך‬
You love
‫אתה אוהב‬
À-tà o-hév
‫אתה אוהב‬
You play
‫אתה משחק‬ United Buddy Bears in Jerusalem
À-tà mé-sà-hék
In 2007, the “United Buddy Bears“ stood
‫אתה משחק‬
hand in hand in Cairo along the River
You learn or you study Nile, for the first time promoting their
international unifying message in an Arab
‫אתה לומד‬ country. In summer, they arrived in
À-tà lo-méd Jerusalem, where the municipality
‫אתה לומד‬ facilitated the exhibition on Safra Square
right in front of the town hall and in close
Outstanding! proximity to the Old City. The Buddy
Okay, we’re ready for a simple sentence. How would we say Bears advocate living together in peace
“Danny is learning Hebrew”? and harmony.

‫דני לומד עברית‬


Dà-ni lo-méd iv-rit
‫דני לומד עברית‬
Fantastic!
And “Danny loves Hebrew”?
‫דני אוהב עברית‬
Dà-ni o-hév iv-rit
‫דני אוהב עברית‬
Good job!
For the next two sentences we need a preposition. We want to use
the words “to the”, in Hebrew we simply add ַ‫ ל‬in front of the word.
So “to the house” is ‫לַ בית‬, and “to the city” is ‫לַ עיר‬.
So, Noa, how do we say “Danny is going to the house”?
‫דני הולך לבית‬
Dà-ni ho-léh là-bà-it
‫דני הולך לבית‬
Bravo!
And “Danny is going to the city”, or “Danny is going to town”?
‫דני הולך לעיר‬
Dà-ni ho-léh là-ir
‫דני הולך לעיר‬
Nice!

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Now, a couple of adjectives. Those are words that describe a noun.


To say “new”, it’s
‫חדש‬
Hà-dàsh
‫חדש‬
And to say “nice”, it’s
‫נחמד‬
Néh-màd
‫נחמד‬
Awesome!
So now let’s add some words together. Noa, how about “a new
house”
‫בית חדש‬
Bà-yit hà-dàsh
‫בית חדש‬
“A new teacher”
‫מורה חדש‬
Mo-ré hà-dàsh
‫מורה חדש‬
“A new book”
‫ספר חדש‬
Sé-fér hà-dàsh
‫ספר חדש‬
“A nice teacher”
‫מורה נחמד‬
Mo-ré néh-màd
‫מורה נחמד‬
And “a nice house”
‫בית נחמד‬
Bà-yit néh-màd
‫בית נחמד‬
That’s grand!
Next, let’s learn how to ask a question. A simple question word that
means what is ‫מה‬
So I’ll call Noa and she’ll respond with what? Noa?
?‫מה‬
Mà?
?‫מה‬
We already know how to say new, so to ask what’s new, we say
?‫מה חדש‬
Mà hà-dàsh?
?‫מה חדש‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Good!
Now let’s learn to ask “How are you?”
?‫מה שלומך‬
Mà shlom-hà?
?‫מה שלומך‬
?‫ מה שלומך‬that's “how are you”? And to answer, let’s learn the word
for “good”
‫טוב‬
Tov
‫טוב‬
And we already know how to say thank you. So let’s practice
?‫מה שלומך‬
Mà shlom-hà?
?‫מה שלומך‬
And I answer
!‫טוב תודה‬
Tov to-dà!
!‫טוב תודה‬
That’s good, thank you!
You’re doing really well. Learning a language is all about practice,
repetition, and recitation. It helps consolidate all these new words in
the brain.
At this point it’s a good time to mention that in Hebrew nouns have
a gender and other parts of the sentence such as verbs and
adjectives also change form to agree with the gender of the subject.
So far we’ve heard a lot of the masculine form because Noa was
talking about me or to me. Now let’s go back and change some of
our examples to their feminine form by having Noa speak of herself.
Noa, how would you say that you love Hebrew?
‫אני אוהבת עברית‬
À-ni o-hé-vét iv-rit
‫אני אוהבת עברית‬
We see ‫ אוהב‬turns into ‫אוהבת‬.
Let’s see another example. How do you say “a new city”?
‫עיר חדשה‬
Ir hà-dà-shà
‫עיר חדשה‬
We see ‫ חדש‬turns into ‫חדשה‬. That’s because the word for city, ‫עיר‬,
is a feminine noun.
This concept of all nouns having gender feels very strange to
English speakers and makes learning Hebrew harder. But don’t be
discouraged. You’ll get the hang of it, I promise.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Some nouns, like animals or professions have two forms, one for
male and one for female. There are examples of that in English too,
like an actor and an actress and a rooster and a hen.
In our lesson, we learned how to say a teacher, ‫מורה‬. Well, that
was the word for a male teacher. For a female teacher the word is
‫מורה‬
Mo-rà
‫מורה‬
And to say “new teacher” speaking of a female teacher
‫מורה חדשה‬
Mo-rà hà-dà-shà
‫מורה חדשה‬
And to say “nice teacher” speaking of a female teacher
‫מורה נחמדה‬
Mo-rà néh-mà-dà
‫מורה נחמדה‬
Very good!
Let’s look at another example. I learn Hebrew, when spoken by a
woman, it’s
‫אני לומדת עברית‬
À-ni lo-mé-dét iv-rit
‫אני לומדת עברית‬
Excellent!
Noa, I hope you’re not tired yet because we have some more words
to learn so we can make some more sentences. Let’s learn how to
say he and she.
Let’s repeat after Noa, “he is learning Hebrew”
‫הוא לומד עברית‬
Hoo lo-méd iv-rit
‫הוא לומד עברית‬
And “she is learning Hebrew”
‫היא לומדת עברית‬
Hee lo-mé-dét iv-rit
‫היא לומדת עברית‬
Well done!
Now let’s see a couple of verbs in the infinitive. The infinitive is the
form of the verb that describes the action: to tell and to sing. Let’s
hear these two verbs in the infinitive. To tell is
‫לספר‬
Lé-sà-pér
‫לספר‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

And to sing is
‫לשיר‬
Là-shir
‫לשיר‬
Wonderful!
Now let’s see two examples with these two verbs. To say “She can
tell” or “she is able to tell” is
‫היא יכולה לספר‬
Hee yé-ho-là lé-sà-pér
‫היא יכולה לספר‬
Fantastic!
Noa, how would you say “she can sing”?
‫היא יכולה לשיר‬
Hee yé-ho-là là-shir
‫היא יכולה לשיר‬
Good job!
The word for a song is ‫שיר‬. In plural, the word for songs is ‫שירים‬.
So to say “she can sing songs”, we would say
‫היא יכולה לשיר שירים‬
Hee yé-ho-là là-shir shi-rim
‫היא יכולה לשיר שירים‬
Nice!
Noa, how do you say “with us”?
‫איתנו‬
Ee-tà-noo
‫איתנו‬
So “she is learning with us” or “she is studying with us” would be
‫היא לומדת איתנו‬
Hee lo-mé-dét ee-tà-noo
‫היא לומדת איתנו‬
Very good!
Let’s see a variation. “She is coming with us”
‫היא באה איתנו‬
Hee bà-à i-tà-noo
‫היא באה איתנו‬
‫ באה‬that's the verb for coming. It’s the feminine form. To hear the
masculine form, which is ‫בא‬, let’s see how to say “He is coming
with us”
‫הוא בא איתנו‬
Hoo bà i-tà-noo
‫הוא בא איתנו‬
Super!

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

That’s it for today. Please remember that learning to speak a new


language requires practice. You need to speak out loud and
repeatedly. I hope that this lesson will make lesson 1 easier to learn
and more enjoyable.
Now you’re ready for lesson 1 where we’ll meet Rina. She’ll tell us
about her school and about her teacher. We’ll practice some
greetings and learn some new words.
Until then
!‫שלום ולהתראות‬
Oh, yes, ‫להתראות‬, that’s goodbye.
!‫שלום ולהתראות‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1A – Prelude to Lesson 1
Easy Level

Lesson 1A – Exercise

Match each picture with the correct Hebrew word. Draw a line between the word and the
picture.

‫ מורה‬mo-rà

‫ ספר‬sé-fér

‫ בית‬bà-yit

‫ עיר‬eer

‫ לשיר‬là-shir

‫ חדש‬hà-dàsh

‫ לומדת‬lo-mé-dét

‫ מה‬mà

‫ הולכת‬ho-lé-hét

The answers to this exercise are available online at http://www.hebrewpodcasts.com/pdf/Answers_001A.pdf

© Both the podcast and this accompanying lesson guide are copyrighted material. All rights reserved. You may not distribute
these materials without permission from the copyright owner.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

Hello and welcome to Hebrew Podcasts. Today’s podcast is our


first lesson. In this lesson you’ll learn spoken Hebrew by listening to Transcription
a dialog and a discussion of vocabulary, grammar, and idioms.
We’ll use transcription in our lesson
With each podcast there’s a lesson guide where you can read the guides to help you read new Hebrew
transcript, see the full translation, get additional information, and do words. You should read the transcription
a few exercises to reinforce the lesson. You can download the as if it was English. We’ll use hyphens to
lesson guide from our web site at http://hebrewpodcasts.com. help the pronunciation. We’ll use é and à
In this first beginner-level lesson we’ll meet Rina. She’ll help us to better approximate the Hebrew sounds.
practice some greetings and learn some new words. You should pronounce those as you
would in French. Are you familiar with the
Let’s begin. expression déjà vu, or the word résumé?
If so, then you should pronounce these
Hello Rina! !‫שלום רינה‬
two accents accordingly. Otherwise,
Shà-lom Ri-nà! pronounce é like the e in let and
Hello Danny. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫שלום דני‬ pronounce à like the a in bark or the u
Shà-lom Dà-ni. Mà shlom-hà? in up.
Great, thank you. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫ תודה‬,‫נהדר‬
Finally we’ll use h (the letter h with an
Né-hé-dàr, to-dà. Mà shlo-méh? underscore) to denote the sound of the
All right. .‫בסדר גמור‬ letter Het (‫ )ח‬or the loose version of the
Bé-sé-dér gà-moor. letter Kaf (‫)כ‬. You should refer to lesson 2
to hear this sound.
I greeted Rina by saying ‫שלום‬. This is the most common greeting in
Hebrew and it can mean either hello or goodbye. You’ll see transcription in green. Here are
a couple of examples:
Hello Rina! !‫שלום רינה‬
Shà-lom Ri-nà! Shà-lom ‫שלום‬
The word, ‫שלום‬, can also mean peace or well being. We see it used Bé-sé-dér gà-moor ‫בסדר גמור‬
next when Rina asks me “How are you?”
How are you? ?‫מה שלומך‬
Mà shlom-hà?
In Hebrew, ‫ שלומָך‬is a single-word combination of the words: Right-to-left
‫שלום שלָך‬. This is what we say to a male person. ‫ שלומְך‬is a
combination of the words: ‫שלום שלְך‬, which is what we say to a Hebrew is written right-to-left, line by line
female person. going down the page.

Let’s practice: In our English text, if we include some


Hebrew words, then read the text as you
Hello Rina. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומְך‬.‫שלום רינה‬ would read any English text, but when you
Shà-lom Ri-nà. Mà shlo-méh? get to the Hebrew words, then read them
Hello Danny. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומָך‬.‫שלום דני‬ from right to the left. For example, follow
Shà-lom Dà-ni. Mà shlom-hà? the arrows:

I answered you, Rina, with ‫ תודה‬,‫נהדר‬. Great, thank you. Rina said ‫ בסדר גמור‬which means “all
1 2 3
right”.
Rina, if I wanted to say ‘thank you very much!’ I would say: 4

To-dà rà-bà !‫תודה רבה‬


When I asked you how you are, Rina, you said:
Bé-sé-dér gà-moor ‫בסדר גמור‬
That means all right. ‫ בסדר‬means all right, ‫ בסדר גמור‬emphasizes
that it’s completely all right.
Let’s listen to this short dialog again. This time we’ll pause after
each line so that you can practice by repeating out loud:

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

Hello Rina! !‫שלום רינה‬


Shà-lom Ri-nà!
Nikkud ‫נִּקּוד‬
Hello Danny. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫שלום דני‬
Shà-lom Dà-ni. Mà shlom-hà? Hebrew vowel marks, or nikkud, are
Great, thank you. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫ תודה‬,‫נהדר‬ useful for beginner readers. They tell you
Né-hé-dàr, to-dà. Mà shlo-méh? how to pronounce and let you distinguish
between words that are otherwise spelled
All right. .‫בסדר גמור‬
the same. For example, without nikkud,
Bé-sé-dér gà-moor. the word ‫ שלומך‬is written identically in its
Okay, now suppose I wanted to introduce myself to you Rina. I masculine ‫ שְ לֹומָך‬and feminine ‫שְ לֹומֶ ְך‬
would say: forms.
Experienced readers, however, don’t rely
Hello, I’m Danny. .‫ אני דני‬,‫שלום‬ on nikkud. They read whole words rather
Shà-lom, à-ni dà-ni. than phonetically and they can resolve
This means, hello, I’m Danny. Rina, you would then respond with: ambiguity from the context. Modern
Hebrew books, newspapers and web sites
Pleased to meet you! I’m Rina. .‫נעים מאוד! אני רינה‬ do not provide nikkud.
Nà-im mé-od! à-ni Ri-nà. In our lessons guides we will have
‫ נעים מאוד‬is an expression that means ‘Pleased to meet you!’. Hebrew text typed without nikkud.
Literally, it means ‘very pleasant’. That’s a very useful expression. You can read more about nikkud on
Wikipedia.
Pleased to meet you! !‫נעים מאוד‬
Nà-im mé-od!
Next, I’m going to ask Rina if she goes to school.
Rina, do you go to school? ?‫ את הולכת לבית ספר‬,‫רינה‬ How are you...?
Ri-nà, àt ho-lé-hét lé-béit sé-fér?
In Hebrew, a question is often formed simply by the way we How are you? ?‫מה שלומָך‬
emphasize and without changing word order. For example, the How do you do? Mà shlom-hà?
statement: you go, is ‫ את הולכת‬and when we turn it into a question: How are you? ?‫מה נשמע‬
do you go? It simply becomes ?‫את הולכת‬ What’s up? Mà nish-mà?
Finally, ‫בית ספר‬, school, is composed of two words, ‫בית ספר‬. How are you feeling? ?‫איך המרגש‬
Éyh hà-màr-gàsh?
‫ ספר‬means a book, and ‫ בית ספר‬literally means book house.
What’s new? ?‫מה חדש‬
‫ לבית ספר‬means to school. Mà hà-dàsh?
Rina, let’s listen to your answer
Yes. I go to the school Kidmah. .‫ אני הולכת לבית הספר קידמה‬.‫כן‬
Kén, à-ni ho-lé-hét lé-béit hà-sé-fér kid-mà.
You said yes, you go to the school named Kidmah.
In my question, we heard ‫לבית ספר‬, to school, but when Rina
answered, we heard ‫לבית הספר‬, to the school.
‫הולכת‬, that’s a verb that means go. In Hebrew, verb forms change
based on the gender and plurality of the subject. In our case, the
subject is Rina.
‫ הולכת‬is therefore the feminine form of the verb to go.
Let’s consider some variations.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

If Avi, a man, wanted to say ‘I go to school’, he would say...


‫אני הולך לבית הספר‬ Present Tense
À-ni ho-léh lé-béit hà-sé-fér
Rina, if you and Noa, two girls, wanted to say ‘we go to the city’, to go ‫ללכת‬
you would say... Là-lé-hét
‫אנחנו הולכות לעיר‬
À-nàh-noo hol-hot là-ir I/you/he go/goes ‫הוא‬/‫אתה‬/‫אני‬
(male singular) ‫הולך‬
Let’s hear my question and Rina’s answer again. À-ni/À-tà/Hoo ho-léh
Rina, do you go to school? ?‫ את הולכת לבית ספר‬,‫רינה‬ I/you/she go/goes ‫היא‬/‫את‬/‫אני‬
Ri-nà, àt ho-lé-hét lé-béit sé-fér? (female singular) ‫הולכת‬
Yes. I go to the school Kidmah. .‫ אני הולכת לבית הספר קידמה‬.‫כן‬ À-ni/Àt/Hee ho-lé-hét
Kén, à-ni ho-lé-hét lé-béit hà-sé-fér kid-mà. we/you/they go ‫הם‬/‫אתם‬/‫אנחנו‬
(male plural) ‫הולכים‬
So, Rina, please tell us about your Hebrew Teacher, ‫המורה לעברית‬.
À-nàh-noo/À-tém/Hém hol-him
I love the Hebrew teacher. .‫אני אוהבת את המורה לעברית‬ we/you/they go ‫הן‬/‫אתן‬/‫אנחנו‬
À-ni o-hé-vét ét hà-mo-rà lé-iv-rit. (female plural) ‫הולכות‬
Rina loves her Hebrew teacher. We hear ‫אוהבת‬, which is the À-nàh-noo/À-tén/Hén hol-hot
feminine form of the verb to love. ‫דני ורינה הולכים לתל אביב‬
‫ עברית‬is Hebrew. ‫ לעברית‬means of Hebrew – the teacher of Dà-ni vé-ri-nà hol-him lé-tél à-viv
Hebrew. Danny and Rina go to Tel Aviv
Let’s try some variations (Danny and Rina are going to Tel Aviv)
Rina, if you were speaking about a male English teacher, then you
would say...
The English Teacher ‫המורה לאנגלית‬
Hà-mo-ré lé-àn-glit Present Tense

And to speak about both teachers ‘my teachers’, you would say... to love ‫לאהוב‬
my teachers ‫המורים שלי‬ Lé-é-hov
Hà-mo-rim shé-li
Okay, Rina, tell us more about your Hebrew teacher: I/you/he love/loves ‫הוא‬/‫אתה‬/‫אני‬
(male singular) ‫אוהב‬
She is a new teacher ‫היא מורה חדשה‬ À-ni/À-tà/Hoo o-hév
Hee mo-rà hà-dà-shà I/you/she love/loves ‫היא‬/‫את‬/‫אני‬
from Tel-Aviv. .‫מתל אביב‬ (female singular) ‫אוהבת‬
mi-tél à-viv. À-ni/Àt/Hee o-hé-vét
She is very nice ‫היא נחמדה מאוד‬
we/you/they love ‫הם‬/‫אתם‬/‫אנחנו‬
Hee néh-mà-dà mé-od (male plural) ‫אוהבים‬
and she plays with us ‫והיא משחקת איתנו‬ À-nàh-noo/À-tém/Hém o-hà-vim
vé-hee mé-sà-hé-két ee-tà-noo
we/you/they love ‫הן‬/‫אתן‬/‫אנחנו‬
and sings songs with us. .‫ושרה איתנו שירים‬ (female plural) ‫אוהבות‬
vé-shà-rà ee-tà-noo shi-rim. À-nàh-noo/À-tén/Hén o-hà-vot
Okay, we heard quite a bit here. Let’s examine what we heard:
‫דני אוהב לשיר‬
Rina, you said that your Hebrew teacher is new Dà-ni o-hév là-shir
Yes. She is a new teacher. .‫ היא מורה חדשה‬.‫כן‬ Danny loves to sing
Kén. Hee mo-rà hà-dà-shà.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

‫ חדשה‬is the feminine singular form of the Hebrew adjective ‫חדש‬. If


you were talking about your teachers—in plural—you would say...
Present Tense
New teachers ‫מורים חדשים‬
Mo-rim hà-dà-shim to play ‫לשחק‬
Rina’s teacher is from Tel-Aviv. Let’s listen to that again in the Lé-sà-hék
dialog:
She is a new teacher from Tel-Aviv. .‫היא מורה חדשה מתל אביב‬ I/you/he play/plays ‫הוא‬/‫אתה‬/‫אני‬
Hee mo-rà hà-dà-shà mi-tél à-viv. (male singular) ‫משחק‬
À-ni/À-tà/Hoo mé-sà-hék
Hebrew uses prefixes like ‫ ל‬in ‫לעברית‬, or ‫ מ‬in ‫מתל אביב‬. Those
prefixes are the prepositions of, and from, respectively. I/you/she play/plays ‫היא‬/‫את‬/‫אני‬
(female singular) ‫משחקת‬
Next Rina told us that her teacher is very nice. She is very nice is À-ni/Àt/Hee mé-sà-hé-két
She is very nice ‫היא נחמדה מאוד‬ we/you/they play ‫הם‬/‫אתם‬/‫אנחנו‬
Hee néh-mà-dà mé-od (male plural) ‫משחקים‬
À-nàh-noo/À-tém/Hém mé-sàh-kim
She is very nice and she plays with us. Let’s listen to how Rina said
that: we/you/they play ‫הן‬/‫אתן‬/‫אנחנו‬
(female plural) ‫משחקות‬
‫היא נחמדה מאוד והיא משחקת איתנו‬ À-nàh-noo/À-tén/Hén mé-sàh-kot
Hee néh-mà-dà mé-od vé-hee mé-sà-hé-két ee-tà-noo
‫ילדות משחקות בבית הספר‬
Let’s hear that again
Hà-yé-là-dot mé-sàh-kot bé-béit hà-sé-fér
‫היא נחמדה מאוד והיא משחקת איתנו‬ The girls play at school
Hee néh-mà-dà mé-od vé-hee mé-sà-hé-két ee-tà-noo
Rina’s new teacher also sings with the kids. So Rina,
Do you like to sing? ?‫את אוהבת לשיר‬
Àt o-hé-vét là-shir?
Yes, it’s nice. .‫ זה נחמד‬,‫כן‬
Kén. Zé néh-màd.
I’m learning to sing ‫אני לומדת לשיר‬
À-ni lo-mé-dét là-shir
Hanukkah songs. .‫שירים של חנוכה‬
shi-rim shél hà-noo-kà.
Like for example ‫כמו למשל‬
Kmo lé-mà-shàl
“Ma'oz Tzur Y'shu'ati9” "...‫"מעוז צור ישועתי‬
“mà-oz tsoor yé-shoo-à-ti…”
To sing, ‫לשיר‬, is nice, ‫זה נחמד‬.
So Rina, what song are you learning now for Hanukkah?
I’m learning to sing ‫אני לומדת לשיר‬
À-ni lo-mé-dét là-shir
“Ma'oz Tzur Y'shu'ati9” "...‫"מעוז צור ישועתי‬
“mà-oz tsoor yé-shoo-à-ti…”
‫לומדת‬, that’s another verb in its feminine singular present tense, just
like ‫ הולכת‬and ‫משחקת‬.
Before we conclude our lesson, let’s listen again to the entire
dialog. We’ll pause after each line for you to repeat it out loud.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

Hello Rina! !‫שלום רינה‬


Shà-lom Ri-nà! Adjective
Hello Danny. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫שלום דני‬
Shà-lom Dà-ni. Mà shlom-hà? Nice ‫נחמד‬
Great, thank you. How are you? ?‫ מה שלומך‬.‫ תודה‬,‫נהדר‬ Néh-màd
Né-hé-dàr, to-dà. Mà shlo-méh?
All right. .‫בסדר גמור‬ I am/you are/he is ‫הוא‬/‫אתה‬/‫אני‬
Bé-sé-dér gà-moor. nice (m. singular) ‫נחמד‬
Rina, do you go to school? ?‫ את הולכת לבית ספר‬,‫רינה‬ À-ni/À-tà/Hoo néh-màd
Ri-nà, àt ho-lé-hét lé-béit sé-fér? I am/you are/she is ‫היא‬/‫את‬/‫אני‬
Yes. I go ‫ אני הולכת‬.‫כן‬ nice (f. singular) ‫נחמדה‬
Kén, à-ni ho-lé-hét À-ni/Àt/Hee néh-mà-dà
to the school Kidmah. .‫לבית הספר קידמה‬ we are/you are/they ‫הם‬/‫אתם‬/‫אנחנו‬
lé-béit hà-sé-fér kid-mà. are nice (m. plural) ‫נחמדים‬
I love ‫אני אוהבת‬ À-nàh-noo/À-tém/Hém néh-mà-dim
À-ni o-hé-vét we are/you are/they ‫הן‬/‫אתן‬/‫אנחנו‬
the Hebrew teacher. .‫את המורה לעברית‬ are nice (f. plural) ‫נחמדות‬
ét hà-mo-rà lé-iv-rit. À-nàh-noo/À-tén/Hén néh-mà-dot
She is a new teacher ‫היא מורה חדשה‬
Hee mo-rà hà-dà-shà ‫מורים נחמדים‬
from Tel-Aviv. .‫מתל אביב‬ Mo-rim néh-mà-dim
mi-tél à-viv. Nice teachers
She is very nice ‫היא נחמדה מאוד‬ ‫מורות נחמדות‬
Hee néh-mà-dà mé-od Mo-rot néh-mà-dot
and she plays with us ‫והיא משחקת איתנו‬
Nice teachers (referring to a group of all-
vé-hee mé-sà-hé-két ee-tà-noo female teachers)
and sings with us. .‫ושרה איתנו שירים‬
vé-shà-rà ee-tà-noo shi-rim.
Do you like to sing? ?‫את אוהבת לשיר‬
Àt o-hé-vét là-shir?
Yes, it’s nice.” .‫ זה נחמד‬,‫כן‬ Hanukkah ‫חנוכה‬
Kén. Zé néh-màd.
I’m learning to sing ‫אני לומדת לשיר‬ Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights,
celebrates the re-kindling of the Temple
À-ni lo-mé-dét là-shir
menorah at the time of the Maccabee
Hanukkah songs. .‫שירים של חנוכה‬ rebellion. It is an eight-day Jewish holiday
shi-rim shél hà-noo-kà. beginning on the 25th day of the month of
Like for example ‫כמו למשל‬ Kislev, which may fall anytime from late
Kmo lé-mà-shàl November to late December.
“Ma'oz Tzur Y'shu'ati9” "...‫"מעוז צור ישועתי‬
“mà-oz tsoor yé-shoo-à-ti…”
That’s it for today. In our next lesson we’ll meet Noa and we’ll
review the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Until then
!‫שלום ולהתראות‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 1 – Introduction
Beginner Level

Lesson 1 – Exercises

Match each sentence with its Hebrew translation. Then draw a line to connect them.

I am going to school ‫אני אוהבת את המורה‬


À-ni o-hé-vét ét hà-mo-rà
I love the teacher ‫אני לומדת לשיר‬
À-ni lo-mé-dét là-shir
The teacher is nice ‫אני הולכת לבית ספר‬
À-ni ho-lé-hét lé-béit sé-fér
I am learning to sing ‫המורה משחקת איתנו‬
Hà-mo-rà mé-sà-hé-két ee-tà-noo
The teacher plays with us ‫המורה נחמדה‬
Hà-mo-rà néh-mà-dà

Select the correct form of the verb and write it in the space. Pay attention to gender and
plurality.
1. Ri-nà __________ lé-béit sé-fér. .‫ רינה ________ לבית ספר‬.1
Hol-him ‫א( הולכים‬
Ho-léh ‫ב( הולך‬
Ho-lé-hét ‫ג( הולכת‬
2. Hoo __________ ét hà-mo-rà. .‫ הוא ________ את המורה‬.2
O-hév ‫א( אוהב‬
O-hà-vim ‫ב( אוהבים‬
O-hà-vot ‫ג( אוהבות‬
3. Hà-mo-rim __________. .________ ‫ המורים‬.3
Néh-màd ‫א( נחמד‬
Néh-mà-dim ‫ב( נחמדים‬
Néh-mà-dà ‫ג( נחמדה‬
4. A-nàh-noo __________. .________ ‫ אנחנו‬.4
Mé-sà-hé-két ‫א( משחקת‬
Mé-sà-hék ‫ב( משחק‬
Mé-sàh-kim ‫ג( משחקים‬
5. Hém __________ shi-rim shél hà-noo-kà. .‫ הם ________ שירים של חנוכה‬.5
Là-màd ‫א( למד‬
Lom-dim ‫ב( לומדים‬
Lo-mé-dét ‫ג( לומדת‬

The answers to this exercise are available online at http://www.hebrewpodcasts.com/pdf/Answers_001.pdf

© Both the podcast and this accompanying lesson guide are copyrighted material. All rights reserved. You may not distribute
these materials without permission from the copyright owner.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

Hello, and welcome to Lesson 2 of Hebrew Podcasts.


Transcription
In this beginner-level lesson we’ll review the twenty-two letters of
the Hebrew alphabet. We’ll say the name of each letter and hear a We’ll use transcription in our lesson
word or two that begin with that letter. We’ll then discuss guides to help you read new Hebrew
pronunciation. words. You should read the transcription
as if it was English. We’ll use hyphens to
Here to help us is Noa. help the pronunciation. We’ll use é and à
Hello Noa. .‫שלום נועה‬ to better approximate the Hebrew sounds.
Shà-lom no-à You should pronounce those as you
would in French. Are you familiar with the
Hello. !‫שלום‬
expression déjà vu, or the word résumé?
Noa, let’s begin with the first letter of the alphabet... If so, then you should pronounce these
two accents accordingly. Otherwise,

Alef (À-léf) ‫אלף‬ ‫א‬ pronounce é like the e in let and


pronounce à like the a in bark or the u
in up.
This letter, ‫אלף‬, is one of a few letters in Hebrew that can serve as
either a consonant or a vowel. Hebrew uses accents called Nikkud Finally we’ll use h (the letter h with an
rather than vowel letters to indicate the sound. There are five basic underscore) to denote the sound of the
sounds in Hebrew: ַ‫( א‬À), ֵ‫( א‬É), ִ‫( א‬EE), ֹ ‫( א‬O), and ֻ‫( א‬OO). letter Het (‫ )ח‬or the loose version of the
letter Kaf (‫)כ‬. You should refer to lesson 2
We should mention that in modern Hebrew writing, the Nikkud is
to hear this sound.
simply omitted. You’ll need to read whole words and remember
how to pronounce them.
So ‫ אלף‬is mostly used as a consonant. Let’s see an example...
A lion Àr-yé ‫אריה‬
That’s a lion – ‫אריה‬. The ַ‫ א‬sound comes from the throat. It sounds
The Hebrew Alphabet
like the u in up, but a bit more from the throat.
Hebrew letters look quite different than
Noa, what’s the second letter in Hebrew? English, some of their sounds are not
found in English, and they are written from
Bet (Bét) ‫בית‬ ‫ב‬ right to left, nevertheless, the two
alphabets are not as different as it first
The letter ‫ בית‬has an interesting quality. It has two possible sounds. appears.
The first is a stressed sound that’s similar to the letter B, and the For starters, even the word alphabet is
second is a loose sound similar to the letter V. Let’s see an similar to the Hebrew ‫אלפבית‬. Alphabet
example of the former... originates from the first two letters in
Hebrew, ‫ אלף‬and ‫בית‬, as well as the
A duck Bàr-vàz ‫ברווז‬
Greek alpha and beta.
That’s a duck – ‫ברווז‬. We hear the B sound in ‫ברווז‬. For an example Consider the following 12 consonants.
of the V sound of ‫ בית‬you may remember that in our previous They are in the same order in Hebrew as
lesson we learned the word ‫אוהבת‬, which means ‘loves’. You can their equivalent sounding letters in
here the V sound in ‫אוהבת‬. English.

Gimel (Gi-mél) ‫גימל‬ ‫ג‬ ‫ת ש ר ק פ נ מ ל כ ד ב א‬


A B D K L MN P Q R S T
The letter ‫ גימל‬is pronounced like G in go. Let’s see an example...
A camel Gà-màl ‫גמל‬
A camel is ‫גמל‬. This letter also has an interesting feature. When
there’s an apostrophe on the letter ‫גימל‬, it’s pronounced like G in
George. Old Hebrew doesn’t have this sound. In modern Hebrew
we use an apostrophe on the letter ‫ גימל‬to make this sound. This is
useful for spelling words borrowed from other languages.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

Dalet (Dà-lét) ‫דלת‬ ‫ד‬ Letters as Numbers


The letter ‫ דלת‬sounds like the letter D. Let’s see an example. Since Hebrew letters can also be used as
we’re using animals as examples, the word for a bear is... numbers, with ‫ א‬being 1, ‫ ב‬being 2, and ‫ג‬
being 3. For example, '‫ יום ג‬means
A bear Dov ‫דוב‬ Tuesday, which is the third day of the
week. '‫ יום ו‬is Friday. (Saturday however
Okay, moving on9
is special, it’s ‫יום שבת‬.)

He (Héy) ‫הא‬ ‫ה‬ The following table shows the value of


each letter. Numbers are written by
The letter ‫ הא‬sounds like H in English. At the end of a word, the stringing letters so that their values add
letter ‫ הא‬can be silent. Like ‫אלף‬, ‫ הא‬can also function as a vowel, up to the number.
often at the end of a word. For example, the second ‫ הא‬in the word
‫אהבה‬, which means love, serves as a vowel, and we don’t hear any ‫טח ז ו הד ג ב א‬
H sound. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Noa, what animal begins with ‫?הא‬
‫צ פ ע ס נ מ ל כ י‬
A hippo Hi-po-po-tàm ‫היפופוטם‬
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
‫ היפופוטם‬as you probably guessed means a hippo.
‫ת ש ר ק‬
The letter ‫ הא‬has an important use. It’s used for the definite article.
It has a name in Hebrew. It’s called ‫הא הידיעה‬. It is not a separate 100 200 300 400
word like ‘the’. Instead it’s attached as a prefix to the word that For example, ‫ ל"ג‬is 33.
follows. Let’s look at a few examples:
.‫ והדוב‬,‫ הגמל‬,‫ הברווז‬,‫האריה‬
Hà-àr-yé, hà-bàr-vàz, hà-gà-màl, vé-hà-dov
This means the lion, the duck, the camel, and the bear,
respectively.
Terminal Letters
Next, we come to the sixth letter which is... ‫אותיות סופיות‬

Vav (Vàv) ‫וו‬ ‫ו‬ O-ti-yot so-fi-yot

‫ וו‬is often used as a vowel. It can sound like O. For example, in the There are five Hebrew letters that are
word ‫אוהבת‬. It can also sound like the double O in book. For written differently when they are at the
example, in the word ‫ גמור‬that we heard in our previous lesson end of a word. These are:
when Rina said ‫בסדר גמור‬.
‫שלומך‬ ‫כף סופית‬
‫ וו‬can also be used as a consonant and sound like the letter V. Noa, Shlom-hà Kàf so-fit ‫ך‬
let’s hear an example of a word like that. How do you say a virus?
‫שלום‬ ‫מם סופית‬
A virus Vi-roos ‫וירוס‬ Shà-lom Mém so-fit ‫ם‬
‫ וירוס‬means a virus. This word is obviously borrowed from another ‫מצוין‬ ‫נון סופית‬
language. Hebrew is an ancient language that has been revived Mé-tsoo-yàn Noon so-fit ‫ן‬
around the end of the nineteenth century. Therefore, words like ‫ינשוף‬ ‫פא סופית‬
virus, atom, and telephone were brought into Hebrew from other
languages.
Yàn-shoof Pé so-fit ‫ף‬
‫עץ‬ ‫צדי סופית‬
The letter ‫ וו‬has another function. Because Hebrew does not have a Éts Tsà-di so-fit ‫ץ‬
letter that sounds like W, it uses two consecutive ‫ וו‬to make this
sound. For example the word ‫ וולבי‬which means a wallaby. This ‫ עץ‬means a tree or wood.
usage is typically for words that were borrowed from another
language.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

Okay Noa, what’s next?

Zayin (Zà-yin) ‫זין‬ ‫ז‬ Examples


‫דוב חום‬
The letter ‫ זין‬sounds like Z. Now, how about an example?
Dov hoom
A fly Z-voov ‫זבוב‬ Brown bear
A fly is ‫זבוב‬. So ‫ זין‬sounds like Z, except when there’s an ‫החמור והחזיר‬
apostrophe on the letter ‫זין‬. In that case, it is pronounced like the Hà-hà-mor vé-hà-hà-zir
letter J in French. For example in the French name '‫ז'ורז‬.
The donkey and the pig
Noa, let’s spell the word ‫זבוב‬. ‫דג טונה‬
.‫ זבוב‬.‫ בית‬,‫ וו‬,‫ בית‬,‫זין‬ Dàg too-nà
Zà-yin, Bét, vàv, bét. z-voov. Tuna fish
Okay, let’s go on. ‫ינשוף עצים‬

Het (Hét) ‫חית‬ ‫ח‬ Yàn-shoof éts-im


Long-eared owl (literally trees owl)
Now that’s a hard one to pronounce. Let’s hear that again...
Het Hét ‫חית‬
‫ חית‬really doesn’t have an equivalent sound in English. It sounds
similar to J in Spanish like in the name José. ‫ חית‬is pronounced Stressed and Loose
from the throat, like the sound made when you’re clearing your There are six letters in Hebrew that can
throat. be “stressed”, but in modern Hebrew you
Okay Noa, let’s do a couple of examples with ‫חית‬. can only hear the difference with three of
these letters: .‫ פא‬,‫ כף‬,‫בית‬
A pig Hà-zir ‫חזיר‬ When a word begins with one of these
That means a pig – ‫חזיר‬. And... letters, then the letter is always stressed.
When a word ends with one of these
A donkey Hà-mor ‫חמור‬ letters, then the letter is never stressed.
A donkey is ‫חמור‬. This word, ‫חמור‬, is also used for name calling,
meaning an idiot, and it’s a rather mild expletive.
Let’s go on...
Hebrew Dictionary Lookup

Tet (Tét) ‫טית‬ ‫ט‬ When you look up Hebrew words in the
dictionary, remember to strip any prefixes.
The letter ‫ טית‬sounds like the letter T. For example9 Examples:

A tuna Too-nà ‫טונה‬ Instead of Look up


‫ טונה‬mean tuna as in tuna fish. Noa, let’s spell ‫טונה‬. ‫( הספר‬the book) ‫( ספר‬book)
‫( ואני‬and me) ‫( אני‬me)
.‫ טונה‬.‫ הא‬,‫ נון‬,‫ וו‬,‫טית‬
‫( שבאה‬that came) ‫( באה‬came)
Tét, vàv, noon, héy. Too-nà
‫( לעיר‬to the city) ‫( עיר‬city)
Okay Noa, what’s the next letter?

Yud (Yood) ‫יוד‬ ‫י‬


When used as a consonant, ‫ יוד‬sounds like the letter Y. When used
as a vowel, ‫ יוד‬sounds like I in pig. Let’s see an example of ‫ יוד‬as a
consonant.

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

An owl Yàn-shoof ‫ינשוף‬


An owl is ‫ינשוף‬. Another word that begins with ‫ יוד‬is ‫ ילד‬which Morphology
means a child. Next we come to another interesting letter... A characteristic of the Hebrew language is
that most words are derived from a root of
Kaf (Kàf) ‫כף‬ ‫כ‬ 3-4 consonants. Multiple words with
similar meaning are derived from the
Like we saw before with the letter ‫בית‬, the letter ‫ כף‬has also two same root.
possible sounds. A stressed sound similar to K—for example, ‫כלב‬, In our example here, we have the word
a dog—and a loose sound similar to the Hebrew letter ‫חית‬. In our ‫ מאובן‬which is derived from the root ‫אבן‬.
previous lesson we saw an example of the soft sounding ‫ כף‬in the Let’s see some other words derived from
word ‫יכולה‬. ‫אבן‬.
Another interesting feature of the letter ‫ כף‬is that it is written
differently at the end of a word. It’s called ‫כף סופית‬. Stone ‫אבן‬
é-vén
Let’s see a couple of examples of animals that begin with ‫כף‬. The
first, I just mentioned: Fossil ‫מאובן‬
mé-oo-bàn
A dog Ké-lév ‫כלב‬
Tartar (as in teeth) ‫אבנית‬
‫ – כלב‬that’s a dog. And another example9 àv-nit
A shark Kà-rish ‫כריש‬
That’s a shark – ‫כריש‬.
Ready for the next letter?

Lamed (Là-méd) ‫למד‬ ‫ל‬ Examples


‫כלב נחמד‬
‫ למד‬sounds like the letter L. Any animal beginning with ‫?למד‬
Ké-lév néh-màd
A lizard Lé-tà-à ‫לטאה‬ Nice dog
A lizard is ‫לטאה‬. Noa, let’s spell ‫לטאה‬. ‫כריש לבן‬

.‫ לטאה‬.‫ הא‬,‫ אלף‬,‫ טית‬,‫למד‬ Kà-rish là-vàn


Là-méd, Tét, à-léf, héy. Lé-tà-à. White shark

Let’s continue. ‫לטאה זריזה‬


Lé-tà-à zri-zà
Mem (Mém) ‫מם‬ ‫מ‬ Literally nimble lizard (Lacerta laevis – a
lizard native to Israel)
‫ מם‬sounds like the letter M. And how do you say fossil in Hebrew? ‫מאובנים‬
A fossil Mé-oo-bàn ‫מאובן‬ Mé-oo-bà-nim
A fossil is ‫מאובן‬. The word is derived from ‫אבן‬, a word that means Fossils
rock, because ‫ מאובן‬describes something that turned into a rock. ‫קן נשרים‬
The letter ‫ מם‬turns into ‫ מם סופית‬when it’s at the end of a word. Kén né-shà-rim
Eagles nest
The next letter is...

Nun (Noon) ‫נון‬ ‫נ‬


‫ נון‬sounds like the letter N. Like ‫ כף סופית‬and ‫מם סופית‬, ‫ נון‬at the
end of a word is ‫נון סופית‬.
And an animal starting with ‫ נון‬is9

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

A vulture Né-shér ‫נשר‬


A vulture or eagle – ‫נשר‬.
Next...

Sameh (Sà-méh) ‫סמך‬ ‫ס‬


This letter sounds like S. Let’s hear a couple of examples. How do
you say a horse?
A horse Soos ‫סוס‬
And a crab?
A crab Sàr-tàn ‫סרטן‬
Noa, can you spell ‫ סרטן‬for us?
.‫ סרטן‬.‫ נון סופית‬,‫ טית‬,‫ ריש‬,‫סמך‬
Sà-méh, réish, tét, noon so-fit. Sàr-tàn.
Let’s go on.
Examples
Ayin (À-yin), a goat, a spider ‫ עכביש‬,‫ עז‬,‫עין‬ ‫ע‬ ‫חלב של עז‬
À-yin, éz, à-kà-vish Hà-làv shél éz
Goat’s milk
A goat is ‫ עז‬and a spider is ‫עכביש‬. ‫ עין‬sounds like the letter ‫ אלף‬but
comes from even deeper in the throat. It’s the sound that the doctor ‫פיל אפריקני‬
wants you to make when she examines your throat with a tongue Pil àf-ri-kà-ni
depressor. Nevertheless, in modern Hebrew you will rarely hear the
difference between ‫ אלף‬and ‫עין‬. African elephant
‫צפרדע ירוקה‬
Pe (Péy), an elephant ‫ פיל‬,‫פא‬ ‫פ‬ Tsfar-dé-à yé-roo-kà
Péy, pil Green frog
An elephant is ‫פיל‬. The letter ‫ פא‬has two possible sounds. The ‫קיפוד מצוי‬
stressed sound is similar to P like we just heard in the word ‫פיל‬. Ki-pod mà-tsooy
The loose sound is similar to F like we heard in the word ‫ינשוף‬. Common hedgehog
Here ‫ פא‬is at the end of the word and, yes, you guessed it, it’s ‫פא‬
‫סופית‬. ‫מראשן לצפרדע‬
Mi-ro-shàn lé-tsfàr-dé-à
Tsadi (Tsà-di), a bird, a frog ‫ צפרדע‬,‫ ציפור‬,‫צדי‬ ‫צ‬ From tadpole to frog
Tsà-di, tsi-por, tsfàr-dé-à ‫שועל אדום‬
A bird is ‫ ציפור‬and a frog is ‫צפרדע‬. There’s no equivalent in English Shoo-àl à-dom
for the sound of ‫צדי‬. This sound is approximated by the letter Red fox
combination TS like in the word pets.
‫תנין היאור‬
‫ צדי סופית‬is the fifth and last of the ‫אותיות סופיות‬, or terminal Tà-nin hà-yé-or
letters—those letters that are written differently when they are the
last letter of a word. Nile crocodile

‫ צדי‬has another feature. If written with an apostrophe, it makes the


sound '‫צ‬. For example, ‫ צ'כיה‬and ‫ צ'ילה‬which means the Czech
Republic and Chile, respectively.
Noa, what’s the next letter?

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Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

Kuf (Koof) ‫קוף‬ ‫ק‬ Left and Right


The letter ‫ קוף‬sounds like Q or K. Now, this is a bit strange because
we already encountered a letter that sounds like that. It was the Right ‫ימין‬
letter ‫ כף‬in its stressed form. So, you’re probably wondering why
there are two letters that sound pretty much the same. But this is no Yà-min
different than English with Q, K, and even C, all sounding the same. Left ‫שמאל‬
How about an animal that starts with ‫קוף‬, Noa? Smol
‫ ימין‬and ‫ שמאל‬are the nouns.
A hedgehog Ki-pod ‫קיפוד‬
Below are their adjective forms
A hedgehog. ‫קיפוד‬. That’s a prickly animal.
Right (m.) ‫ימני‬
Okay Noa, we’re almost done, the twentieth letter is... Yé-mà-ni

Resh (Réish) ‫ריש‬ ‫ר‬ Right (f.) ‫ימנית‬


Yé-mà-nit
Left (m.) ‫שמאלי‬
‫ ריש‬has no identical sound in English. This one is really hard to
pronounce for English speakers, just like it’s really hard for Hebrew Smà-li
speakers to pronounce the English R correctly. Left (f.) ‫שמאלית‬
Smà-lit
‫ ריש‬is approximated by the letter R, although it sounds quite a bit
different. ‫ ריש‬is rolled in the back of the throat like when you gargle ‫ ימנית‬and ‫ שמאלית‬are the feminine
salt water. Let’s see an example. Noa, how do you say tadpole in form of the adjective. We use the
Hebrew? feminine form for ‫ שי"ן ימנית‬and
‫ שי"ן שמאלית‬because the letter
A tadpole Ro-shàn ‫ראשן‬ ‫שי"ן‬, itself being a noun, is
A tadpole. ‫ראשן‬. feminine.

Let’s move on.

Shin (Shin) ‫שין‬ ‫ש‬


Hebrew Dictionary Lookup
‫ שין‬has two possible sounds. The first and more common sound is
When you look up verbs in a Hebrew
like the letter combination SH, like in shush. The second sounds
like S in snake. You can hear this form in the word ‫ישראל‬. dictionary you should use the past tense
of the verb in the first-person singular.
The first form of ‫שין‬, pronounced ‫ׁש‬, is called ‫שין ימנית‬. The second Unlike some other languages, you should
form of ‫שין‬, pronounced ‫ׂש‬, is called ‫שין שמאלית‬. ‫ ימנית‬and ‫שמאלית‬, not lookup the infinitive.
are the adjectives right and left, respectively.
For example, instead of looking for
So, we just saw an example of ‫ שין שמאלית‬in the word ‫ישראל‬. Let’s ‫לשחק‬, (to play) look for ‫( שיחק‬played).
listen to an example of ‫שין ימנית‬. How do we say a fox? Instead of ‫לשיר‬, (to sing) look for ‫שר‬
(sang).
A fox Shoo-àl ‫שועל‬
A fox is ‫שועל‬.
We come to the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Tav (Tàf) ‫תו‬ ‫ת‬


This letter sounds like the letter T. It also sounds a lot like the
Hebrew letter ‫טית‬. This makes spelling hard. How can you tell
whether to use ‫ טית‬or ‫ ?תו‬One clue is that ‫ טית‬is more often used in
words borrowed from other languages, like the name of the Israeli
town of ‫ טבריה‬which was named after the roman emperor Tiberius.

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Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

So, Noa, to finish off, how about an animal that begins in ‫?תו‬
An alligator Tà-nin ‫תנין‬
That’s right, ‫תנין‬, which means an alligator.
And with ‫ תו‬we come to the end of this lesson that was entirely
dedicated to the Hebrew alphabet. You can find more information in
the lesson guide that goes together with this podcast. You can
download the lesson guide from our web site at
http://hebrewpodcasts.com.
That’s it for today. In our next lesson Noa will be back. We’ll learn
some new vocabulary related to school and we’ll touch on the
subject of counting and ordinal numbers.
Until then
!‫שלום ולהתראות‬

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Hebrew Podcasts
Lesson 2 – Alphabet
Beginner Level

Lesson 2 – Exercise

Match each animal with its Hebrew name. Draw a line between the word and the picture.

‫ זבוב‬z-voov

‫ אריה‬ar-yé

‫ כלב‬ké-lév

‫ תנין‬tà-nin

‫ קיפוד‬ki-pod

‫ גמל‬gà-màl

‫ ברוז‬bar-vàz

‫ סוס‬soos

‫ צפרדע‬tsfàr-dé-à

‫ פיל‬pil

The answers to this exercise are available online at http://www.hebrewpodcasts.com/pdf/Answers_002.pdf

© Both the podcast and this accompanying lesson guide are copyrighted material. All rights reserved. You may not distribute
these materials without permission from the copyright owner.

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