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Hebrew Reading Cheat Sheet

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Learning Hebrew made Less Hard II

 

 

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If you already know the rudiments of the the Hebrew Alphabet, here is a quick cheat sheet that will boost your vocabulary with a lot of useful words, and your reading skills, in minutes. 

Vocabulary

Remember - the Hebrew is read from RIGHT to LEFT.

English Hebrew Pronunciation Hebrew
Alphabet Ahlehph Beht

אלף בית

Radio Rah' dyo רדיו
Video Vee' dee oh וידיאו
Seminar Sehmi' nahr סמינר
University oo nee vehr' see tah אוניברסיטה
January Yah nu' ahr ינואר
February Fehb ru' ahr פברואר
March Mehrts מרץ
April Ah' preel אפריל
May Mahy (almost like "My") מאי
June You' ni (almost like "uni") יוני
July You' li יולי
August Ahou' (like "ouch") goost אוגוסט
September Sehp tehm' behr ספטמבר
October Ohk toe' behr אוקטובר
November No vehm' behr נובמבר
December Deh tzem' behr דצמבר
Ink Dyo דיו
To me li לי

Of course, you already knew most of those words in English. And you should be aware that some of the rules of pronunciation are broken for foreign words and often they make no sense. BUT you learned some things about how to pronounce SOME syllables and words and where you have to be careful:

לי This is usually, but not always pronounced "Lee." Do you know when it might be "Lai"?

ו- The Vav is the Hebrew joker. it makes life interesting. It can be "oo" "oh" "v" or even "w." It all depends. וי can be pronounced "oi" as in נוי - "noy" - meaning "beautification" (approximately). or it can be pronounced "vi" as in וידיאו.

יו can be pronounced "yo" as in דיו and רדיו, or it can be "v" as in אבותיו (his ancestors -"Avotahv") or עובדיו (his workers - "Ohvdahv"). The same letters can stand for very different sounds.   That is why reading Hebrew is harder for people who learn to read syllable by syllable and easier if you learn to read whole words. If you laboriously learn Hebrew by the syllabic method, using "dots" and reciting "AH" "EE" "OH" "OO" "HE"  "BA" "BI" "BOH" "BOOH" "BEH" etc. you will be able to read a very limited number of words. When you get to the "real thing" - reading signs, menus, newspapers and books without vowel signs you will repeatedly scream out in agony - "It is NOT FAIR!!" 

 See if you can figure out what these two words are (they are REAL words): 

פיברגלס   Google has 43,000 listings for this word -

פסבדונים - Google has over 5,000 listings for this word

Give up? Click here for the answer: Hebrew Mystery words

Hebrew Pronunciation and Transliteration


Learning Hebrew