Category Archives: General

Hebrew Vocabulary – Time, Seasons, Months, Days of the Week

Hebrew Calandar, Days of the Week, Seasons, and Time

 

 

What are the words for time in Hebrew?
Time – zman -זמן

Today hayom היום
Yesterday etmol אתמול
Tomorrow mahar מחר
The day before yesterday shilshom שלשום
The day after tomorrow mahratayim מחרתיים
Day yom יום
Week shavua שבוע
Month hodesh חודש
Year shanah שנה
Hour sha`ah שעה
Minute daqah דקה
Second shniyah שניה
Time zman זמן

What are the day’s of the week in Hebrew?
Days of the week – yamey hashavua – ימי השבוע

Sunday yom rishon יום ראשון
Monday yom sheni יום שני
Tuesday yom shlishi יום שלישי
Wednesday yom revi`i יום רביעי
Thursday yom hamishi יום חמישי
Friday yom shishi יום ששי
Saturday shabat שבת

What are the names for the secular calendar (Gregorian calendar) used in Hebrew.  The secular months are used by most people in Israel.
Months – hodashim – חודשים

January Yanuar ינואר
February Februar פברואר
March Merts מרץ
April April אפריל
May May מאי
June Yuni יוני
July Yuli יולי
August Ogust אוגוסט
September September ספטמבר
October October אוקטובר
November November נובמבר
December Detsember דצמבר

What are the names of the Hebrew months in the Jewish calender?

Tishrei tishrey תשרי
Heshvan heshvan חשון
Kislev kislev כסלו
Tevet tevet טבת
Shevat shevat שבט
Adar adar אדר
Second Adar (the leap month) adar sheni אדר שני
Nisan nisan ניסן
Iyar iyar איי
Sivan sivan סיון
Tammuz tamuz תמוז
Av av אב
Elul elul אלול

What are the names of seasons in Hebrew?
Seasons – onot – עונות

Spring aviv אביב
Summer kayits קיץ
Autumn stav סתיו
Winter horef חורף

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counting in Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic

Roman NumbersThe following chart compares how to count from 1-10 in Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic.  I included transliterations of all three languages so everyone can compare the similarities and dissimilarities between the languages.  In all three languages, cardinal and ordinal numbers must agree in gender (masculine or feminine; mixed groups are treated as masculine) with the noun(s) they are describing.  All of the forms here are cardinal (numbers that express amount; one, two, three of something) as opposed to ordinal numbers (which indicate position in a series or order; first, second, third).  Interestingly, Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic numbers all exhibit ‘polarity,’ that is, masculine numbers are used for feminine nouns and feminine numbers are used for masculine nouns.

In Modern Hebrew, if a noun isn’t being referred, the feminine form is used.  In Modern Hebrew many speakers commonly use the feminine form as the default, even in instances in which it would be grammatically wrong to do so.

You may be wondering where the Arabic feminine numbers have gone, all of the Arabic numbers can be made feminine by adding “ة” at the end.

<scroll down to view the chart>

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Number Pron. AramaicMale Pron. AramaicFeminine Pron. ArabicMale Pron. HebrewFemale Pron. HebrewMale
0 Sifr صفر achat achat efes אֶפֶס
1 chad חַד chada הֲדָא waa7id واحد אַחַת echad אֶחַד
2 treyn תְּרֵין tarteyn תַּרְתֵּין ithnaan اثنان shtayim שְׁתַּיִם shnayim שְׁנַיִם
3 tlata תְּלָתָא telat תְּלָת thalaatha ثلاثة shalosh שָׁלוֹשׁ shlosha שְׁלוֹשָׁה
4 arba אַרְבְּעָה arba אַרְבַּע arba3a أربعة arbah אַרְבַּע arba’a אַרְבָּעָה
5 chamsha חַמְשָׁא chameysh חֲמֵישׁ khamsa خمسة chameysh חָמֵשׁ chamisha חֲמִשָׁה
6 shita שִׁיתָּא shet שֵית sitta ستة sheysh שֵׁשׁ shisha שִׁשָּׁה
7 shiva שִׁבְעָה shva שְבַע sab3a سبعة sheva שֶׁבַע shiv’a שִׁבְעַה
8 tmanya תְּמָנְיָא tamney תַּמְנֵי thamaaneya ثمانية shmoneh שְׁמוֹנֶה shmonah שְׁמוֹנָה
9 tisha תִּשְׁעָה teysha תֵּשַׁע tis3a تسعة teysha תֵּשַׁע tish’a תִּשְׁעָה
10 asra עַסְרָא? asar עַסַר 3ashara عشرة eser עֶשֶׂר assara עֲשָׂרָה

NEW: Did you know we have an Aramaic discussion forum?

 

 

How long do I need to live in Israel to Speak Hebrew fluently?

The Western Wall - The Kotel - The Wailing WallThere is no definitive answer for how long it takes to learn Hebrew.  It depends on several factors including motivation, previous knowledge of Hebrew or other languages, innate ability, study skills, resources available etc.  If you’re a native English speaker you’ll undoubtedly encounter many Israelis that will switch to English in order to improve their English.  It’s a known problem that native English speakers who are serious about learning Hebrew face.

What is in your control, however, is how much you study, how intensely you study, avoiding speaking your native tongue, and the environment you put yourself in.  I know many people that would be able to speak Hebrew today if they would have immersed themselves in an all Hebrew speaking environment for an extended period of time.

When answering this question, some people emphasis that the younger you are, the faster you’ll learn.  As a broad unspecified statement, I disagree, something I’d like to explain in a different post in the future. At the end of the day, you can’t do anything about your age but control how much you study, how serious you are, how much you avoid using English etc.  So take advantage of the Hebrew learning resources available today and keep studying Hebrew.

Koreans Learning Hebrew and Studying the Bible

I recently wrote an article about a Korean TV crew’s visit to Ponevezch Yeshiva.  I’ve researched a little more and found some other interesting articles.  Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, published an article in November 2008 called, “Korean’s Dominate in Bible Studies in Hebrew U.”  Hebrew University awarded 328 doctoral degree in 2008, of which only six where in Biblical studies.  Among the six, two were Israeli, one American, and three were Korean.

Young Sik Cho wrote a doctorate about “concepts of wealth in the Book of Proverbs.” Yun Ho Chong examined the “factors which created a negative stance toward the Golden Calf cult in the Bible.” Song-Yun Shin investigated the “language of Hagai-Zecharia-Malachi and its place in the history of the Hebrew Bible.”  Additionly, Song Dal Quan completed a doctorate in the Hebrew Language Department which pertained to “use of ‘haya (to be)’ syntax in biblical language.”   A 2010 Y-net article, “The Korean girl in Bible class“, mentioned one Korean girl who is fluent in Hebrew.  One student advisor in Hebrew University remarked about the increasing number of Korean and Japanese students and the diligence to Bible, Judaic Studies, and the Hebrew language.

Most of the students are motivated by a strong Protestant or Catholic faith and wish to explore the roots of their religion.  After the completion of their degrees many hope to return to home, to Korean or Japan, and teach Hebrew or Bible. 7MRPZM5TCGH9

Korean TV Crew Visits Ponevezh Yeshiava

A TV crew from South Korean paid a visit to Ponevezh (Ponovitch) Yeshiva in Bnei Brak in order to film and learn about the study of Talmud. The yeshiva has well over one thousand Talmidim, and is one of the leading Lithuanian-style yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel today  The film crew interviewed students and Rabbis in the Yeshiva about their experiences learning Gemara and other Jewish texts.
“The reason why we came was to see the real Talmud. Jewish people are known for [a high percentage of] Nobel prizes. The Korean people are curious about how Jewish people started and why Jewish people are so smart,” the Korean journalist told Channel 10 TV. The TV crew also interviewed the yeshiva’s Rabbi Meir Volk.
I’ve also noticed a high level of traffic from google.co.kr, South Korea’s version of Google.  It seems that thereis a large number of Koreans searching for terms such as Hebrew grammar, Hebrew vocabulary, and Hebrew lessons etc.  Koreans realize that in order to learn Chumash, Talmud, and other texts they need to understand the language.  I’m sure there isn’t a large amount of books written to help people who speak Korean learn Hebrew, let alone material specifically written in Korean.  I’m interested in seeing if we could start a joint project to help more Koreans learn Hebrew.
Here’s the youtube video of the December 2011 visit:

Korean TV Crew Visits Ponevezh Yeshiva<

Learning Hebrew Online – Online Hebrew Course

1. Online courses are convenient.

The biggest advantage of a learning online is that your classroom and instructor are available 24 hours, a day, seven days a week.  Because their are no whether delays the only excuse for missing a class is not logging online or maybe internet connection problems.  You can access notes, review previous assignments, take practice quizzes, real quizzes, discuss readings and assignments, and communication with fellow students and a time that is convenient for you.  You can make your own schedule for completing the requirements of the course.

2. Online courses offer flexibility.

You can study whenever you want and however you want.  You can study in pajamas or in a business suit after a day of work.  Online courses offer the flexibility to spend time at work, with family, friends, a significant other, or doing a hobby that you love.  People with changing work schedules, people who have business trips, parents, or students with health issues can benefit from online course delivery.

3. Online courses bring education right to your home.

Online students often find their friends and family involved in the course.  Parents can be an example to their children by demonstrating that education, especially religious education is important to them.  Taking the time out of the day to learn Hebrew online shows that you value Hebrew and what it offers you educationally and spiritually.

4. Online courses offer more individual attention.

Because students are directly in contact with the instructor via e-mail or online chat you can get your questions answered directly.  Many students aren’t comfortable asking questions in class because they don’t want to feel stupid.  Learning Hebrew online can help eliminate this fear.  Many times you think of a questions after class or while you are studying.  Most students forget their questions by the time they ever reach the classroom.  Instead of forgetting it you can instantly e-mail the instructor.  You also don’t have to compete for valuable instructor face time.

5. Online Hebrew courses are available everywhere

Hebrew isn’t a language that is has a vast amount of resources to help you learn it, like Spanish, French, or German.  It’s a language that has a much smaller amount of speakers.  Courses to learn Hebrew aren’t available and neither or speakers of Hebrew to help you practice speaking Hebrew.  An online course to learn Hebrew can supply you with an equivalent, or better, learning experience that might only be available after traveling a significant distance.

6. Online courses can save you money

Some people are pushed away from learning online because of the sometime high costs involved.  In reality however, the money spent driving, paying for gas, and the time it takes to commute to a private Hebrew tutor or class is often much more than online learning options.

7. Online courses promote life-long learning.

Most people leave academic learning after they graduate from high school, college, or university.  Learning Hebrew Online allows you continue your education throughout you life.

8. Online courses have financial benefits.

There are many ancillary costs to attending a college.  Parking costs, eating our versus eating at home, child-care, missing work or overtime opportunities.  The flexibility of learning at home has many financial benefits.

9. Online courses teach you to be self-disciplined.

Perhaps the greatest enemy of online courses is procrastination.  Most of us, put off things until the very last moment.  In education, pushing things off to the last minute is the worst way to learn.  Learning online doesn’t just teach students the course subject, it also teaches students responsibility.  Students learn the importance of, and how to, get things done on time or ahead of time.  Students also become self-motivated in learning which increases not only satisfaction from the course but an increased likelihood that they’ll continue learning in the future.

10.  Learning Hebrew Online offers the chance to practice speaking

One of the most essential skills of learning a foreign language is the ability to speak.  Depending on where you live there might not be any Hebrew speakers available.  Even if there are they might be interested in helping you practice or not know how to help you.  People often feel embarrassed when they are trying to speak a foreign language. Learning online can help a student feel more comfortable speaking because of the anonymity that the internet provides.

-I’ve carefully selected some of the best, most experienced Hebrew teachers to make them available online.  If you’re interested in more information about learning with one of our teachers please fill out our contact form to arrange online Hebrew lessons.

 

Process vs Product in Learning a Foreign Language

In learning foreign languages I have picked up many strategies and approaches in order to maximize my time and effectiveness. If I had to choose the most important idea I’ve learned it would be “Process vs Product.” The idea is simple, it means maximizing your result and minimizing your effort to achieve those results. Instead of getting things done “right” (i.e. perfectionism) it means achieving. It’s especially important because every strategy can be analyzed through the lens of Process vs Product.” It’s so intuitive it’s often overlooked, here are some examples…

1) making flashcards – Just make the cards! It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect what matters is that you have flashcards for the vocabulary you want. True, you are in a sense studying while you’re making them but the real benefit is actually using them. You’ll get far more effectiveness out of studying them then making them, so focus on that.

2) Writing notes – It’s important to remember that writing notes is not an end unto itself. The one with the best notes doesn’t get to speak with the locales in a foreign country, however, the one who has internalized those notes does. The focus shouldn’t be on having the most beautifully written notes or most organized. The focus should be on being able to use the information in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

The list goes on and it’s different for each person depending on their approach to learning a foreign language. You can even think about this idea in relation to other areas of your life. Apply this more often and you’ll find more time than you ever imagined to master your target language.

Free Hebrew Vocabulary Training Software

In this post I’m only going to list free Hebrew vocabulary software for Biblical and Modern Hebrew

1)  http://foundationstone.com.au/ One of the longest existing Hebrew vocabulary programs and for a good reason, it’s one of the best free programs available.  It’s actively supported and is feature rich. There are a number of vocabulary lists based on frequency lists, many of them taken from popular books.  If your a data/progress junkie there are ‘hitech’ word review strategies and statistics that allow you to track your progress.  They also have one of my pet-peeves eliminted, they support copy and paste.

2)  http://www.flashcardexchange.com/tag/hebrew  Has a number of vocabulary sets.The greatest advantage of this site is that they offer vocabulary lists from many of the big Hebrew learning books Van Pelt, Weingreen, First Hebrew Primer, Futato, Davidson etc. One drawback is that a lot of the sets are small, disorganized, and often not labeled in an understandable way.  Also, you can’t download them for offline use unless you subscribe, but that wouldn’t be free now would it.

3)  http://ankisrs.net/ This is a great free program with a funky name.  This is one of my favorite flashcard programs because it’s free, well supported, and very simple.  It’s simplicity allows me to actually study instead of getting bogged down with playing with features.  If your interested in studying other languages, or studying another subject, there area tons of great vocabulary sets out there. One inconvenience is the way that the decks are downloaded.  They are downloaded through the program itself, take a long time to load, and when you return to the list of decks the program returns you to the beginning of your search.

-those are the main ‘big league’ flashcard providers that I have experience with, her are two other smaller flashcard providers:

4) http://www.hebrewflashcards.com/hebrew/index.php This site provides on-site flashcards.  One interesting feature is they show transliterations, which can be really beneficial for those starting out.  They also have some lower level flashcards for beginners.  They have four levels absolute beginner ( doesn’t know the alphabet), beginner ( knows a few words), intermediate (knows regular verbs), advanced (knows irregular verbs).

5) http://www.laits.utexas.edu/hebrew/heblang/tutorials.shtml has some great flashcards for beginners amongst tutorials, video clips, and dialogs.  This are more of interactive lists then flashcards but  I appreciate they they list all the words on the a page.  They also have audio (that takes a while to load) but is useful because they don’t have nekudot.

Foundation Stone: Free Biblical Hebrew PDF

This is a 17 chapter, free PDF for learning Biblical Hebrew that takes you from learning the standard alphabet, cursive, and names to nekudot all the way to common weak verbs and ‘2’ letter roots.  The main attraction of this PDF is it’s non-intimating, easy to use, and gradually introduces the student to more advanced concepts.  Unlike many Hebrew resources the charts are informative and easy to read.  The exercises aren’t always the most complete, some of them mention to just master a concept.  Ascetically, one draw back is that the Hebrew words with nekudot are often quite pixelated pictures, instead of Unicode font.  All in all, this is a great way to start learning Biblical Hebrew from the beginning.

http://foundationstone.com.au/Distribution/OHT20Large.pdf

Announcing: New Hebrew discussion forum

HaTikva – The Israeli National Anthem with Translation

Israeli National Anthem – HaTikva (The Hope)Israeli Flag - HaTikva The Israeli National Anthem

 

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

 

Kol ode balevav
P’nimah –

Nefesh Yehudi homiyah

Ulfa’atey mizrach kadimah
Ayin l’tzion tzofiyah.

Ode lo avdah tikvatenu
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim:

L’hiyot am chofshi b’artzenu –
Eretz Tzion v’Yerushalayim.

 

כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,

עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.