Hebrew/Aleph-Bet/6

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Aleph-Bet Lesson 6 — ג ז ח
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 Lessons on the
Hebrew Aleph-Bet
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 Introduction
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 1 א בּ תE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 2 ב ה נןE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 3 מם שׁשׂE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 4 ל וE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 5 ד ר יE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 6 ג ז חE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 7 ט ככּך E
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 8 ס קE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 9 ע פפּףE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 10 צץE
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 Review
100% developed  as of Jun 5, 2008 TestAnswers
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Welcome to the sixth lesson of the Hebrew alphabet! In this lesson you will learn three new Hebrew letters - ג, ז and ח and two new niqqud symbols - ħataf-pataħ and ħataf-qamats.

Letters[edit | edit source]

After reviewing the first nine letters and learning another three, you've already learned more than half the alphabet! Just 10 letters to go.

Now the next three letters:

Gimmel[edit | edit source]

ג The third letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Gimmel. It makes the "g" sound (IPA: /g/, "g" as in "give").

Zayin[edit | edit source]

ז The seventh letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Zayin. It makes the "z" sound (IPA: /z/, "z" as in "zoo").

Ħet[edit | edit source]

ח The eighth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Ħet.
You must have seen the names of vowels like ħiriq, pataħ and ħolam, and have been thinking: "What is that strange letter?". Well, that letter is called Ħet, and is transliterated in the WikiBook as Ħħ. This is to distinguish between it and Khaf, a letter you will later learn. The traditional sound this letter makes is marked in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and the Maltese language as well as many Semitic transliterations as ħ, which is the phoneme we used. Most Israelis, however, pronounce it the same as Khaf.

Now what is that sound? This sound is called voiceless uvular fricative - same as Resh only that you don't use your vocal cords (IPA: /χ/, "ch" as in German "Bach", in Dutch "acht"). A similar sound is perhaps more familiar to English speakers, the voiceless velar fricative (IPA: /x/, e.g. Spanish "j" as in "rojo").

Vowels[edit | edit source]

We have learned that Shva can either mean the end of a syllable or stand for the "ə" sound. However, the Shva Na‘ (ə) can't be put in guttural letters. What if one wants to make the "ħə" sound? The "hə" sound? The "ə" sound? For that purpose, three special reduced vowels, known as ħataf ("interrupted") have been devised. In this lesson we're going to learn the first two:

Ħataf-Pataħ[edit | edit source]

חֲ The Shva and Pataħ under the Ħet[1] are the ħataf-pataħ.

It produces the "a" sound (IPA: /a/, "a" as in "spa").

Ħataf-Qamats[edit | edit source]

חֳ The Shva and Qamats under the Ħet are the ħataf-qamats.

It produces the "o" sound (IPA: /o/, "o" as in "gore").

Words[edit | edit source]

אֲנִי ani I
אֲנַחְנוּ anaħnu we
אֳנִיָה oniyyah ship (feminine, singular)
חַג ħag holiday (masculine, singular)
חָבֵר ħaver friend (masculine, singular)
זַחַל zaħal caterpillar (masculine, singular)
חַלָּה ħalah chalah, traditional Jewish bread made on the Sabbath and other festivities (feminine, singular)
גֶּזֶר gezer carrot (masculine, singular)

Summary[edit | edit source]

In this lesson, you've learned:

  • The letters Gimmel ג, Zayin ז and Ħet ח.
  • The niqqud symbols ħataf-pataħ (ֲ) and ħataf-qamats (ֳ).
  • The words אֲנִי, אֲנַחְנוּ, אֳנִיָה, חַג, חָבֵר, זַחַל, חַלָּה and גֶּזֶר.

Practice what you've learned in the exercises.


Next lesson: Aleph-Bet 7 >>>

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Ħataf forms can appear only on the guttural letters א, ה, ח and ע (a letter you haven't learned). The standard form for showing these is Ħet.