Hebrew reading pronunciation

Hebrew Reading Pronunciation.

As I finished in my last post, the students learn to sing the Hebrew Aleph Bet. However, before we start, I have to warn them that they need to leave their inhibitions outside of the classroom. I explain to them that learning to read Hebrew is not a time to hold onto their inhibitions. The first moment they need to lose their shyness is when they sing the Aleph Bet song, when they need start pronouncing the Hebrew names of the consonants.

However, I try to dissipate their fear of the new Hebrew consonant pronunciations (which can be quite difficult to the untrained tongue) by explaining that they are only learning the song for familiarity, as when they actually start to learn to read Hebrew they will not be pronouncing the name for each individual Hebrew consonant, but rather, when they start to learn to read Hebrew they pronounce each Hebrew consonant phonetically.

Just like when a person starts to read English, they do not say the name of each letter. For example, the word “cat” the reader does not say “cee ai tee” they say c-a-t, then eventually with practice, they will read the word “cat”.

As the “Learn to Read Hebrew in One Day” program progresses, the students learn mnemonics for each consonant and vowel. These mnemonics are important, as some of the consonants and vowels look very similar.  For example, the Hebrew consonant reish is r-r-r-ounded  whereby the Hebrew consonant dalet is d-d-dangling . It is important to memorise the mnemonics, otherwise it can become very confusing for the learner.

Another important part of being able to learn to read Hebrew is to be able to recognise the different kind of syllables in a Hebrew word. What is great about Hebrew is that the maximum number of consonants in a syllable is two of each, and Hebrew does not have two vowels in a row. . Whereas in English, three vowels can be found in a row in one word, for example the word “beautiful”. No wonder English is so difficult to read!

For more information visit www.easylearnhebrew.com/index.php

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