Also, a system of vowel points to indicate vowels diacriticscalled niqqudwas developed. In modern forms of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish and to some extent Modern Hebrewvowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with the weak letters acting as true vowels.
Hebrew uses a different alphabet than English Hebrew is written right-to-left The Hebrew alphabet has no vowels, but pronunciation aids are often added There are several styles of Hebrew writing Hebrew letters have numerical values Writing in Hebrew may require a special word processor and fonts The Hebrew and Yiddish languages use a different alphabet than English.
The picture below illustrates the Hebrew alphabet, in Hebrew alphabetical order. Note that Hebrew is written from right to left, rather than left to right as in English, so Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last.
The Hebrew alphabet is often called the "alefbet," because of its first two letters. Letters of the Alefbet Table 1: The "Kh" and the "Ch" are pronounced as in German or Scottish, a throat clearing noise, not as the "ch" in "chair. People who are fluent in the language do not need vowels to read Hebrew, and most things written in Hebrew in Israel are written without vowels.
However, as Hebrew literacy declined, particularly after the Romans expelled the Jews from Israel, the rabbis recognized the need for aids to pronunciation, so they developed a system of dots and dashes called nikkud points. These dots and dashes are written above, below or inside the letter, in ways that do not alter the spacing of the line.
Text containing these markings is referred to as "pointed" text. Vowel Points Table 2: Vowel Points Most nikkud are used to indicate vowels. Table 2 illustrates the vowel points, along with their pronunciations.
Pronunciations are approximate; I have heard quite a bit of variation in vowel pronunciation. Vowel points are shown in blue. The letter Alef, shown in red, is used to illustrate the position of the points relative to the consonants.
The letters shown in purple are technically consonants and would appear in unpointed texts, but they function as vowels in this context. There are a few other nikkud, illustrated in Table 3.
Other Nikkud The dot that appears in the center of some letters is called a dagesh. It can appear in just about any letter in Hebrew. With most letters, the dagesh does not significantly affect pronunciation of the letter; it simply marks a split between syllables, where the letter is pronounced both at the end of the first syllable and the beginning of the second.
With the letters Beit, Kaf and Pei, however, the dagesh indicates that the letter should be pronounced with its hard sound b, k, p rather than its soft sound v, kh, f.
In Ashkenazic pronunciation the pronunciation used by many Orthodox Jews and by many older JewsTav also has a soft sound, and is pronounced as an "s" when it does not have a dagesh.
Shin is pronounced "sh" when it has a dot over the right branch and "s" when it has a dot over the left branch. Vav, usually a consonant pronounced as a "v," is sometimes a vowel pronounced "oo" as in "food" transliterated "oo" or "u" or "oh" as in "Oh!
When it is pronounced "oo," pointed texts have a dagesh though sometimes, Vav with a dagesh is pronounced "v". When it is pronounced "oh," pointed texts have a dot on top though sometimes, Vav with a dot on top is pronounced "vo". Pointed Text Illustration 1 is an example of pointed text.
Nikkud are shown in blue for emphasis they would normally be the same color as the consonants. In Sephardic pronunciation which is what most people use todaythis line would be pronounced: And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Styles of Writing The style of writing illustrated above is the one most commonly seen in Hebrew books. It is referred to as block print, square script or sometimes Assyrian script. For sacred documents, such as torah scrolls or the scrolls inside tefillin and mezuzotthere is a special writing style with "crowns" crows-foot-like marks coming up from the upper points on many of the letters.
Hebrew Cursive Font There is another style commonly used when writing Hebrew by hand, often referred to as Hebrew cursive or Hebrew manuscript. Table 4 shows the complete Hebrew alphabet in a font that emulates Hebrew cursive.
Rashi Script Another style is used in certain texts, particularly the Talmudto distinguish the body of the text from commentary upon the text.
This style is known as Rashi Script, in honor of Rashithe greatest commentator on the Torah and the Talmud. Rashi himself did not use this script; it is only named in his honor. Table 5 shows the complete Hebrew alphabet in a Rashi Script font.Omniglot, a guide to writing systems", which illustrates examples of various alphabets of the world.
By examining some of these we can begin to see the influences which may have led to development of the Germanic/Norse rune alphabets.
Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart By Jeff A.
Benner Learning Progress in Hebrew Language Studies Hebrew is a fascinating language and it gives me great joy to revise the Hebrew Alphabet on a daily basi. The Hebrew Alphabet, along with the names of the consonants, their numerical values, and audio pronunciation, including various Hebrew Script Styles.
Learn to Read the Hebrew Alphabet – Demo Videos “At Home with Hebrew” is a Microsoft Windows-based “learn Hebrew” program that teaches you how to read the Hebrew alphabet in 13 lessons. Learn the Hebrew cursive and print styles alphabet and the biblical hebrew writing style with these easy to use charts that assume you have zero knowledge of Hebrew.
The Hebrew and Yiddish languages use a different alphabet than English. The picture below illustrates the Hebrew alphabet, in Hebrew alphabetical order. Note that Hebrew is written from right to left, rather than left to right as in English, so Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last.