Thursday, January 19, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- letter recognition

All right, here we go.  Genesis 1:1.
א בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ:
Transliteration: B’reshit bara elohim et ha-shamayim v’et ha-arets.
Translation:     At the beginning Gd created the heaven and the earth
Letters in this lesson: בּ, ר, א, שׁ, י, ת, ל, וֹ, ה, ם, שּׁ, מ, ץ
Vocabulary in this lesson:
on, in, at (place or time), by (swear by), with (by means of), against
at the beginning
direct object particle
הַ, הָ
and, or, continuation particle
earth, land, world
Remember I said the letters are used as numbers?  That’s what that alef is doing at the start of the first verse.  It shows this is the first verse of the chapter, which also is numbered alef. 
Oh yeah, you did know that you read Hebrew from right to left, not left to right?  Sorry. So the alef is at the start of the verse and it’s just the verse number.  The next letter is the first letter of the actual verse, and it’s what?  Pronounced how?
First rule.  When I transliterate using a single quote, that’s a shva that you say.  I would put in the upside down “e” that usually represents a schwa e but the single quote is more convenient.  So when you see a single quote that means say a schwa e.
Notice that in this lesson you only have one letter with dagesh.  If you have been practicing, maybe you can remember whether this is a letter that changes sound when it has dagesh.  If you don’t remember, use the transliteration as a clue.
You also have two sofit letters.  See if you can match one of them to its other version, which is also in this lesson.
The vocabulary is in the same order as each word appears in the verse.  Go over them several times and try to say them using the pronunciation in the transliteration.
I’m going to stop here but I will use this verse again in the next lesson. 

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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