Hebrew

For this week's Mango Monday in conjunction with Hanukkah we will present Hebrew.

Mango languages gives Hebrew the following overview:

Unprecedented in its historical importance, Hebrew is a language with an unusual and fascinating history. One of the world’s oldest languages, Hebrew nearly fell out of common use until a great revival in the 19th century. Today, the language is of great historical, religious, and cultural relevance, and is spoken by 9 million people worldwide. Hebrew is one of two official languages in Israel, and it is spoken by 7 million people throughout the land. Take your Hebrew to Israel and visit the holy city of Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, and dance the night away in the fast-moving city of Tel Aviv. Whether you’re learning Hebrew to connect to your religion, strengthen business connections, or for academia, this relevant and learner-friendly language opens up a world of possibility.

Here are some features of Hebrew that will be of interest to people who are learning it with English as a native language. Hebrew is read right to left, just as Arabic and some Asian languages are. It has no written vowels, only consonants. There is a grammatical gender, something found in other European languages like English. The basic grammar an sentence structure is similar to English, but with enough exceptions that it is not the same.

All conversational languages give you different language skills and situations to practice (Making Friends, Shopping, etc). Here are some phrases you can learn about introductions and meeting people from Chapter 2: Do you speak English? Note: for convenience the conversation is transliterated below with the Latin alphabet. In Mango's lessons, they are written in Hebrew script with transliteration to help pronunciation. For convenience below they are transliterated.

  • Excuse me, do you speak English? sleeKHah, ahTAH mehdahBEHR ahngLEET
  • Yes. Do you speak Hebrew? ken. ahTAH medaBER eevREET?
  • I speak a little Hebrew. ahNEE mehdahBEHR meh'AHT eevREET
  • Where are you from? m'EYfoh ahTAH?
  • I'm from the United States. aNEE meh'ahrTZHOT-haBREET.

    Hebrew is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

    Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.