Knowing Hebrew is a HUUUUGE help in learning Arabic! The grammar is almost the same, especially for verbs (seriously, it's so similar that it's insane). The vocabulary is also really really similar, but you just have to think a bit alternatively. These two languages are so similar that if there were better relations, you could probably learn to understand one from just watching TV.
Really? They are that similar? Maybe I should look into learning Hebrew!
''' wrote:I wouldn't say the root in Hebrew is KH-T-V. The root is K-T-B, but the rule is that P B T D K and G when following a vowel, unless geminated, soften to /f v θ ð x ɣ/ respectively.
the Yemenites in particular are conservative and retain these features still today).
As for the similarities between Hebrew and Arabic ... well, they're overstated I think. I've done both and I found arabic to be more intense. For one thing, Hebrew long ago lost cases, replacing them with prepositions. This also means that Hebrew has no use for personal marking on nouns (for possession) or verbs (for direct object) replaced with the corresponding personally declined possessive (שׁל) and objective (את) prepositions respectively. The use of the historical imperfect tense as a future tense is also something to look out for as Arabic uses it for both present and future, while Hebrew uses the present participles in lieu of a present tense. Plus on top of that Hebrew verbs have 7 classes, while Arabic has 15 (only about 9 functional), Hebrew doesn't use broken plurals while Arabic does, and treats them as single feminines, on the other hand Hebrew occasionally marks the construct state with a random vowel shift whereas in Arabic it's consistent. plus Hebrew inherited a pretty rich vowel system, 7 vowels from Tiberian, with length distinctions on top of that and a series of reduced (schwa) vowels. While I've always found Arabic's 3 vowels to be somehow more predictable than Hebrew.
Point is, yes there are strong similarities, and sure you will be swimming in cognates, but the differences are very serious and there's only so much help each language can grant you in learning the other.
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