Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

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ido66667
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Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby ido66667 » 2015-04-08, 10:27

Hello, I would like to find resources to self teach Arabic.
I am a native Hebrew speaker (Also fluent in English) and I am quite intrigued by Arabic, unfortunately, most schools here teach Arabic on low level, and some not at all.
So, I want to find online resources for learning Arabic, more specifically, resources for Hebrew speakers (As both languages are Semitic, and even share some stems and grammar, it might make the learning more enjoyable and familiar), can you please help me with that?

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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Babelfish » 2015-04-11, 14:24

I'd be happy to, but I actually studied Arabic in school (5 points) and most of my knowledge comes from there, so I don't have online resources :?
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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby アリ/علي » 2015-04-14, 0:00

Hi! I searched for quite a while but I'm afraid I couldn't find any arabic language online resources for hebrew speakers but I agree with you in the fact that learning arabic as a hebrew speaker would be quite fun since both languages are quite similar. I also have a huge interest in semitic languages like Amharic, Tigrinya, Hebrew etc. I am currently learning Hebrew using both English and Arabic as a medium but I'm nowhere near good enough to start even a small conversation. Just out of curiosity, would you be able to find a lot of arabic language books in Israel and would you be able to practice speaking it frequently with other arabic speakers? (I am assuming you could since you are practically surrounded by arabic speaking countries or maybe not??)

Apologies for the long message! ^^'

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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Babelfish » 2015-04-24, 16:19

Ugh, well, given our relations with neighboring Arab countries, they're not much help in practising Arabic... There are over a million Israeli Arabs as well, but only a couple of mixed cities so many of us don't interact with Arabs often.
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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Meera » 2015-06-12, 3:58

Are there any bookstore in Israel that sell course books in Hebrew for Arabic?

I'm not sure how good it is, but I found this : http://arabic-hebrew.co.il/study_arabic/
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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby n8an » 2015-06-28, 14:45

I speak Hebrew, and have a decent command of several Arabic dialects (Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, some Gulf dialects) and can understand bits and pieces of others (Palestinian, Syrian, other Gulf dialects). I can't get by in Standard Arabic, though.

First, decide if you want to learn standard Arabic or a dialect.

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.

The biggest challenge is probably getting rid of that Hebrew accent lol. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Hebrew speakers trying to speak Arabic and sounding like "ahLAN KHABibi, kif KHALAK? Ana baKHKI aRRRrAbi" Omg, it's horrible...think of a heavy Russian accent in Hebrew :-p

If you need any practice, feel free to ask here. I probably am not confident enough to teach (lately I've noticed I suck at speaking...big time), but we can try. Also, feel free to write in Hebrew too :-)

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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Meera » 2015-07-01, 21:46

n8an wrote:
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! :mrgreen:
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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby n8an » 2015-07-02, 2:26

Meera wrote:
Really? They are that similar? Maybe I should look into learning Hebrew! :mrgreen:


Yeah, they're pretty similar! Less so than Romance languages, but they just feel so connected...I always feel that learning one helps me understand the other better :lol:

As an example:

I: ani
You (m): ata
You (f): at
He: hoo
She: he
You pl: atem
You f pl: aten
We: anakhnu
They: hem
They f: hen


To write - root k (kh) - t - b (v) (b shifts to v and k to kh in some cases, like this one)
Future tense (will write):

I: ani ekhtov
You m: ata tikhtov
You f: at tikhtevi
He: hoo yikhtov
She: he tikhtov
You pl: atem/aten tikhtevu
We: anakhnu nikhtov
They: hem/hen yikhtevu

Past tense (wrote) (the k doesn't shift to kh in this tense)

I: ani katavti
You m: ata katavta
You f: at katavt
He: hoo katav
She: he katva
You pl: atem katavtem
You f pl: aten katavten
We: anakhnu katavnu
They: hem/hen katvu

So the verb system is almost identical, and there are endless similar words between all the Semitic languages too, especially Hebrew Arabic and Aramaic :-D

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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Meera » 2015-07-02, 20:01

Thank you Na8n! That was very interesting.
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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby Jalethon » 2015-10-27, 20:13

Arabic and Hebrew, as well as other Semitic languages, display a massive number of similarities. As with most language families, phonological differences and recognising these will help you to learn the language a lot faster.

As n8an pointed out, the stem KH-T-V becomes K-T-B in Arabic. There's a good reason the dagesh in בּ (B) distinguishes it from ב (V), and כּ (K) from כ (KH).

Similarly, dentals and alveolar sibilants are often interchangeable: T and/or TH become S and/or SH (and vice versa). For example: ثلاثة (thalaatha) becomes שלוש (shalosh). Same with اثنين (ithnayn) and שניים (shnayim).

As far as I'm aware there's little online material that will help you learn Arabic effectively, so I'd recommend you order a book to master the language. I can recommend Mastering Arabic 1 by Wightwick and Gaafar, or Alif Baa by Brustad, Al-Batal and Al-Tonsi, which is from the widely used Al-Kitaab series.

Also, I'd argue Hebrew and Arabic are a lot more similar than Romance languages. Although that's sort of hard to recognise with the divergent pronunciation and alphabet. But in terms of vocabulary and grammar they're twins.

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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby ''' » 2015-11-23, 10:50

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. Of course in modern Hebrew this no longer applies to t d or g (in most dialects anyway, the Yemenites in particular are conservative and retain these features still today).

So the full list of what becomes what is a little weird. I'll attach a PDF I made of the full list of 29 proto-semitic consonants and their reflexes in MSA, biblical Hebrew, and modern Israeli.

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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Re: Arabic for Hebrew Speakers

Postby n8an » 2015-11-24, 0:06

''' 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.


Yeah, that's what I said :-)

the Yemenites in particular are conservative and retain these features still today).


Wikipedia and scholars tend to say this, but I'm yet to meet a single Yemenite Jew who does this who is under the age of 75. And I know hundreds. It's possible that Jews still in Yemen do it, but there are probably only 100 left.


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.


Yeah, kinda true. But I think comparing Fus7a to Hebrew is kinda weird. I compare Modern Hebrew to real spoken dialects most of the time, as those are what I can speak and consider a more adequate analogy. In that case, I think Hebrew is probably a bit harder than some dialects, although some dialects have trickier things (present/continuous tense especially can be confusing in Lebanese, Iraqi and most Gulf dialects).

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.


Hmm, I don't know. I knew Hebrew first, and learning Lebanese was so intuitive to me I barely had to even try. Had I ever wanted to learn Fus7a it might have been a different story, for sure.


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