Modern Hebrew Study Group

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-10, 15:19

It's mostly just that, honestly. It's that there are so many words like that (and they throw them at you all at once!). I think I kind of have the same problem as Antea; the lack of apparent cognates in Arabic throws me off so easily. But at least there are cognates in Ugaritic, so that gives me at least a little more hope, I guess. :silly:

Verb conjugation so far doesn't seem nearly as hard as I would've expected; it's just hard to remember all the patterns and which verbs use which one. But it's only hard because I'm half-assing it. :lol:

Also I hate how they feel the need to mark every single instance of both o and u in this book, but that's because I want my answers to the exercises to look as close to theirs as possible and using holam and dagesh all the goddamn time is a pain when you're using Google Input Tools to write in Hebrew. :doggy: (You can imagine how thrilled I must be to try to include vowel marks in Biblical Hebrew all the time!).

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Antea » 2018-09-10, 16:32

For the vocabulary, I am trying a new approach. That is to take some specific events or subjects that I could find some connection or interest in it, and trying to remember to words associated to it, even with images. I am just doing that with רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה.

Maybe it will take more time, but at least it won’t evaporate so easily if I can connect the words to something :hmm:

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-11, 9:46

vijayjohn wrote:It's mostly just that, honestly. It's that there are so many words like that (and they throw them at you all at once!). I think I kind of have the same problem as Antea; the lack of apparent cognates in Arabic throws me off so easily. But at least there are cognates in Ugaritic, so that gives me at least a little more hope, I guess. :silly:


This is so different to my experience - when I learned Arabic (after Hebrew, obviously) I felt I was learning a super similar language full of cognates :lol:

Then again, I was learning Lebanese and not MSA, which may explain why I felt it was more similar (the Aramaic substrate in Lebanese maybe helped? I don't know).

In any case, don't despair. It gets easier as you go on. Just maybe throw away your expectations about similarities to Arabic - they'll appear when you don't look for them, I assure you :D

Verb conjugation so far doesn't seem nearly as hard as I would've expected; it's just hard to remember all the patterns and which verbs use which one. But it's only hard because I'm half-assing it. :lol:


I didn't even really understand what binyanim were when I learned Hebrew so maybe that's why this thing never seemed that difficult to me. The main thing that confused me was using the passive ones (is that the correct terminology? Lol).

In any case, there is some logic behind it once you learn the basic form of most verbs. I think, lol.

The best thing about Semitic languages is that if you chat to native or fluent speakers (via text especially), you can really recognise so many verbs and nouns by their roots and then just thing about the patterns behind them to understand what's being said.

Also I hate how they feel the need to mark every single instance of both o and u in this book, but that's because I want my answers to the exercises to look as close to theirs as possible and using holam and dagesh all the goddamn time is a pain when you're using Google Input Tools to write in Hebrew. :doggy: (You can imagine how thrilled I must be to try to include vowel marks in Biblical Hebrew all the time!).


Wait, do you mean that they use vav or they don't use vav to mark those vowels?

You can really tell how poor my knowledge of Hebrew grammar terminology is here :lol:

Antea wrote:For the vocabulary, I am trying a new approach. That is to take some specific events or subjects that I could find some connection or interest in it, and trying to remember to words associated to it, even with images. I am just doing that with רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה.

Maybe it will take more time, but at least it won’t evaporate so easily if I can connect the words to something :hmm:



That's a great idea! What have you learnt about ראש השנה so far?

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Antea » 2018-09-11, 12:21

n8an wrote:That's a great idea! What have you learnt about ראש השנה so far?


שנה טובה ומתוקה A good and sweet year
שנה טובה Happy new year
לוחות שנה רבים Many calendars
אני לא יודע I don’t know
חלה קלועה Plait or braid the Khallot (bread)
לחם Bread
קמח Flour (ingredients)
ביצים Eggs
סוכר Sugar
לאכול To eat

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-11, 14:03

Antea wrote:שנה טובה ומתוקה A good and sweet year
שנה טובה Happy new year
לוחות שנה רבים Many calendars
אני לא יודע I don’t know
חלה קלועה Plait or braid the Khallot (bread)
לחם Bread
קמח Flour (ingredients)
ביצים Eggs
סוכר Sugar
לאכול To eat


Awesome!

You can add these for Rosh Hashana:

דבש honey (for vijay: the word in Arabic is عسل, so not a cognate - but Assyrian uses "do(w)sha", which is a cognate).

תפוח apple (تفاحة in Arabic - cognate)

רימון pomegranate (رمان in Arabic - cognate)

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-12, 0:47

Thanks!
n8an wrote:This is so different to my experience - when I learned Arabic (after Hebrew, obviously) I felt I was learning a super similar language full of cognates :lol:

Then again, I was learning Lebanese and not MSA, which may explain why I felt it was more similar (the Aramaic substrate in Lebanese maybe helped? I don't know).

I have a feeling it might just be easier to go from knowing (maybe even just a little) Hebrew to learning Arabic than the other way around.

Or it could just be that I'm primed to expect similarities because I've seen so many of them before. :P
In any case, don't despair. It gets easier as you go on. Just maybe throw away your expectations about similarities to Arabic - they'll appear when you don't look for them, I assure you :D

Honestly, I really just need to slow down. Fuck this stupid idea of mine of trying to do one whole lesson from this book in a day. Way too much for me at this point. I'm just going to take it slow for now. :P
I didn't even really understand what binyanim were when I learned Hebrew so maybe that's why this thing never seemed that difficult to me. The main thing that confused me was using the passive ones (is that the correct terminology? Lol).

In any case, there is some logic behind it once you learn the basic form of most verbs. I think, lol.

No, there's plenty of logic behind it, and they don't teach you what binyanim are in this book, either. Again, it only looks hard to me because I've been trying to half-ass the whole language way too fast. :lol:
Wait, do you mean that they use vav or they don't use vav to mark those vowels?

You can really tell how poor my knowledge of Hebrew grammar terminology is here :lol:

Neither. I mean they use the stupid dot every frigging time there's an o or an u in any word even though they don't mark any of the other vowels (they also use a dot specifically for distinguishing shin vs. sin) even though no one in real life does that (right? Or at least that's been my understanding). Like, I get wanting to distinguish these sounds from each other, but honestly, o is a lot more common than u, and shin is a lot more common than sin. Make my life easier and just mark the u's and the sins, Colloquial! :doggy:

Don't get me wrong; I get why they do that. It makes sense for a book. It's just not so convenient on this particular corner of the Internet. :P

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-09-12, 13:42

That's why I like the Routledge textbook. It basically spells things in the unpointed form, unless it's too hard to guess the pronunciation.

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-12, 14:15

vijayjohn wrote:I have a feeling it might just be easier to go from knowing (maybe even just a little) Hebrew to learning Arabic than the other way around.


I'm interested in this. People usually say MSA is harder than Hebrew, and I tend to agree. However, I think dialects (the ones I know...so NOT Moroccan) seem to be about the same difficulty level as Hebrew.

The pronunciation of Arabic should prepare you well for the slightly simpler phonology of Hebrew; though many Arab Israelis/Palestinians speak Hebrew with a very thick accent that they struggle to minimise.

Honestly, I really just need to slow down. Fuck this stupid idea of mine of trying to do one whole lesson from this book in a day. Way too much for me at this point. I'm just going to take it slow for now. :P


Good idea!

No, there's plenty of logic behind it, and they don't teach you what binyanim are in this book, either. Again, it only looks hard to me because I've been trying to half-ass the whole language way too fast. :lol:


Yeah, that's like me with Armenian. Hindi was the same until I decided to go much more slowly this time (maybe too slowly, tbh).


Neither. I mean they use the stupid dot every frigging time there's an o or an u in any word even though they don't mark any of the other vowels (they also use a dot specifically for distinguishing shin vs. sin) even though no one in real life does that (right? Or at least that's been my understanding). Like, I get wanting to distinguish these sounds from each other, but honestly, o is a lot more common than u, and shin is a lot more common than sin. Make my life easier and just mark the u's and the sins, Colloquial! :doggy:


Ahhhhhh. That does sound annoying.

So they don't use a vav, but do the dot for o and u? Do you mind giving me some examples? That's very annoying. You can often tell by the position that vav takes in the word if it's a u or an o.

Yes, you're right - the dots to distinguish shin and sin aren't often used in real life except for learners or maybe sometimes for writing foreign words. Shin feels more common than sin, correct. Do they use dots for pey/fey, kaf/khaf and bet/vet too?

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-13, 0:50

księżycowy wrote:That's why I like the Routledge textbook. It basically spells things in the unpointed form, unless it's too hard to guess the pronunciation.

Well, technically, this is also a Routledge textbook... :P
n8an wrote:I'm interested in this. People usually say MSA is harder than Hebrew, and I tend to agree.

Oh, sorry. I was thinking specifically about vocabulary, and especially shared cognates.

Although it could just be that I have never seen any textbook for Arabic go "here's a lot of vocab you can use while ordering a meal, after three chapters where I taught you basically nothing. (dumps truckload of food on student) THAT ENOUGH FOOD FOR YOU, PUNK? HUH? Oh btw assume you have to remember all this vocabulary even though it's in the middle of some exercise in a list without any other context. You'll need it all later. But I won't tell you so." :lol:
Good idea!

Thanks! Maybe I'll need to do this for Biblical Hebrew, too. :shock: Though if I'm doing Biblical Hebrew again, it might actually help make Modern Hebrew look easier, even with this book.
So they don't use a vav, but do the dot for o and u?

Never mind, I was remembering wrong. They do use both a vav and the dot. It would be WAY easier for me if they just used a vav.
Do they use dots for pey/fey, kaf/khaf and bet/vet too?

Nope, just shin, sin, u, and o! At least as far as I can tell.

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-13, 2:11

vijayjohn wrote:Although it could just be that I have never seen any textbook for Arabic go "here's a lot of vocab you can use while ordering a meal, after three chapters where I taught you basically nothing. (dumps truckload of food on student) THAT ENOUGH FOOD FOR YOU, PUNK? HUH? Oh btw assume you have to remember all this vocabulary even though it's in the middle of some exercise in a list without any other context. You'll need it all later. But I won't tell you so." :lol:

Ahhhh, sounds like a really annoying book. I always feel like books should include all new vocabulary at the start of every chapter AND exercise, and so for the next couple of chapters too.
Thanks! Maybe I'll need to do this for Biblical Hebrew, too. :shock: Though if I'm doing Biblical Hebrew again, it might actually help make Modern Hebrew look easier, even with this book.

I know this sounds weird, but in the Jewish community or most Jewish schools, they don't really treat Modern Hebrew as a separate thing to Biblical Hebrew...at all. I mean, you clearly do run into a bit of "what is this!?", but it's not treated as separately as such. However, you do find that most Jews in the west will sound hilariously biblical when they try to speak Hebrew.

I guess this sounds a bit like how Arabic speakers don't treat fus7a or other dialects as a separate thing, but as "accents" :shock: :? though Hebrew obviously doesn't differ that much.
Never mind, I was remembering wrong. They do use both a vav and the dot. It would be WAY easier for me if they just used a vav.

Ahh, but sometimes even I would appreciate the dot with the vav :P I guess a perfect example of what you just mentioned is found in that polyglot Tim video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOiXtWcQ8GI

He says Hebrew has become like a mother tongue for him and that he speaks very comfortably - which tbh is clearly false by the way he speaks - and also that Hebrew isn't very complicated, which is interesting for someone making multiple mistakes and clearly reading from a pre-written text :P

Anyway, at the end he says "I have no idea" - "אין לי מושג".

Following the conventions of how Hebrew is usually written, you could probably expect this to be pronounced "mosheg" - since shin and "o" would be more likely here. He pronounces it as "MOsheg". In reality, it's pronounced "muSAG".

If vav and shin/sin were dotted in regular Hebrew text, Tim wouldn't have made that mistake and exposed his lack of familiarity with the language :P

Nope, just shin, sin, u, and o! At least as far as I can tell.


That makes sense. The pronunciation of פ, ב and כ are a bit more regular in that they usually make the "soft" sound at the end of a word, the hard sound at the start of words and in the middle you can mostly predict how they're pronounced. Of course, there are exceptions...but ya know. That's languages for ya 8-)

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-13, 2:31

n8an wrote:I know this sounds weird, but in the Jewish community or most Jewish schools, they don't really treat Modern Hebrew as a separate thing to Biblical Hebrew...at all.

That sounds familiar somehow.
However, you do find that most Jews in the west will sound hilariously biblical when they try to speak Hebrew.

This sounds pretty funny, though. :lol:
I guess this sounds a bit like how Arabic speakers don't treat fus7a or other dialects as a separate thing, but as "accents" :shock: :? though Hebrew obviously doesn't differ that much.

I've seen some Chinese people do this before, too, and at least seen a few South Asians do the same thing with South Asian languages. Dismissing regional languages in Pakistan as simply "dialects of Urdu" is apparently pretty common.
Ahh, but sometimes even I would appreciate the dot with the vav :P

Oh, don't get me wrong; I do, too! I just don't appreciate it when I'm using Google Input Tools to type in Hebrew because I don't know any better and I feel awkward about my answers looking different from the answer key just because of the dots. :P

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Saim » 2018-09-13, 8:05

n8an wrote:I guess this sounds a bit like how Arabic speakers don't treat fus7a or other dialects as a separate thing, but as "accents" :shock: :? though Hebrew obviously doesn't differ that much.


I think this may just be a case of them mistranslating لهجة, which can mean either dialect or accent. I don't think any Arabs would actually think the only difference between MSA and colloquial Arabic(s) is one of pronunciation, that would be too obvious a denial of basic reality to fly.

vijayjohn wrote:Dismissing regional languages in Pakistan as simply "dialects of Urdu" is apparently pretty common.


I don't believe I've ever heard this before. Punjabi gets called a rude language, a coarse language, a village language, and all sorts of other insulting adjectives, but I've not really heard it called a "dialect of Urdu".

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Luís » 2018-09-13, 9:27

What's with all this Colloquial Hebrew bashing? :(

It's still one of my favorite books for learning Hebrew (and much better than Assimil, that's for sure).

n8an wrote:He says Hebrew has become like a mother tongue for him and that he speaks very comfortably - which tbh is clearly false by the way he speaks - and also that Hebrew isn't very complicated, which is interesting for someone making multiple mistakes and clearly reading from a pre-written text


Typical Youtube polyglot... :P
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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-09-13, 10:14

vijayjohn wrote:
księżycowy wrote:That's why I like the Routledge textbook. It basically spells things in the unpointed form, unless it's too hard to guess the pronunciation.

Well, technically, this is also a Routledge textbook... :P

Indeed. But it's not The Routledge textbook.

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-13, 11:39

Saim wrote:I think this may just be a case of them mistranslating لهجة, which can mean either dialect or accent. I don't think any Arabs would actually think the only difference between MSA and colloquial Arabic(s) is one of pronunciation, that would be too obvious a denial of basic reality to fly.


It's definitely partly because of the "lahja" thing. People generally know that MSA differs from dialects, but there's a veeeery common claim that all dialects except Moroccan are fully mutually intelligible with the exception of an accent (specifically "accent" and not dialect, in this case) and a few "slang" words. I've been told to be quiet (in a very sharp manner) numerous times for stating otherwise with examples.

Luís wrote:Typical Youtube polyglot... :P


Yup!

I wish they'd just be honest in saying that they don't speak 93.3 languages fluently. It's impressive enough to be able to recite basic speeches or improvise without adding the false claim of speaking them like a mother tongue. I think this guy is awesome, but his Hebrew is legit not great and the mispronunciation of a very, very, very common and simple word in "musag" proves that his Hebrew isn't anywhere near as good as he says it is.


In any case, how are all you guys going with your studies this week? :D

מה קורה עם הלימודים, חבר׳ה?

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby voron » 2018-09-13, 12:23

n8an wrote:I know this sounds weird, but in the Jewish community or most Jewish schools, they don't really treat Modern Hebrew as a separate thing to Biblical Hebrew...at all. I mean, you clearly do run into a bit of "what is this!?", but it's not treated as separately as such. However, you do find that most Jews in the west will sound hilariously biblical when they try to speak Hebrew.

I guess this sounds a bit like how Arabic speakers don't treat fus7a or other dialects as a separate thing, but as "accents" :shock: :? though Hebrew obviously doesn't differ that much.

It sounds more like the difference between Classical Arabic and MSA. Arabs don't usually distinguish them.

Following the conventions of how Hebrew is usually written, you could probably expect this to be pronounced "mosheg" - since shin and "o" would be more likely here. He pronounces it as "MOsheg". In reality, it's pronounced "muSAG".

It's funny because he makes a similar mistake in Turkish. At some point he says:
Bu dilden hoslanıyorum. (I like this language)

while it should be hoşlanıyorum. Looks like he studied it from texts with no diacritical marks.

Wow guys, you have quite an active community here. It almost make me want to study Hebrew. (But I probably won't, because you know that my heart is already taken. :whistle: )

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Antea » 2018-09-13, 12:44

voron wrote:Wow guys, you have quite an active community here. It almost make me want to study Hebrew. (But I probably won't, because you know that my heart is already taken. :whistle: )


You know, mine is also taken. But sometimes it’s good to diversify in order not to be so taken by an only language :hmm: And Hebrew is also so fascinating :yep:

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby voron » 2018-09-13, 12:47

Antea wrote:You know, mine is also taken.

What is your heart taken by? You study so many languages at once. :hmm:

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby Antea » 2018-09-13, 12:49

Mostly by Arabic :ohwell:

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Re: Modern Hebrew Study Group

Postby n8an » 2018-09-14, 1:35

voron wrote:It's funny because he makes a similar mistake in Turkish. At some point he says:
Bu dilden hoslanıyorum. (I like this language)

while it should be hoşlanıyorum. Looks like he studied it from texts with no diacritical marks.


Not surprising. I wouldn't have cared about the mistakes if he hadn't been so overly emphatic about how perfectly he speaks these languages, but the overconfidence definitely makes it hard to take the rest of the video seriously.

Wow guys, you have quite an active community here. It almost make me want to study Hebrew. (But I probably won't, because you know that my heart is already taken. :whistle: )


Do it! Add Hebrew to your repertoire of Semitic languages :D


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