The letters vav
used as vowels
Israelis are not left completely high and dry: two consonants are used as vowels in unpointed Hebrew. The letter vav Â indicates either the sound ‘o’ « as in ‘dog’ or ‘u’ » as in ‘put’. In unpointed Hebrew you would normally rely on the context to tell you which sound is meant, but in this course we have very often inserted the dots above and beside the vav to help you. In order to distinguish between vav as a vowel and vav as a consonant with the sound ‘v’, vav as a consonant in unpointed Hebrew is generally doubled: e.g. ÂÂ as in ‘intention’ kavanah ‰ÂÂÎ .
The letter yod
As a general rule, when reading unpointed Hebrew a yod in the middle or end of a word is likely to be pronounced as ‘i’ in ‘bit’ or as one of the diphthongs (two vowels making one sound) below:
Writing Hebrew We suggest that while doing the exercises at the end of this unit, you try to copy the words using letters from the column headed ‘stick letters’ in the chart below. These closely resemble the printed form and will help you to memorize the aleph bet. Israelis use the handwritten script which the chart also shows you how to form. We recommend that you come back to writing script only once you feel secure with reading the printed form.
Colloquial hebrew: Easy and enjoyable lessons in Hebrew