Like the Alphabet, The letters in Hebrew are called the Alef - Beyt They are presented on my blog from bottom to the top so you can learn them order, then to read them right to left. You will see what the original "Bible" said and what the names meant as they went through the stories of old.
Here is Chet: Symbolizing a fence or wall, to cut in two or separate.
It is the eighth letter. It is a consonant . It is also the number 8
Some cultures pronounce Chet like a "K" due to European influence on the language.
Some read this letter with the sound coming from the throat, like the Spanish "J" - in English it is transliterated as "kh" to simulate that sound. I have always pronounced Chet with the back of my throat because it's what I hear it most.
Compare Chet with He and note the difference.
The left side of Chet touches the top . Not on He.
Let's do some reading
I will only be using words that contain letters that you have already learned.
Vowels are markings that appear below, and sometimes above or within the letters. Vowel pointings, as they are called, can define the sound of a vowel or they are the sound after a consonant.
I will help you with the sounds explaining each word and how it's read. The transliterations are representations of how someone who speaks English might write the word using the alphabet. When I can I put in the way a Spanish speaker might write what he hears in Hebrew.)
This one is famous. It is the word "one" not the number 1. Look up an audio of Ha Sh'ma - quoted "Hear oh Israel YHVH our God is One"
Here we read top right moving down: aleph then the vowel segol (three dots)
Next letter: Chet then the vowel kamatz
Next letter: Dalet
eykhad - or - aykh-odd - or (Spanish representations "ejad")
* one * the * and
Here is how we say 'and the one' - I added blue marks to point to the three words contained in this one Hebrew word.
Vav witha a Shva below it ":" = "and"
He with a kamatz below it = "the"
Then our first word from this lesson...
v'hah ekhad - or (Spanish representation "veja ejad")
We have a Gimel with a Hiriq under it "."
Then a Bet with tzeire ".." under it
Last we have Chet with a patakh "_" under it
(to read from bottom right to upper left)
geeh-be-ak - or - gee-bay-akh - or (Spanish: gibeaj)
A complicated one
We have a Vav with a shva under it ":" = "and"
Then a Zayin with kamatz under it
Next, a Vet with a shva under it ":"
Next, a Chet alone followed by Vav as a vowel (shuruk)
(the two letters are pronounced..)
Khu (Spanish: "ju")
v'zah-v'khu - or - ve-za-ve-khu - or (Spanish: v'zav'ju)
Where we are so far
These are the letters you have learned so far - good job!
Only 14 more letters and you will be reading!
the vowels only have about five sounds - and I will keep telling you how they sound as we go
- don't worry about the names of the vowels unless you plan to teach Hebrew.
I hope to add meaning to these little lessons each Shabbath as we go. Then we can read together with the vowel points in place and see how it all jives with English.
Thanks for taking the time to read.