Rosetta Stone Language Software

Introduction to Hebrew Course

Before beginning the Itty Bitty Course for Hebrew, there are a few things you should know.

1. Hebrew is written using a special syllabary that is totally unlike the Roman alphabet. This little course follows the spelling conventions of the Lonely Planet Hebrew Phrasebook for the most part.

2. Hebrew, like Arabic, is a consonantal root language. That means the consonants within a word define its general meaning while the interspersed vowels determine the sense. This includes marking the gender of nouns, adjectives and verbs. For example: ShiM-Kha – his name vs. ShiM-eKh – her name, hu YaKhoL – he can vs. hi YeKhoLa – she can.

3. Verbs are distinguished by gender, not person. That is, the form you use for “I can” (for example) is determined by whether you are male or female, not whether it’s “I…” or “You…” etc.

4. In this course, where masculine/feminine makes a difference, the feminine is after the slash (/) or in parentheses. If an item is starred (*), the masculine/feminine distinction is made based on who you’re talking to. If not, it’s based on whether you are male or female.