Heblish Lesson: Day 6

“Vocalizing” – Phonetic Lesson.

Free Heblish Challenge – January 2010 – Training – Day 6:


Welcome back to Day 6 of the Free Heblish Challenge!

This lesson is the last of our VIL (Very Important Lessons…) for your basic Hebrew.

Last week we talked about the sound of the 5 Heblish vowels: A, E, I, O and U.

If you missed lessons 4 and 5 please go back and read them before continuing with this lesson. Click here to find all the lessons from the beginning.

So, let’s see what’s going on today?

Today’s menu: Strange sounds

In our previous lessons we learned how to pronounce each Heblish vowel.  Today we’ll learn how to pronounce two (actually three) irregular Hebrew letters.

The letter: Tsadey

This letter’s name is “tsadey,” it sounds like “ts.”

It’s exactly like the “ts” of “it’s easy” or “let’s go” – the same sound, but in Hebrew we only use one letter to express this sound.

Let’s look at some examples, but don’t try to learn the Hebrew words – not yet, just try to “catch” the “ts” sound:

Egg – beitsa

Hawk – nets

Matzah – matsa

Juice – mits

Bracelet – tsamid

This is simple; it should be easy and familiar to you.


Het & Haf*

Short introduction:

Hebrew has 22 letters. Two of them, the “het” and “haf,” have a strange sound that will probably be awkward for you to express.

Take a deep breath… it’s not really difficult 😉

When we want to indicate this sound (the het or haf) in a word in our Heblish lessons, we will use the character “^”, because the English alphabet does not have this sound.

To understand what I mean, let’s go to YouTube, to hear some sounds.

Try to learn the sound which I’ve marked as ^ and train yourself to pronounce this unusual sound.

There are some videos below. Click and listen – don’t try to learn the Hebrew words, just listen to the strange sound.

Beetle ^ipushit (6 seconds on Youtube)


Cat ^atul (6 seconds on Youtube)


Chess Sha^ (13 seconds on Youtube)


Thread ^ut (5 seconds on Youtube)

In this video you will hear the ^ (het/haf) pronounced with each of the vowels. ^, ^a, ^e, ^I, ^o, ^u (12 seconds on Youtube)


Hats off!

We have finished the phonetic lessons, and you are still here… amazing!


In our next lesson we will learn some useful Hebrew conjunctions.

From now on you are really on your way, because you can express every word in the Hebrew language!

Lehitraot in lesson 7!

*) I told you before, that the two letters “Het” and “Haf” (or ^et and ^af) have the same sound.  Why do we use two letters for the same sound?  Many years ago there was a real difference between the letters “Het” and “Haf.”  But today only the oriental Jews (like the Yemenis or Iraqi Jews), and all of the Arabic people, still use different sounds for the “Het” and for the “Haf.”  All other Israelis express the sound of these two letters in the same way, and that’s why I used the same sign (the ^) for both the “Het” and “Haf.”

Share with your friends:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
Comments: 10 Comments

10 Responses to “Heblish Lesson: Day 6”

  1. Terry says:

    I’m behind, but learning… I have traveled to San Diego to take care of my niece while my brother has open-heart surgery… He is in surgery this morning; please say a Hebrew prayer for him… Much love and many blessings to you and your family… This is a wonderful website! Congratulations…

  2. Yaron says:

    Refua shlema to your dear brother, Terry! Refua shlema means “full recovery” but in Hebrew it’s stronger.

  3. Kim says:

    Yaron, I’m a little behind too. The days fly by! But I too am learning and look forward to future lessons.

  4. Sandy says:

    Hi, how should I say “everything is going to be alright” in Hebrew?

  5. Yaron says:

    Hakol yihiye’ beseder.

  6. happynfree1 says:

    I’m still practicing, but it’s definitely getting more difficult for me; working at improving my Spanish and learning Hebrew at the same time has got my mind and tongue all twisted :).
    Have no fear, I’m not one to give up so easily.

    Hasta Manana (until tomorrow)

  7. Karen says:

    Thanks so much for posting the little audio clips on youtube. It helps a lot to actually hear the pronounciation.

  8. Thomas Renter says:

    Hey I just wanted to let you know, I really like the piece of writing on your website. But I am utilising Firefox on a machine running version 9.04 of Crashbang Ubuntu and the UI aren’t quite satisfactory. Not a strong deal, I can still basically read the articles and look for for info, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of hard to apply with the config I’m running. Keep up the great work!

  9. Yvette Shadwell Goggin says:

    My name is Yvette Shadwell Goggin.

    I do not have a website.

    I live in Ireland and travel to Israel three to four times a year. I love Israel and have always wanted to learn Hebrew.

  10. Yaron says:

    I’m glad to see you here, Yvette.
    Here you can find the list of our lessons from the beginning: https://www.free-hebrew.com/lessons/

Leave a Reply