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The Hebrew Alphabet

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The Hebrew Alphabet

In Hebrew there are 22 letters, some of their sounds exist in English and some don't. A few letters have an ending form - that means that those letters look different when written at the end of a word (their pronunciation does not change).

Each letter is given with the pronunciation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and a close-matching example in English:

(Letters in blue are taught in this skill)

NameLetterEnding formIPAEnglish example
Alephא/ʔ/uh (usually silent or similar to the letter "a" in English: a placeholder for vowels)**
Betב/b/*,/v/bet, vet
Gimelג/g/go
Daletד/d/dog
Heyה/h/hen (often silent in modern colloquial speech)
Vavו/v/vet
Zayinז/z/zoo
Chetח/X/loch
Tetט/t/ten
Yodי/j/yes
Kafכך/k/*, /X/cat, loch
Lamedל/l/log
Memמם/m/man
Nunנן/n/no
Samekhס/s/see
Ayinע/ʔ/, /ʕ/uh
Peiפף/p/*,/f/pay, fool
Tsadiצץ/ts/cats
Qofק/k/cat
Reshר/ʁ/run (similar to the French r)
Shinש/ʃ/,/s/she, see
Tavת/t/tap

*These sounds are pronounced only when the letter is at the beginning of the word or at the beginning of a syllable. Otherwise, the other sound is usually the one that is pronounced.

**A common example for the use of "א" as a silent letter is the word לא (/lo/), which means "no".

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