Textkit Logo

Hebrew

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Moderators: thesaurus, Jeff Tirey

Hebrew

Postby Gonzalo » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:02 am

Hi,

I know that it's been a subject which has been dealt with since a lot of time here in Textkit but I have some other questions.

I have begunto study Modern Hebrew with Pimsleur audio course and it's been working fairly well but I don't know the whole aleph-bet yet nor the vowel points either so I can say that I have not done many progresses. I can say basic commands in Modern Hebrew, but it's not a real advance. So then, I have thought of studying Classical or Biblical Hebrew. Is it easier than Modern Hebrew? After studying Classical Hebrew, will I be able to read Jewish Medieval philosophers?
Before moving to a serious Hebrew method (I have seen some XIX-XX centuries methods and Hebrew Grammars in Spanish suitable to buy in some book-shops in Madrid), I am going to use a wonderful site, whose name is Hebrew for Christians. Does anyone know it?

On the other hand. I've read a little book whose name is Motives to the Study of Hebrew by Thomas Burguess and there is a sentence which got me marvelled, or at least perplexed.
Testatur ipse Picus Mirandulanus in epistulâ ad Marsilium Ficinum, se unîus mensis spatio ita didicisse litteras Hebraicas, ut citra culpam epistulam dictare potuerit. (Page 11)
([roughly] It's proved that Pico della Mirandola, as he says in an epistle addressed to Marsilio Ficino, was able to learn "Hebrew language and literature" in the space of a month...)

For "litteræ Hebraicæ" I understand "Hebrew language and literature", and it seems very hard and difficult -and I don't know if this could be true or a mere legend. Maybe the study of Grammar... being a very intelligent person -as he was- but the whole literature seems to be difficult.

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby metrodorus » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:16 pm

Gonzale,
I taught an introductory Hebrew course last year, and made my class videos to help them learn their letters and vowels.

These can still be accessed here:

http://ljshebrew.ning.com/

Evan.
metrodorus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:19 pm

Postby metrodorus » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:20 pm

Jewish Mediaeval Philosophers?
Which Jewish Mediaeval Philosophers do you want to read in Hebrew? Maimonides wrote his Moreh Nebuchim in Arabic.....
Evan.
metrodorus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:19 pm

Postby Gonzalo » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:32 pm

Hi,

Many thanks for your link. I will begin with this one. It's very useful and it'll help me a lot.

As for Jewish medieval philosophy... I confess that I need to read a Hebrew Literature History but I'd say Moses Ibn Ezra or Isaac Abrabanel, for instance.

Regards,
Gonzalo

P.S.: By the way, good luck with your Comenius Project and let us know how it's progressing.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby cdm2003 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:36 pm

Gonzalo...

Modern Hebrew, in my opinion, is simply different than Biblical, with neither being easier or harder than the other (however, as I'm sure you can guess, there are many more contemporary texts in Modern Hebrew). Vowels are easier, i.e., more vowels sound the same, but both languages usually don't use them.

I found Modern Hebrew (the only one I've studied) to be a lot of fun, with a lot of great texts out there with which to begin. I studied it in college for two years and sadly have forgotten nearly all of it. Make sure, once you've learned the alphabet, you also learn the cursive for the letters (makes writing much easier).

For studying Biblical, I think that Seow's "A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew" is good for self-study, however, he places a lot of emphasis on transliteration.

As for Pico, nugas ab clunibus dixit. Pardon my French. ;)

Good luck!
Chris
Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae
User avatar
cdm2003
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:54 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Postby Gonzalo » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:48 pm

Hi, Chris,

Thanks for sharing this. I want to learn both Biblical and Modern Hebrew in a similar way I do with Greek. I am only studying Attic because I cannot manage Modern Greek + Attic at the same time. I use two different pronunciations, there are (in my humble opinion) many differences and it's excessive even only one. As for Hebrew, I wanted only to know what's more recommendable to a beginner: Beginning with Modern Hebrew or Classical Hebrew. I have access to both Assimil and Pimsleur. You may also recommend another methods and I could be able to find them out.

Well, about Pico I think that it's not but another urban legend related to great men.

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Hebrew

Postby Faylasoof » Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:26 pm

utlub ul-'ilm min al-mahad il al-laHad
[Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave]
Faylasoof
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Plato’s Republic

Postby Gonzalo » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:16 pm

I send all my gratitude to you for this precise and meaningful response. I've decided finally to overcome the study of Modern Hebrew from Assimil "L'hébreu sans peine" since Ι'll have access to contemporary resources to read and hear Hebrew. When I get a certain grasp on the language I'll move to Biblical Hebrew. At this moment I am working on the first chapters of Assimil and the Aleph-Bet with Evan's videos and other stuff.

Thanks again and good luck with your Greek studies.

Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby thesaurus » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:37 am

Gonzalo wrote:Thanks for sharing this. I want to learn both Biblical and Modern Hebrew in a similar way I do with Greek. I am only studying Attic because I cannot manage Modern Greek + Attic at the same time. I use two different pronunciations, there are (in my humble opinion) many differences and it's excessive even only one. As for Hebrew, I wanted only to know what's more recommendable to a beginner: Beginning with Modern Hebrew or Classical Hebrew.


From what I've heard (i.e., I don't know Hebrew or modern Greek), the differences between modern/biblical Hebrew are not nearly on the same level as those between classical/modern Greek. I've read that a native speaker of Hebrew can read the Torah without much trouble, while the same isn't true for Greek speakers unless they've been studying it in addition (one source said that an equivalent would be 'Shakespearean English' versus Modern; it's troublesome for those new to it, but clearly still the same language). In other words, they say modern and biblical Hebrew aren't terribly different. I'm told that if you learn Modern you shouldn't have trouble adapting to read biblical. Such is my plan, someday...

The difference makes sense linguistically. Modern Hebrew is essentially 'ressurected' and adapated classical Hebrew, so it hasn't had much chance to undergo change. Greek, as you know, has been evolving continuously for thousands of years.
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 979
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Postby metrodorus » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:05 pm

Ibn Ezra is good, I really like his commentary on the Torah.

There are not big differences between Mediaeval Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew - nothing you can't deal with - mostly issues with word order, or using forms from the vernacular in Hebrew.
Maimonides famously got into hot water with his "yesh sham Elohim". This, I was told by Rabbi Dovid Fink (Who wrote his PhD on Maimonidean Grammar) is a grammatical structure from Provencal, alien to Hebrew. In Hebrew, it indicates a location where God exists. I expect there are many examples of this. I always found the Hebrew of Rabbi Israel Kagan, author of the legal text Mishnah Berurah very hard going - it is like reading Polish written in Hebrew.
On the other hand, his contemporary, Rabbi Epstein's Aruch ha-Shulchan is written in a very beautiful and pure Hebrew.
metrodorus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:19 pm

Postby Gonzalo » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:18 pm

Many thanks for your replies. As I said, I am working through first chapters of Assimil and the lessons given at your site. I hope that when I get a base on Modern Hebrew I can move to Classical Hebrew without much trouble.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby Agrippa » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:58 am

Oh Classical Hebrew's an easy language. The morphology is tricky, but what makes it tricky are all the little changes that take place with the vowels, but considering that you'll be reading it and not writing it, you won't need to concern yourself with why the vowel is different, since you'll understand the verb anyway. Yeah, sometimes there's a real difference, as it can be because it's a different "head," but frankly, the differences are slight, if they exist at all, and if it's a big one, like transitivity or whatever, you'll pick it up by context. The triconsonantal roots make learning words easy, putting together the meaning of a sentence given you know what each word means is very easy, especially if you're coming from a greek background, and the hardest part of these crazy semitic languages, the pronounciation, you don't need to learn, since everyone reads classical hebrew like modern hebrew. Knowing Arabic, I like to give each letter it's equivalent arabic sound, so that when i hear a word in my head I don't have to wonder if it's spelled with an alef or ayin or whatever, but it's definitely not necessary. Classical Henrew is easy.
User avatar
Agrippa
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:56 am

Postby easternugget » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:16 am

I just started Biblical Hebrew. We are using Page Kelley's Grammar, but I have heard that a combination of Pratico's and Van Pelt's Basics of Biblical Hebrew and Weingreen's Grammar (which I guess is the standard and the other Hebrew teacher uses so I am not sure why we aren't using it) is a really good combination. Kelley seems fairly good though. We have spent three weeks (that is nine classe periods) and we are still dealing with the aleph-bet. My roommate and I have had fun learning vocab Hebrew to Greek, though.
easternugget
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:22 pm
Location: Jackson, TN

Postby Agrippa » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:42 am

To clarify, I used Weingreen as well. It's a fun both for language nerds because he insists on telling you why the morphology is so wonky. Whether Weingreen's theories are correct or not is irrelevant since I used them mostly as mnemonic devices. They're pretty cool though, and it gives the language you're learning an air of mystique and sophistication which doesn't compromise logic.
User avatar
Agrippa
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:56 am

Postby Essorant » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:11 am

I highly recommend: The First Hebrew Primer: The Adult Beginner's Path to Biblical Hebrew. Very good for any beginner.
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Postby vir litterarum » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:17 am

I have heard that the vocabulary of Classical Hebrew is quite small in relation to Classical Greek. Is this true?
vir litterarum
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:04 am
Location: Oberlin, Ohio

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:13 pm

vir litterarum wrote:I have heard that the vocabulary of Classical Hebrew is quite small in relation to Classical Greek. Is this true?

I've heard the same with the reason given being that the corpus for Classical Hebrew is extremely small compared to one for Greek (I've heard analogous statements for Classical Latin as well). From what I've read there's a lot of evidence that the actual vocabulary was larger (maybe much larger) than that found in the Biblical writings (new words found in inscriptions, in later forms of Hebrew, and so on), so I think it's a matter of how much vocabulary happened to be written down.
modus.irrealis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:08 am
Location: Toronto

Postby thesaurus » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:42 am

modus.irrealis wrote:
vir litterarum wrote:I have heard that the vocabulary of Classical Hebrew is quite small in relation to Classical Greek. Is this true?

I've heard the same with the reason given being that the corpus for Classical Hebrew is extremely small compared to one for Greek (I've heard analogous statements for Classical Latin as well). From what I've read there's a lot of evidence that the actual vocabulary was larger (maybe much larger) than that found in the Biblical writings (new words found in inscriptions, in later forms of Hebrew, and so on), so I think it's a matter of how much vocabulary happened to be written down.


And in practical terms, when learning classical Hebrew most people just want to read the Hebrew Bible (present company excepted). The lexical range is greatly limited by the single text. The same thing happens with new testament greek: there are only so many words in the new testament to know. I'd be interested in seeing how the lexical frequencies between the hebrew and greek bibles compared in terms of vocab.
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 979
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Postby calvinist » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:22 am

modus.irrealis wrote:
vir litterarum wrote:I have heard that the vocabulary of Classical Hebrew is quite small in relation to Classical Greek. Is this true?

I've heard the same with the reason given being that the corpus for Classical Hebrew is extremely small compared to one for Greek (I've heard analogous statements for Classical Latin as well). From what I've read there's a lot of evidence that the actual vocabulary was larger (maybe much larger) than that found in the Biblical writings (new words found in inscriptions, in later forms of Hebrew, and so on), so I think it's a matter of how much vocabulary happened to be written down.

Even so, I think the west has always had an affinity for abstract words, whereas the ancient Hebrews expressed philosophical ideas with simpler, every day words. I think that has something to do with it. The Hebrews could express the same ideas as the Greeks, they just didn't use elitist terms to do it so as to make themselves sound smarter. :lol:
User avatar
calvinist
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Postby metrodorus » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:29 am

There are almost no philosophical ideas as such
expressed in the Hebrew Bible, and those that there are - for example, in Ecclesiastes - are heavily influenced by Greek models.
Evan.
metrodorus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:19 pm

Postby calvinist » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:36 pm

metrodorus wrote:There are almost no philosophical ideas as such
expressed in the Hebrew Bible, and those that there are - for example, in Ecclesiastes - are heavily influenced by Greek models.
Evan.

I'm not sure how much Ecclesiastes could have been influenced by Greek models, since it was written by King Solomon who was born about 1000 BC.
User avatar
calvinist
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Postby quendidil » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:58 am

calvinist wrote:
metrodorus wrote:There are almost no philosophical ideas as such
expressed in the Hebrew Bible, and those that there are - for example, in Ecclesiastes - are heavily influenced by Greek models.
Evan.

I'm not sure how much Ecclesiastes could have been influenced by Greek models, since it was written by King Solomon who was born about 1000 BC.


Wikipedia actually suggests that it was more influenced by Persian models.
quendidil
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:39 am

Postby mingshey » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:58 am

quendidil wrote:
calvinist wrote:
metrodorus wrote:There are almost no philosophical ideas as such
expressed in the Hebrew Bible, and those that there are - for example, in Ecclesiastes - are heavily influenced by Greek models.
Evan.

I'm not sure how much Ecclesiastes could have been influenced by Greek models, since it was written by King Solomon who was born about 1000 BC.


Wikipedia actually suggests that it was more influenced by Persian models.


Wikipedia also states that the author was probably NOT King Solomon.
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby bluetech » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:08 pm

The entire Hebrew bible has a very small vocabulary (8500 words/stems or so I've heard), and the grammar is also somewhat simpler than what you might find in Classical Greek.
The narrative portions of the bible are similar in their language and as fitting for their content (laws, chronicles and so forth) are lucid and straightforward. When you get to the classical prophets and the poetry, things naturally become more complex and inclusive in vocabulary, grammar and structure, but as a new learner you should be able to tackle them with the same ease (when you begin reading systematically, I do recommend beginning with the narratives, if only as to acknowledge the contrast between their clarity and the immense beauty of Isaiah or Jeremiah). On the other hand, books like Job (from chapter 3) are mostly incomprehensible to me as a Modern Hebrew speaker without some help.
Now if anyone here wants to learn Modern Hebrew, I'd assume he won't be doing it in order to have a soul to soul conversation with someone in the Jerusalem market, but to read the literature. And as the bible is by and far the greatest influence on the language of the writers, and is generally lurking in the shadow of any Hebrew text, I'd recommend starting from there first.
bluetech
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:34 pm

Postby Gonzalo » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:38 pm

Hi,

[Thanks for your thoughts and welcome to bluetech.]

I found William R. Harper's Elements of Hebrew in a book-shop and I bought it. So, I am going to study Biblical Hebrew. I think that this incoming week I wll be able finally to master the aleph-bet and then I'll move to Harper's book and some books I've bookmarked from Google Books.

I'd like to know a short list of Biblical vocabulary with phonetic transcription and English translation and Hebrew characters. No more than 30-50 words. It would be very useful to begin.

Regards and many thanks again for the commentaries,
Gonzalo

P.S.: I've found two interesting links. This one deals with vocabulary and this one with History of Hebrew language.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby Nooj » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:21 pm

bluetech wrote:On the other hand, books like Job (from chapter 3) are mostly incomprehensible to me as a Modern Hebrew speaker without some help.
I wouldn't be too worried about that, from what I hear Job is a notoriously difficult text to translate for Biblical scholars as well.
Nooj
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:53 pm

Hebrew

Postby Faylasoof » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:17 pm

Gonzalo wrote:Hi,

[Thanks for your thoughts and welcome to bluetech.]

I found William R. Harper's Elements of Hebrew in a book-shop and I bought it. So, I am going to study Biblical Hebrew. I think that this incoming week I wll be able finally to master the aleph-bet and then I'll move to Harper's book and some books I've bookmarked from Google Books.

I'd like to know a short list of Biblical vocabulary with phonetic transcription and English translation and Hebrew characters. No more than 30-50 words. It would be very useful to begin.

Regards and many thanks again for the commentaries,
Gonzalo

P.S.: I've found two interesting links. This one deals with vocabulary and this one with History of Hebrew language.



BTW, this book is also available at the Internet Archive:

http://www.archive.org/details/williamrharperse00harprich
[William R. Harper's elements of Hebrew by an inductive method ([c1921])]

I note that you have at present the aim to learn the basic vocabulary of ~50 words. If however you wish to build on this later, then Harper can again help you. He compiled a comprehensive list of Hebrew words by their frequency of occurrence. Very useful:

http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewvocabulari00harpiala
[Hebrew vocabularies: lists of the most frequently occurring Hebrew words (1898, c1890)]
utlub ul-'ilm min al-mahad il al-laHad
[Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave]
Faylasoof
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Plato’s Republic

Re: Hebrew

Postby Gonzalo » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:04 pm

Faylasoof wrote:
Gonzalo wrote:Hi,

[Thanks for your thoughts and welcome to bluetech.]

I found William R. Harper's Elements of Hebrew in a book-shop and I bought it. So, I am going to study Biblical Hebrew. I think that this incoming week I wll be able finally to master the aleph-bet and then I'll move to Harper's book and some books I've bookmarked from Google Books.

I'd like to know a short list of Biblical vocabulary with phonetic transcription and English translation and Hebrew characters. No more than 30-50 words. It would be very useful to begin.

Regards and many thanks again for the commentaries,
Gonzalo

P.S.: I've found two interesting links. This one deals with vocabulary and this one with History of Hebrew language.



BTW, this book is also available at the Internet Archive:

http://www.archive.org/details/williamrharperse00harprich
[William R. Harper's elements of Hebrew by an inductive method ([c1921])]

I note that you have at present the aim to learn the basic vocabulary of ~50 words. If however you wish to build on this later, then Harper can again help you. He compiled a comprehensive list of Hebrew words by their frequency of occurrence. Very useful:

http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewvocabulari00harpiala
[Hebrew vocabularies: lists of the most frequently occurring Hebrew words (1898, c1890)]

Many thanks. Your contributions have been excellent for me, I really thank you specially for the second link. I am not by no means studying "deep" Grammar, at this point I am trying to master the aleph-bet and I am also reading some sections of the Grammar.
Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España

Postby Gonzalo » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:31 pm

Hi,

I am studying with Harper's Method and manual of Hebrew and the book I bought. I highly recommend it. It let you read Hebrew from the first page explaining every thing. Besides, his Elements are also very useful. I get a bit troubled with the vowels (their sounds+transcriptions) but Evan's videos help a lot. Do you know any other resource or other material?

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
User avatar
Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am
Location: España


Return to Open Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 16 guests