7 tips for reading Hebrew without vowel signs

Updated: Nov 11

For many Hebrew learners, after learning the basics, and getting familiar with the letters, vowels, and grammatical rules, the hard part begins. Now they can read, and write, but only with training wheels - the vowel signs. This can be somewhat frustrating, because, not like English, modern Hebrew (and Biblical Hebrew), uses the vowel signs - niqqud to represent vowels or distinguish between alternative pronunciations of letters. This is mainly used in languages like Hebrew and Arabic. However, the modern Hebrew speaker, or the "native Hebrew speaker", does not need the vowels to read. In fact, the vowels are almost not used in everyday Hebrew. In Israel, all the newspapers, books, captions on tv series, and even street signs, are written without vowels. This is why we decided to gather the top 7 tips we could find for reading Hebrew without vowel signs. 1. Read with vowels, write without them Don't spend several years learning to write with the niqqud, and then transfer to writing without. Try reading the words a few times with the vowels, listen to the pronunciation, and then write them several times without the vowels. This will help you recognize the word easier, and remember the pronunciation.

2. Enrich your vocabulary and get familiar with as many words as possible. Once you recognize the words quickly, you just pronounce it as you remember. Eventually, The goal is to be able to read full words at a time, and not letter by letter.

Your vocabulary is the key to reading without vowels.


3. Watch Hebrew series and movies with subtitles. If you hear the correct pronunciation along with seeing the written word, your visual memory is performing better, and the pronunciation is much easier to remember.

4. The letters פ / כ / ב at the beginning of a word: Don't know how the letter פ pronounced? is it P or F? well if this letter is at the beginning of a word, is it most likely to be pronounced as P. And the same for the letter ב. at the beginning of a word it will always be pronounced as B, and not V.

And the same for כ, which will always be pronounced K and not C'H when at the beginning of a word.

5. Learn and improve your Hebrew grammar.

The verbs in Hebrew are arranged in a very systematic way and there are patterns that repeat themselves. By mastering this aspect of Hebrew, the vowelless reading will be easier to achieve. you will recognize verbs easily, and the pattern will usually direct you to the correct pronunciation. Hebrew grammar - verbs master course

6. Use the online Hebrew word generator

It shows you the word and reads it to you. This way, you hear the correct pronunciation and see the word without vowels. This is a great way to test yourself and practice. Hebrew word generator without vowels


7. Try the online course "Read Hebrew without vowel signs". This is the only course out there that gives you the tools for vowelless reading. In this course, you will find dozens of lectures with plenty of special tips, rules, words, and patterns you can recognize. This is a great way for improving your skills and eventually reading without the vowel signs.

Try it here


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