Sunday, May 18, 2008

A milestone tonight

I finished reading the first chapter in Genesis, in Hebrew.

There were several -- okay, many -- words that I still don't know and a few letters that still trip me up but when I compare where I am now to where I was a year ago, I'm getting somewhere.

This is not an easy language. There's one letter that doubles as a vowel or a consonant and also can serve as a prefix meaning "and." N and B look almost alike, as do B and C. I know what the aleph looks like but the average Hebrew kindergarten student can probably draw it more accurately than I can.

Most of the consonants change shape depending on whether they are at the front or the back of the word. The vowels are like Morse code -- and in grown-up Hebrew, they don't even bother with them.