Mnemonic Aids for Learning Hebrew Vocabulary

October 3, 2011

This semester, I have been tutoring a student who is taking first-semester Hebrew. Today, he needed to learn ten function words and nine words for numbers (for his quiz tomorrow).

When he told me that he had not studied these words much at all so far, I told him that I thought he was in trouble. As we began to work on the words, however, mnemonic aids came to me that made the task much easier for him.

Here are the ten sentences/phrases that we came up with to help him learn these words. These provide the Hebrew vocabulary words in a part-transliteration, part-pronunciation scheme that I use.

 

Numbers)

 

Ri Aleph-Shon – “first”; Sheni – “second”

Echad – 1 [Masculine]; Achath – 1 [Feminine]; ShƏnayim – 2 [Masculine]; ShƏttayim – 2 [Feminine]

Meah – 100; Ma Aleph-Thayim – 200; Eleph – 1000

 

In the race, Ri Aleph-Shon finished first, and Sheni was second.

Number 1, Echad, married Achath.

Number 2, ShƏnayim married ShƏttayim.

A meah is 1/10 of an eleph.

A meah is ½ of ma aleph-thayim.

 

Function Words)

 

Lifney – “before”; AchƏrey – “after”; Min – “from”; Nyad – “as far as”

El – “toward”; Nyal – “on”; Nyim – “with”; ¯Eth – “with”; Koh – “thus”; Beyn – “between”

 

Before Lifney and after AchƏrey; from Min as far as Nyad

Toward El on Nyal; Nyim with Eth Maqqeph

Thus Koh is between Beyn

 

Rajesh

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