Of all the accomplishments of the ancient Middle East, the invention of the alphabet is probably the greatest. While pre-alphabetic systems of writing in the Old World became steadily more phonetic, they were still exceedingly cumbersome, and the syllabic systems that gradually replaced them… Theories of the origin of the alphabet The evolution of the alphabet involved two important achievements.
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Hebrew uses a different alphabet than English Hebrew is written right-to-left The Hebrew alphabet has no vowels, but pronunciation aids are often added There are several styles of Hebrew writing Hebrew letters have numerical values Writing in Hebrew may require a special word processor and fonts The Hebrew and Yiddish languages use a different alphabet than English.
The picture below illustrates the Hebrew alphabet, in Hebrew alphabetical order. Note that Hebrew is written from right to left, rather than left to right as in English, so Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last. The Hebrew alphabet is often called the "alefbet," because of its first two letters.
Letters of the Alefbet Table 1: The Hebrew Alphabet If this sounds like Greek to you, you're not far off! Many letters in the Greek alphabet have similar names and occur in the same order though they don't look anything alike!
The "Kh" and the "Ch" are pronounced as in German or Scottish, a throat clearing noise, not as the "ch" in "chair. People who are fluent in the language do not need vowels to read Hebrew, and most things written in Hebrew in Israel are written without vowels.
However, as Hebrew literacy declined, particularly after the Romans expelled the Jews from Israel, the rabbis recognized the need for aids to pronunciation, so they developed a system of dots and dashes called nikkud points.
These dots and dashes are written above, below or inside the letter, in ways that do not alter the spacing of the line. Text containing these markings is referred to as "pointed" text. Vowel Points Table 2: Vowel Points Most nikkud are used to indicate vowels.
Table 2 illustrates the vowel points, along with their pronunciations. Pronunciations are approximate; I have heard quite a bit of variation in vowel pronunciation. Vowel points are shown in blue. The letter Alef, shown in red, is used to illustrate the position of the points relative to the consonants.
The letters shown in purple are technically consonants and would appear in unpointed texts, but they function as vowels in this context. There are a few other nikkud, illustrated in Table 3. Other Nikkud The dot that appears in the center of some letters is called a dagesh.
It can appear in just about any letter in Hebrew.Alphabets created with special calligraphy fonts. Calligraphy alphabets from a to z letters in black in over 15 styles and samples which include uppercase and lowercase styles, Gothic, Stencils, Cursive, Romantic, Roman and more.
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