Teach Yourself Hebrew by R. K. Harrison PDF book

 Teach Yourself Hebrew by R. K.  Harrison PDF book

Teach Yourself Hebrew


Hebrew may seem to present a number of initial obstacles to the aspiring student. Its appearance is strange to those unfamiliar with Semitic languages, and it lacks almost all contact with the grammar and syntax of Classical or modem European languages. 

The alphabet is unfamiliar at first sight, and some of the letters are apt to be confused. Writing vocalized consonants from right to left is strange to the majority of people; the ring of Hebrew words and phrases, particularly when guttural letters are enunciated, is equally unfamiliar. Another difficulty might appear to subsist in the triliteral nature of most Hebrew roots so that to a beginner they not only sound alike but would also seem to require a considerable amount of mental effort to fix them accurately in the memory.

 Furthermore, the virtual absence of compound forms demands a separate Hebrew word for verbs which to us may express the same root idea, a factor which again appears to make for excessive memory work. Many such ideas arise through a beginner's unfamiliarity with the language, but the student may be assured immediately with his efforts will bring a quicker dividend in the form of an ability to translate the original than would be the case with Classical and other languages generally,


A further merit is that previous experience in language study is not essential; in fact, it may even be disadvantageous, and the majority of students grasp the principles of Hebrew grammar readily when only the mother- tongue is known. It is true, of course, that the study of any language requires enterprise, effort, and perseverance, and in this respect, Hebrew is no exception.

Since Hebrew is now the official language of the State of Israel, it has gained in importance during recent years, and this fact makes its study a matter of more than purely antiquarian or theological interest. 

The student will have sufficient equipment to study the simpler prose passages of the Old Testament when he has mastered the contents of the book, and in addition, he will derive greater benefit from a subsequent perusal of such works as Gesenius- Kautzsch-Cowley, for the finer points of the language as met within more advanced Hebrew prose and poetry. 

This, then, is a book for beginners, and whilst the writer makes no claim whatever to the originality of content or presentation, he trusts that the simplified arrangement of the material will be of assistance to students, and especially to those who are endeavoring to learn Hebrew through private study. 

The chapters follow the order observed by the majority of grammars, and for the first few chapters, the Hebrew words are transliterated as they occur, to enable the student to grasp their pronunciation and inflection. Proper names and technical terms are fully accepted when they first occur, but subsequently, they carry the minimum of accentuation, in order to simplify the format. The Divine Name is left unpointed throughout, and certain phrases are repeated in the exercises in a manner similar to the Biblical idiom.



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