Modern Hebrew is spoken as a daily language in Israel and in parts of the Palestinian Territories. Biblical Hebrew is used as a religious language by Jews worldwide. It is written with a different alphabet than European languages, and is written from right to left.
The Hebrew alphabet consists entirely of consonants, though some can function as vowels. Vowels are indicated with a system of dots and dashes next to the letters, but these are usually omitted except in Bibles and children's books. It is common for words, especially foreign words, to be spelled in more than one way; the Abu'l`afia Synagogue has five different spellings of its name on its signs.
The accent is usually on the last syllable; most of the exceptions are segolates (words in which segol, the e-sound, was inserted after the accent), such as elef "thousand". Some words have a diphthong "ua" or "ia" which is one syllable but sounds like two, like English "oil". This is called pattah g'nuva "stolen a-sound" and occurs in shavua` "week", which is accented on the "u".
In conversational Hebrew, only three (בכפ) are pronounced differently when they contain a daghesh.
Five letters (מנצפכ) have a different form at the end of a word (םןץףך, respectively). These are named by adding סופית (so-FEET) "final" to the name of the letter, e.g. נון סופית (noon so-feet)
The letter shin is pronounced differently according to the position of the dot over it.
glottal stop or silent ('sometimes used as the letter a when rendering English in Hebrew')
ב בּ bet, vet
with a dot like big; without a dot like move
ג גּ gimel, ghimel
like go; some dialects pronounce without a dot similar to French quatre or and Arabic غ
ד דּ dalet, dhalet
like dark; some dialects pronounce without a dot similar to bathe
like he; silent at the end of a word with a preceding -a, unless it has a dot in it
like violin; some dialects pronounce as week; also or or moon when used as a vowel
Normally as Scottish ch in loch and as German Bach. (IPA: /χ/) Some people pronounce it as the Arabic ح (IPA: [ħ])
as t in stick
like yet; also say or honey when used as a vowel
כ כּ ך kaf, khaf
with a dot like skip; without a dot like the Scottish ch in loch and as German Bach (IPA: /χ/)
like leave, pronounced more forward in the mouth.
מ ם mem
נ ן nun
similar to Cockney pronunciation of water. (IPA: /ʔ/) Some people pronounce it as a constriction of the throat as in the Arabic ع (IPA: /ʕ/)
פ פּ ף peh, feh
with a dot like upon; without a dot off
צ ץ tsadi
as boots. Rarely, some people pronounce it as hard s as in the Arabic ص (IPA: /sˤ/)
As in skip. Rarely, some people pronounce it as in the Arabic ق, (IPA: /q/) similar to kite, but from the part of the throat where one would pronounce g
pronounced as the French r (IPA: [ʁ]). Some pronounce it as rolled as in Spanish burro (IPA: [r])
שׁ שׂ sin, shin
with a right-hand dot like shoot, or with a left-hand dot like see
ת תּ tav, thav
as t in stick; some dialects pronounce without a dot as glass or teeth
Hebrew verbs conjugate according to the gender of the sentence's subject: different verb forms must thus be used when referring to men and women. These have been noted below when appropriate.
ENTRANCE - כניסה
EXIT - יציאה
MEN - גברים
WOMEN - נשים
FORBIDDEN - אסור
.שלום (shalom - shah-LOHM) The Hebrew greeting, literally "peace." The English "Hi" is also used.
.שלום (shalom - shah-LOHM) Yes, the greeting is the same for the start and end of conversation. See also "See you later".
See you later.
.להתראות (lehitra'ot - leh-hit-rah-'OHT) The most common farewell greeting, besides the English "Bye". Again, the English "Bye" is also used.
When speaking to a male: מאיפה אתה? (me'eifoh atah? - meh-EY-foh ah-TAH)
When speaking to a female: מאיפה את? (me'eifoh at? - meh-EY-foh aht)
Do you speak English?
When speaking to a male: אתה מדבר אנגלית? (atah medaber anglit? - ah-TAH meh-dah-BEHR ahn-GLEET?)
When speaking to a female: את מדברת אנגלית? (at medaberet anglit? - aht meh-dah-BEH-ret ahn-GLEET?)
Numbers (מספרים misparim)
אפס (efes - EH-fess)
אחת (ahat - ah-KHAT)
שתיים (shtayim - SHTAH-yeem)
שלש (shalosh - shah-LOSH)
ארבע (arba' - AHR-bah)
חמש (hamesh - khah-MESH)
שש (shesh - shesh)
שבע (sheva' - SHEH-vah)
שמונה (shmoneh - shmo-NEH)
תשע (tesha' - TEY-shah)
עשר ('eser - EH-sehr)
אחת עשרה (ahat-'esreh - ah-khat es-REH)
שתים עשרה (shtem-'esreh - shtem es-REH)
שלוש עשרה (shlosh-'esreh - shlosh es-REH)
ארבע עשרה (arba'-'esreh - ar-bah es-REH)
חמש עשרה (hamesh-'esreh - kha-mesh es-REH)
שש עשרה (shesh-'esreh - shesh es-REH)
שבע עשרה (shva'-'esreh - shva es-REH)
שמונה עשרה (shmonah-'esreh - shmo-nah es-REH)
תשע עשרה (tshah-'esreh - tshah es-REH)
עשרים ('esrim - es-REEM)
עשרים וחמש ('esrim vehamesh - es-REEM ve-khah-MESH)
שלשים (shloshim - shlo-SHEEM)
ארבעים (arba'im - ar-bah-EEM)
חמשים (hamishim - khah-mee-SHEEM)
ששים (shishim - shee-SHEEM)
שבעים (shiv'im - shiv-EEM)
שמונים (shmonim - shmo-NEEM)
תשעים (tish'im - tish-EEM)
מאה (me'ah - MEH-'ah)
מאתיים (matayim - m'ah-TAH-yeem)
שלש מאות (shlosh-me'ot - sh-LOSH meh-'OHT)
אלף (elef - EH-lef)
אחוז (ahuz - ah-KHOOZ ah-KHAD)
חמישה אחוזים (hamishah ahuzim - kha-misha ah-KHOOZIM)
מאה אחוז (me'ah ahuz - MEH-'ah ah-KHOOZ)
חצי (hetsi - KHE-tsee)
רבע (reva' - REH-vah)
יותר (yoter - yoh-TEHR)
פחות (pahot - pah-KHOHT)
Time (זמן zman)
היום (hayom - hah-YOHM)
אתמול (etmol - et-MOHL)
מחר (mahar - mah-KHAHR)
The day before yesterday
שלשום (shilshom - shil-SHOHM)
The day after tomorrow
מחרתיים (mahratayim - makh-rah-TAH-yeem)
Days of the week (ימי השבוע yame hashavua')
Except for Shabbat, these are ordinal numbers. But both these and the names of the first 6 letters in the Hebrew Alfa-Beit are used.
יום ראשון (yom rishon - yohm ree-SHOHN)
יום שני (yom sheni - yohm shey-NEE)
יום שלישי (yom shlishi - yohm shlee-SHEE)
יום רביעי (yom revi'i - yohm rvee-EE)
יום חמישי (yom hamishi - yohm khah-mee-SHEE)
יום ששי (yom shishi - yohm shee-SHEE)
שבת (shabat - shah-BAHT)
Months (חודשים hodashim)
In everyday life, most Israelis use the Gregorian Calendar. The month names pronunciation resembles Central-European (e.g. German) pronunciation.
מאי ("May - Mah-ee)
יוני ("Yuni - Yuh-nee")
יולי ("Yuli - Yuh-lee")
אוגוסט ("Ogust - O-guh-st")
For holidays and events, Israeli Jews and Jews worldwide use a lunisolar calendar, in which the month begins at the new moon and a thirteenth month is added every few years. The months with Tishrei (Sept.-Oct.) and run through Elul (August-September); thus Elul 5760 is followed by Tishrei 5761. Besides meaning "spring" and "Nisan", "Aviv" is also the name of a stage that the growth of barley reaches at that time.
תשרי (tishrey - tish-REY)
חשון (heshvan - ḥesh-VAN)
כסלו (kislev - kis-LEV)
טבת (tevet - tey-VET)
שבט (shevat - shuh-VAT)
אדר (adar - ah-DAR)
Second Adar (the leap month)
אדר שני (adar sheni - ah-DAR shey-NEE) or אדר ב (adar beth - ah-DAR beth)
ניסן (nisan - nee-SAHN)
אייר (iyar - ee-YAHR)
סיון (sivan - see-VAHN)
תמוז (tamuz - tah-MOOZ)
אב (av - ahv)
אלול (elul - eh-LOOL)
Duration (משך meshekh)
יום (yom - yom)
שבוע (shavua' - shah-VOOah)
חודש (hodesh - KHO-desh)
שנה (shanah - shah-NAH)
שעה (sha'ah - shah-AH)
דקה (daqah - dah-KAH)
שניה (shniyah - shnee-YAH)
זמן (zman - zmahn)
Seasons (עונות 'onot)
אביב (aviv - ah-VEEV)
קיץ (kayits - KAH-yits)
סתיו (stav - stahv)
חורף (horef - KHO-ref)
What time is it?
מה השעה? (mah hasha'ah? - mah hah-shah-AH?)
Colors (צבעים tsva'im)
שחור (shahor - sha-KHOR)
לבן (lavan - la-VAN)
אפור (afor - a-FOR)
אדום (adom - a-DOM)
כחול (kahol - ka-KHOL)
צהוב (tsahov - tza-HOV)
ירוק (yaroq - ya-ROK)
כתום (katom - ka-TOM)
סגול (sagol - sa-GOL)
חום (hum - khum)
Transportation (תחבורה tahburah)
Bus and train (אוטובוס ורכבת otobus verakevet)
How much is a ticket to _____?
כמה עולה כרטיס ל (kamah 'ole kartis le___? - KA-ma `oLE karTIS le___?)
הקונסוליה ה אמריקאית/בריטית/צרפתית/סינית/הודית/רוסית/פולנית (konsuliyah ha'amerikait/habritit/hatsarfatit/hasinit/hahodit/harusit/hapolanit? - HaKonSULia ha ahmehriKAHit/BRItit/tsorfaTIT/SInit/HOdit/ruSIT/polaNIT?)
Where are there a lot of...
איפה יש הרבה (eifoh yesh harbeh... - EIfo yesh harBE...)
מלונות (...melonot? - meloNOT)
מסעדות (...mis'adot? - mis`aDOT)
ברים (...barim? - BArim)
...things to see?
דברים לראות (...dvarim lir'ot? - dvaRIM lirOT)
Can you show me on the map?
אפשר להראות לי במפה (efshar lehar'ot li bamapah? - efSHAR leharOT li bamaPA)
תוכל להשתמש במונה בבקשה? (tukhal lehishtamesh bemoneh bevakasha? - tuKHAL le-hish-ta-MESH be-moNEH be-va-ka-SHA?). A counter/taximeter (מונה - moneh) gives the price based on certain factors such as travel time and distance (plus initial price), rather than a fixed overprice. Luggage costs extra in either case.
In Israel, many restaurants and eating places are kosher meaning that they observe the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut. For a restaurant to be officially kosher and have a Kosher Certificate, in addition to serving only correctly prepared kosher food, it must also not open on the Shabbat - from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday.
In many places in Israel such as Tel Aviv, there are non-kosher restaurants that will open on Shabbat and will serve non-kosher food (e.g. the restaurant serves both meat and milk dishes). Comparatively few places serve non-kosher food items like pork.
In some religious villages and small towns there are very few if any places that open on Shabbat.