Monday, November 08, 2004

Ulpan is Hard!

Everyday I leave the apartment a little before 8:00 and walk to the Ulpan for my Hebrew classes. I have been in classes six days and already I can speak, read and write in Hebrew. (Ok, not A LOT, but it's a start!) It's pretty amazing. There is a lot to learn. The 4 hours class is exhausting. My mind is always "on". I am either concentrating on what is being said, following along with reading, or preparing dialog questions and answers. Nobody gets to hide in this class--you have to participate. This is a good thing because if forces you to learn. After class, I am starving and I come home to make lunch. My mind is exhausted and swimming with new vocabulary. At night, I try to review what we covered in class and complete any homework activities. Yaacov has helped me make flash cards and he checks my exercises. It's good to have a Hebrew speaker at home to help you study! He just laughs and laughs at my silly mistakes!

Hebrew is a very compact language. One way that Hebrew is more efficient than English is the use of vowels. Vowels in Hebrew are combinations of dots and dashes under and beside letters. The position of these dots and dashes lets you know if the consonant sound is followed by /a/, /A/, /i/, /O/, or /oo/. However in print and in common handwriting the dots and dashes of vowels are not used. So, you have to know the word in order to read it accurately. This saves a lot of time and space on the page, but is a real pain in the butt for the beginner. Once I become more familiar with the structure and build my vocabulary, I think it will be just fine.

Right now, I am having fun reading children's books at the bookshops. They all have the vowels included, so you can tell how to pronounce the words.

We got our new refrigerator. It's very nice.

And I DID hang up all of those clothes seen in the "Flashcards" posting picture!


At 11/09/2004 4:08 PM, Blogger Jes said...

My brother always says that if you want to learn a language, sleep with the dictionary.
Since you have that covered, you should get the Heb in no time! I had to create a blog to comment on your blog. Now I will have to write about my mundane life in Carrboro and try to compete with your exotic misadventures in Israel.

At 11/09/2004 5:26 PM, Blogger John said...

HEY JESSICA! Girl, you know that you've got it going on! Tell us all about it! No fear!


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