Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The weirdest way to learn Hebrew ever

Some of us come up with some pretty weird tricks to teach ourselves or our kids Hebrew, but this one beats everything I’ve seen…

imageJust came across this “mnemonic” vowel chart in a Christian book about the Jewish people.  NO, this is not something I am considering for my kids, but I do like to know what they’re up to – like what they’re learning and teaching about me and my ilk.

The idea here is that each vowel can be learned easily by associating it with its place on this “boy”’s face.

The only thing I think is useable here is the “freckles” for the segol vowel (like under here: ֶ).

For Gavriel Zev, I’ve found that the secret is to make them into people – indeed, the secret of most things with him is to turn whatever-it-is into a character he can identify with.

So the cholom (the “oh” in Shalom) has become “Uncle Joe” around here.  If it’s missing the vav underneath (cholom chaseir, as in “נֹעַר”) we call it “The Ghost of Uncle Joe.”

Oh, and the shuruk (שׁוּרוּק) is “Aunt Minnie Moo,” while a kubutz (קֻבּוּץ) is “Aunt Minnie Moo going down the slide.”

Hey, whatever works – um, except maybe a goofy picture of a boy eating a flute.

Meanwhile, the same book that includes this Hebrew Vowel Boy also presents the Bais HaMikdash as “A Shadow of Things to Come,” depicting its holy objects in the shape of a cross and explaining how each one symbolizes something special that would fully come to pass in Jesus.

image

Here’s what it looks like all filled in:

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Stuff like this makes me want to scream, but I’ll save the rant for now, because I have real stuff to do.  Suffice to say that longtime readers already know I’m not happy when my deeply-held beliefs are appropriated solely as a way to make someone else’s religion seem ancient and cool and mystical.

Ahem.  So, to get back to the theme of home education:

What weird mnemonics have you come up with to teach yourself, your students or your kids Hebrew???

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