reading hebrew

Kim Fleming kfleming at
Sat Jun 9 11:16:13 EDT 2001

Early last year I began teaching myself biblical Hebrew using Bonnie
Kittel's grammar and then Ehud Ben Zvi's intermediate grammar. I have now
just completed two semesters of Hebrew at Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC
near where I live. I have become fairly proficient in reading from some of
the easier books of the bible - Genesis, Samuel etc. But I realize for me
now it is almost an entirely visual language - instead of reading IN hebrew,
I am visually identifying the words and hearing them in english in my head.
for instance, when I see "vayyomer ___", I don't think "vayyomer ___", I
think "and ___ said" etc.

This is the first second language I have attempted to learn - and though I
won't have much occasion to speak it, what I mainly want to do is be able to
read it - Is this a bad habit I should try to break now, before it becomes
too ingrained? Should I force myself to slow down and learn to associate the
hebrew sounds with the intended meanings? How do most of you all whose
original language is not Hebrew read the Hebrew?

appreciate your comments,

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