[b-hebrew] Questions about Hebrew Vocabulary Lists, Definitions, and Frequencies

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Aug 22 18:22:30 EDT 2005

Hi there,

Take a look at this directory: www.lamie.net/hebrew

the directory contains text files each with a name 1s - 16s. The file 1s gives a frequency ordered list 
of all the single words in the torah based on an electronic aleppo text. 2s gives a frequency ordered 
list of combinations of two words 3s of three and so on. From a vocab point of view it is more useful 
for language students to learn such recurrent patterns and to get a feel for the relationships between 
I was making tool similar to yours but with a slight difference. The vocab tool was to offer a number of 
possible translations for words/phrases and give the student the opportunity to assign his own meaning.
The student could signal his knowledge of a word/phrase and the tool would build up a personalised 
database of words/phrases that the student is comfortable with. Based on this active vocabulary the 
engine would offer the student actual verses from the bible which contain only these words. As a 
second level of difficulty the engine would offer the student authentic passages with a limites amount 
of unknown vocabulary giving the student the chance to infer meanings from context and to work up his 
linguistic instincts with biblical semantics.

I shouldn't worry about copying meanings as long as you don't copy and paste word for word. You can't 
copyright meanings for words, otherwise it would be almost impossible for organisations to compile new dictionaries.

If you would like any help with the project let me know.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Joshua Luna
Sent: Mon 8/22/2005 9:34 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] Questions about Hebrew Vocabulary Lists, Definitions,and Frequencies


I am building a flash card program for my website for Hebrew vocabulary
practice (and eventually Greek). The goal is to offer a free online training
tool that teaches every word that appears 50x or more in the Hebrew Bible,
therefore making learning/reading tools like, "A Reader's Hebrew-English
Lexicon of the Old Testament" by Armstrong-Busby-Carr more useful.


My "problems" are:


1. Frequencies.

The vocabulary lists in the rear of, "A Reader's Hebrew-English Lexicon of
the Old Testament" are Alphabetical and not listed based on frequency. For
practical purposes I want to start with the most frequent words and work


So how do I obtain these frequency lists, legally, for my use? I have the
vocabulary guides by Mitchel, Landes, Pennington, and Van Pelt & Practico.
For obvious reasons I do not wish to use their information (unless
permitted) because it could be viewed as "competition" and detract from the
sales of their hard labor.


I have Bibleworks but seem to be unable to generate very accurate lists (you
cannot sort by lexical entry, so all words with the same 3 root are grouped
together). What tool do I need to use to get the frequency information of
Hebrew words found in the Hebrew Bible?


2. Word list / definitions.

I was planning to use the word list in the "Reader's Lexicon" because the
original intent was to build up someone's vocabulary so a book like such
would become infinitely more usable and thus facilitate reading. BUT...


The copyright prohibits any reproduction, in any form, of any part of the
book. Now the word definitions themselves are taken from BDB, but I don't
think that helps my cause! Does this copyright pretty much make the use of
that list a no-no, even though it facilitates the use of the book by others?


3. Other vocabulary lists.

There are about 700 words that appear 50x or more, so the basic idea is to
have ~35 twenty word vocabulary quizes (and 7 one-hundred word review
quizzes). I also plan to offer quizzes that focus on verbal stems,
pronominal suffixes, adjectives, numbers, prepositions, and so forth. One of
the great things about the vocabulary guide by Van Pelt & Practico is they
have some good adjective and preposition lists.



So I am at a roadblock and need some suggestions on how to proceed! Either
generating accurate definitions and frequencies with Bibleworks (preferable)
or a book where I can freely use the frequency information and/or definition
information without violating any author rights, etc...


Thanks for your time.


Joshua Luna

fof at pluswebdesign.com

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