a) pronunciation and transliteration
b) installing Hebrew script on your computer
c) the hebrew alphabet
d) learning the alphabet while singing
e) vocalization – nikud
f) soft and hard consonants: v/b, ch/k, f/ps and sh
g) full and defective spelling

In order to make things easier for the Israeli newspaper reader, the so called full spelling is in use in texts without nikud. It adds additional vowels and consonants such as vav and yud as a reading assistance.

In writings with nikud, such auxiliary additional letters (mater lectionis) are unnecessary. The defective spelling is used in children’s books or on street name signs. As it manages with less letters on the line, it is called defective.

In dictionaries you will generally encounter defective spelling – i.e. spelling with nikud. Why? Because there are firm rules for defective spelling, whereas there are no set standards for full spelling.


auxiliary letterspelling examples
vowels(mater lectionis)english:pronounced:defective:full:
v double vavfurparvahפַּרְוָהפרווה
v at the beginningcommitteeva ’adוֲעַדוועד
y double yudbuildingbinyanבִּנְיָןבניין

Phonetic clarification in names and foreign words: a is rendered by alef, e by ayin. This spelling is adopted from Yiddish, which is a language close to German, but written in Hebrew letters.