P.S: If your computer fails to read the Hebrew letters here, now you can download this lesson for free here as a PDF file. BUT if you do, you will also need to download the audio conversation here. AND be aware that this lesson is one of a series of conversational Hebrew lessons on this website, be sure to bookmark the page or to subscribe to the website for free.

Welcome to “Conversational Hebrew Course – Lesson 1″

In this conversational Hebrew course you will learn how to hold your first conversation in Hebrew, I assume you have NO prior knowledge of the Hebrew language, so lay back, relax and read on. It would be a good idea if you get yourself a small notebook and a pencil to accompany you throughout the lessons, a coffee is optional… Let’s begin…

Imagine yourself on a trip to Israel, meeting a guy in the hotel lobby at downtown Ramat Gan. Let’s see how you guys are going to communicate.

But before we start, let me first introduce you to the city where you are now… Ramat Gan!. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here are 3000 words to begin with:

Ramat Gan Skyline - Conversational Hebrew Lesson 1 Ramat Gan Twin Tower - Conversational Hebrew Lesson 1 Ramat Gan Panoramic View - Conversational Hebrew Lesson 1
Ramat Gan skyline on a sunny day. Ramat Gan’s Twin Tower. Ramat Gan panoramic view.

Welcome to Ramat Gan…

The Target Dialogue:

Let’s asume you are Adam and the guy’s name is Eliad. (Oops, almost forgotten! Hebrew, as you probably know, goes from right to left)…

conversational-hebrew-lesson-1-conversation.mp3

Adam: shalom. ma shlomcha?

אדם : שלום. מה שלומך?י

Eliad: shlomi tov, toda raba. uma shlomcha?

אליעד : שלומי טוב, תודה רבה. ומה שלומך?י

Adam: tov, todah. ma shemcha?

אדם : טוב, תודה. מה שמך?י

Eliad: shmi eliad. ve-atta?

אליעד : שמי אליעד. ואתה? י

Adam: shmi adam. na’im me-od, eliad.

אדם : שמי אדם. נעים מאד, אליעד

Eliad: na-im me-od. lehitraot, adam.

אליעד : נעים מאד. להתראות, אדם

Translation:

Adam: Hello, how are you?

Eliad: I am good, thanks. And you?

Adam: Good, thanks. What’s your name?

Eliad: My name is Eliad, and you?

Adam: My name is Adam. It’s a pleasure, Eliad.

Eliad: It’s a pleasure. Goodbye, Adam.

Vocabulary and Explanation:

Adam: shalom. ma shlomcha?

?אדם : שלום. מה שלומך

Hello

shalom

שלום

What

ma

מה

Your

cha

ך

Your peace

shlomcha

שלומך

How are you?

ma shlomcha?

?מה שלומך

Note: As you probably have noticed, Israelis/Hebrew speakers tend to use the word “peace” very often, they say “peace” instead of our “hello” and even use “what is your peace?” as their special way to ask each other how they are doing.

Eliad: shlomi tov, toda raba. uma shlomcha?

?אליעד : שלומי טוב, תודה רבה. ומה שלומ

My

ee

י

My peace / My state

shlomi

שלומי

Good

tov

טוב

I am good / I am fine

shlomi tov

שלומי טוב

Thanks

toda

תודה

Many

raba

רבה

Many thanks

toda raba

תודה רבה

And

u

ו

And how are you?

uma shlomcha?

?ומה שלומך

Note: Needless to say, you can say only “toda” to say thanks, “raba” is just an addition to show that you are more thankful than just “toda” alone. Just like we do in English “thank you” and “thank you very much”. Nothing big!

One more note here. the “u” that we used here as “and” sometimes is pronounced as “ve”. We will encounter it later on.

Adam: tov, todah. ma shemcha?

?אדם : טוב, תודה. מה שמך

Name

shem

שם

Your name

shemcha

שמך

Eliad: shmi eliad. ve-atta?

? אליעד : שמי אליעד. ואתה

My name

shemi

שמי

My name is Eliad

Shemi eliad

שמי אליעד

You

atta

אתה

And you

ve-atta

ואתה

Adam: shmi adam. na’im me-od, eliad.

אדם : שמי אדם. נעים מאד, אליעד.

Much pleasure

na-im me-od

נעים מאד

Eliad: shmi eliad. ve-atta?

? אליעד : שמי אליעד. ואתה

My name

shemi

שמי

My name is Eliad

Shemi eliad

שמי אליעד

You

atta

אתה

And you

ve-atta

ואתה

Adam: shmi adam. na’im me-od, eliad.

אדם : שמי אדם. נעים מאד, אליעד.

Much pleasure na-im me-od נעים מאד

Eliad: na-im me-od. lehitraot, adam.

אליעד : נעים מאד. להתראות, אדם.

Goodbye

lehitraot

להתראות

Note: Israelis use “shalom” for saying both hello and goodbye, however, there are a few other phrases that are common today. One of them is here “lehitraot” which could mean literally “till the next seeing”.

Grammar Note!

Unlike English, Hebrew does differentiate between male and female when they are being talked to. Basically for now, let’s know that the words “shlomcha” and “shemcha” that Adam and Eliad just exchanged, would be “shlomech” and “shmech” if they were female. Plus, “atta” will simply be “at”.

Don’t stress yourself over that now, in our next lesson, Eliad is going to introduce Adam to Meriam, a friend of his, and we will use the female version then. So let’s leave it for now.

I just wanted to let you know so you can be careful not to use these forms to your female friends, if you want to practice or show off the little Hebrew that you just learned, which is absolutely fine! You are doing a great job! Let’s move on to some exercises and worksheets.

Exercises and worksheets

You might find it challenging to deal with all these alien alphabets, please take the time to study the conversation first and the “1.3 Optional Worksheets” below.

1.1 Drill: You take the part of Adam:

?……………………………………… :אדם

?אליעד : שלומי טוב ,תודה רבה. ומה שלומך

?………………………………………. :אדם

?עלגד : שמי אליעד, ואתה

………………………………………. :אדם

אליעד : נעים מאד. להתראות, אדם

1.2 Drill: You take the part of Eliad:

?אדם : שלום. מה שלומך

?…………………………………….. :אליעד

?אדם : טוב, תודה. מה שמך

?…………………………………….. :אליעד

אדם : שמי אדם. נעים מאד, אליעד.

…………………………………….. :אליעד

1.3 Build words out of these letter, and sentences out of the words. Then translate.

A) ל – ש – ם – ו

……………………………………………………………..

B) ם – ש

……………………………………………………………..

C) טוב – שלומי

……………………………………………………………..

D) שמך – מה – ?

……………………………………………………………..

E) ? – שלומך – מה

……………………………………………………………..

F) אדם – שמי

……………………………………………………………..

G) מאד – נעים

……………………………………………………………..

Important!!!

Please download the Conversational Hebrew Lesson 1 Worksheets, print it, fill it and send it back to me.

If you want to have a printable version of this conversational Hebrew lesson, you can download the complete lesson, exercises and worksheets booklet for free.

If you think that this course is going too slow for you, then try Pimsleur Hebrew, it might be the answer if you are in a hurry.

You might also find the FSI Hebrew course very useful, if you are willing to dedicate some time and effort for it.

 

In all cases, be sure to subscribe for free to this website to receive the future free conversational Hebrew lessons and updates and news from Israel.

My Name in Hebrew (have your name written in Hebrew)

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10 thoughts on “Conversational Hebrew Lesson 1

  1. Hi Adam,
    I really find vowel markings helpful in knowing how to pronounce the words, so, without the vowel markings do you just have to memorize whether a vav gets an o or and oo or it;s own sound for that matter? How do you know what vowel sound each consonant gets? I’ve have a Hebrew Tanak program that I practice reading and it has vowel markings, I do this for practice even though I understand little of what I am reading, with the interpretation below it I do pick up repetitive words, also I am slowly learning the root words. But it is very discouraging when a letter could have so many sounds and there is no indication for the beginner to know what the vowel is, so my question is why are there no vowel markings and how does one know? Thanks

    1. Shalom Leslie,

      Look, you have touched on a very common issue. The Hebrew vowels/niqqud are certainly a great challenge for Hebrew learners. I am in my third university semester taking Hebrew literature and I still can’t know my O from my U, unless I have heard the word already before.

      Imagine English having no vowels (a, e, i, o, u). It would be very difficult to read for beginners, bt ts nt mpssbl, right? We often drop vowels on Twitter!

      However, the particular example you provided (the vav being pronounced as O or U), has some grammar to it. For example

      If we want to say “we ate” you would say אכלנו (achalnu). As you notice here this is a plural verb, hence, it ends with וּ (shuruk)

      On the other hand, if we want to say “with him” we’d say איתו (itto), The word here ended with cholam malei, because it refers to a masculine third person.

      So, on the one hand you have to depend on your ear, and on the other hand grammar might help sometimes.

      When I was learning German with Michel Thomas (my favorite linguist in the entire world), he used to say “don’t worry in the beginning how this or that should be pronounced, in time, you’ll naturally know the right pronunciation just because it sounds right”

      So, keep on learning and never give up.

      shlm :)

    1. Hello there Reza,

      Hebrew verb conjugation is not as easy as it is in English. There are a few types of verbs that conjugate in different ways, as you probably know.

      I remember I found once a website that did that (for only a few verbs), you might find it useful. http://www.hebrew-verbs.co.il/

      Have a great day.

  2. Hi
    I am actually English and I am doing an exam on modern Hebrew. I am the most behind in my class but I really want to do well on my exam and get a good mark. I did the first exercise but am not sure how to get to the rest.
    I would also like to know if there are any other things to teach me modern Hebrew writting and reading and will make me as to do it in less then 6 months.
    Thank you very much (sorry if I come of rude)

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