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Verb… verb… Who has the verb?

October 23, 2013

So we’re a couple days into my working on trying to crank through the Hebrew verbs… and I’m learning very quickly that Hebrew school didn’t do a very good job of preparing me to actually speak the language.

My major problem are the conjugations.

Hebrew has seven binyanim – verb conjugations – and while I can conjugate a couple of verbs in a couple of them (פעל,פיעל and התפעל mostly)… there’s several that I’ve never seen from back then.  Couple that with the fact that a given root can have verb forms in several of the binyanim, and suddenly knowing the roots alone isn’t sufficient.

Obviously, I’ve done some work previously with trying to learn the various binyanim, since I’ve had used verbs as the word of the day before here… but it’s nothing that I can consistently reproduce.  Contrast that with how I deal with Spanish, and just have to figure out if a verb is -ar, -er or -ir, and then I’m good to go.  Esperanto, on the other hand, is nice and standard, and once you know a verb, you’re off to the races.  (French is coming along a little more slowly.)

I have the first 20 roots into my Memrise lesson… and I’ll probably hold off a few days before adding more (since it’s 39 verbs atm).

On the French front, I’m doing alright – still crunching away at Duolingo and I’m adding 5 or so words a day at Memrise.  Assimil is staying interesting…

And now, between today and Saturday, I need to figure out the video update…

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7 Comments
  1. That sounds like a nightmare. Hebrew’s definitely off my list! 😉 (Shame, I quite like it )
    I’ve just had to look up if in Spanish, the verb tener(!) in the first person was tuvé or tuví – something so totally basic, I’m not kidding! Verbs are killing me.

    • It’s really not that bad when push comes to shove. It’s unfamiliar to me, moreso since…

      Well… the real issue is that I learned only a few basic verbs, and they never really covered full conjugation. When all you know are basic verbs – to say, to eat, to drink, to want, to think – in only present and past tense… and suddenly you want to learn to say more, it’s just a whole new universe.

  2. Interesting post… from one polyglot yonatan to another, btw i share your pain: the language has serious faults and annoyances. My wife’s mom, an ex-teacher, is my complainer’s wailing wall of last resort.Friday I asked her if she thought having to use a *different* form of the simple word ‘two’ for a pair of chickens, depending on their (presumed) gender was stupid.. She bitched that nobody does it any more, like they did back in Yemen where there was *respect* for the language.
    Idk, how can you respect a language which puts its speakers through all these needless, worthless hoops.?
    I’ll ‘Follow’ your blog/progress, and be back to read more, with your permission. JS/Qadima, IS

    • I don’t know that it’s a matter, really, of ‘respecting’ a language with hurdles like this… as much as getting accustomed to such a thing, as another blog I read points out. It’s a difficulty, but it’s also a difference that is part of the ‘feel’ of a tongue. 🙂

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