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Importance of Niqqud system for writing

I'm completely new to Hebrew and I would like to know something about the Niqqud system. By now, I think I know how to read many words, if you give me the points and the hyphens around the letters. So, I learned the Niqqud system. But remembering how to write the words from their pronunciation is a hard task for me, because there are many ways of writing the vowels A and E using the Niqqud system (this is one of the difficulties).

For example, if I know the pronunciation of a word, for example, MAHSHEV, I can write easily the following : מחשב. But, when using the Niqqud system, I have no idea which set of "points" I have to use to designate the vowels A and E. Is it important/useful to know that it's written מַחְשֵׁב (and not with -: below the mem, or 3 points below the shin for instance)? In my book, they say that the points are not used in daily life by people at all. That's why I'm asking you this.

Second question: Hebrew native speakers learn how to write with the Niqqud system or you would only know that MAHSHEV should be written מחשב and that's all?

Thank you! :)

Apr 18, 2017 5:13 PM
Comments · 2

They answers to both of your questions derive from the fact that today some of the different Niqqud signs actually sound the same.

For example, מַחְשֵׁב and מַחְשֶׁב are both pronounced MAHSHEV so even if you write it in the (wrong) second form people will still read it in the same way. Morever, i think that most Hebrew speakers would not even notice the mistake because, as you mentioned, the signs are not used in daily life so we don't really remember the right choice between two "equivalent" signs.

The same is true for מַחְשֵׁב and מָחְשֶׁב. But not for מַחְשֵׁב and מִחְשֵׁב, as these two forms sound differently (MAHSHEV vs. MIHSHEV). Usually, we just write without signs and people know how to pronounce by the context.

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April 18, 2017

Thank you very much, Avraham! :)

This part of your answer is pretty important to me : Morever, i think that most Hebrew speakers would not even notice the mistake because, as you mentioned, the signs are not used in daily life so we don't really remember the right choice between two "equivalent" signs.

So, I won't even take much time learning the points, since not even Hebrew speakers know how to write them ^^

April 18, 2017
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