How do I get started?
Once you start reading in Hebrew it’s really exciting to give Hebrew typing a try. Lots of people have a hard time getting started playing around on a Hebrew keyboard because they just can’t find it. So here’s a quick run down.
On your phone go into the Settings option. Under Settings there is a Language and Input option. Under the Language and Input option you have the Keyboard Input Methods option. On an android phone choose Android Keyboard. Then choose Languages. Now you can toggle as many languages as you want options of keyboards. Yeah, English is good;) Finish or Galician aren’t what we’re looking for, but Hebrew is there too. Once English and Hebrew are both toggled you’ll be able to switch between the English keyboard and the Hebrew keyboard with a simple swipe. Changing the language options in this way won’t change the language settings of your entire phone. Phew:)
Let’s get going!
The first thing most newbies notice on the Hebrew keyboard is that on (most) Hebrew keyboards the vowels are missing! Also, there are some letters in Hebrew that have two versions of the same letter with only a dot differentiating them. The letter ‘Pey’ and ‘Fey’, the letter ‘Bet’ and ‘Vet’, the letter ‘Kaf’ and ‘Chaf.’ These sister letters – as I like to call them – are also missing on most Hebrew keyboards. The reason these are missing is pretty encouraging. Hebrew is such a simple language with such repetitive patterns, that very soon after you learn to read Hebrew you can easily read Hebrew without vowels and even without specifying which sister letter is in the word you’re reading!!
There’s a fun meme that goes around on the internet where there’s a paragraph written in English without vowels. Just consonants. Have you seen it? Well, it’s kind of hard but you can totally read in English without vowels. The text of this meme talks about how amazing the human mind is, and it really is. But I can’t stress enough how much easier a language Hebrew is than English. And reading in Hebrew without vowels is pretty much standard starting in Israel from already towards the end of First grade in elementary school. So the standard Hebrew keyboard is without vowels.
Although the standard Hebrew keyboard option doesn’t have vowels, there are options of Hebrew keyboard apps WITH vowels that you can download. There are lots of different options out there but the one my students have recommended (for android) is this Hebrew Keyboard App.
If you have a recommendation that you’d like to share, please send me an email and I’ll link to it!