Lesson 8: Double Trouble
Samech: Soggy Salad Saran Wrapped in a Salad Bowl
The letter TET makes a “t” sound just like the letter TAV. Over the years, my students have helped me come up with multiple ways to remember TET. TET is shaped like an uppercase “U” with a diagonal line coming down about halfway from the far right point of the “U”. Originally, I had called it tugboat TET but I really had no idea what a tugboat looked like and neither did any of my students. It’s still quite catchy though, so even without a clear vision of a tugboat in mind, it will stick in your brain. If not, we can also remember TET as tub TET because it resembles a hot tub or tulip TET.
The letter SAMECH makes a “s” sound just like the letter SIN. It is shaped like an uppercase “U” with a horizontal line across the top. I’m really letting my imagination run wild on this one but just imagine that SAMECH looks like a salad bowl with saran wrap on it. If you’re putting saran wrap on salad in a salad bowl, it probably means you are saving some of the salad for leftovers and you may just have some soggy salad waiting for you the very next day. In other words, soggy salad saran-wrapped in a salad bowl SAMECH.
The letter KOOF makes a “k” sound just like the letter KAF. KOOF looks like a lowercase “p” which is why we remember it as poof KOOF. Since the letter is a bit longer than the rest, you will find the vowels to be placed not quite below but under the loop like this:
קֻ קִ קָ
AY Vowel #1
AY Vowel (sounds like ace):
Our final vowel is the AY vowel. The AY vowel is two dots next to each other horizontally. It’s a simple vowel and not all that memorable, similar to the EE vowel. And speaking of EE, you might just find a yud without a vowel attached to the end of the syllable just like we saw with the EE vowel. AY or AY+y(ud) makes the same sound so the yud without a vowel underneath becomes part of the AY vowel.
סֵ = סֵי
טֵ = טֵי