Another vocabulary resource: Davar

A few weeks ago I reviewed some Hebrew vocabulary resources (Part One, Part Two) that readers submitted for my first B2B contest. There are a few vocabulary resources that were not mentioned, but which I want to draw attention to. The first one is a project from The University of Auckland (that’s in New Zealand, folks). Davar is a “dynamic illustrated vocabulary resource” for Biblical Hebrew. The academic leadership for the project is Dr Tim Bulkeley and Dr Lynne Wall (I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting Tim at the upcoming SBL meeting in New Orleans). This project has been designed with a great deal of thought. Their design rationale can be found here. Basically, Davar is a database of web “cards” for Hebrew vocabulary. Each card has animation showing the word being typed from right to left, audio to hear the word, visual images illustrating the meaning, mnemonics to trigger a gloss, parsing, a verse with the word in context, and a semantic field (based on the domains found in the Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon).

Students can access the vocabularies online without registering (actually, anyone can access them). Teachers can register to gain access to the vocabularies in order to provide customized lists to their own students. The next step of participation is as a “contributor.” This level of access allows you to add or change information in the vocabulary database. A peer review process is in place to make sure all changes are appropriate before they go “live.”

So, what does it look like? Here are some screen shots from my MacBook Pro running OS X version 10.6.1 (and using Foxfire 3.5.5), the Hebrew vowel pointing is not quite lined up with the consonants. I’d be interested to hear how other people are viewing this resource.

This first image is the opening splash.

Here we have the vocabularies navigation page.

This final shot is an individual vocabulary window.

As far as I can tell, there are 554 vocabulary entries (so far). This is a work in progress, and they are definitely willing to have people come on board with them to help out. They also acknowledge that no project is perfect and that there is always a different way to do things–but this is somewhere to start!

Take a look, let me know your thoughts. Or, better yet, if you see Tim at SBL, talk to him about the project!
Here’s who to look for:
Tim Bulkeley

2 thoughts on “Another vocabulary resource: Davar

  1. Hebrew Scholar

    This looks like a great fun way to learn Biblical Hebrew vocabulary, but with the vocabulary limited to 554 Hebrew words, it would only cover the commonest of words. But it still sounds like a good way to learn. However, my experience is that flashcards are the most effective way to learn, since words can be shuffled round and extracted when you have learned them. When I learned Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary, I used custom-designed spreadsheets with the vocabulary in them, using formulae to re-sort the words randomly, and I could consistently learn 50 words a day, spending no more than 20-30 minutes per day.

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