Everything You Need To Learn Hebrew
Hebrew (Modern Hebrew: עִבְרִית ʿivrít) is an ancient, living language spoken by more than 7 million people around the world. Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that derives from Proto-Semitic and originated in Mesopotamia sometime between 2000 and 1500 BC.
Modern Hebrew developed out of the Old Hebrew we see in biblical times; while modern Hebrew does use many of the same words as its biblical ancestor, it’s not the same language. Modern Hebrew has been influenced by other languages such as Arabic, Yiddish and Russian.
Hebrew uses the Hebrew alphabet, which is also known as the “Jewish” alphabet or the “Assyrian” alphabet, and writing is from right to left, just like Arabic.
Luckily for learners of Hebrew, there are plenty of diverse learning materials to choose from, and we’ve put together a list of the ones we think will be of most value to you.
Hebrew Language Learning Books
Learning Hebrew with course/study books is the old school way to learn a language, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t still effective.
The good thing about learning Hebrew this way is that you have total control over how much or how little you want to do each day, so it’s great for people who are self-motivated and disciplined enough to set themselves goals.
A good Hebrew written course will introduce you to the Hebrew sounds and alphabet, then build your vocabulary and knowledge of Hebrew grammar. It will also teach you about Hebrew idioms and other important aspects of the language.
You’ll also want to grab yourself a concise English-Hebrew dictionary, ideally one that includes transliteration, so you can learn to pronounce the words even if you can’t yet read Hebrew.
And while we’re on the topic of reading Hebrew, you might want to get a book that teaches you how to read and write using the Hebrew alphabet. A good Hebrew writing practice book will step you through how to write each letter, then teach you how to put them all together.
Hebrew Children’s Books
A great, stress-free way to build your vocabulary and familiarize yourself with Hebrew, is to read Hebrew books written for children. These tend to be short and simple, with plenty of colorful, memorable illustrations. The language used is often uncomplicated, with many books using repetition to help reinforce learning.
Beginners at the start of their Hebrew language learning journey will find Hebrew kids’ books invaluable, as the colorful pictures and simple text will help you to begin to recognize and remember words and phrases.
When you’re ready to move away from the simplicity of Hebrew kids’ books, you’ll no doubt want more challenging reading material. That’s where Hebrew adult fiction comes in.
Hebrew books written for adults are a fantastic way for learners to boost their vocabulary, reading comprehension and practice their language skills. These books use much more organic language, tackle more interesting topics, and will generally be more challenging for intermediate and advanced learners.
Hebrew Digital Courses
Hebrew digital courses are a great resource for self-learners and beginners to use in conjunction with their course books, children’s books and novels.
Many of these courses include structured lessons that will teach you new words and phrases through video and/or lessons, focusing on building your Hebrew listening and speaking skills.
Udemy offers an affordable Hebrew e-course that’s quite extensive and varied. You get over 5 hours of video instruction, dozens of downloadable worksheets, and lifetime access to the course and all future updates. You’ll be able to study on any smart device, and will be part of an active community of learners also taking the course.
HEBREW UDEMY COURSES
Books and digital courses aren’t the only way to learn Hebrew. There are a number of Hebrew language products on the market, designed to make learning more fun.
Hebrew flash cards are an excellent way to learn the Hebrew alphabet and common words and phrases, while a Hebrew-language clock could be just the thing you need to get you used to Hebrew numbers.
A Hebrew word game is an educational way of having fun, and can help you learn many Hebrew words without even realizing it.