Learn Hebrew for Free (And a Few Paid Resources!)

Filed in Hebrew by on 27/12/2012 0 Comments
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Learn Hebrew for Free

Learning Hebrew should be undertaken with a coffee and in a relaxing atmosphere. If you have ever experienced the challenge of attending a Hebrew Ulpan with its demanding schedule, then the resources below might just be what you need in order to recover. Here is a “how to guide”, tools and some insider advice.  Spend some time each day; language is reinforced by continual use even for short time periods.Learn Hebrew

Hebrew English

Hebrew on Coke! (Photo: ThisParticularGreg, CC BY-SA 2.0)

“The How To”

1.       Learn the Aleph Bet
Learning Hebrew goes quicker and smoother if you master the Hebrew aleph bet. Online flashcards, games and other learning tools can then be used to reinforce your learning. It may sound boring but it can be a real challenge to get them all right and, by the end of a flashcard session, you will have no doubt what you have mastered.

2.       Incorporate Audio

We all want that great accent and to avoid being instantly branded a “foreigner”. The best learning method incorporates audio. Audio familiarizes you with how the language sounds; without that, your pronunciation may be way off (trust me I know this first hand) and you also will not learn the nuances of the spoken words. Besides, it is crucial to get use to the speed of word delivery used by the average Israeli.

3.       Use Flashcards, Games, and Free Word of the Day Subscriptions

4.       Start Learning Phrases

Unless you want to be limited to one word conversations, learning phrases is essential, the sooner the better.  Random words are much more difficult to remember. Putting a word into as sentence that has meaning instantly improves your recall of it. Conversations of one word answers are generally show stoppers; most Israelis will switch to whatever English they know if this happens.

5.     Practice Short Conversations

Try building up your confidence in simple conversations.  Practicing a few phrases at a time will allow you to begin to have real communication skills.  Once you start you will then begin to naturally pick up words by conversing with others.  Word of caution, make it easy on yourself and choose a Hebrew speaker who speaks at a speed you can process and talk when they have time for you.  For example, ordering in a restaurant that is not busy with a friendly waiter, asking for help shopping when the store is not busy, asking directions from a shop owner with no customers. If the person switches to English, this can be quite common, ask them to speak Hebrew so you can improve your skills!

Free Hebrew Language Resources with Audio

Any or all of these may be of great assistance in building your vocabulary and speaking skills.

Makorehebrew  free words and phrases available, a great place to start with audio for learning each letter of the Hebrew aleph bet and more

Jerusalem On Line  these are great real beginner free video lessons from eteacher, a popular online paid learning course, shows words in context of situations

HebrewEasily Blogspot no longer active but has many free lessons available, earlier ones have audio; a good way to begin building vocabulary

Byki has a free version available with words, phrases, flashcards, and spelling which, if you use, reinforces the words you learn quite dramatically

My Languages download 100 audio lessons for free; must buy the accompanying textbook if you want it.  It’s a bit hard to find the textbook so here is a link to amazon if you choose to get it. However, the audio by itself is useful to hear and learn the language and you can replay the words as much as you can handle on your mp3 player

Word of the Day sent using email, facebook, twitter, etc. has a verb and sentence with audio, even if the sentence is too advanced at the beginning, by practicing it you will begin to see how the language is applied, learn new words faster and get a better ear for the accent

SurfaceLanguages  very useful – contains words, phrases and flashcards

Hebrew.co.il  has advanced, videoed conversations but lots of repetition and useful to familiarize you with the flow of conversations

Live Mocha haven’t tried this but it involves groups & the ability to practice with others

Recommended Apps and PodCast

Hebrew Essentials provides free foundational words to begin your vocabulary. Ma-kore has a free app for Ipad and Iphone with 40 lessons. A very useful resource for phrases is Hebrew Podcasts.com which has downloads to accompany each lesson and has introduced video.  It also has an extensive list of resources for people who want to delve into the topic further. Some free lessons, more with paid membership.

Free online Dictionary

Try this great online free English Hebrew dictionary with free apps for iphone and Android.

These are definitely not the only tools available and you may come across more.  Any you would recommend?



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