א is a glottal stop.
There are many good resources Memrise.com has Hebrew courses, "Hebrew Duolingo" by Mazorano is based on this course and was written by one of the Duolingo contributors. It pronounces all the words. I've also used "Modern Hebrew Complete (with Audio)". I like them both. For other resources, do a google search. There are many. "YouTube" has some nice videos. I also find Hebrew instruction books, both for adults and children, very helpful. BehrmanHouse.com has some excellent books for learning Hebrew.
This isn't really testing letters. I know very basic Hebrew already so I already knew what Dad and comes were, but the first lesson and already you'd have to go to Google Translate to do the lesson.
edit You can hover over the words for on the fly translation* Thanks, Ashrak!
Well, they've only covered three letters with these words so far, so in a way it is introducing the alphabet. I'm just going to keep repeating the first lesson until I feel comfortable with them. :)
But I also chose to do their official memrise course (there's a link to it in the tips¬es, but I'll put it here, too: https://www.memrise.com/course/1087087/hebrew-alef-bet/ ) to learn the names of all the letters before plunging into the course here.
As for whether or not it's typical, the Russian course is similar (I already knew the Cyrillic alphabet so it didn't phase me so much), but the Greek course starts out with the letters and only a few words using those letters. And there's just as much complaining about not starting with words there, as there is here for not starting with the letters. (Actually, there's more complaining there, but that's because there was a glitch that's been mostly resolved now.)
Every language is different, depending on the decisions of the course contributors. Many other Hrbrew courses teach the alphabet first, but this is not really very useful. Duo's method is to learn a few letters at a time, but in whole words. Each lesson introduces a few new letters. It helps if you are learning with a Pc rather than a mobile phone as you then get an itroduction and tips and notes. However, a phone is ideal for typing Hebrew as you can easily jump from one keyboard to another with a touch screen. The reason that I say that learning the alphabet is not very useful is because vowels are not part of the alphabet in Hebrew; because some sounds can be written more than one way and some letters of the alphabet can be pronounced more than one way. You can only learn on a word by word basis. Repetition is the key. If you learn the alphabet and all the vowel marks very carefully without learning whole words, you will be incapable of using Hebrew in the real world. There is no easy way to learn Hebrew. But it gets easier if you start off the right way. If you start the wrong way you will have to relearn.
This is their official memrise course teaching the letters: https://www.memrise.com/course/1087087/hebrew-alef-bet/
There's another one (I don't think it's official, but it works) that teaches you where each letter is on the keyboard, too: https://www.memrise.com/course/188776/typing-on-hebrew-keyboard/
EDIT: That typing link has issues with the punctuation keys (which are important, since ת, for example, is on the comma key). This one also teaches the location of the letters for typing, without that issue, (and reinforces the letter names, which is nice): https://www.memrise.com/course/1636485/typing-hebrew/
Hebrew is teaching me to touch type!
I've just started. Hi.
So, I figured out the mac had a QWERTY Hebrew keyboard. Then figured out this language goes right to left. Then realised that the fastest way to learn this alphabet is to create a table in a word processor (Pages in my case) with three columns. One for Hebrew, one for Hebrew in Latin alphabet, one for the English translation.
As I do the lesson I first copy the question in Hebrew by slowly touch typing with the keyboard viewer open so I can see which Hebrew letters correspond with the Latin QWERTY layout. So I'm slowly learning Hebrew and touch typing at the same time.
Two for the price of one! Thanks Duo (and the contributors to this course), I'm enjoying this!
(Edit. When I first loaded this as a new language it just throws you straight into the first lesson and you can't get to the Notes & Tips until you've finished and gone back to the tree, [on mac], but it was fun figuring it out without clues. Having now read the notes, ...wow... excellent! Very helpful compared to other courses I've done. Thank you contributors.)
My opinion, based on personal experience, is that you should learn the Hebrew alphabet, and even the vowels, which are usually not used, before you start the Duolingo program. I love the Duolingo Hebrew program, but I don't know how people can do it without an understanding of how the alphabet works, such as when does ב sound like a "b" and when does it sound like a "v". It's too difficult trying to figure this out on ones own by listening to phrases without having any background in the language. If you have a Synagogue or Temple in your area, give them a call and ask when they are going to have the next crash course for adults on learning to read Hebrew and ask if they will allow you to attend. The crash courses are usually a few hours over a two day period. You can also goggle a publishing house, like Behrman and buy a book from them. I used "Reading Hebrew (Sefardi) A programmed Instruction Book" from Behrman. I've also seen it on Amazon. I also used, and like, the "Primer" from "The New Siddur Program" for children. You can also get an audio tape, or CD if they've updated, with it. Learning a kid's alefbet song helps a lot, too. You can look on YouTube for this, and hope they have an easy one. Duolingo Hebrew has a link to the Memrise course that teaches the Hebrew letter names. Try that out, too.
Good luck! And don't give up on Duolingo.
So I'm using Duolingo on Windows Phone, and apparently they have the word order wrong in the app but not on the website. I came here to comment about the word order confusing me but here kn the browser version it's correct. On the app it was as follows:
'בא אבא? '
Which is completely the opposite of what the audio was saying...so I'll be using the browser version for Hebrew I guess!
Is there somewhere on Duolingo or elsewhere that teaches you how to read it? I can look at charts from other websites and try to match up the letters to the sounds (when it actually has an audio file), but that has really limited success for me. I know I can hover over the letters and it will tell me what they mean but I'd prefer to actually be able to read and sound things out rather than just halfway memorizing the words that have showed up in the lesson. I haven't had this problem learning the Russian alphabet and doing Duolingo. This course really doesn't feel like it's made for absolute beginners, which is fine if somewhat surprising, but I'd like a resource that actually does start at the very beginning.
I went through a couple of first examples and I feel like i'm watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN-SDABQc-k :J Ha. Hababa. Hadadagaga. (For clarification: I'm not making fun of Hebrew language, I studied it for a bit before from other courses and they were less silly. But this one? I have no words :q )