Welcome! ~ !ברוכים הבאים
Shalom! ~ !שלום
Welcome to the Hebrew for English speakers forum. After more than a year of hard work, we've finally made it. Everyone can now learn Hebrew on Duolingo!
In this post we provide you with things that can help you with learning Hebrew and some general information that you'd probably want to know. Please read on.
The differences between Modern and Biblical Hebrew --------------------- One of the common questions learners usually ask is:
"What is the difference between Modern and Biblical Hebrew?"
"If I learn Modern Hebrew, will I be able to understand Biblical Hebrew? (and vice versa)"
The quick answer is: It depends. The truth is that even an average native Hebrew speaker has a hard time understanding Biblical Hebrew. Biblical Hebrew is different from Modern Hebrew in grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure.
The bottom line is that this course won't make you a rabbi, but you'll definitely be able to speak to Israelis in their native language, and you will have a good foundation for studying Biblical Hebrew further, if you so wish.
The Hebrew vowels (nikkud) ------------------- Instead of letters, Hebrew uses dots and dashes that appear around the letters as vowel signs. These dots and dashes are called "nikkud" (ניקוד). In Modern Hebrew, using nikkud is way less common – it is usually used in religious scripts, children’s books and in dictionaries. In order to teach you how to read without nikkud, we’ve decided not to use nikkud in the course(except in specific cases, where two or more words are spelled the same but have different underlying vowels).
Very important! Never use nikkud when writing answers in Hebrew, the nikkud only appears when you need to translate a Hebrew sentence into English.
Content ------------------ We did our best to make the course content interesting. The course content is realistic and contains many phrases you will come across when speaking Hebrew with native Israelis. We've also added some humoristic sentences so you won't get bored while learning.
Tips and notes ------------------------ We did our best to cover all the basic grammar rules of the Hebrew language. The notes in the course explain all the grammar rules and special cases introduced in each skill. Some notes relate to individual lessons when each lesson introduces another language feature. We highly recommend you read them before starting each skill in order to prevent further misunderstandings. The tips and notes can be found in every skill (where they exist) under the lessons list.
Voice ----------------------- The Hebrew course uses a real recorded voice (not TTS) – for that reason, the voice is not available for individual words but only for complete sentences. We recorded both male and female voices.
The voice recordings are very realistic, clear and bring you the correct way of speaking Hebrew with an Israeli accent. In Hebrew, some sentences can only be said by one gender. Therefore, where a sentence which only a male person can say appears, a male voice will appear and the same goes for female-only sentences.
For example: The sentence "I am a girl" will be followed by a female voice recording.
Hebrew keyboard --------------------------- There are a few ways to use a Hebrew keyboard:
Hebrew keyboard stickers(recommended)
There are stickers for your keyboard you can buy, they look like this:
After buying these stickers here is how you can add Hebrew to your keyboard:
Or: after you bought your stickers, you can use this addon: click here (it is available only in Google Chrome).
This addon basically detects the input language currently needed in a lesson, and switches your keyboard to it. This way you don't have to add Hebrew to your keyboard (it will work automatically with Duolingo).
You can use a virtual keyboard – here.
Facebook group --------------------------- You are more than welcome to join the official Facebook group of the Hebrew learners in Duolingo, here.
Learning resources ------------------------
Forvo –pronunciation dictionary.
Wordreference – Hebrew resources thread.
A course containing all words in Duolingo Hebrew course: Memrise
A course for learning the Hebrew alphabet: Memrise
(Both Memrise courses were made by Mazzorano from team Hebrew)
Immersion resources ---------------------------- Israeli radio stations
Popular news sites:
E-vrit – Hebrew books app.
Sefer-li – Translated children books without vowels.
Hebrew songs – Words for Hebrew songs (including translations).
We thank all people involved in the creation of this course, starting from the course contributors who invested so much of their free time, and ending with the wonderful staff at Duolingo who helped us with everything we needed. We'd also like to thank the Duolingo community for their support and patience during the development of this course.
Thank you! We couldn't do it without you!
The only thing that's left is to start learning Hebrew, בהצלחה – Be'hatslacha!
Great job! I've noticed that the tree is particularly long - 440 units, compared to 300-350 in other courses. Is it accidental or did you have some specific plan in mind, like shorter and more pleasant lessons maybe? ;)
Also the real recordings instead of the TTS is a great idea! I can't wait to see how it feels.
Fantastic work to your whole team!
Tell me, do you need these keyboard stickers in order to progress? Or can you memorize where each letter is placed on the keyboard in another manner?
Also, is there a Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey user script which can allow us to easily or automatically switch the keyboard language when needed?
Edit: I'm using the Hebrew keyboard here (https://www.branah.com/hebrew) and trying to memorize the letters by looking at them on the screen as I type, and then typing some more without looking at them. I think it's working! :D
I have Windows 7 with the Hebrew kb installed, but WIN plus spacebar does not change it. :( It is a hassle to go through several steps to change it each time I need to type in Hebrew. Control/space works on my Android kb I use with my mobile app on Tablet, but that does not work on my laptop, either. Is there some secret to getting this to work on my laptop?
Actually, I just noticed someone else posted that Alt+Shift will do it. I tried it and it works!! Woohoo!
I use the duolibro extension for duolingo, but also have my linux keyboard set up with a shortcut to switch back and forth. I forced myself to just type and type using the keyboard, with a cheatsheet on the side of my desk. It must have taken me a month to no longer have to look, but now I don't even think about it.
How to use:
After installing may need to reload any duolingo page you have open.
When you encounter an input field on duolingo you will be asked what DuoKeyboard must do. You can select if the keyboard should be changed and if so which layout should be used.
When a keyboard is selected a the cheat sheet can be shown of that keyboard. Vietnamese typing can be enabled as well as. These preferences can be used immediately.
When you save your settings they are stored for later sessions and you are not bothered with the question to set a keyboard anymore. If you would like to change the settings later you can go to the options menu by clicking on the extensions icon or through the extensions menu. Do not forget to save your preferences AND reload duolingo.
On the visual keyboard dead-keys (used to add accents to characters like ["] + [e] gives ë ) are represented in red. Some keyboards come with additional characters which are shown when the "right alt" button is pressed and some more when the "right alt" AND "shift" button are pressed. Report Abuse
✓ ALT+SHIFT+N - Switch to next input tool in the list (if the extension is off, turn it on; if the current input tool is the last tool in the list, turn the extension off)
✓ ALT+SHIFT+R - Revert to the last input tool used (if none, turn off the extension)
✓ ALT+SHIFT+T Toggle the current input tool.
✓ SHIFT - Toggle between En/Cn state (Chinese input tools only) ✓ SHIFT+SPACE - Toggle the SBC/DBC mode (Chinese input tools only) ✓ CTRL+PERIOD - Toggle Chinese / European language punctuation (Chinese input tools only)
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15068432 I made a layout for hebrew a few months ago , that is more accustomed to our keyboards, I hope that will make it easier to write hebrew....
nevermind this one is better: https://egarc.ku.edu/installing-hebrew-ku-homophonic-keyboard-windows-7
No offence, but I think that this layout is better: https://egarc.ku.edu/installing-hebrew-ku-homophonic-keyboard-windows-7
Also, I don't see how you type ח on your layout.
To me it doesn't matter which is better, this is the one I have: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Triumph-gabriele25.jpg (I guess on a slightly more modern machine.)
Thank you for making this course, but I have some concerns and it would be appreciated if you could address them. As I understand it, you chose to not include audio for individual words because the computer generated voices pronounced them wrong. My biggest problems with this course center around that issue. I am having the hardest time with this course because there simply isn't enough audio. For languages like Russian and Japanese this would be ok because you have a very clear understanding of pronunciation simply based on spelling. But as an English speaker with no experience with Hebrew, I honestly am struggling to make it through a single lesson. There are many words I have encountered that I have no idea how to pronounce because the word hasn't been used in a sentence yet. In many cases, I have been exposed to a word and then a few lessons later I get exposed to the pronunciation but I get the question wrong because it's unfamiliar to me. I am having an extremely difficult time remembering words because Duolingo is designed to teach words through context and repetitive reinforcement that I am not getting through this Hebrew course. In the other language courses I have tried, I have been able to go through a lesson, hear the words several times, see the words several times, and then reinforce my understanding by thinking and speaking the words I learned as I go through my day. It's not the same with this course. I can't think about a lot of the words I've learned because I have no idea how to pronounce them. So as my day goes along I forget the pronunciation of letters and when I try the next lesson I don't have a good understanding of the words I should already know. It's honestly discouraging. I feel like this Duolingo course is not helping me learn Hebrew. I feel like I can do a better job watching YouTube videos and buying a dictionary, but that's not why I choose to use Duolingo. I always try to supplement the languages I learn with other resources, but Duolingo exists to provide good, manageable, and free daily practice and exposure to languages. Again, for other languages the audio might not be this important because pronunciation can be deduced from spelling, but in Hebrew where the only way to learn pronunciation is by hearing and speaking the word, the audio is integral to this course. Please consider using computer generated audio for single words or another solution. I would rather use my mental efforts to correct my bad pronunciation than try to remember words that I can only guess how to pronounce. Again, thank you for making this course. I am thankful Duolingo exists and we have this opportunity to learn so many languages thanks to course creators like you. Thank you in advance for considering this concern.
The Hebrew course uses recordings of real people, instead of a TTS, which is why it doesn't have audio for individual words/picture questions.
I seem to remember one of the devs saying they were working with Duolingo/trying to do something about this, because they realise it's not ideal, but it's a failure of the system rather than peculiar to this course. It just has more impact in Hebrew because of how alien the writing system is.
Actually having audio with those pictures would be great, but I suspect it's a long term solution rather than something that's appearing any time soon. It's reliant on Duolingo providing a solution, it's not something the devs can 'fix'.
The devs did create a course to learn the alphabet and also a course of all the words + audio on Memrise, which go a considerable way to plugging the gap. The links are in the welcome post.
It's not ideal, but until Duolingo gives them the ability to add audio to individual words, it's really helpful.
There has been an occasional sentence that's been marked as "Almost correct!" and the only difference between my answer and Duolingo's has been I didn't type the nikkud. I'm assuming this is a bug/that nikkud-less answers just didn't get added in for some reason, and so I have reported the sentences where this has happened. Is that the most helpful thing I can be doing? I have had to use the "other problem" section, but I typed in the sentence in question so I'm hoping that helps.
Thanks again for all your hard work!
I don't know how is best to let you know, so I'm hoping one of you will see this. It might be a Memrise issue, not an issue with the course, but just in case it's the latter - the audio exercises (give you three audio files, pick the one that is correct) within the Memrise app are coming up with three of the same audio. I thought I was getting way too lucky picking the right one first every time, so then I tapped on all three before submitting and lo, they were all identical!
I haven't been able to get the same exercise on the website, so I don't know if the same is happening there, but I'm just letting you know about the app issue in case it's a fault specific to your course.
I am about to move out in a couple of days, but am I getting ready? HELL NO, 'cause the Hebrew course is out there!!!! Why have you done this to me???
Just kidding, thank you ever so much!
I want to state something that I have noted so far... Well, first of all I am brazilian and I am doing other courses in Portuguese, but the Hebrew is only available yet for English speakers, so, do I have a way to change the courses that I'm already doing without changing the course each time that I want to learn hebrew... for example... If I did some english classes and I want to change to hebrew I need to go to Add a course and exchange it every time... What can I do to not do this all the time?
I just want to tell you how much I love this course! The lessons follow my preferred way of learning, without any fuzz. Start off with basics, then tons of verbs, a couple of themes for useful nouns and the beloved prepositions. The perfect start. I'm ridiculously excited to finish the course. I also love the speed of the audio; for once I feel like I actually will understand what real people say and not just the usual super slow and unrealistically clear audio I've encountered in all other languages I've tried to learn throughout my life. Everything about this course is gold! :) Thanks!
As i'm a Linux user, here is a virtual keyboard i use :
In xfce4 you can enable hebrew in keyboard settings. With a combination key you can switch to hebrew.
As i'm using arch x64 the package is in AUR. You can get it with yaourt -S florence-git --noconfirm.
Also enable Hebrew in /etc/locale-gen
en_GB.UTF-8 UTF-8 en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 en_US ISO-8859-1 he_IL.UTF-8 UTF-8 he_IL ISO-8859-8
Kill your Xfce4 session and startx again. ( if you use GDM, goodluck i dunno how to do that ).
ubuntu google for answer all Debian users or anything related to that. Google. is the key.
I too was happy to see Hebrew released and enjoy using it. But I have some problems with it.
Hebrew is a rich language with many variations in how to say things. This implementation, unlike the other duolingo languages I have learned, corrupts the learning process by often forcing exactly one translation between each English and Hebrew word and one word order on each sentence. (And frustratingly doing even this inconsistently.) This is not fair to either the English or the Hebrew. In Turkish and Greek, for example, the team actively monitors and adds alternatives.
Also, the English often looks like the English of Israelis living in New York city, or children of English speaking Olim. The group really needs a fluent and native English speaker, perhaps two for the differences between British and American English. This makes me wonder what mistakes the poor Israelis learning English on duolingo are exposed to.
Despite these two significant defects, I am happy to be learning this language on duolingo and most grateful for the team that released it.
SO MUCH THANK YOU for this course! The picture is missing up above for the keyboard stickers, just FYI.
Also, you said "Never use nikkud when writing answers in Hebrew" but when I typed in my answers during the initial placement test, a few times it came back saying "Almost Correct!" and highlighted the word, which was correct except it had nikkud. Thoughts?
It should be voweled: אֲנִי מוֹרִיד בִּפְנֵיכֶם אֶת הַכּוֹבַע
The nikkud is not so easy to learn, as there are many irregularities, peculiarities and rules that aren't distinguishable in modern Hebrew anymore.
For example, there is the "Dagesh Hazak" sign, marking a consonant gemination: מִטָּה (Bed). Traditionally, the Dagesh in the ט doubled the consonant (as in Italian words like "fatto", "sotto", etc.). Grammatically (and historically) speaking, it would have been pronouced "mitta" (mit-ta), as if the word had been spelled מִטְטָה. But in spoken modern Hebrew the Dagesh Hazak has completely lost its gemination qualities, so one cannot figure out from hearing the actual word if it has a Dagesh or not. מִטָּה is pronounced "mita", and is written מיטה when the word is without nikkud.
Many Israelis (most of them, actually) can read and understand a text either with or without nikkud, but have never learnt to vowelize correctly when writing, as it's a tiresome process requiring a lot of memorization and practice, while actually writing with nikkud is completely unnecessary in almost every type of written communication. Even in poetry or children's books, which are generally vowelized, the nikkud is usually put there by a redactor, not by the writers themselves.
well he did mess up the translation there but this אני מוֹרִיד בְּפָּנֵיְכֶם אֵת" הַכּוֹבַע." sentence is used to mean like "im bowing to you" but in hebrew you say "im taking my hat off next to you" next to your face or near you, its "the hebrew way" but he did miss translate it. also כל הכבוד means good job and not "thanks a lot"
אני רק רוצה לומר, שלמרות שאתם עדיין בבטא, אתם זקוקים לתקן דברים רבים, כגון העובדה שלמשפטי שאלה לא ניתנת האפשרות להוסיף מילת שאלה (כמו שאמורים לעשות) והיא לדוגמא המילה "האם", או העובדה שלא ניתן להשתמש (לרוב) במילים כמו "דבריו" במקום הדברים שלו וכו'. מקווה שתתקנו את הדברים בקרוב.
זאת ההגדרה של גרסת בטא. לגבי המילה האם, אנחנו דווקא הוספנו את האפשרות הזאת בהרבה הרבה משפטים. אם מצאת משפט או שניים שזה לא ככה, דווח את זה.
בנוגע לשפה גבוהה, הקורס נועד למתחילים בעיקר, אז אנחנו לא מלמדים דקדוק כמו "דבריו" אלא ביחידה אחת, Possessives 2. אפשר לדווח על דברים כאלה בכל העץ, אבל רק ביחידה הזאת, זה צריך להופיע.
I'm a Jew from America, so I learned Biblical Hebrew and Rabbinic Hebrew and then learned Modern after when I lived in Israel for a year. The difference between Biblical and Modern is large enough that without preparation you wouldn't really be able to follow. But if you do know one, then looking up the differences in tenses and syntax and other rule changes and getting a little bit of practice should be enough. Especially because Biblical Hebrew is just written, not spoken, so you only have to learn the language in one direction. However, even if you can read it, the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) is often written in an ambiguous manner. (Rabbinic is much closer to modern with the main difference being how future tense works and more Aramaic borrowed from the Talmud.)
I get that you mean Biblical Hebrew isn't spoken conversationally but I misread it initially to mean it isn't spoken, period. But certainly for the sake of say being a Torah reader in synagogue or for ones Bar or Bat Mitzvah, one might indeed speak Biblical Hebrew. Probably a useless clarification but perhaps for those who aren't Jewish it helps.
If I may chime in to the discussion - I am a native Hebrew speaker, Israeli, and a linguist. Also, orthodox, so exposed to Biblical Hebrew quite a bit.
Unlike what's stated here in the post it's always been my experience that a fluent speaker of Hebrew with a decent reading vocabulary - someone who would be considered an educated reader, say, in English, or even a bit less so, will have no trouble parsing through Biblical Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew, with the occasional hiccup for specific words.
There are differences in vocab and syntax (mostly sentence structures and specific types of verbal constructs that modern Hebrew no longer has), but the main common factor remains the morphology, and in Hebrew morphology is grammatical king, so to speak. On the whole I'd say that if you learn modern Hebrew well, your facility for coping with Biblical Hebrew will correspond almost, but not quite, one-to-one.
You are absolutely correct. Almost any person fluent in Modern Hebrew can read and understand Biblical Hebrew with only an occasional problem. Narrative is easier than poetry, but that's the case with any language. Talmud is a world of its own as are all the commentaries (Rashi, Midrashim, etc.).
It's... actually a fair bit closer to Modern Hebrew than the Bibleic stage, having collected some innovations in syntax from Aramaic, Greek and Latin, and also has a few peculiarities of its own. In terms of period it's set throughout the Second temple up till it disappears as a spoken language almost entirely and transforms into Medieval Hebrew.
It does things like alternate the suffix ין instead of ים for masculine plurals (a sure sign you're reading Mishnaic Hebrew now) so you get אין משיחין בשעת הסעודה, instead of the Hebrew משיחים. Syntactically it gets rid of a lot of Bibleic peculiarities and looks a lot more like Modern Hebrew 0 it gets rid of the transformative vav - where, in Bibleic Hebrew, you add a vav to a verb in order to change its tense from future to past, and the past tense looks a lot more like Modern Hebrew past tense.
This is also where we begin to see present tense start forming and being put to use in language in the same way as we know it in Modern Hebrew, by using beinoni forms.
There's probably other things too, but these are the important ones I can remember just offhand.
I get the impression it's a bit like the closely related Slavic languages. Knowing Russian didn't mean I just knew everything for Ukrainian when I went down the tree, but there was a lot that was familiar, a lot more that was very close, and even the unfamiliar words are often used in familiar ways. It wasn't a short cut, and I'd have to work at it for any kind of fluency, but it would be a lot easier than if I didn't already have a grasp on the basic structure.
I don't know if Modern/Biblical is equivalent to Russian/Ukrainian, or if the gap is wider (say Russian/Polish or a southern Slavic language), but the "not the same but definitely a leg up" sounds familiar...
As a native Hebrew speaker, I am thinking that Biblical and Modern Hebrew are a little bit closer than Ukrainian is to Russia. It is just that modern Hebrew borrowed many foreign words from the European languages, Arabic, Persian and Turkish and several grammar rules have changed, but overall many Israelis do not understand biblical Hebrew because their Hebrew is not good enough, not because the languages are too different.
I'll take your word for it! My Hebrew is so elementary, and I'm not a native speaker of Ukrainian or Russian (although my Russian is edging back up to being pretty fluent), so it's guesswork on my part :) Ukrainian was a really fun tree for me to complete here, it was the first tree I completed and by far the quickest, but I haven't actually done any study except for the tree.
That's pretty cool that you find them that close, though! I think it's going to be a long while before my Modern Hebrew is anywhere near the place where attempting to read any Biblical Hebrew is going to happen, but it's nice to feel that I might get there one day...
I found this book to be extremely helpful in building a solid foundation in Biblical Hebrew. It teaches you most of the grammar rules you will ever need to know, but it isn't terribly long because it focuses on about 300-400 core root words, and then you can use a dictionary and the grammar you learned to expand your vocabulary.
I made a memrise course a while ago that helps practice using a Hebrew keyboard.
It is just so you can get a feeling for where the different letters are found on the keyboard. It doesn't teach the language in any way.
כל הכבוד על העבודה המבורכת, ועל הבוסט שתרמתם לי לאגו כשסיימתי חצי קורס במכה אחת ;) מנסה עכשיו להתמודד עם התסכול של להיכשל בחצי השני- מסתבר שאני לא באמת יודעת עברית.
("Well done on your blessed work, and for the ego boost I got when I completed half a course in one go ;) I'm now trying to deal with the frustration of failing the second half- apparently I don't really speak Hebrew")
And for those wondering why I failed- the course isn't to fault. It's on me, for cutting corners in my translation or not knowing the ENGLISH words in certain cases. Shame on me, and it proves you always have room for improvement! :)
I think you have done a great job. I'm recommending this to people living in Israel that just haven't been able to learn Hebrew. This will do it for them if they apply themselves. I'm going to use it myself because I speak and read Hebrew but my spelling is really awful. Thanks so much!
Well done! Now my Israeli born children are waiting to see the course from Hebrew to English! עשיתי את המבדק ועוד כמה תרגילים והערתי בכמה מקומות שנראים לי ראויים לשיפור. מקווה שזה עוזר. מאמינה שהרבה מחשבה הושקעה בהכנת השיעורים. כל הכבוד. הערה כללית: חשתי שהיו יותר מדי משפטים שליליים ואפילו מזעזעים (לפחות לנפשי הרכה...) כמו "החברות שלי השתכרו ונפלו מהצוק" (אמאל'ה....). לדעתי, כדי לתת הרגשה טובה ללומד צריך שרוב המשפטים ישרו אווירה נעימה יותר. זה גם ישפיע על המבט שלהם על ישראל וישראלים באופן כללי. לומדים המון על העם מתוך הדגשים השונים בשפה המדוברת. בהצלחה רבה בהמשך!
If you want to learn the thouch-metod in hebrew, I recommend this http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/tutor/keyboardingHE.php
Hello, This course is really great thank you! But I did want to point out couple of things: It would be great if more of the hebrew sentences (that needs to be translated into english) would be said out loud to learn their pronunciations. This can also apply to finding the right word with the picture, so everytime I select the picture it would say the pronunciation. Also a bit of a technical feedback would be to make the voices louder. I find them to be too quite compare to the "you are correct" sound. I'm sure you already working on some of those problems and thank you again for giving your time to create this course!
I'm in love with this program. Thank you! I would make a suggestion though about future tense. In the tips, you might want to add a note about Israelis' use of third person masculine singular instead of first person (?מה אני יעשה) which is incorrect but very common. I am still baffled by it.
I am struggling with this course. I have a passing familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet, but I honestly find the lack of direct teaching of the letters very frustrating. I can't read the words if I don't know what the letters do!
Please do something to correct this. I can't be the only one having this problem.
If you go to the tips and notes section on the very first section it gives information for total beginners. I didn't know anything and this really helped me. The two most useful things for me are the alephbet and duolingo vocab courses on memrise. I learnt the alphabet in conjunction with the beginning of the course and now use the vocab programm most days to reinforce what I've learnt. Hope this helps.
I understand that this isn't an option in the immediate future, but I would nevertheless like to request that the option to hear how individual words sound be added if it ever becomes possible. I acknowledge your explanation that the trade-off is "better sounding sentences"... that individual words aren't possible yet because no text-to-speech exists for Hebrew... and... yet...
In my other courses, I find clicking on individual words over and over to hear how they sound an enormous help, and I felt its lack especially acutely when I tried to start the Hebrew course through the Duolingo mobile app, with its completely unfamiliar, vowel-less alphabet (I actually used to be fluent in Hebrew as a young child, but then completely forgot it over the years).
At the moment, I'm still holding out hope that one day individual word sounds will be added to the Hebrew course (which would make learning much easier for me), and I plan on holding off on starting it until that happens, fully knowing that it may take years at best...
I just started here at duolingo. Hebrew is one of several languages I'm working on, but it's also the language I speak the best (besides English). I'm trying to find my level, but sometimes I write a sentence in Hebrew I know it means what you're asking, but I used a different word (it actually happened once with my translating into English) -- Is there any way you could be a bit more flexible with your verbiage?
I studied a few semesters of Hebrew at the college level, and have been doing duolingo Hebrew for a year and a half. I think it's a very useful tool, but I wish that the translations to English were monitored by a native English speaker because sometimes they are very clumsy
Thanks a lot for putting all that course online. I am a full beginner and would like to make some proposals to make the beginning easier for non speakers:
1. Hebrew has no phonetical writing, so it is very disappointing to have so little pronunciation information. Most of the exercises are just impossible to pronounce. There should be a voice record on all exercises, or a phonetical transcription in the notes. At least in the first levels. 2. The first exercises are not at the right level to learn the letters. Look at what greek or russian teachers have done. You will get most of the people discouraged after the first lessons. It is a pity, because hebrew is very interesting and deserves more speakers. Just my thoughts as a non speaker. But over all thanks for the good work!
I love the Hebrew duolingo course. Better than the university course, because in the university a new grammar point is introduced and then immediately on to the next thing. This way I get to practice it many, many times until it becomes part of me. Thank you for the course.
I started learning Modern Hebrew last year. I have purchased several (most that I could find), and honestly most of the ones I've found aren't that great.
For english-hebrew, I'd recommend Oxford English Hebrew Dictionary - https://www.amazon.com/Oxford-English-Hebrew-Dictionary-Centre-Studies/dp/0198601727
I haven't found a satisfactory hebrew-english paper dictionary. I typically combine the results of en.witkionary.org, morfix.co.il, and heavily rely on http://milog.co.il/, which is a hebrew-hebrew dictionary. Any questions about vowels, suffix forms etc are always answered on milog. Also, reading definitions of words there is a great way to bump your intermediate level. At the beginner level it can be overwhelming, but with a little translate.google.com, I suppose it might still be useful.
Does anyone know how to type the final forms of letters on the standard windows hebrew keyboard layout? Because apparently you get capital latin letters when using Shift or CapsLock. I read something about the niqqud where you turn capslock on and then press shift and some other keys (e.g. numbers) to get them, but by Shift+letter I just got the regular form of the letter (was hoping for the final). AltGr also gets some other characters. Thank you very much!
P.S. Also, typing space after the final letter didn't seem to do anything different, at least in Duolingo/Chrome.
Hello. Thank you very much for the course. Because I already know some Hebrew I chose to take the placement test. I got about 60% correct/almost correct, but then after I completed the course it just said congrats you've completed level one (letters) and so I'm just on level two? Is this an error or am I missing something..?
Thank you so much for all the work you and others have put into this course, it really shows. Although I've found a few mistakes (audio mismatch or hebrew spelling mistake) I've been really impressed with how the course is made up (and the notes) so far. I'm also so pleased you have so many more words than the average Duolingo course!
The greedy part of me wonders -- I was wondering -- are there any plans to keep adding more units, sentences and sections later?
Awesome job. I am doing the course as I wait for my wife to give birth in tel hashomer. One thing that is odd is the choice of imperative without the ת. It is very rare to hear the imperative spoken in Israeli hebrew as it is in this course תתקנו וא לא זה עדיין מדהים מה אתם עשיתם. תודה רבה
Ya well i guess we will have to agree to disagree. Nobody talks like that in Israel. If the purpose is to teach how to speak hebrew then it makes more sense to teach what Israelis speak. Not arse-speak mind you כפרה! Then again I get annoyed when people misuse the word ironic so what do I know
I have taken enough courses here on Duo, to be more than certain that usually it is the official language that is being taught. If you study English here, they won't accept "I wanna go". Same goes with Hebrew. Just the fact that most of the Israelis make mistakes in their own language, doesn't make it correct.
You'll find that most language courses - not just Duolingo, teach standard forms of a language, with maybe a module or two of colloquial language and slang. In most situations, it's usual to learn casual language from people who speak the language, not from books, and it's a way more natural way to learn those kinds of things.
People starting Hebrew here might be using it for all kinds of things, up to and including going on to speak/write it at a high level. Better to know how to use it correctly at first. In the context of Duolingo, which is primarily a written course, it makes even more sense to concentrate on the language as it is correctly written, rather than as it is commonly spoken.
Some of these links should be included in the Tips section of the first lesson. I'm struggling to progress because I need to know the letter names instead of "square box" and "shepherd's crook" or "slightly longer shepherd's crook." I see the alphabet list in the Tips, but I need to spend time memorizing the letter names. The link to the memrise course is just what I needed.
Thanks for the Hebrew course. I am using it on a Kindle Fire in the browser. You can download a Hebrew keyboard to the fire and then it is easy to switch keyboards. You just hold down the space bar and then select the desired keyboard. This makes it pleasant to learn with. Again many thanks.
Not in the short term. I believe courses like Turkish, which have been out for maybe a year, don't have them yet. It might be down to a problem with all incubator-made courses (as opposed to Spanish, French and so on, which were made in-house by Duolingo).
Anyway, at present our main focus is reducing the pile of error reports and improving what we've got so far.
Congrats people on all the hard work. I got a few classmates to watch the progress with me during the year and it was lots of fun. So I've got a question during the placement test I gave na answer in masculine form and I got it wrong because the answer was in feminine form. The sentence was "I go" so translation could go either way. Am I just really stupid or is soemthign wrong?
I've found what I think is a mistake in one of the corrections:
Q: This is the woman
my Answer: זה האישה
Almost correct: זו האישה
Thanks. PS: I speak Spanish, but because I know some English too, I decided to learn Hebrew now. Also I'm waiting for the App extension of this great course
Hello! First of all, thank you for coming up with this course! I've been waiting to learn Hebrew for a while and now I've got my shot.
One thing I've observed is how there's no listen and repeat parts in the initial letters part (as in, the learner would listen to the instructor and then the learner would have to repeat). Is there any way to have it? Especially because not many of us have studied Hebrew; it would help with reading and speaking.
I'd also like to suggest that you double the ratio of translating English to Hebrew exercises in each step. Recognition vocabulary and basic understanding are easy and give a sense of success at the beginning, but they do not guarantee actual learning/retention. That comes from having to produce the target language. To that end, more careful introduction of new vocabulary, with sound bites, followed by having to actually produce the words and sentence patterns, will mean more progress.
That's not something the course maintainers have any control over - the Duolingo engine chooses the ratio.
Word on the street is that Duolingo uses metrics a lot - there are usually, at any given time, a bunch of a/b tests (where some users get a feature that works one way, other users a feature that works another way) and then they see what effect that test has; if it makes a difference in some way that Duolingo HQ considers better, they'll go with the version that is better.
One of the metrics that they seem to care about seems to be user acquisition and retention.
That would certainly explain why the proportion of exercises is biassed towards the "soft" end -- as you said, it's easier to recognise than to produce, and so those exercises are easier to get right, leading to fewer frustrated users quitting Duolingo rather than continuing when it's "too hard".
The group of "power learners" (who want to make progress and are motivated to do what it takes in order to acquire reasonable fluency in production as well) isn't big enough, I think for their desires to drive Duolingo policies in any meaningful way.
hmm צעוב. As a language teacher/linguist, i have been trying to convince them to use scientifically proven psycho-linguistic learning methodology. They seem uninterested. Mostly i've used Duo for review of languages i rarely use anymore, but i want to be able to recommend it to my students. In good faith i can't do that...
First of all thank you for bringing hebrew in the DuoLingo app! It's really great! I am using it everyday and improving my vocabulary as well as my knowledge of Hebrew Grammar.
While I find nearly everything perfect, there is still something that is bugging me: Since hebrew does use Niqqud for the voyals I think that every sentense or words should read if not in the exercice at least when the solution is checked. I honestly struggle with new words or tenses for a same verb and I have sometimes to wait 3/4 exercices till the word comes back and I finally hear it!!
This is I guess typical for Semitic languages so I would expect the Arabic learners to have the same need.
Are you planning on improving on this? Thank you!!
You don't really need keyboard stickers on a Mac. After you install the Hebrew keyboard, select "Show Keyboard Viewer" from the menu bar. This will display a floating keyboard overlay that will change as you hit keys, including the command, option and shift keys. You can put this overlay right over the Duolingo screen. If you touch type in English you will quickly be able to touch type in Hebrew.
Thanks for the course! I'm a beginner but it seems to me like without the nikkud there is no way to know how to pronounce the words unless there is a spoken recording for each one or you already know what it sounds like from experience. Since you don't have the capacity to do a recording for every single word I really suggest that as you move this course forward you consider having the nikkud in the questions. The student could skip the nikkud for the answers (for simplified typing) and that way we would be better able to use them or read with them if needed or opt out.
I would like to suggest a Hebrew reading-only option for this course. Just as you can elect whether to include speaking exercises in duo courses, it would be wonderful to be able to focus just on recognizing words and typing English, rather than struggling through the keyboard, the spelling, etc. It takes forever (at least for me) to finish a lesson (or especially to refresh a skill) when you have to write the Hebrew, and it would be a lot easier to learn the vocabulary if you could spend more time reading and recognizing the Hebrew words.
If you're looking for a reading-only option, I'd venture to suggest that what you need is a different resource. Duolingo isn't what you're after.
Yes, typing in a new language and alphabet is tough, but it's part of the deal if you want to learn Hebrew. It gets easier with practice.
I have finished trees in three other languages in Duolingo. I also have taught prayerbook Hebrew in my synagogue for three years, from alef-bet through the second level course. I don't need patronizing encouragement that it will get easier. I made a reasonable suggestion that would allow me to use material that already exists in a way that would work better for me (and possibly others too) and I think it should be taken seriously.
If you are only reading Hebrew and only writing English, then you are doing one-way translation. All of Duolingo's courses teach two-way translation, so I don't see how your suggestion would fit into their teaching style. (Note: I am just a learner like you, I'm not an editor or a moderator.)
I'm also a bit baffled that you've been teaching alefbet in shule for three years yet you're struggling with typing. Most learners here have far less experience (like me!) and cope just fine. Yes, it's slow, but that's to be expected at first, just like learning anything for the first time.
For example, I can complete a French lesson in 2-5 minutes but it takes me about 20 minutes to complete a Hebrew lesson at the moment, mostly because of the typing.
I'm not being patronising, I'm pointing out that what you want isn't how Duolingo works, and you may be better off using a different resource. Yes, it is actually pretty unreasonable to ask that it be meddled with to work in a different manner to how it's designed to work. Duolingo teaches via translation to and from the target language, it's the foundation of its method.
If you want translation from the target language only, Duolingo just isn't the right tool for the job.
The method you're describing isn't how Duolingo works, so if you think it would work better for you, then your best bet is to find a resource that does work for you, rather than struggling with a resource that works in a fundamentally different way.
That's not being patronising, that's just using common sense. Different people learn best in different ways. Duolingo isn't going to be the most efficient and effective way to learn for every individual for every language.
(Though, like CJ Dennis, I'm baffled how you've taught Hebrew for three years without getting enough proficiency for a Duolingo course. You clearly have far more experience than I do, and I finished the tree last week.
If you say you have trouble just completing a lesson or a refresh of the skills, then it's not exactly surprising that people won't instantly assume you teach the language, ya know? I am not a mind reader, and without context, someone who's struggling to get through a lesson is not someone I assume has sufficiently advanced proficiency to teach the language. You can hardly blame people for not knowing that with zero context.)
OK -- once again, I was simply proposing a way to use flexibility that is built into the Duolingo program with respect to speaking exercises for writing exercises as well. I certainly can do this and will probably keep at it. But I don't care about writing; what I want to do with this knowledge is read, so I dislike wasting time figuring out where the right keys are or debating whether the t is a tav or a tet. I don't think it should be such a radical idea that the course could be used different ways by different people depending on what they want to take away from it.
Thank you Bartibar and the course instructors for your excellent work in availing Hebrew lessons (for free :) to the masses via Dulingo. I am really really delighted and grateful.
BTW when it comes to the keyboard, on a Mac I use the System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources and then I click on the '+' symbol to select the Hebrew QWERTY for my virtual keyboard. I usually learn via trial and error to navigate the various Hebrew letters; I've got used to it by now :-)
about the input I was using duokeyboard for the last month and it worked fine ..until today it didn't want to work,tried alot of things but nthg helped..I'd like to know if this is the case for others especially that I noticed that the site changed a little bit today so that may have made the problem
DuoKeyboard tries to extend the functionality of the duolingo website. To provide the best user experience it is developed to integrate in the interface. The down side of this is that if duolingo changes the website the integration may fail and the extension stops working.
For now I cannot update the extension to work with the changes since they are not implemented for my account. As soon as I experience them I can start to fix the extension.
Oh yeah ! Maybe. But I am not very good at teaching. I can only teach you words. I cannot teach you grammar because I have no idea to teach grammar. I mean I don't know how to explain. It's hard to explain the hebrew grammar because i am not the native english speaker so my english is sometimes horrible. However, i can teach you some words. What kind of words do you like to teach ?
Don't worry, my english is also not perfect, my native language is hungarian. I can teach you in hungarian words, and you can practise english with me also. :D I have friend in Israel and once I would like to visit her, thats why I am interesting in hebrew. Can we talk somewhere in private?
Hm. I don't know where we can talk. The activies is lost so ...... Maybe we can talk on this forum. That's ok, even though the people look at it, they can learn some words from me. That's good and you are at level 7 in Hebrew so I would like to know what topic do you like i teach ??
Technically it's הממלכה המאוחדת. Many Israelis don't know the difference between Britain and the UK. Britain is the landmass which England, Wales and Scotland are found on, while the United Kingdom is the sovereign nation including Northern Ireland and several smaller islands such as the Isle of Man.
So i just started ted but had to download other apps to lean the alphabet because even tho lesson one covers the first letter of the word or phrase, it has more letters that weren't covered so I can't even pass level one... Like the is dad coming? Is mom coming? Mom is coming. Is love coming? I feel like the first lesson shouldn't have such high standards for newbies. Also there is no information on the app.. Had to open a browser just to see this forum and find out that desktop version has info at the bottom of the lesson
So i'm a fluent reader of Biblical Hebrew and get by just fine in shul. But i've never wanted to learn that bizarre semi-European mishmosh of Israeli Hebrew before. I will NOT be doing it with DuoLingo because I refuse to go thru the first 18 lessons learning the Hebrew alefbet, which i already know, but i can't test out of because the tests require me to forget standard Tanakh vocabulary (e.g. anashim) and use ketiv malé that i don't always remember and mark me wrong for them on words that modern Israelis write kativ chasser (אימא). It would be nice if your didactics were more focussed so that i could skip right into the conversational language study, rather than the writing system.
Likewise i noticed that your lessons follow the newer Duo pattern of mashing contrast phrases into one screen, rather than introducing options/alternatives one at a time. I encourage you to follow the more linguistically sound system used in Italian, French, Portuguese etc., which is a bit more empirical and deductive. You may find your native speaker recordings perfectly understandable, but the neophyte will have trouble. When my sound system even with an oscilloscope cannot detect a resh or ha+ in words, you know your learners need help.
Pablo I understand everything in shul(Yiddish word btw) and I also can read, speak and write Hebrew. And by the way they don't teach you the alephbet at all they give you words that are confusing to spell to the common neophyte. You actually aren't going to lose any Biblical Hebrew skills. At worst you'll mix up some words and a few Grammer rules. And anashim is a modern Hebrew word(people or men ) if it's a matter of patience the im sorry because learning a new language even a variation of one you already know will take time and energy and patience