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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thyago31

2 essentials things that the course developers really need to add to the course right away.

Congratulations to all the course developers. I want to give you two suggestions.

1) You need to add a option (a button to be more precise) to the student sees the pronunciation in latin/roman alphabet, like the russian course.

2) You need to add a digital keyboard after the writing empty space, like the esperanto course.

Thank you for creating this course, the community appreciates your effort.

June 23, 2016

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajuncajun09

Adding the Nikkud might seem helpful in the beginning, but it becomes something you rely on as time goes on. I originally learned with them and I had a hard time reading without them when I started to try. Modern hebrew doesn't use them so if you get used to seeing them you won't be able to read books, newspapers, etc in the future. I think they are teaching this course the right way, without nikkud. Trust me it gets easier after you learn hebrew a bit more and you will get to the point that you can look at an unfamiliar word and know the vowels pretty easily. Learn the new words by their sounds for now and it will be a huge help to you in the future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noxiyu

I really agree with this sentiment! Learning Nikkud makes things comfortable faster, but you lose the ability to intuit pronunciation/sounds. Also, the transliteration might help at the beginning, but should also be removed after the first set of lessons, again, relying on them will really curb your abilities later.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeutH

Yes, nikkud or an option to write in transliteration are bad ideas. However, a button that shows the transliteration of words into the Roman alphabet is essential! I see questions like - "is the עו in עוגה and the או in אוכל are pronounced the same way?". Many of these questions. They should be answered by DL, with a transliteration button. Not by people in the discussions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/airelibre

It's nigh-on impossible to add romanisation. There's no way to do it automatically, since unlike the Russian alphabet, Hebrew doesn't map one to one onto the Latin alphabet. You'd end up with this:
אני אוכל את העוגה
'ny 'ukl 't h'ugh

Which is clearly unusable. (Should be more like "ani okhel et ha'uga".)

Even if we did it manually (would take us months), there is no standard widely accepted method for transliteration. A word like חנוכה is spelt by people in a vast variety of ways, all of which we would supposedly have to account for (hanuka, hannuka, hannukah, chanuka, channuka, channukah, khanuka and so on ad nauseam)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leonig01

Transliteration is a bad idea. You cannot learn a language like Hebrew without understanding its alphabet. As for exact pronunciation - you have the sound for that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thyago31

I understand your concerns, but I'm not taking meaning of the pronunciation. Without the pronunciation in roman alphabet it's really difficult to make knowledge of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chordata96

You pretty much just have to practise it until you get used to it, in my view. As with any other language with unfamiliar letters. You rely on transliterations, you'll never make progress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anonamoose1

I can agree with this. Sometimes when new words are introduced (Hebrew isn't the only course that does this) there is no sound accompanying the sentence. It would be useful if at least when you hover over a word it plays the pronunciation. That way new learners can learn the pronunciations without the stress of wondering how the hell you're supposed to pronounce this word with no vowels.

That being said, I wouldn't add a latinized version, as it take away some of the joy of learning a language like hebrew (learning the writing system that goes with it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajuncajun09

The word pronunciation will come in time. Keep in mind that the contributors had to hire actors to get audio at all. At least we have it for sentences and every word is pronounced in a sentence eventually. There is no other FREE course like this out there that gives so many words and with most of the audio. I fully expect the rest of the audio to come in time just like it did for irish. The course has only been in beta for a few days so there will be some incomplete parts and bugs. Let's be grateful for what a great course we have now and look forward to these changes coming in the future. Good luck with your language learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

This is what the Memrise Duolingo Hebrew vocab course is for, it has all the words by skill with individual audio & transliteration. Reverso app also speaks in Hebrew via computerised voice & has transliteration. You can slow the voice down too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamieWeisbach

I agree that transliteration would impede your ability to learn Hebrew. However, I do think new words need to come with either audio, or nikkud the first time we see them so it's possible to know the pronunciation without waiting for it to come up in a sentence.


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