1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. Hebrew Lesson 1 starts too ad…


Hebrew Lesson 1 starts too advanced!

I realize Hebrew is only in Beta but I am so disappointed!

I am an absolute beginner and I'm supposed to teach myself a brand new alphabet from one simple chart? And then immediately start spelling and translating words?! This is like starting at Grade 3 when we need to start in Kindergarten! The first lessons should be learning all these new letters and sounds.

I have been waiting for Hebrew to "hatch" and it's very unfortunate that I'll have to look elsewhere for an ACTUAL introductory lesson.

June 24, 2016



I feel your pain. I've done the first skill (6 little units) 3 times now, and feel like I've learned nothing. I don't want to even try the second skill as that would only confuse me more since I haven't learned the first skill.

I'll need to look elsewhere to get the info I need to actually learn Hebrew, if I decide I want to continue. After this exposure, I must say I'm not terribly enthused.

But, on a more positive note, I'm finally moving toward the end of the Russian tree—I should be able to finish that one this summer! I'm excited about that!


I agree, it would be helpful to increase the amount of pictures and vocabulary and avoid very similar-sounding words for the few first classes. On the other hand, each class tries to limit the amount of new letters to 2-3, which puts a strong restriction on the number of possible words you can introduce in that class...


I will write the alphabets on a sheet of paper and also draw a picture demonstrating where the Hebrew letters are on my keyboard. Hebrew is gonna be tough, but I'm gonna try it after my Polish tree is completed soon.


Thanks for the support, everyone! It's certainly a challenge to learn a language with a new "aleph-bet". I hadn't heard of Memrise before, but I'll definitely check it out. I'm learning Hebrew out of necessity, not just for fun, so I really appreciate the friendly tips!


I thought it was going to be too hard at first, but it gets easier with perseverance. One thing I found helpful was to check "Tips and Notes" a lot during the lesson to review the letters and their sounds. I only had to do that for a couple of days, and it finally stuck. One more thing - I open up a second window and Google "Hebrew keyboard layout." This is another thing that you will only have to refer to for a few days before it sinks in.


If you give it a try you will find that the first skills are actually there to teach you the "alphabet" by repeatedly teaching you words with the same sounds, in ways you can compare the different letters. I personally think this is the best way to learn a new alphabet, rather than memorizing a chart. You can always click on the "tips & notes" in the top of the course to see the table. And remember: Hebrew is an abjad, wich means vowels are not usually represented in writing. It's not as hard as it may seem at first. You will find it gets easier the more you learn. Don't give up!

Good luck! :)


There is an " Aleph-bet " hebrew alphabet course on MEMRISE and you can look on youtube for videos to help you learn and use all these tools together , also take notes and practice the written hebrew letters once the printed versions are familliar to you , if you really want to learn , nothing will stop you :)


the first lessons ARE about learning new letters and sounds. the first bunch of lessons are all about introducing a few letters at a time, with very simple words so you can match the letter to the sound. it's just difficult to teach a new alphabet using the duolingo format. there isn't really a way to do it better. i already know how to read hebrew, but i remember starting russian and just getting a big headache over how hard it was to learn the russian alphabet that way. i quit russian pretty early, lol. honestly i can't even imagine what beginners to hebrew have to deal with, because not having vowel marks in the course just adds even more to the difficulty, i'm sure.


Yes, there is a steep learning curve for the absolute beginner, but for good reason: Duolingo wasn't meant to teach things like this, there is no away the creators could convey to you how to use the Alefbet correctly through Duo's simplistic translations, so they throw you into the water and hope you'll get it through sound.

I would recommend a book(or a skim over of the Hebrew wiki pages will do fine too) to go along with the course.


"I have been waiting for Hebrew to hatch and it's very unfortunate that I'll have to look elsewhere for an ACTUAL introductory lesson."

Why is it unfortunate? I use Memrise for extra help all the time, as well as bookmarking tons and tons of grammar sites. Do you think they teach you the alphabet in the French for English speakers course? No. But it's still important, because you have to learn the pronunciation, yeah? So I started looking.

If you are serious about learning, you will probably have to find a secondary source for learning, so you may as well start now.


I learned Biblical Hebrew ten years ago.

But the first lessons of the Hebrew course are very difficult.

Learning Hebrew with vowels is easier, but you should type al the vowels when you are translating from English to Hebrew.

First, you should learn the alphabet and the pronunciation.


There is a memrise course for that.


Then you should learn the pronunciation of words:


All the words from the Duolingo lessons in memrise:


Exercising typing Hebrew (azerty/qwerty):


Songs in Hebrew:




Some you tube films:

Alphabet (difference classis/modern Hebrew, similarity Hebrew Arabic):



It's not a fault of the course creators or the course, it's a deficiency in the Duolingo format - they made no provision for teaching script. However, there are masses of resources out there for learning the script, including a Memrise course for words and another for the alphabet that the course creators made and have posted about. The resources are there, and they've done a grand job within a system that doesn't provide them with a dedicated way to teach the abjad.

  • 1353

A lot of language courses here are too tough and gave me headaches. But over time they start to feel fun.


I think it's too advanced too. The Greek course for example is more didactic and it has a lot of exercises to make you learn each of the letters of the Greek alphabet and an easy way. Please, improve it!


I have found this really good book on the Hebrew Language that will help beginners: http://1087fellllu1woedp5jmir3p80.hop.clickbank.net/


There is an app called “Write it! Hebrew“. It teaches you all the letters by demonstrating how they are called and written, with immediate prompts to write (better, to draw) them with your finger. There are fun quizzes with increasing difficulty. It has taught me the alephbet in a week during my spare time, so I really recommend it. It is without niqqud which some teachers recommend anyway, but learning them by yourself after knowing the letters should be easy.

I had no problems starting with Hebrew with that foundation! Regarding writing, try using the app and install a hebrew keyboard on your phone, this way you can see the letters directly. בהצלחה!


I wish they taught us the alphabet and nikud first instead of "Father, is love coming?" Seriously... let's get some practical vocabulary! French is so much better. I tested out the Spanish and it's also better developed. I speak fluent Spanish but I am forgetting a lot of it. It's good for review.

Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.