I actually appreciate audio that doesn't always pronounce it a 100% clear. Accuracy is more important, but people won't speak 100% clear to us when we leave this course. We do have the words and know what they're trying to say, pretty much the same as when you have a conversation in a language you know well. I think this is good practice for the future. :)
I showed the Hebrew course to someone who teaches Hebrew for a living, (a native Israeli). They thought it was great until I played the audio. They told me that the audio isn't just not clear, it's wrong. They had to listen to one sample four times before they could understand what was being said. When I hear my friend and her family speak Hebrew it doesn't sound like what I hear in this course. Neither does the Hebrew that I hear on television.
I understand that it's a lot of work to create this course and I feel bad making this criticism, but I think that if one starts out with bad habits, like improper pronounciation, it will be difficult to get rid of them in the future. What would have been great is if they started out with slow, clear pronunciation and had it get faster as the course progressed. There are other things that I think are just wrong. In many words it seems like ר isn't pronounced. If it is, I can't hear it. I checked with a couple of people who speak Hebrew and they confirmed that this isn't correct.
The letter ר is very often realised as an approximant which may sound to you as if it's not being pronounced.
The voice artists are professionals and have a strong portfolio of work behind them. They have made some mistakes like wrong word or wrong word order, as is to be expected when you're dealing with thousands upon thousands of recordings, but in terms of clarity of speech I have no complaints whatsoever. I don't understand how one can claim they are not speaking like Israelis speak. Sure, when you hear an Israeli on the street they're speaking naturally, not just standalone sentences, so maybe that has something to do with it.
I can claim that they are not speaking how Israelis speak because I have played the audio clips for Israelis and they told me that the pronunciation is incorrect. How can you claim that the audio is accurate when the Israelis, (they being people born in Israel and raised with Hebrew as their first language), that I played it for had difficulty understanding it?
It may not how israelis pronounce it, but it is how hebrew is spoken in The "western world" (Eorope/America). I understand that you want to know how israelis in particular pronounce these sentences, but like with all languages, dialects exist and there is nothing wrong with it.
Also, as a side note, you do NOT want to sound like a native speaker when speaking a foreign language.
I am not going to question your native friend, and I am sure that inaccurately pronounced audio isn't uncommon in this course. And as I said, clearness doesn't matter, but accuracy does, so that's a bummer. But since I'm aware of this being a beta course, and realizing some pronounciations aren't all trustworthy, I play it cool and take the audio with a pinch of salt. For now I'm busy learning to get the hang of the basics and read more fluently. I'm still happy it is not totally perfect on the clearness, then again of course I hope that they'll fix the inaccurate ones in due course :)
I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is that you, dear person above, are absolutely right, but I also think that many learners are slightly too picky on this. On the matter of the ר and others, I see people complaining about it being hard to hear. I haven't really had that much trouble hearing, though. This is my theory and I could be totally wrong, but I believe a lot of people are not used to languages too different from their own, making them go through the roof when things seem too unfamiliar or illogical to them. Beginners need to accept that things will come in time and in the mean time be careful what to complain about :) Still hoping for Duolingo to make the pronounciation more accurate, and maybe toss in a slow speaking button. (Because I like the fast one too. I take it as a compliment. ;))
It's not because Hebrew is so much different than my native language that I'm bothered by what I see as the deficiencies in this course. The differences are to some extent what attracted me to it. Maybe it's because I had such high hopes for this course that I'm so disappointed. A slow speech button would be great.
That being said, this course does have many redeeming qualities. I think that the treatment of grammar and vocabulary are very good for example.
I understand that one might want to hear the language as it's "really" spoken, but I'm not sure that this is useful for beginners. I see learning a language much like learning music. When one learns music in school, (at least in my country), they start off by being taught the recorder. The recorder is a simple straightforward instrument that can be a gateway to more complex instruments such as the saxophone. With languages I think the same approach is useful. If we start out with simple, clear, slow pronunciations I believe that they can be used as a basis to build on for faster more complex pronunciations. This is done in the course with written sentences; they start out small and simple and gradually become complex. I don't understand why they didn't do this with the audio.
I'm not sure how old this thread is — I can't see on the app. In any case, as someone who lives in Israel and speaks and hears Hebrew daily, I can tell you that: 1. He definitely pronounces the ך 2. The accent and pronunciation in all of the lessons is native and correct. 3. The intonation is sometimes odd.
If I turn the volume right up then I can just about hear the roughness of the kh at the very end of the clip, but like I say, only with the volume turned up as far as it'll go and with my ear next to the speaker and repeated several times with me desperately trying to hear what I know should be there.
I am a beginner more or less, but I'm a reasonably accomplished linguist and I've played it over and over. This one is tough from a beginner POV. I don't know if I'd get it if it was an audio question, put it that way!
Use headphones. That helps a lot. Also it is very useful to make yourself familiar with the basic sounds of Hebrew. After transcribing several Hebrew audios (music, news) into IPA (phonetic alphabet), I am able to clearly distinguish the different phonems. Doing so will just blast your comprehension skills.
Hopefully I can explain. "His tail long" is wrong because that is not a proper sentence in English. In Hebrew the copula ("is") can be implied, but it doesn't work that way in English.
It's not enough to simply translate each word in isolation. We have to translate the meaning of the sentence as a whole into something that means the same thing in proper English.