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Excited to learn Hebrew, but some technicalities to overcome.

I have been very excited to learn Hebrew, but there are a lot of difficulties for me, an English speaker with no real Hebrew experience, taking on the new beta Hebrew. However, I'm still on board, and I took these steps to aid me.

First, you need to learn the alphabet (or alephbet). There are many free apps which teach and quiz me on the characters. This much I did before the beta Hebrew came out.

Second, you need to be able to type Hebrew. Obvious, I know, but I was unprepared entirely for this when I started the beta Hebrew. I also didn't know how I would switch from an English to Hebrew keyboard. However, in the Windows control panel it is easy to download the Hebrew characters in the language options settings. Once that is done, there is a little ENG button on my bottom toolbar. Click it and it turns to עבר. This was vital knowledge, because the Duolingo Hebrew requires rapidly alternating between the English and Hebrew characters.

Third, you need to know the Hebrew keyboard, another learning curve in store. There are many free apps online, but it seems like a lot of them assume you have the more than a beginners knowledge. I just started using the Hebrew typing tutorial at sense-lang.org which seems just right for me, most basic of basic. The home page link for it:


Anyway, I hope the Hebrew developers at Duolingo work some of the kinks out for new learners to know these things. I am excited to learn this language. Thanks to Duolingo and the developers!

June 24, 2016



Also, when CAPS LOCK is on, even when the computer is set to Hebrew, letters will be in English, so you can easily switch back and forth between languages with a single keyboard stroke (as long as you're okay with your English answers being in all caps.)


Just discovered this last night! It really makes things easier!!


Great advice for beginners!


Even better, on Windows you can switch languages quickly by pressing Windows + Spacebar.


Add the Duolibro extension for Chrome and you don't have to worry about switching languages, it does it automatically for you! https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duolibro/ogianofickehjjgaopiohbgjhmhbdafn?hl=en


Thank you, that is very helpful. Much easier with that extension, but I am still happy to have gone through the trial and error process. I've learned so much from the comments here.


i have been doing the course on the mobile website due to the keyboard issue. a quick swipe on the phone keyboard switches the layout between english and hebrew instantly. its much easier.


I have been unable to find some letters on my keyboard. For example, the chaf sofit with 2 dagesh(?), as in "to you" (fem), all I can find is לך. Anyone know how to type the correct letter?


That is correct, you shouldn't need to include the two dots (if a question tells you it does, this is a bug which we are working to fix, please report it).


I didn't know that!


You don't have to type it, but if you want to, type the letter ך and then immediately turn on CAPS-LOCK, then hold shift and press on the tilde button (~), the schwa sign should then appear inside the letter.

The keys for the diacritics are: ~, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, -, = and |.



PhoohPah, Hello. It's really simple to make Hebrew keyboard. Press the Botton at Google: "keyboard or ״מקלד עברית״ And you have to do it in your languages- chose Hebrew. With Duolingo,I think, don't nessesary learn alphabetic from your start. Leonid


Something to FIX

The tables at the various lessons with the different vowel sounds are pretty wrong.

For example:

" רע - as in 'rag' "


I normally use Keyman Desktop to type in another language, but the keys don't behave the same in the window. The windows Hebrew keyboards are also not working in my browser. Typing with Keyman works if I write in a Word document first, and then cut and paste, but that takes time. Any suggestions?


Why does the Windows keyboard not work in your browser? Is it some unusual browser?


I'm using IE11. I found a discussion in Microsoft Forums that showed me that it could be an add-on issue.

Method 1: Check if any add-ons are causing this issue.

Let us check if any add-ons are causing the issue. For this try the following: a) Press the “Windows Logo” + “R” keys on the keyboard. b) Type: iexplore.exe –extoff and press the "Enter".

This will open the Internet Explorer with all its add-ons disabled. So now, check if you are able to type in Arabic language in the search boxes. If yes, then you may check which browser add-on has caused this issue by referring to this article:

Manage add-ons in Internet Explorer

I then started disabling add-ons one at a time and restarting the browser, and found the offending add-on to belong to Logitech Set Point - which runs one of my wireless keyboard and mouse sets. It is now disabled.

זה עובד

Even with Keyman Desktop running Ezra SIL Unicode keyboard, which is the layout my fingers know best.

להית ראות דן


I can't figure out how to change the language of non-English lessons on that typing tutorial site to English (or anything else that I can make more sense of than Hebrew. And many other languages seem to require a plugin.) So I'll add another alternative that I found when trying to learn the Russian keyboard:


which has settings to have the lessons in English with other keyboard layouts, although the intro to the Hebrew keyboard lessons is kinda buggy as far as displaying the actual characters being dicussed, and I haven't set up a Hebrew keyboard on this computer so I can't verify how well the lessons work.

You might also be able to set up a keyboard shortcut in Windows for switching through keyboard layouts without clicking on the toolbar; I know I have one for cycling through English, German, and Russian.


It makes it a lot easier to have the hebrew QWERTY keyboard. Some of the sounds match up with the English ones. (Most, but not all.)

[deactivated user]

    Very helpful. Thanks for posting!

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