A question for those who have finished the Hebrew tree...

Hi guys, had some questions for those who have finished the Hebrew tree (or are close to finishing it).

1) How good would you say this tree is at teaching the language and how far does it get you?

2) How much of the language can you use outside, for example watching simple films, reading simple stories etc.

3) Lastly, what are other very good resources for Hebrew? (Books in particular)

August 3, 2016


As far as resources Im concurrently doing Duo with the full set of Living Language Hebrew. Got it for about $30 on amazon or even a bit less and it's three workbooks with CDs. I don't totally love it because they seem to have a lot of simple errors in that they appear to have never edited the darn thing but you should be okay even then. A workbook has obvious advantages over a straight book as well and is a great way to get in extra practice. The Cds arent bad either but I'm fairly sure at least one of the main voices used is not a native speaker. And they go with some older or less popular word choices and pronunciation but frankly that's a common issue I've found in Hebrew study. I took university Hebrew and we had the worst textbook imaginable. It was literally typewritten, like on a typewriter so all black and white, no photos, no variation even in size of text and absolutely massive, also hadn't been changed from the 70s or so. Keep thinking I need to pull it out again but ugh, it was dreadful.

I've seen and used some other decent beginner books but they won't get you very far so I hesitate to recommend them. I'm waiting for a friend to send me one he found at a thrift store that comes with flashcards and labels to put on objects around the house with their Hebrew names. Ive also seen a website that sells labels like that and think that could be a nice learning aid.

I'm really aiming to buy a good Hebrew-English dictionary and that Barron's verb book already mentioned by another poster. Verbs and roots are so central to the language that sounds like an especially good idea.

And not books but you might want to check out Hebrewpod101 for podcasts (and they have some YouTube videos as well) and also Streetwise Hebrew which is a great podcast for learning slang and basically how the language is currently used by your average Israeli.

Lastly, I think it's also very important to learn to read and write the Hebrew "cursive" (not really cursive in the sense of letters joining together but it's often called that) because no one writes in the block letters but beyond that a lot of signs and packaging (like for stores or food wrappers and such) actually use the cursive type script plus virtually every in person class ive ever taken or seen offered tends to use it. It's not exactly intuitive and threw me hard in my university course but I've been writing out flashcards by hand which has been an amazing practice and writing things in notebooks. There's some great online flashcard apps and websites but you're not going to get to practice handwriting then.

Lastly, I've also started using a website called lang-8 for writing. It's a pretty cool concept where you correct the writing of other people who are trying to learn your native language and Hebrew speakers correct yours. Oh boy has that been a challenge and taught me a lot as well!

Basically, I know you asked for books and im also someone who learns best by reading but with language learning there's so many different components to learn and practice and it's also so helpful to have various types of resources instead of just one (and almost everything I've mentioned is entirely free!) So worth finding a whole collection of different types of resources that work for you and making sure you're not just getting readings and grammar but also speaking, listening, writing and typing.

August 10, 2016

I especially agree with the last statement here by Tzipity. Learn from a variety of sources, don't expect any one course to get you everything that you need.

August 10, 2016

I can only answer to third question - the FSI course is quite good for me - you can find it here - I have also got "Hebrew Military Reader - And "Intermediate Advanced Israeli Hebrew Refresher Course" - All of them are in public domain, but unfortunately only the first one is provided with audio. Hope this will help and sorry for language errors ;)

August 4, 2016

Thank you for the suggestions. I tried FSI and I like the format.

August 11, 2016

I have finished the tree, and I thought the course did a good job, and covered an impressive amount of material. However, I will say that the course is weak on the speaking side of things, as far as having the student speak. This can be overcome... but only through conscious effort on the part of the student.

  1. I would say that it gets you to a nice comfortable conversational level, if you really master the content. I had been studying Hebrew hard for around 3 years and I still learned close to 200 new words from the course. I'm a B2 in Hebrew according to the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages."

  2. The course does a great job of covering the most used words in the language... I would say that if the material is mastered, you should be able to understand the majority of content in Hebrew movies or TV shows.

  3. Get yourself a Hebrew verb book... It will be very helpful to master the verbs. They say that Hebrew is an easy language with hard verbs. It is true that once you master the patterns of verb conjugation, the language opens up to you. I would recommend: "Barron's 501 Hebrew Verbs" and "Living Hebrew" (לחיות בעברית) by Yohanan Elihay.

If you are starting from the very beginning, I would also recommend a book/series called "Hebrew From the Very Beginning." It does a nice job of explaining the foundational grammar in simple terms.


August 10, 2016

I'm not the original poster but thanks for this. I've been eyeing the Barron's verb book and thinking that would be a great thing to have so glad to have that confirmed and will look into the other book you mentioned.

August 10, 2016
Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.