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Any Hebrew speakers willing to help a beginner on Skype?

I'm doing the add1challenge with Hebrew (screaming internally) and I am going to need to actually find at least one person to talk to if it's not going to be a horrible waste of time.

Thing is, I reeeeeally can't afford to spend a lot of money on italki tutors... I'm only doing the add1challenge this time because I got a discount and even then I'm terribly nervous about getting the best from it and justifying the outlay. I'm long term disabled on benefit, so I don't have a lot of money to throw about. Languages are one of the few hobbies I can keep going while I'm not well, so I'm treating (sort of...) myself to the challenge. (Wish me luck!) I am going to try and find someone good but not bank-breaking on italki, but the idea of paid lessons several times a week is just plain outside my budget.

I'm more than willing to offer language exchange (Native English, capable Russian and French - I wouldn't feel confident offering actual lessons or corrections in the latter two, but I could certainly chat with you in them. I also have a smattering of other languages if anyone just wants a study buddy who's in the same boat), or if someone just wants to help out of the goodness of your heart, well... I shan't complain!

I figured it was worth asking here on the off chance. I'll keep an eye on this thread, or you can post on my stream.

August 27, 2016



i can help you/ my skype is tova1113


can help, im from israel, have very good hebrew :) oriyaarev1


Just curious how this has been working for you. Did you find someone? I need to get brave and do the same. I'm actually disabled too so simialr situation as far as not having much money. I'm in the chaos of trying to plan a move as well but at least when that's done I'm going to be in a very big city where I'm hoping to find some Israelis to chat with.

I've been curious about italki and Skype and whatnot. I'm a bit shy (just been isolated more than I'd like to be for some time now because of my heslth, that's part of why I'm moving to a big city so I can get out more and meet people!). But I'm personally doing Hebrew because it's something I'm just really passionate about. Before I got sick I was majoring in Middle East Studies with what would've been minors in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Didn't much like my university Hebrew professor or i liked her as a person and took some non language classes with her but I just didn't like the way she taught Hebrew, I guess (plus we used these dreadful old textbooks from like the 70s that were typewriter written basically. So all one font size, all black and white, just a big thick boring massive book of text. Very overwhelming!) Anyway reaching like a C1, C2 level in Hebrew or Arabic was a degree requirement but I was struggling and Hebrew was only offered at set times so health issues got me behind snd blah blah. Then I got really sick. Spent the last seven or eight years trying to get my life back together but it keeps me sane and takes me outside my disability and illness to follow my passion. My profile picture is me with my favorite Israeli politician I met at a conference about a year ago.

Used to think I was going to move to Israel, get my masters degree there, maybe work in foreign policy or something government related either for Israel or the US. Still hoping my heslth gets more under control but not sure I'll ever be able to work at least that's a long way from where I am. Butike I said, I've been trying to regain some semblance of a life, embrace my interests, etc. I've tried learning Hebrew on and off a lot with varying results and probably learned more just by sort of self immersion with Israeli movies, music, news, politics, etc. But this time around I've finally hit a good place where I'm consistently practicing and gaining new knowledge. Ive got other books I'm using in addition to duo but for sure I owe a lot to duo for this.

Anyway, I'm quite fascinated by people like you who learn all these different languages. I'm curious what your process is like, how often you study, what resources you use, what tricks and tips youve picked up. I've done some Spanish ages ago and growing up I was big into dance, especially ballet so picked up some totally random dance related French mostly. But Hebrew is the only thing beyond my native English I've ever gotten very far with.

Anyway, maybe we can be duo buddies or even chat sometime. I think I'm only a little bit behind you right now though because my my goals are different and im not working with a deadline as you are with your challenge I've been going a bit slower, doing lots of reviews. That and i dont know about your health issues but with mine I know some days I'm just not cognitively in a good place to try and learn too many new words! Those days I just review though most of the time i aim to do a mox of new and review.

Anyway, I know I'm not quite what you were looking for but maybe we can help each other out some too? If nothing else we can be motivation buddies or something. :)


Hi Tzipity! I'm always torn when I discover someone is in the same boat, because it sucks when your health gets in the way of your ambitions, but it's also nice when someone understands.

I've done language exchange/talking in Hebrew (trying to!) with a few people (Tova, who posted above, is lovely!) - I also got some unexpectedly well-timed backdated benefit, most of which went into savings but I've treated myself to some italki lessons also.

We should definitely touch base - I'm gonna go post on your wall just now ;)

At the moment I'm concentrating heavily on Hebrew - everything else is just in a holding pattern or slowly decaying (depending on how healthy the tree was to start with!) at the moment. Generally speaking, don't be too impressed by my list of languages; I studied Russian at university (and French up to the first year of uni), which also gave me a massive head start in Ukrainian and Polish! I'm also an incorrigible dabbler. I very much doubt I will even get to "could manage on holiday" in most of those languages unless I actually plan a trip!!

For Hebrew, along with Duolingo I have been using Routledge Colloquial Hebrew, which I bought a decade ago but never got very far with. (When I started the Hebrew course here, I kinda sorta knew the alphabet, could introduce myself, could be polite... and that was about it.) Also the Memrise course for the Duolingo Hebrew course is an absolute lifesaver. I would still be banging my head against the wall on intro to adjectives without it, I think! Those are my main sources. I have also dipped my toe into Living Language Hebrew which seems really user friendly.

Besides that I have been doing a lot of looking things up and working things out. Google translate is not perfect but it's often sent me in the right direction.

One thing I've found pretty helpful in getting over the fear of talking to someone (besides just doing it, it's always less scary once you've made a start!) is making videos of my progress (such as it is ;) LOL). Since A1C is all about talking and it's required to make a number of videos, I decided that maybe it would help me get over my YIKES I AM TERRIFIED reaction to having a camera pointed at me. I really think it has helped a lot.

Erm... I feel like I'm really waffling here LOL but yessss it would be fantastic to talk to someone who's in a similar boat. I shot you a message on FB, too.


Just saw your Facebook message but figured I'll reply here first. I'm actually kind of amused because we seem to be using a lot of the same study resources! I've heard of the Routledge book but don't know much about it. I'm actually using Living Language, the actual books and CDs (there's the app but I'd be paying twice really, they were kind of misleading in their ads and info saying oh more resources online. Not really!) I got the boxed set of books Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced from Amazon last year around the holidays. Actually I think it was a Hanukkah gift. $30ish USD for all that is amazing. I will say, however, they seriously skimped on Editting. I've found so many errors in the book that it makes me a bit nervous, you know? Some are so obvious too, but hard to explain. Ill have to take some photos to show you at some point. Just shocking they managed to be published that way!

I've also got my own university textbook which like I said, was dreadful. A friend found me Hebrew in 20 minutes a day a thrift store and its very travel/ tourist oriented but has some cool features like a practice menu, some flashcards, and stickers you can stick to your stuff (chair, bed, some of them are weird things like food or he or she though and where would you stick those?! Haha) and I'm pretty sure I have a couple of other beginner type books around (Aleph isn't Tough is one, a rabbi was trying to teach me with that one). Been meaning to pick up the 501 Hebrew Verbs book and a dictionary but I'm having trouble deciding which dictionary is best. Seems like I'll probably eventually end up with a few because all I've read and seen makes it seem that each one has its own positives and negatives. My local Barnes and Noble has a Webster's one where you can only look up the Hebrew by transliteration (then it does have the actual Hebrew and whatnot in the listing but no ability to look it up that way) which I didn't like at first until I read their reasoning, it's so you can look up words you hear even if you are unsure of spelling. That actually sounds quite useful. I'm of course using online stuff like Morfix and a few others but I'm a book lover and there's just something nice about being able to look things up by hand or the ability to skim through at random.

I agree with you on Google translate. Ive also been using it a lot. It's gotten much better and ive even pkayed around a bit with their thing where you can volunteer to help improve it. That is no doubt what has made them much better. It bums me out that Facebook and Twitter use Bing translate which is TERRIBLE in Hebrew! (My two favorite examples is it translates Chag Sameach- happy holiday- to Merry Christmas! Every single time! And my own name Tzipora, into Sephora... Which is also very amusing because there's that big North American cosmetic store called Sephora and I'm a little bit addicted to makeup and skincare stuff so... And Sephora was the KJV mistranslation of the biblical Tzipora, Moses' wife. So Sephora does come from Tzipora) Anyway, I actually frequently find myself using Google to figure out the mess the Bing created since I follow a lot of Israeli news and politics on social media. I also use it sometimes to double check if something I've typed in Hebrew at least makes sense. I know it won't catch some of the finer points of grammar or even word order if I've messed that up but nice to have a quick reassurance of some sort.

I've been considering the video thing myself. I stumbled across some videos of someone else doing the A1C in Hebrew on YouTube and I was impressed. But I don't know that I'd be posting to YouTube or not! I did record myself once so far reading a passage I found online in easy intermediate level Hebrew. I tried it several times and I noticed I stumbled more while recording then when I was practicing but I think some of it was trying to keep a consistent and normal enough sounding pace. And the words I stumbled most on were the few I had just learned reading that passage so I guess that makes sense!

Anyway, no worries about waffling or rambling. I enjoyed reading what you wrote, actually, and tend to be rather long-winded myself. Maybe that's what happens when you're a wordy language loving person (while I'm not particularly experienced in foreign language learning myself, at least partially the fault of American school systems, I'm definitely a big fan of reading and writing) and I dont know about you but for me, being sick can be so lonely sometimes and my last couple of years have been especially so. Seems to have made me a lot more shy too so if I do a bad job of keeping in touch, just keep trying me, okay? Haha. I'm really trying to rebuild my general social confidence.


I studied Russian at university, and Routledge Colloquial was our textbook, then Croatian in my fourth year and ditto, so when I first attempted to learn Hebrew, it was my first port of call. Well... actually, tell a lie, I first got a secondhand copy of "Teach Yourself Hebrew", but it was so poorly put together I found it confusing, but it was enough to convince me I really wanted to learn Hebrew, so I invested in Colloquial. Colloquial has gone up a lot since then, so I'm glad I bought it when I did, even though it hasn't seen a lot of use in the meantime.

So far the only errors I've come across in LL Hebrew have been a matching exercise that was supposed to be printed script matching with handwritten script, except both were in print. Oops! But I haven't got very far with it. It is good value for all that info, though.

I tend to work on the principle that I tend to check things in several places, so if someone makes an error, I will usually spot it. (It was what put me off TY, in that there were so many errors I just kept finding them. Things like the answer key to some exercises being wrong, or transliterating words poorly. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when I found myself confusedly trying to say "emh" instead of hem, 'cause they'd made a mistake transliterating הם.) There's a degree to which I will put up with errors, I've never used a resource that was perfect, but that was just... ridiculous.

Haha, I like the stickers idea! I remember doing that with Russian vocab in uni, with postit notes. If memory serves, I also had a list of troublesome vocab on the inside of the bathroom door so I'd see it when I used the toilet LOL

I think I actually own the 501 verbs, again from ages back. (I had such plans... you know how it goes :-/ An awful lot of my language stuff has gone missing, my house is a mess and I can't find anything.)

I do actually have the Webster dictionary, and it is pretty good. I also have a regular dictionary that I got cheap off eBay, which is good for if I only have the spelling of a word (back when Google translate wasn't even as good as it is today!) but between Google and the Websters, I haven't used it at all. It is a monster - it must be a good two inches thick or more, and a good chunk larger than A5 in format, and it weighs a tonne, but it is really useful. I don't remember how much it cost me, it was a long time ago, but since restarting Hebrew I've used it all the time.

I use Google like that a lot - typing what I think is right into it and checking it comes out more or less comprehensible in English. I have Facebook etc in Russian (as ya do...) so I can only say it usually seems to come out with something that makes sense... between it being translated from a language I'm learning into a language in which I'm non-native, I wouldn't want to make any big pronouncements about how well it does 8o LOL

I think even just recording yourself for yourself, it puts the pressure on, so it's actually a good thing, even if you make errors. It lets you know where pressure makes you stumble, and it's more pressure, and therefore better practice, for the possibility of eventually talking to someone properly.

I have had lessons with three different people on italki, so if you ever do decide to take the plunge and take some lessons, I have a few recommendations. I usually take 30 or 45 minute lessons. As well as being cheaper, they're also just easier on my brain/don't leave me wrecked.

https://youtu.be/ghAZoSPFJHE <- this was my 'application video' for the add1challenge, and is also the easiest way I have to point you to the channel where my Hebrew videos live. I keep meaning to do them a bit more often...

I understand about social confidence and whatnot. I don't know about you, but I also find Real Life conversation more draining. It's often easier to type, I guess you get more time to think and stuff.

Anyway... have some more waffle :D


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