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Can Hebrew course have AlephBeit exercises like Hiragana on Japanese course?

Because it is so much easier to learn with Japanese course model, I am mastering all hiragana in few weeks, but the AlephBeit is so hard to enter in my mind (several months)!

July 8, 2017



Maybe it's better to use another resource to learn the alphabet as Duolingo is not very good at doing that. But I don't know where to find some for the Hebrew alphabet (I agree the Hebrew course is very difficult when you don't know the alphabet especially since vowels are usually not written and so I stopped at level 2…).

For Hiragana, I used https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/learn-hiragana/ and mastered it not in a few weeks but in only two days (of quite intense work…).


It only took me about 5 hours for Hiragana and Katakana at Memrise.
Hebrew should take like 20m.



Also, long lessons to learn the alphabet are very boring when you already know it (buy you can't bypass it because you don't know some of the words used to teach it). I had to do it in Russian, Ukrainian (3 skills) and Greek even though I already knew the alphabets very well…


I understand this complaint for Greek. For Ukrainian and Russian, though, those lessons are almost entirely taught using words you've got to know, so if you can't quiz out, it makes sense to have you do them. (I think your comment also applies for Japanese, albeit a bit less than for Greek, given how it's set up, but you didn't mention that course as directly).


It might be more difficult to have clear audio for individual Hebrew letters that consist only of consonant sounds—obviously, this isn't a problem in the case of Japanese. (On the other hand, given they are all real recordings, it might not be too bad.)
I do think the Japanese integrated method of teaching the syllabaries is a good innovation, however; I'm sure it could be made to work somehow for Hebrew, although I don't think extending it to Russian and Greek would be worthwhile, as these alphabets are quite trivial for English-speakers to learn.


I'm sure it could be made to work somehow for Hebrew

Just have the consonants with various nikud attached, and have it largely rely on matching exercises, much like the Japanese course teaches kanji?

The way the current Greek course handles the alphabet is really very much like a kludgy way of doing what the Japanese course did, but hamstrung by the constraints of the Duolingo "sentence" translation structure. It would be a good deal more satisfactory were one to merely be matching corresponding letters / letter combinations as opposed to "translating" them as is done currently.

Indeed, the Cyrillic alphabet is straightforward enough, yet people don't arrive with that understanding (people seem to have gotten to levels 20+, if not 25, relying completely on the now thankfully-defunct transcription system), so all the handholding folks yet to learn it can be given to me seems worthwhile. As anitramwaju pointed out, it would be good if the relevant skills were set up such that those who have learned the alphabet, but nothing else, could easily quiz out of such lessons — maybe even a three-way option at the outset: complete beginner; standard quiz-out; and "I know at least one Cyrillic alphabet but little or no Russian."


The Hebrew team has avoided using any nikud, on the grounds that Modern Hebrew is written without it (which, indeed, it generally is). Personally, I think an ideal situation would be having displayable nikud as a selectable option in a radio box throughout the course, much like romanisation for Russian used to be.
Still, having alphabet lessons with nikud would require a volte-face in the Hebrew course's teaching methods, as it would otherwise expend considerable time making the learner familiar with marks none of the rest of the course uses.

In the case of Greek and Russian, tips and notes would probably suffice, if only they were accessible from the app; however, if it's easy to implement, there's no harm in hand-holding.


I hope the functionality will make its way to the other non-Latin script courses! Teaching writing systems has long been a major weakness of Duolingo, and it'd be a shame to not get as much benefit as possible from all the work done. I don't suppose we'll see any change at least until Japanese is on the web, though.

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