Hebrew by Latin transliteration method?

Hello - Does anybody know if it is possible to do the Hebrew course using only Latin alphabet transliteration as the input method?

I have done other non-Latin alphabet DUO courses such as Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Korean and Chinese and they all work really well using Latin alphabet transliteration.

I am interested in the sounds of Hebrew and in learning to read it. I really don't need to learn how to type it and I would prefer to just be able to input Latin alphabet transliterations.

Can anybody advise on this method?

(PS: Please do not use this thread to give advice on how to use a Hebrew keyboard, or to argue that the Hebrew alphabet is the best way to go. This thread is for people who WANT to use Latin transliteration)

December 22, 2017


I have the same problem.

December 22, 2017

When you learn a new language, you should immediately start learning the script of that language, too. Transliteration can be helpful in the beginning, but only to a point. The problem with transliteration is that Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet pretty much has its equivalent in the latin alphabet, even though different people tend to transcribe some sounds differently, with Hebrew script it becomes extremely difficult because there are dozens of possibilities for many words. The reason for this is that Latin and Cyrillic are both alphabets, whereas Hebrew is an abjad which is different from an alphabet. And there are two options - either anticipate and include all of the possible transliteration possibilities (which would take forever for the moderators to do that) or Duolingo Hebrew team decide on a special way of transliterating words and accept only that (and in case this transliteration method is different than the one someone has already learned, they need to learn a bunch of new rules, which also doesn't make sense). And there's another problem - learners from different (language) backgrounds would transliterate/transcribe in a different manner, because of the different letters existing in their own languages. So, in conclusion, it would be impossible to include hebrew-latin transliteration on this platform.

January 11, 2018

Typing in a foreign alphabet has no real language-learning benefit unless you really need to learn to TYPE in that language. By learning to "type" Hebrew or Cyrillic, we are not learning to "write" Hebrew or Cyrillic, we are just pressing different buttons on a keypad.

By using Latin transliteration, one saves the effort of having to learn a completely new keyboard layout; it is much easier and quicker to input answers without having to change keyboards all the time; and one can thus concentrate more on reading Hebrew and listening to the audio, rather than being distracted by trying to remember which key to press.

Yes, I recommend learning foreign alphabets such as Hebrew or Cyrillic, but it is much better to do this by using a pen and paper and actually writing out sentences longhand in a notebook (unless your goal is to become a bilingual typist).

Transliterating Hebrew is perhaps not so different to Cyrillic or any other non-Latin-alphabet language: Cyrillic also has many different possible systems of international transliteration, but, as DUO is an "English"/"Russian" (etc) course, DUO uses one of the main English language transliteration systems and, once you learn that system, it is really easy to do the whole course using transliteration for fast input.

I imagine that there is some definate system of transliteration being used in the Hebrew course too. It is probably a standard English transliteration system? I imagine that if one knows the transliteration "key", then DUO will accept Latin alphabet input?

It works for Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Korean - surely it will work with Hebrew too?

January 17, 2018

I recommend for you to just try a Hebrew typing game to learn the layout of the Hebrew keyboard. It only takes a few hours to master it. It also doubles as practice of the alphabet. Each time a letter comes up, repeat the name of the letter. So two birds with one stone. Check out these links for a Hebrew typing game: (this is the one I used)

Another option is to learn using your phone. There is a lot less typing there. But in my experience, it's less effective in helping you learn.

January 25, 2018

For some people this may be good advice, especially if they really need to be able to TYPE Hebrew.

However, I do not need to know how to TYPE Hebrew. I am just interested in learning some basic reading, listening and speaking skills. It is, thus, far more efficient and practical to just do this DUOLINGO course by using Latin-alphabet transliteration for a quick and simple input method. I believe that this should be possible if we understand the transliteration code that underlies this DUO course.

That is the purpose of this thread - to elicit knowledge and experience from other DUO users who are also wishing to use Latin-alphabet transliteration in the Hebrew course.

January 27, 2018

Short answer, no.

December 23, 2017

Does that mean that you think that it is not possible, or does it mean that you are unable to advise because you don't have sufficient experience or data?

I am not a programmer, but it seems highly likely that each Hebrew letter has a relative associated letter (or phoneme) in the Latin alphabet and that if one knows the list of associations then it should be possible to input via a Latin Keyboard. I even had some success with a few of the short words and phrases in the Hebrew course (aba, ama, etc), but could not get it to work with longer sentences.

December 23, 2017
December 28, 2017

This website is France based - but you might find it useful :

And I have no idea about this (don't know if it's free or not):

December 28, 2017

I don't know if a word processor program would be able to do that. They have Hebrew fonts. The question is how you input it. The Windows keyboard doesn't do that. Totally different ballgame. Just remember it's right to left and not left to right when typing.

December 31, 2017

My aim is just to be able to input Latin alphabet characters into Duolingo rather than having to change to a Hebrew keyboard.

Each Hebrew character is traditionally associated with a Latin alphabet letter or phoneme. In theory, one should be able to just input Latin characters to represent the Hebrew characters.

This method works with all of the other non-Latin languages on Duolingo: Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Korean, etc. All of those languages can be inputted on Duolingo just by using Latin characters - it is not necessary to change to any other keyboard.

I found that a few simple Hebrew words can be inputted into Duolingo using Latin characters, e.g. you can input "aba" for the Hebrew word "father" and Duolingo will accept this.

Does anybody have any more experience of using this method?

January 3, 2018
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