Top 10 Tips for Learning Hebrew

I posted this on the English to French discussion board several years ago but applies just the same to Hebrew. This article is helpful to me I hope it is for you as well. Enjoy your learning! :-)

1) Don't expect to be perfect!

Can you remember when learned to ride a bicycle? Did you ride perfectly from the first time you sat on the seat? When learning a new language, expect that you will make mistakes, and don't be embarrassed by them!

2) Work on developing an "ear" for Hebrew.

Remember that language is first and foremost oral communication. A written alphabet is merely a collection of symbols used to represent the sounds of the language, and cannot be expected to capture every nuance of sound and intonation. Try to develop a "good ear" for Hebrew. An easy and fun way to do this is by listening to Hebrew music, watching Hebrew movies.

3) Practice SPEAKING!

The only way to learn to speak a language, is by actually SPEAKING. You can study for years, and master all of the grammar rules, but unless you actually practice speaking, you will never speak well. When you are practicing speaking, remember to do it out loud, at normal conversational volume.

4) Be consistent.

To really learn a language takes time and commitment. Consistency is by far the most important factor. If you can devote a solid twenty minutes a day, nearly every day, you will be far more successful than if you "cram" for an hour or two, but only sporadically.

5) Talk to yourself.

When learning a foreign language, it is common for listening skills to develop more rapidly than speaking skills, leaving the learner in the unfortunate situation of being able to understand, but unable to respond. A good way to surmount this problem is to talk to yourself as much as possible. Because there is no one else around, you won't be weighed down by the inhibition that so frequently burdens the beginning language student.

6) Use flashcards

One of the best tips we can give you is to make and use flashcards. Make cards that are small enough to easily carry with you, and write the English on one side and Hebrew on the other. Be sure to ALWAYS have some cards with you. This way, you can capture "wasted" time (standing in line, riding the bus, waiting for class to start, etc.) and turn it into productive study time. Even if you only have a couple of minutes, you can use it to study a few flashcards.

7) Label your surroundings.

Make labels for things all over your house. For example: the refrigerator, the door, the window etc. Remove the labels only after you have mastered the vocabulary.

8) Be patient.

Progress in language learning does not follow a straight-line graph. You cannot expect to make the same amount of progress, day after day, week after week. You may find yourself struggling at times, seeming to make no progress. Don't let this discourage you. It is normal to reach plateaus in your learning progress. If you find yourself "stuck" try spending time going back and reviewing things that you already know well. Often this will help prepare you to break through to the next level.

9) Find a partner.

Try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. This can be your greatest asset and perhaps you can also provide assistance to your partner in your native language.

10) Read out loud.

Try reading out loud. You will get all of the benefits of reading, plus you'll get really good pronunciation practice. In fact, as a beginner, you should read aloud as much as possible.

January 10, 2018


About the number 10: hebrew does not have vowels, what is a huge problem, at least to me, because, every time I try to read, I never know if I am pronouncing it right. I spend more time trying to find how to say a word, testing many vowels, than really reading any thing :/

January 10, 2018

I think once you get some fluency in speaking and understanding Hebrew, then the written language starts to make sense. Hebrew's a bit of a strange animal in that reading is not really a beginner skill.

January 11, 2018

Yes. Sometimes I recall the meaning of a word but can't remember how to pronounce it.

Anyway, I am learning hebrew for fun, so I don't feel obliged to know all the words as soon as I see them.

It's been and will be a long way, but I am enjoying learning this language :)

January 11, 2018

It is absolutely worth the effort :D

January 12, 2018

6 should be updated to making electronic flashcards, using Anki or something similar. That's really the difference between just learning something and actually memorizing it. And a tip for flashcards, don't just test yourself if you know the word, test your speed as well, so try to recall the word as quickly as possible. This will give you the speed necessary to pull of a real world conversation.

January 10, 2018

I've been using the app HelloTalk to practice in conversation although I have gone past "hi, how are you? good" XD I'm learning

January 19, 2018

It would really help if the hebrew words would have the nekudot vowel points, it would be much easier to remember the pronuciation, where we spend 20-30% of our time.

August 4, 2018
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