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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

Hebrew from Scratch

Just wondering if anyone has gone through the Duolingo Hebrew course from scratch and would be willing to share his/her experience and any tips or advice he/she might have.

Happy learning :)

May 14, 2018

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abdelrahma207885

Well I'm going through that rn. But since i already speak arabic it's been a breeze so far


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Yeah that should help you with the cognates and some of the structure; I know a little arabic and that has helped me, along with my other basic knowledge of hebrew.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

I have a bit of a background in Arabic, too :). My English flag is for the Arabic reverse course. I think my biggest struggle is that I learn better in a group setting. Perhaps I should join or start a club hmm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Nice. I have started some of those courses (german, french, and english from arabic), and I still struggle typing in arabic, so it makes it quite hard to do. I would do more of what you are doing, but I have had some crazy exchanges on language learning websites with individuals from the middle east — I have taken off the marker I am learning hebrew— and that may have ended any pursuit of learning arabic I had. Its probably for the best.

I don't know how you have learned it, but in the U.S I found that practical use was what was missing from my course; and I think using it is one of the key ways to get better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

And also, if you are doing Hebrew from scratch, your not exactly in the same position as everyone else because you have a background with arabic. There are some gramatical similarities you will see at the start that should help you out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

Yeah - I don't find it challenging grammatically. I just struggle to stay motivated learning on my own. With Arabic, I studied it in a classroom setting. I enjoyed the camaraderie and the "we're in this together" group mentality. Perhaps it will just take some getting used to :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

HAHA. I know what you mean about the camraderie group stuff. But with my Arabic class, if it was a bike race, I made a breakaway and everyone else stayed in a group going a couple mph slower than me. Unfortunately the professor decided to stay with the main peloton, and I stayed just far enough ahead to hear what they were doing.

For me with motivation, its kind of a culturally thing: I studied it when I was a kid and when I came here to learn I knew the script still after like 10 years of no use. Its an odd connection learning some of it, and it has a feeling of "coming home" which is a definate motivation for me. I think for language learning to be sustainable long term, and moreso just fun, there has got to be payoff; otherwise one might not even keep up with the main group of riders.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

We should do a discussion page each week for Hebrew practice. I would like that. I feel like I'm at that point I need to break out of my box. It seems such a quiet language to study as far as forums go. Not as popular, but it seems the scholars are some of the main people to study it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

I am very much a beginner also, but we've got to start somewhere.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Corinbelle, if you want to do it, go for it; I mean I know so little and type so slow that I don't know what could be talked about. And oh my goodness I would type SOOOOO Slow that I hate it. I really should learn how to use a hebrew keyboard....and an arabic one...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

I'd be all for that :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abdelrahma207885

yea its practically the same language with different words


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

I definately wouldn't go that far, but they are similar


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abdelrahma207885

I just mean how the sentence structure goes especially with egyptian arabic


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Not hugely surprising.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Einat162

Interesting ! I'm exectly the opposit and waiting for the Arabic course to come out. What did you use to learn the letters? (TinyCards?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Best tip: Persevere!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

Hahah I'll try :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Since you know Arabic somewhat, that should help. Think of it this way. You are sowing a garden. You have a few words which are like the first seeds in the bare ground of your mind. Each time you learn a new word, you are adding a new seed. By and by they will bloom into something beautiful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Would you use that same analogy for learning arabic? I wouldn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Sorry! Hebrew is the first language I've attempted to learn, so can't really answer you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chantal919894

Yes I have... without studying the alphabet first... not a good idea but I thought "well why not give it a try, always up for a challenge". It is hard and I am now on level 12 painfully working thru the "there is a way, there is no bread, we are they are, etc..." for a really long time I just kept redoing the third bubble over and over and over again, like brute forcing it, so now those initial words like man woman dog book mom dad good tasty etc... seem a bit more familiar. I still don't know half of the alphabet!! But I am confident I will get there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Try Tinycards for the alphabet or some other great resource. I don't know the sounds perfectly, but can recognize the alphabet. I went through that stage too, but it gets better once your brain picks up a few words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

I used memrize for the arabic alphabet; it helped a good amount


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

The memrise course is great! Handwritten Hebrew is probably important to know/learn, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Clozemaster is good too, if you haven't heard of that; personally I like it better than memrise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

I bet that process, while difficult, helped you a bit. I still can't type in hebrew, making me redicioulously slow that it is evil in some ways.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Yes, it was hard, but I know now however slow I am, I can learn bit by bit!

I can type some in Hebrew. At least I kind of know where the keys are on the keyboard. I learnt that by stabbing away at it. It isn't fast! The current setup where you have the hover-tips covering the keyboard isn't helpful to learn that. I believe there are typing programs out there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BukoElijah

I'm not exactly focusing on Hebrew at the moment, but I did start from scratch. What really helped me was learning how to read for the most part. There's this YouTube channel called jewfaq and on it, you will find videos on the alphabet that are absolutely amazing and so helpful. You will also see some videos on Jewish dishes on the channel. I used to hate this course because of the lack of help with the alphabet, but once I got the hang of it, I felt so much better about the course and I feel like I've already learned a lot so quickly. Someday I will come back to Hebrew. I wish you the best of luck! Persevere!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mk939

Thank you for the tips and advice! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daal39
  • 1887

I started the Duolingo Hebrew course from scratch (zero previous knowledge), and have found it extremely exasperating. My main gripe is that there is not enough audio. In a language in which the letters only hint at the pronunciation, I would like to have every new word properly introduced. Without this, I have been finding it quite difficult to retain the presented vocabulary.

As a contrast to the Duolingo course, I have started using a course book for German speakers that uses a transliteration system. Learning vocabulary from this book works much better. Knowing how a word is pronounced when you learn it makes it much easier to retain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlwaysTher

This is something that frustrates me a little too. I have a small advantage as I know a little of Arabic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

My solution: go very slow and say the sentence multiple times out loud. And even further, say a sentence with perhaps a different verb conjugation multiple times out loud. I find I really have to work hard to retain hebrew vocab, and this helps a bunch; though it doesn't make it easy!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valoriep

Here's the link to the Memrise Hebrew vocabulary words that go with this Duolingo course. One of the moderators, Mazzorano, built it. I've found it extremely helpful to hear each word pronounced separately in this Memrise course: http://www.memrise.com/course/1031737/hebrew-duolingo There are a few missing vocabulary words, so another student made another Memrise course for seeing and learning the "missing words", but there is no pronunciation. https://www.memrise.com/course/1508230/duolingo-hebrew-the-missing-words/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albur_Godwin

My personal experience, since I did start from literally nothing, and had zero concrete knowledge of any abjad (consonantic alphabet) beforehand:

  1. At first, reading without explicit vowels was the most strenuous aspect for me. I had a very hard time with the very first sentences/units before I could get a handle on what was really going on;
  2. Now, I feel things go way more fluidly, but the remaining big hurdle for learning is having to check the pronunciation of words, since the spelling is not explicit and there is (unfortunately) no audio available for several sentences. The vocabulary list PDF put up on the forum and Forvo are a great help to me.
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