A Question about compeleting the Hebrew tree.

Is it possible to communicate well enough in the Hebrew language after completing the Hebrew tree? Obviously, if I've memorized every single word on here and also learn them in context/with sentences.

September 1, 2018


It certainly helps. I understood a lot more in my last trip to Israel than in my previous, pre-DL trips, even though I've studied Hebrew before. Just don't expect miracles. A couple of Israelis talking full speed with each other will still be incomprehensible. You'll pick out an occasional word, so maybe you'll figure out what they're talking about, but not what they're saying!

Still, when it comes to reading signs, making simple requests at shops and restaurants, and understanding the responses, DL helps a LOT. Also, Israelis are used to people speaking broken Hebrew, so they'll cut you a lot of slack when you make mistakes.

September 1, 2018

That's great. I'm sure the course will help when travelling to Israel has it does provide a lot of useful words. I've actually been learning Hebrew for the past 5 years and am able to make a conversation but it is very difficult to understand native speakers when they are speaking at full speed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

September 4, 2018

That's true. Making an effort to speak Hebrew (even if switching to English eventually) gets you a long way, because you took the time to learn.

September 2, 2018

(Native Hebrew speaker - completed the tree once in test out mode): I think it gives a very solid basis, you might miss out on slang terms and your Hebrew will sound too "clean" to a native speaker- but communicate? yes. Also, it depends what you want to say, duolingo does not give you fluency and you will always be more comfortable & expressive in your own language.

September 1, 2018

Thank you for your comment, Einat. I didn't quite understand what you meant by too "clean" to a native speaker. Perhaps you mean formal? Probably very common for Israelis to swear which I do not do at all in my native language either if that's what you meant. I understand that there will be a lot of slang and terms, and one probably can only learn that via talking to native speakers. There are definitely a lot of useful words on Duo and I am sure it will help me a lot.

September 4, 2018

Yes, I suppose 'formal' is a nicer way to put it (like a news broadcaster). I was translating from Hebrew modern speech so 'clean' made less sense :-)

As for swear words, Israelis use Arabic, Russian, English and Yiddish expressions mostely, but you don't need to learn those...

September 5, 2018

There are over 2000 words in the Duolingo course. It covers a lot of material, many useful words for you to build on. If you build on this course with the nouns and verbs you need then I see no reason why this course will be inadequate. Many structures are introduced as well.

September 3, 2018

Yes, a lot of words indeed and I am sure the course will help me a lot. I have already mastered some lessons and it is great to be able to use what you've learnt.

September 4, 2018

of course, in the point of view of vocabulary, duolingo isnt enough.

also you wouldnt be able to understand slang nor some types of phrases that are being said in a particular way.

duolingo is the basic tool and i dont think you can really learn a language here and become an expert, you need more sources and practice.

i recommend you to download apps like "HelloTalk" or "Tandem" to talk to native speakers. it will improve your hebrew to be much much better.

for me at least, duolingo wasnt enough to communicate turkish well enough.

September 1, 2018

I understand your point. It is true that we can learn a certain amount of words to use during our conversation but probably to speak very well and comfortably you will need to learn a lot more. I read that a person needs to know about 10,000 words in a language that they are learning in order to be fluent. That is a LOT of words...

I'm also studying Turkish on Duolingo. When you said that Duo wasn't enough to help you communicate in Turkish well enough, what did you mean exactly by that? You could only make simple sentences?

September 4, 2018

exactly, only simple sentences

September 14, 2018

It's a pretty thorough course. IMO, it's one of the best on Duolingo.

I would strongly suggest finding exchange partners to practise speaking and listening - I don't think that merely completing the tree will give you confidence in that area.

October 11, 2018

There are a few key differences between DL Hebrew and the other DL courses I'm familiar with. (Italian, Spanish, French and German)

  1. DL Hebrew is more demanding. It takes a lot more lessons to get each crown on Hebrew than in the other languages. For instance, for most modules in the new Spanish tree the third crown involves 8-12 lessons. In Hebrew it's more like 20, and there tend to be more sentences per lesson than in the other languages. (Whether that's good or bad is a matter of taste.)

  2. The audio is iffy, especially the female voice. Since it's a human voice rather than computer-generated, there's no way to slow the voice down. Some sentences don't have any audio, and in a few the audio is of the wrong sentence altogether.

  3. The English translations are awful. In many sentences, DL requires a specific awkward English wording and rejects much more natural phrasings. (This also makes testing out of lessons that you have already mastered difficult.) Sometimes I read an English translation and wonder "what the heck is that supposed to mean?" Sometimes it turns out to be a British idiom, and other times it's just garbled English. This has been improving over time, but DL Hebrew still has a long way to go to reach the quality-control levels of the other languages. The course moderators are volunteers, and they deserve a LOT of thanks for their efforts, but there aren't enough of them. As a result, they're generally too overwhelmed to respond to error reports in a timely way.

  4. The data base of instructional content -- tips and notes, plus useful answers in the discussions -- is much smaller than in other languages. Despite the best efforts of a number of frequent commenters (You know who you are! Thank you!), a lot of your grammar questions are likely to go unanswered.

This is NOT to say you should avoid DL Hebrew!! I'm still plugging away, and I'm learning a LOT. Also, flootzavut's suggestion of finding a partner to practice speaking and listening is very good. However, despite DL Hebrew's graduation from the incubator, you should probably still think of it as a beta version of a course, and be prepared for a large number of frustrating glitches.

October 14, 2018

I'm glad to hear someone speak so highly of the course who has completed it. I'm really hoping to get to a point where I'm conversational in Hebrew sometime after completing the tree.

October 24, 2018

What the course doesn’t and can’t do is get you speaking fluently. Having said that, it is great for listening and I’ve been told by Israelis that my accent (based on my listening) is good, so I’m glad we’re hearing real speakers not computer generated sentences. It’s certainly the best course I’ve tried - and I’ve tried lots! Wish I’d known about it when learning other languages. I’m now reading Harry Potter in Hebrew, so even the ‘Legends’ section is coming in useful. Now I just need someone to talk with!

October 27, 2018
Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.