Learning Hebrew outside of Israel

Hi all! I'm about 60 percent through the course now, and like it a bunch. I've noticed (like others have) a few "bugs" but so what?! It's still good. Of course its not immersion like an Ulpan in Israel. Anyway what I'm doing when there's time is also watching the series Ha Shoter Hatov (The Good Cop) over and over again and that is pretty much it for now. There are male voices, female voices, younger and older voices, etc... and at least on Netflix you can pause and rewind a bit to re-hear stuff. I still don't get it all, but do most of it, and the subtitles help. I had to watch Fauda some to hear my first "sabbaba" So I am wondering what others do to approximate "immersion" and help them learn better and faster. Thoughts? good luck all, Mark

May 15, 2019


I watch Rehov Sumsum (רחוב סומסום). It is the Israeli version of Sesame Street and it is really cute and funny, and perfect for beginners. You can find lots of clips and episodes on youtube, some with Hebrew subtitles.

May 16, 2019

Yes that one is excellent! I used to watch it long time ago..And it is very cute!

May 16, 2019

I would concentrate on children's books and songs if I were you.

May 20, 2019

Use voice to text dictation to answer the questions that require a response in Hebrew. They are quite adaptable so this may not require perfect pronunciation but it gives you practice speaking the language. You should additionally type out the answer also to practice written skills.

May 16, 2019

Hello there you wrote:

"..So I am wondering what others do to approximate "immersion" and help them learn better and faster."

It is only my respectful individual opinion..It is impossible to "approximate" or imitate immersion into another language other than travelling to the country of that language or interacting with native speakers of that language in person..i.e. if they live in your city , work with you etc.. AND you have to not be able to use any other language while doing that.. Immersion is sink or swim situation for your brain

Watching shows, on Netflix or TV channels, news, utube videos is great. It WILL help you greatly to reach more comprehension and some more fluency.

But it WON'T be an immersion and will not make you comfortable in that language environment if you were to suddenly find yourself in it.

I do have experience of both methods of study, so I know what I am talking about.. Only my opinion, though , based on experience.

Oh and one more thing..Ulpan isn't really an immersion, unless you are enrolled in an Ulpan in Israel itself where you already immersed. Ulpan is just a language course , like in a college.

I studied in an Ulpan as well as lived in Israel for a while...(studied Hebrew out of interest in language/culture).Amazing experience..

Good luck to you..

May 16, 2019


Thank you for the post.

May 17, 2019

Thanks for the interesting comments, appreciate it. I know there's no true replacement for immersion. I tried to convey that by putting it in quotation marks but thoughts and intent are difficult sometimes to express in short posts. I'll keep on with the Duolingo Hebrew, and as time permits do other stuff too. I have not joined Memrise Hebrew, but I see that others do, so that may be a good help as well. I'll check it out. And I'd appreciate any other thoughts and tips as well. Good Luck, Mark

May 16, 2019

Mark, Duolingo Hebrew course is actually very good.. it is quite advanced.. As for other tips I would recommend some short Utube series like

Easy Hebrew (on Easy Languages channel) It is advanced and has interviews with native speakers out in the streets on variety of has subtitles!

Hebrew Street, same concept, different topics, advanced level.

Streetwise Hebrew with Guy Sharett, a polyglot Hebrew teacher, who teaches students Hebrew through graffiti and street signs in Tel Aviv..Very entertaining and interesting..

May 16, 2019

Great suggestions Giovanna Louise :-)!

Mark, it's always a good idea to expose yourself to other Hebrew language teachers on the internet. While it may not be "immersion," listening to their approach oftentimes fills in gaps on things that Duolingo may not make clear, like pronunciation. Here's another YouTube source, with lessons only 9-10 minutes in length. Each lesson has a short dialogue in them as well. I've listened to them while working in the kitchen. I like to take any opportunity to hear spoken Hebrew, especially when I "don't have the time" to sit down and "שים לב" as they say in Hebrew for "pay attention." :-)

You also might consider getting a speaking partner or teacher. is a good place to find community partners to practice a target language. I've chosen to pay for a teacher there, whom I really like. But you can also find other language learners there, to exchange your English experience for their Hebrew experience. It took a long time for me to realize that unless I am speaking the language aloud, in complete sentences, I am not fully learning it.

May 16, 2019


It is very important! Really what you need!

Thank you!

May 17, 2019

I gave you 5 lingots for your great comment. I got started on Daniel's Youtube videos and really enjoyed them. But your tip about where to look for a practice partner is great. I made a note of the link and will check it out more carefully soon. Thank you for that!

May 17, 2019


As always is a pleasure to read your post! And as always great tips, I already found couple awesome utube channels thanks to your recommendations , and now this playlist with Hebrew lessons , I will check for sure.. Thank you again..

p.s. like you, I also like Hebrew expressions, like the one you mentioned לשים לב

וזה נכון שזה בדיוק הדבר..מתי שפונים למשהו שחשוב לנו,שמים את ליבנו בו..

Happy that your Hebrew adventure with the group that you host continues!!


May 17, 2019

Hey those are great suggestions, I'll give them a go as time permits. I've also done some radio ad listening, songs on the radio, stuff like that. Usually I'll memorize the jingle or song, THEN figure out what all the words then apply that to things. I can still sing a Bank Leumi ad jingle from many years ago. Sometimes its like "Oh, so thats what that phrase means..." I guess every little bit helps along the way. take care, Mark

May 16, 2019

I download Biblical songs, prayers, blessings and google the Heb-Eng words which I write out, then say / sing daily. The music and words go through my head all day which is like a child being immersed in his/her home language. Read, read, read: I try read a chapter or at least part of a chapter of the Bible per day from Bible Hub interlinear Bible. Just a few thoughts of what one can do.

May 16, 2019

GalindaNelson, שלום!

"The music and words go through my head all day which is like a child being immersed in his/her home language".


You have found the best method to learn Hebrew and any other language.

This method is also suitable for learning languages through books, Videos, on Duolingo for memorizing words. True, I learned Hebrew in Israel from Russian (in ulpan and further in the communication).

This song is very popular in Israel. It is about gratitude to the Creator for everything that He created for people, although it is not from the Bible. The second option with translation into Russian and views of Israel. And you have to look for an English translation in the beginning.

I love to read English posts on the forum - because they help to learn English and learn many, many interesting things.

Thank you for your post. I wish you success.

and one more song

May 16, 2019

I'll definitely look those up רבה תודה Shalom, and all the best with your multiple language study.

May 22, 2019

תודה רבה לשיר!

June 3, 2019

I watch Israeli movies (Ha Ushpizin) and documentaries on youtube. There are also a few great playlists with Israeli songs with subtitles in English and sometimes also in Hebrew. Great way to learn new vocab and grammar.

I essentially learned English this way when I was a kid. We were taught in school, but watching series on TV with subtitles gave so much more of a feel for spoken English and it extended my vocabulary no end. I did read a lot too, which gave me a better feeling for complex grammatical constructions. I never lived in an English speaking environment until I was in my thirties. I won't say that I didn't learn anything from that experience, but the bulk of my fluency came from all those years of reading and listening.

So I am quite confident that using this method with another language will work very well too. Although I do intend to search out speaking opportunities.

I have experience with immersion too. That works very well too, although better if you have at least some prior knowledge of the language.

May 28, 2019

Didn't have to look too hard to find many childrens songs and music to watch, listen to , and learn. I'ma keep it up for a while anyway, even though I feel kind of dumb (as in humbling because I don't yet have full Hebrew knowledge) doing A few new words here and there, some review and context, it is good. I'll probably go to some adult comtemporary stuff in a few weeks maybe? Continued good luck to all!

May 27, 2019
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