I am a native Hebrew speaker. I joined the Hebrew course just for fun. You have a lot of mistakes and very strange sentences. You should pay attention to remarks submitted to you and have a free text option for remarks. It might improve the course

August 28, 2019


I have found they are not structuring the Hebrew lessons for beginners at all, I did learn the letters from another source but on here they print them so small it is hard to clearly differentiate. There also seems to be there is an assumption you already know the words and no attempt to introduce them to you as there is with words in other courses.

I guess we need more people to volunteer and update the Hebrew course? I wonder if a new volunteer would be allowed to edit the courses?

The trouble is that the current team of volunteers won't admit that anything is wrong and refuse to accept help.

They deserve a LOT of thanks for putting the course together and gradually improving it, but if they don't open up and recruit some new blood, most of the bugs will never get fixed.

Thanks for explaining. Now I understand why seemingly nothing has been fixed since I started learning Hebrew here about two or more years ago. Even the guy that speaks in the exercises is hard to understand or talks too fast half the time.

I agree they deserve respect for the work they did, but when they claim a type of ownership or dominance over their volunteer work it is not good in my opinion. The whole concept of volunteering for something implies that other people will also help in the same project and may improve on work other people have done. I guess they don't see it that way.

It's tricky. When you have a team where everybody knows everybody else, and where everybody has bought into the same vision for the project, it can be very disruptive to bring in somebody new. I volunteered to help with the English translations and was turned down, any my resentment (unfortunately) shows in many of my discussion posts.

But I can understand why they said "no"! In the short term, getting the new guy up to speed and dealing with his/her different point of view usually causes more problems than it's worth. If you're already overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of you, and especially if you are feeling stung by the criticism you are getting, expanding the team (especially to include a critic!) can be too tough of a pill to swallow.

But in the long run it's absolutely necessary. Over time, team members burn out and get set in their ways, making positive change harder and harder. Sooner or later, you either admit new blood with different perspectives or you collapse.

BTW, I don't have trouble with the male voice anymore. It's the female voice that often throws me.

You make some good points here and they make sense. The English does need fixing. I sometimes have to use bad English grammar just to get the 'correct' answer.

I agree it is necessary for them to bring in more volunteers but I do see your points about them just wanting to do the work themselves (when they admit they are wrong).

That is interesting about the voices. I first learned Sephardi, and the male speaker is definitely not sephardi (maybe Ashkanasi or?). Maybe the female voice is from a Sephardi speaker? I have not really payed attention to that but I know I rarely have much trouble with her pronunciations.

A good question. I would not mind being the one to update the course but it is up to dou

שלום, I started the Duolingo Hebrew course as a beginner and as I am not a native speaker am unaware of the errors within the current course.

Can you provide an example of the strange sentence constructions? I am curious as I do not wish to ingrain incorrect pieces and it is great that you are pointing out the mistakes as a native speaker, hopefully they can be polished through

I can't judge the degree of strangeness in the Hebrew sentences, but there are definitely signs of peculiar obsession with living beings eating each other, as in "The tall bear is eating the short turtle", "Short dogs eat cats", going as far as "The lion eats a child", and a more playful "My duck does not want to eat you".

It's sentences like that that keep me coming back for more!

Whatever it takes :)

I am not sure they are paying attention to my remarks. This was the answer I posted I will give you an example. The student has to translate into Hebrew the sentence: The dove does not like hot bread I wrote in correct and good Hebrew היונה אינה אוהבת לחם חם This answer was marked as incorrect and the proper translation according to duolingo is: היונה לא אוהבת לחם חם It is an acceptable translation but at a lower level of Hebrew. To me it means that the people behind these lesson do not speak "high" Hebrew or they think it is too difficult. Anyway they should accept such answers. I will try to find other examples.

Can you explain what אינה denotes please and why it should be used instead of לא?

the meaning of אינה is "is not" for feminine. For masculine you have to use אינו. The word לא us simply not or no. It does not contain a verb in it. It is better to use אינה and אינו because the verb is included. It is is the correct hebrew and "high brow"

Thanks - Is it pronounced "en-ah" and "en-oo"?

Eyn-ah and Eyn-o.

[ʔejˈna] and [ʔejˈno]

So is this like a conjugation of אין ?

Yes. אינו means אין הוא for masculine and אינה means אין היא for feminine

The grammar is not explained anywhere so you have to find out yourself what the grammar supposed to be behind the sentences. On this level the lower level of grammar is easier to use. I make no sense for a beginner what you tell us here

[deactivated user]

    Do keep in mind that "אין" is only used to negate statements in the present tense. The correct word for negating past and future statements is "לא" in all registers.

    He is not the prime minister - הוא אינו ראש הממשלה

    He was not the prime minister - הוא לא היה ראש הממשלה

    He won't be the prime minister - הוא לא יהיה ראש הממשלה

    It's not "lower level of Hebrew", get out of here with your prescriptivism.

    You suggestion is also correct and should probably be accepted as an option, but I assume that the course first more basic and simpler sentences, hence the use of "לא" instead of "אינו/אינה".

    Let's sum the things up:

    1. We all agree that Yaffa's suggestion is correct, and that it should "probably" be accepted.

    2. By rejecting the אינו/אינה as incorrect, Duolingo essentially tell the learners that they must use לא, and penalizes them for not doing so.

    Now, in all honesty, who is guilty of prescriptivism here?

    No, by rejecting אינו/אינה the mods of the course either:

    1. Simply haven't thought of this variation when they built the course. Users should then report their translation and the mods will review it and add it if it's indeed correct.

    2. Left it out on purpose since it's a more formal way of speaking that they haven't taught yet in the course (I don't know if they did or will, I'm not taking the course, I'm just a native Hebrew speaker trying to help learners).

    In any case, my problem with Yaffa is her trying to claim, according to her, what is "high" and "low" Hebrew, but not in the descriptive sense of simply informing what is more formal and what is more colloquial language, as evident by her snidely hinting that the course contributors don't speak "high Hebrew".

    Every language, including Hebrew, has different registers, yes, but that doesn't mean any one register is better or worse than the other.

    Yaffa wasn't trying to educate, she was just being a stuck up classist.

    We have learned from Yaffa about the more- and less formal ways of saying the same thing. This helps some of us in Hebrew studies.

    I get it that you don't like the way Yaffa expresses her thoughts on Duolingo, but how does shaming her and calling her names helps us study Hebrew, that is a mystery to me.

    My suggestion should be accepted. Even if duo's people feel that the simple Hebrew is enough they should accept naswrs in better Hebrew

    [deactivated user]

      ההצעה שלך מצוינת וכך גם העברית שלך. אין כל פסול בהכרה בקיומה של עברית יפה ועשירה ובהקפדה על שימוש בה - הן בחיי היומיום והן בבואנו ללמד אחרים את השפה. (כמובן, איני מציע להמעיט בחשיבותה של השפה המדוברת או לבטל את קיומה!)

      למרבה הצער, אנחנו חיים בתקופה שבה ההבחנה בין דוברים רהוטים לעילגים אינה לגיטימית בחוגים רבים. יש הרואים בה מתקפה שרירותית על "בני המעמדות הנמוכים". קצרה היריעה מלתאר את התנגדותי לגישה הזו.

      אני שמחה שיש בכל זאת עדיין יש אנשים שחושבים שכדאי לפחות לדעת עברית יפה, עשירה ומוקפדת. בארצות חוץ יש הקפדה גדולה מאד על רמת השפה ועילג שפה, לא יצליח לעבור ראיון עבודה. חבל שיש אנשים שאינם מבינים זאת ואף מנסים להנחיל את דעתם באמצעות גדופים ולא באמצעות שיח תרבותי

      [deactivated user]

        זו עמדה פוליטית גרידא. ודי בשימוש שלך במילת הגנאי "classist" כדי לבסס את הטענה הזו.

        יש שפה עילגת, ולכן ישנם גם דוברים עילגים. מוצא אינו ערובה לשליטה נאותה בשפה. על כך יעידו עשרות מיליוני האמריקאים שמבלבלים בין your ל-you're, מיליוני הגרמנים שאומרים "der einzigste", ומאות אלפי הישראלים שאומרים "ש" במקום "כש".

        צר לי שמר אילן גינזבורג בוחר לפגוע ולהעליב במקום לנהל דיון. איני מתכוונת לרדת לרמה של עלבונות. שנה טובה והרבה בריאות לכולכם

        לצערי יש המנסה להפוך את הדיון לדוקרב של עלבונות. לא ארד לרמה הזאת . הדיון צריך להיות עניני ללא גדופים. שנה טובה ןהרבה בריאות גם למעליבים

        אתה בור בכל דבר שקשור לבלשנות ולכן הדעות שלך לא מעניינות אף אחד.

        לנסות לדבר איתך על בלשנות זה כמו לנסות לדבר על מתמטיקה עם מישהו שמשוכנע בכל ליבו ש-1+1=3. פשוט אין טעם.

        [deactivated user]

          אין טעם לקיים דיון עם מי שטועה לחשוב שדברי ההבל הפרוגרסיביים שלו עמדתו של עולם המדע הם.

          כמאמר דוברי היידיש, "האט ער געזאגט".

          כדי לעבור ראיון עבודה על מועמד כדאי לדעת את העברית הסטנדרטית של המשלב הגבוה. אך זה לא אומר שהעברית ממשלב נמוך היא פחות או יותר נכונה. אבל אני לא מצפה מבורה להבין קונספטים בסיסיים בבלשנות.

          I will give you an example. The student has to translate into Hebrew the sentence: The dove does not like hot bread I wrote in correct and good Hebrew היונה אינה אוהבת לחם חם This answer was marked as incorrect and the proper translation according to duolingo is: היונה לא אוהבת לחם חם It is an acceptable translation but at a lower level of Hebrew. To me it means that the people behind these lesson do not speak "high" Hebrew or they think it is too difficult. Anyway they should accept such answers. I will try to find other examples.

          Perhaps this is a more advanced skill that gets introduced later in the course and they're trying to keep it very simple at the start.

          I think the inability to recognize a syntactically perfect and accurate translation is bug and not a feature :)

          I know for sure Duolingo has the capability to accept several different, but equally accurate variations in English translations; sometimes the checker comes up with the "Another correct translation is..."

          I feel weird learning Hebrew here. I am a beginner but Duolingo asks me to type Hebrew right after listening a few words. It hasn’t teach the pronunciation of each character yet... Could someone please help improving the lessons in Hebrew...

          The pronunciation in Hebrew is very easy: א - sounds like the a in apple ב - sound like the letter b or v it depends ג - sounds like the g in get ד - like d ה -א everyone says like h but it sounds like ו - like v ז - like z ח - like h in english but more deep write ch instead of ח ט - like t י - like y כ - like t k/q or ch it depends ל - like l מ -like m נ - like n ס - like s ע - א and ה like פ - like p or f it depends צ - there is no in english it sound like t+s ק - like q/k ר - like r but more deep ש - like t s or sh it depends ת -(ט) like t

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