If you want to learn Hebrew quickly and easily you might be setting yourself up with a challenge. However, a few tips and tricks will help you achieve your goal in no time by learning it online for free. Hebrew is spoken all over the world, not only in Israel, with the second largest population of speakers found in the United States. So if you’ve always wanted to visit NYC, now you have an excellent excuse.
Ancient or Modern Hebrew?
If your interest in learning Hebrew stems from a desire to read a biblical passage in its original form, then your best bet is to learn ancient Hebrew and not its modern version. Jewish prayers and liturgies are also written and sung in this ancient form of the language. However, if you want to be able to converse freely with people nowadays, you should learn modern Hebrew, which is the official language in Israel. You can find online resources for learning both forms of the language, just make sure you choose the right one for you.
Getting Started with Hebrew
Before you embark on this trip, you should probably get yourself accustomed to the musicality of the language. The best way to do this is by listening to the language being spoken either in movies or in any kind of recording that you can find online. You could also try to speak the language by mimicking the sounds you hear, even if you don’t understand much at this point.
The Hebrew Alphabet
After getting a taste of the sound of the Hebrew language, you should try your hand at writing. You might have heard the word ‘paleo’ before, but you might also want to learn about the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. This is the ancient alphabet of the language, from which the modern version stems. Make sure that you are studying the appropriate alphabet needed for your study of the language!
Online Resources for Hebrew
Once you have figured out how to write all the letters of the alphabet, you can start your first proper lesson in Hebrew. Depending on your needs or mood, you could choose different online resources to help you out.
- Youtube: The easiest way to begin is by watching youtube videos or tutorials that will teach you the basics of the language. These might not feel like an actual course, reducing the work-related stress. There is an entire Youtube channel dedicated to learning this language. If your interest is mainly in conversational Hebrew, Youtube could also be of great help for learning useful phrases fast. However, if you are serious about learning Hebrew, you should consider Youtube only as a starting point.
- Podcasts: Another easy way of learning Hebrew is by listening to an audio podcast. You can find quite a number of them online and some are even available for download on iTunes. They might not be as helpful when it comes to writing in Hebrew, but they are one of the easiest and fastest ways of learning to speak and understand spoken Hebrew.
- Online courses: If you have already tried Youtube tutorials and podcasts, you might be thinking ‘I want to know how to spell Hebrew words’. The best way to check for spelling mistakes is to use a structured online course such as the Rosetta Stone website. Online courses will teach you everything from pronouncing those vowels to using the correct form of the verbs. You will start from a basic level as well and work your way up to more advanced levels.
- Books: It might be hard to learn Hebrew once you are no longer a beginner, but that’s why we have books. You can find them with a simple Google search and download them in a PDF format. Many books are available for free online, but you can find others to buy from online retailers. Using a book alongside an online course could be the recipe for success in learning Hebrew.
- Games and Apps for Kids: If you want to convince your child to learn Hebrew, the best way is to use an online game or any other fun software that is available for download. You can teach your kid the Aleph-Bet, or help improve his or her vocabulary in a fun way. Singing along various songs can also be an exciting way of getting acquainted with a new language. If you are feeling left out for being an adult, do not worry! There are also online games and apps for adults for those moments when you don’t want to procrastinate, but you just don’t have the energy to listen to a traditional lesson. Moreover, if you are not in front of your computer, a mobile app can save the day.
Learning Hebrew Can Be Fun
Once you have managed to master the language, you can test yourself by watching movies in Hebrew without subtitles. Before you jump to conclusions and think that there might not be much to watch, you should know that Hebrew cinematography is quite well-known worldwide. Popular movies that feature the Hebrew language include Waltz with Bashir, A Tale of Love and Darkness and Fill the Void. Set yourself up in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy!
If movies are not your cup of tea, then maybe you prefer listening to music. Many websites, such as Hebrew Songs, offer online song libraries that you can choose from. However, you are free to wander around the world wide web in search of Hebrew music that best suits your taste.
Whether you are interested in learning Hebrew for conversational purposes only or you want to become an expert in speaking and writing the language, online resources are there to help you no matter where you are. Learning a new language can be difficult and even tiresome, but with a little imagination, you can motivate yourself to accomplish your goal with the least effort and most fun.