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Learn Hebrew From Scratch for 2009


The other day I had a very interesting conversation with a gentleman. He told me how he had taken Hebrew courses in the early ‘70s, but he had never become proficient with the language. He actually said he wanted to learn Hebrew from “scratch.” Well…we discussed a few things and I finally recommended a particular product for him to use. How about you?

Maybe you haven’t been trying to learn Hebrew since the early ‘70s, but perhaps you would like to learn it from scratch for the New Year – 2009. For many people, yours included, New Year’s provides a time for reflection and making “resolutions” which hopefully won’t be broken.

Over the past few weeks, I have encountered several people, men and women, who have made learning Hebrew a part of their New Year’s resolution. Seemingly, there is a galaxy of Hebrew language programs to choose from on the market. Let’s discuss some programs for learning Hebrew.

For me, the choice is simple because these programs have actually helped me to learn Hebrew! There is “At Home With Hebrew.” Then, there is “Hebrew Kindergarten” and for more advanced learners wanting to know Jewish/Shabbat liturgy, there is “Shirei Ha-Shabbat.”

“At Home With Hebrew” is a great self-paced program for beginners; you install it into your system. The program takes you through the Alef-Bet and Vowel sounds. The beauty about this program is you “hear” the correct pronunciation for a letter, vowel, and word. Also, you learn basic Hebrew grammar as you go – so you are actually speaking Hebrew.

“Hebrew Kindergarten” is the next step in your continued Hebrew learning. Don’t be fooled by the name. This program introduces you to more advanced Hebrew grammar using 8 great simple stories. It incorporates several different methods to enhance your learning experience: Audio/Video features, Games, Quizzes, and Matching exercises. The bottom line is you will start feeling comfortable speaking and reading Hebrew.

“Shirei Ha-Shabbat” is a wonderful little program. It’s different from the first two programs; although, it has several features which are found in “Hebrew Kindergarten.” This program assumes you already know (and are comfortable with) Hebrew. It introduces you to the basics Jewish/Shabbat liturgy. You actually hear (and learn) two different Canting styles: Sephardic and Ashkenazic.

You may be wondering what program I recommended to the gentleman above (?). After our conversation, it was evident he knew more than he thought he knew. However, he reiterated his wish to start from scratch; so, I said, “Go with ‘At Home With Hebrew;’ it’ll give you a very strong foundation for further Hebrew study.”

So, if you are one of those people who have made a resolution to learn Hebrew from “scratch,” then you can’t go wrong by investing in one or all three of these marvelous programs for learning Hebrew: “At Home With Hebrew” for beginners, “Hebrew Kindergarten” for more advanced Hebrew learners, and/or “Shirei Ha-Shabbat” to learn Jewish/Shabbat liturgy.


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