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Beginner's books or resources - UniLang

Beginner's books or resources

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Narbleh
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Beginner's books or resources

Postby Narbleh » 2011-06-20, 16:26

I'm having a really hard time finding decent materials :( I want to get my feet wet to see if I'd like to learn Hebrew, but I can't seem to find resources that fit these criteria:
* aren't Biblical Hebrew
* teach the alphabet
* teach pronunciation with recordings
* have some kind of structure like other language courses, with vocabulary, practice, dialogue...
* teach grammar in a useful way instead of piecemeal conjugated verbs only good for one person in one tense ("this is how you say 'he went'") or that just show the plural of a bunch of nouns but not how to form the plural. That kind of stuff drives me nuts :P

For such a major language as Hebrew I'm really surprised at the trouble I'm having finding stuff online. There isn't a resources thread here either :nono:

Thanks for any ideas!
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby linguaholic » 2011-06-20, 18:33

Don't have any tips, unfortunately (the only thing I can think of is FSI, and that was written in 1965 and I haven't really looked at it yet), but do let us know if you find anything interesting. :)

I wouldn't worry too much about the alphabet, it's not all that difficult and there are a lot of websites and youtube videos teaching it, so it doesn't really have to be included in your main course, does it?
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby Narbleh » 2011-06-20, 19:55

I guess not. I think I'm just frustrated with finding courses that are more like phrasebooks and don't really explain anything at all.

I'll let you know if I stumble across anything. Even the local libraries have a crap selection.
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby linguaholic » 2011-06-20, 21:18

I hear Israel is pretty big on teaching immigrants the language, so there must be something out there...
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby tapuz » 2011-06-21, 18:50

I'm using these two for my Hebrew studies:

Hebrew from scratch (part 1) - textbook (i got the audio cds for it also)
Modern Hebrew Essential Grammar - Lewis Glinert, grammarbook

They make a wonderful pair. Both are primarily focused on contemporary spoken Hebrew. Only thing is that the 'Hebrew from scratch' is very heavy textbook to start with (if self-studying). IMO you should already know all the hebrew letters (block and cursive) and nikkud before beginning. The book immerses its user fast in real Hebrew spelling, that is, without the vowel dots.

We're using this book in our class, but since I'm self studying most of the time, I got the Glinert's grammar book to supplement it(required IMO if self studying), which really does it job well. However, you have to be really motivated to start with HFS, as the beginning is quite rough. But if you like it and persevere, you'll get quite a bang for the buck.

More user friendly way to start probably is
Colloquial Hebrew - Zippy Lyttleton
I've browsed this in library and it looks fine, plenty of explanations etc. and it was designed for self studying. No audio cds available though.
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby linguaholic » 2011-06-21, 19:50

Does anybody have any experience with "Modern Hebrew For Beginners"? Judging by the "Look Inside"-feature on amazon, it looks promising, especially if the multimedia stuff is as good as they claim, but it's so affordable I'm suspicious. Any opinions?
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby ILuvEire » 2011-07-07, 8:52

Is it the purple book by Esther Raizen? If so, then YES. I've met her in person, and she is an amazing lady, she really loves Hebrew and loves teaching it. She's a well-tenured professor at the University of Texas, so much of the multimedia stuff is just what she uses in her class, so it doesn't cost her really to produce it, and her book was produced as a labor of love because she already had a plenty steady income from her job teaching. So, yeah, she could get away with charging a lot more, but she doesn't because she has morals.

Sorry, long story short, buy the book.

Another good book is Colloquial Hebrew. It's what I used starting off, before I found Dr. Raizen's book (both are great--Colloquial is just more expensive) and Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar. If you can get ahold of it, I seriously recommend the grammar, it's a great book, just a little pricey.
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby ILuvEire » 2011-07-07, 8:52

Is it the purple book by Esther Raizen? If so, then YES. I've met her in person, and she is an amazing lady, she really loves Hebrew and loves teaching it. She's a well-tenured professor at the University of Texas, so much of the multimedia stuff is just what she uses in her class, so it doesn't cost her really to produce it, and her book was produced as a labor of love because she already had a plenty steady income from her job teaching. So, yeah, she could get away with charging a lot more, but she doesn't because she has morals.

Sorry, long story short, buy the book.

Another good book is Colloquial Hebrew. It's what I used starting off, before I found Dr. Raizen's book (both are great--Colloquial is just more expensive) and Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar. If you can get ahold of it, I seriously recommend the grammar, it's a great book, just a little pricey.
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby Narbleh » 2011-07-07, 16:13

I got The Routledge Introductory Course in Modern Hebrew book yesterday and have really been enjoying it. It has a companion website with recordings and practice. It seems to be geared towards a classroom setting because it's very intense and fast-paced. I'll post an update on how it's going in a week or two!
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Re: Beginner's books or resources

Postby shprakh » 2011-08-16, 3:22

Tu parles français, n'est-ce pas? Un seul mot: Assimil .


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