· By Diana Yacobi
How to Learn Hebrew on Your Own
How to Learn Hebrew on Your Own
Solo learning in any topic requires self-discipline and an appropriate investment of time.
Have you decided that you want to learn Hebrew on your own, at home?
Here are some tips and effective strategies for learning Hebrew – independently.
Set Realistic Goals
Learning Hebrew is a process. Even native Hebrew speakers can always enrich their knowledge and grasp of the language. So, if you’ve decided to learn Hebrew on your own, it’s important that you set targets and goals that you want to achieve. For example, expanding your lexicon by X number of words in Y amount of time, improving your grammar, improving your conjugation skills, fluency in reading, developing speaking skills, and more. Think about how you can integrate these goals into the framework of your routine – devoting an hour each day, or a few hours throughout the week.
Choose Preferred Learning Style
Every person absorbs and learns languages differently. There are those who internalize a language through hearing songs and learning the words and those who find it best to constantly review new words. Others prefer conversations with native speakers, word repetition, word exercises, language recordings, and other methods. To learn Hebrew on your own, at home, figure out which technique or combination of methods works best for you.
Don’t forget to use tools such as newspapers, games, watching instructional videos, or listening to podcasts. Pay extra attention to new words, and find out the conjugations of those words. This way you’ll learn their form in singular and plural, and you’ll notice differences in words based on context.
Don’t Forget to Read
Reading has a major role in learning and understanding a language. In order to be able to learn Hebrew on your own, it is important that you collect different texts to read in beginners’ Hebrew. Be sure to use a dictionary for help and utilize your free time for practice.
A wonderful, effective, and enjoyable way to learn Hebrew on your own, is to use newspapers in easy Hebrew. BERESHIT Hebrew newspapers for beginners and YANSHUF Hebrew newspapers for the more advanced readers are designed specifically to help you learn and improve your Hebrew skills on your own.
Practicing by Interacting
In order to acquire fluency in the language, it is strongly recommended to practice as much as possible by actually using Hebrew in conversations. It’s a good idea to meet with friends who are also learning Hebrew, or with native Hebrew speakers to practice speaking. An advantage of speaking with those who know more Hebrew than you is that they can help you fix mistakes. This way you can also learn new words from them, and conjugation tools you may not yet have encountered.
Have you met our Facebook community? You can find others to practice Hebrew with here
Think in Hebrew
There are two ways to construct what you want to say in Hebrew. Either, first, figure out the sentence in your native language and then translate it into Hebrew. Or, alternatively, you can try to construct the sentence directly in Hebrew.
The second method has some significant advantages. Firstly, not every word in English (or any other language for that matter) has a corresponding word in Hebrew. Additionally, translating word for word from English to Hebrew is likely to cause problems, especially when it comes to expressions that don’t exist in Hebrew or mean something completely different.
Learn Hebrew on your own in Any Situation
How do you learn Hebrew on your own from home? The truth is that you can learn Hebrew anytime, there are so many easy opportunities. For example, when you order clothing from an international website, set the language preference to Hebrew and read the descriptions in Hebrew. Lookup any words that you don’t already know. Watch videos in Hebrew, perhaps put Hebrew subtitles to go along, so you can hear and see the words at the same time. Or use subtitles in English, but listen and try to understand the Hebrew words. Then read the subtitles to see that you understood correctly.
Hang Out in Hebrew Speaking Environments
Spending time in a place where the primary spoken language is Hebrew, is the best way to learn the language. This way you’ll be forced to use the language in various situations – when ordering a meal, when listening to a Hebrew-speaking tour guide, when reading Hebrew explanations in a museum etc. Even just overhearing things being said around you can help. You should then review the new words you’ve picked up, and start using them. Being in a place that the spoken language is Hebrew will cause you to use the language and you will absorb more, improve your skills, and become more confident in your spoken Hebrew.
The best place to do this is obviously Israel. So come visit!