How to learn Hebrew on your own to make learning the language interesting and understandable. It is important to choose a good self-study textbook that explains the basics of the language in detail and has practical exercises. Anyone can learn from a self-study book, either in addition to an ulpan or completely on their own at a suitable pace. There are also lessons on youtube and various videos with subtitles, even the simplest cartoons. But today we’re going to focus on the tutorials.
How to start learning Hebrew
The very first step in learning Hebrew is the alphabet. It is convenient to learn it by using apps on your phone, where you are shown the letters, and you write them and listen to their names at the same time. You can learn the alphabet from books or websites, but in an app it is convenient that learning is interactive and you practice writing, listening, perceiving the spelling of the letter at once. It’s convenient to practice, as the apps randomly suggest writing one letter or another until you have it all memorized.
Initially we listened to the Pimsleur Hebrew audio course, after it we knew basic phrases, could say something in a store and have a primitive dialog. It is a very good program that brings you up to speed quickly. You can learn Hebrew without stress, just by listening to new lessons for an hour or two a day. You only learn to understand Hebrew by ear, but you can’t learn to read and write that way. But you get a more or less believable pronunciation and no fear of the new language.
The next thing I knew, there were video lessons on YouTube and Hebrew TV series with subtitles in English. There are great Israeli TV series about the life of religious Jews, such as Shababnikim. You begin to grasp the colloquial phrases and learn the cultural code of the country. And this is the most important thing to become interested and involved in Israel, to begin to understand the society in which you find yourself.
There is another great Hebrew TV series – Shtisel (about the life of Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox). With an elementary level of Hebrew you will hardly understand what people say in the movie, but you will get a general idea. You’ll start to pick up pronunciation, you’ll pick up words, and you’ll be captivated by the plot and characters. You get to know the streets where the movie is filmed – it’s so cool! And the subtitles allow you to understand what’s going on and follow the narration.
Hebrew self-study books
Having analyzed the literature, it turned out that there are several books that are often recommended for self-study of Hebrew:
Ivrit Me’Bereshit (עברית מבראשית — it’s more of a workbook, there are two levels, yellow alef and green bet)
Hebrew from Scratch עברית מן ההתחלה
Colloquial Hebrew: The Complete Course for Beginners
The book is fairly easy to find on the internet and is a complete course on Hebrew for English speakers, which is especially handy if you want to repeat English and learn Hebrew at the same time. Especially since the structures of the language are explained in different ways for a Russian-speaking and English-speaking person, and it can be interesting.
Find out your Hebrew level
To assess your level of Hebrew, you can take a test at the ulpan: https://ulpan.co.il/test-your-hebrew-level/