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Old 06-16-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Long Island
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Anyone else in the process of learning Hebrew?

I've been working on it for a while now, and can read pretty well as long as the vowel points are present. Still working on understanding and vocabulary. I spend my lunch hour transliterating from the Hertz Chumash and then copying the text in handwritten Hebrew. I've tried listening to Hebrew music and Israeli TV, but it still goes too fast to be of help.

Anyone have any pointers, suggestions, or other methods that have proven helpful?
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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I speak numerous languages (and various dialects). The only way I can ramble fluently is to think in that language. So for now deal with speaking and language out loud and learn the flow of the language and not worry too much about the nekudot (vowels under the letters). Reading a Chumash is easy, problem is many of words are derived from Aramaic and not used in conversational Hebrew. Also beware that spoken Ashkenazi Hebrew (US) turns T's (tet, Tav, Tzadek) into S's. While is Sephardic Hebrew (Israel) they are stated correctly. Basically I had to learn both dialects for when I'm in the US and when I'm in Israel. I amaze myself sometimes when I carry on a multiperson conversation and seamlessly speak three to four languages at the same time.

http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I'm also in the process of learning Hebrew. Sounds like we are about in an equal place... I can read if the vowel points are there and I'm just beginning to learn the vocabulary. Personally, I am focusing on modern Hebrew because I want to at least have the freedom to make Aliyah if that ever becomes a possibility for me, or at the very least, my children.

I am using RosettaStone Hebrew in combination with an old Hebrew textbook that I found somewhere. (My husband is a book collector and we have an extensive library. it's not unusual for me to *find* a book somewhere. LoL!) Also, several years ago I bought a set of children's language DVD's called Little Pim. I found that when I started Rosetta Stone, having heard these DVD's made the language much easier to pick up.

As for my kids, they are starting with a Hebrew tutor in the fall. She is an Israeli and also a professional teacher, who I discovered lives in my subdivision. We're not in a very Jewish area and at that not in the most concentrated Jewish part of town. So this was kind of neat.

One thing that is good to keep in mind is that teaching is the best way to learn. If you teach your children Hebrew you have to stay a few steps ahead and you'll learn it faster. Also, having someone to talk to in the language is very helpful. When I was in high school I took 3 years of Spanish. I had several friends who took it with me and we decided to make that our primary language whenever we were together. We definitely picked it up quickly and I still can understand Spanish today...although I haven't practiced so I don't speak it. I think recalling vocabulary uses a different part of the brain than understanding it. I have been thinking about asking my kids tutor to teach a conversational Hebrew class. We'll all remember better if we're all speaking.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:10 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
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I had to hire a private tutor. She charged me only $15 an hour, which included her travel time to the shul and her gas money, so I increased her rate for her. Still very worthwhile and helpful.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:15 PM
 
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Maybe try learning a useful language instead. Like Yiddish.

I'm just messing with you. I have no suggestions for you. I have no desire to learn conversational modern Hebrew. I put all my focus on understanding Aramaic and lashen hakodesh (biblical Hebrew), as of course these are the language of the Talmud.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:44 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
...I put all my focus on understanding Aramaic and lashen hakodesh (biblical Hebrew), as of course these are the language of the Talmud.
That's where my current focus is as well. While I'd like to learn modern Hebrew at some point, my main goal is to understand what I'm reading when engaged in Torah study.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB from NC View Post
That's where my current focus is as well. While I'd like to learn modern Hebrew at some point, my main goal is to understand what I'm reading when engaged in Torah study.
I find the best way to learn is by joining a daily daf hayomi shiur. Virtually all orthodox shuls will offer one, and perhaps some Conservative ones too?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
I find the best way to learn is by joining a daily daf hayomi shiur. Virtually all orthodox shuls will offer one, and perhaps some Conservative ones too?
Unfortunately mine is too small to offer much of anything; most of my interaction comes from online. As far as I know I'm the only one interested in learning who attends the synagogue on a regular basis. But, then again, I'm also one of the few who are under 65.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:00 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 3,344,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB from NC View Post
Unfortunately mine is too small to offer much of anything; most of my interaction comes from online. As far as I know I'm the only one interested in learning who attends the synagogue on a regular basis. But, then again, I'm also one of the few who are under 65.
I hear ya. From what I know of you online, you'd do well in a community that had a modern orthodox shul. You don't seem too interested in a Yeshivish lifestyle, but you're obviously drawn towards yiddishkite and observance. You've come so far, one more "conversion" would probably be quick enough and quite meaningful to you. Or if not, I'm sure you're perfect just the way you are.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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You're probably right, and that most likely explains much of the frustration I often feel with my current community. But it's what I have until I'm able to put my family in a position where we can relocate.

And I appreciate the kind words.
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