It’s been nearly a year since I moved to Israel, and I’m finally receiving compliments on my Hebrew. The past few months have seen a major improvement in my level of speaking, reading, and writing, which I think is due to my immersion in Israeli daily life. In November I started my paramedic course, and then jumped straight into the work force as a medic and waitress- this time working with young Israelis in high school, army, and post-army (the best group with whom to talk and learn the culture).
So now, I want to share some resources with you all. I advocate that the best language-learning tool is first-hand exposure, supplemented by remote coursework such as dictionaries, podcasts, and other media.
To all you Hebrew learners out there, ENJOY! (these resources will also be on the “Hebrew Language” page on the top bar of this site)
Morfix. Easily the most popular English/Hebrew online translator. This dictionary is excellent because it provides:
- nikud (ניקוד – the Hebrew vowel system of dots and dashes which is excluded from normally written Hebrew), making it easier to learn pronunciation
- all possible translations of the word you’ve written
- possible alternate searched-for words if the word you’re searching for is misspelled
- games and quizzes
Hebrew-Verbs: Morphological lists of hundreds of common verbs. Whenever there’s a tricky verb I’m not sure how to conjugate, I look here. The root, mood, person, and number of every verb form is listed.
Streetwise Hebrew. 5-10 minute, bite-sized podcasts on common Hebrew: stuff you’ll hear all the time, but can’t easily translate. The host, Guy, keeps his lessons to the point and uses Israeli music to illustrate the Hebrew. All the words/phrases taught in the podcast, as well as all the song titles, are listed below the audio of every podcast.
Every TV show in Israel is aired with Hebrew subtitles (perhaps because there are so many immigrants?), giving learners an excellent opportunity to improve their reading skills. Many shows can be watched online at MakoTV.
Ramzor (רמזור – traffic light) – a really witty, extremely Israeli comedy about 3 friends going through all phases of their relationships.
Here Come the Jews! (הינה באים היהודים!) – a new sketch comedy which was delayed because it satirized some touchy events: Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, Israeli hostage situations, etc. But man, it’s hilarious.
Other comedy shows: Wonderful Israel (ארץ נהדרת, Eretz Nehederet), The Parliament (הפרלמנט, HaParlament), Ridicule the Work (צחוק מעבודה, Tzkhok Me’Avodah) , Situation of the Nation (מצב האומה, Matzav Ha’Umah).
Zaguri Imperia (זגורי אימפריה): a show about a Moroccan-Israeli family pitted against each other due to a condition in their grand/father’s will concerning the family falafel stand. It’s mainly drama, but also pretty cheeky.
Galgalatz Radio. The national radio station, playing both Israeli and international music.