Hebrew is the language of the Bible and Jewish prayer. Since the 20th century, it has to be among the most popular modern language spoken in Israel. Harvey Shapiro Boston mentions that Hebrew is a Semitic language, much like Arabic and Aramaic, and learning it can be quite an interesting experience for people. Harvey Shapiro is a Clinical Professor at Northeastern University. He obtained his doctorate in Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in 1996. His areas of interest include philosophy, education, literary theory, Hebrew literature, and politics.
Hebrew is the most commonly spoken language of Israel, which is among the fastest-growing tech economies of the world, and has a prominent presence on the global stage. Harvey Shapiro Boston says that learning Hebrew can especially be a good idea for people interested in working in the Middle East or are researching about the region. While it may initially seem to be complex, learning Hebrew is not actually much difficult. Modern Israel was built on teaching Hebrew to waves of immigrants, a number of whom manage to learn it with ease.
Here are a few tips underlined by Harvey Shapiro Boston, which can prove to be invaluable for any person trying to learn Hebrew:
- Speak before reading: Having only twenty-two letters, learning the Hebrew aleph-bet can be quite simple for most people. However, it would be more prudent to acquire some Hebrew vocabulary first. For this purpose, people may talk to some Hebrew speakers or watch videos in the language online. This way, they can learn new words and get a basic sense of Hebrew grammar. Learning certain grammatical intricacies directly from a book can be a bit complicated, and hence trying to speak Hebrew before reading it can be a good idea for people.
- Start small: A lot of people try to learn Hebrew by opening the Bible or checking out David Grossman’s latest book. But this is a big mistake. If someone is not well-acquainted with the language, reading such complicated text will confuse them even more. Hence, it would be a better option to learn Hebrew by reading simple story books meant for children, as they ideally have shorter text. After doing so, they can gradually progress to reading magazines, articles and short stories in the language.
- Listen to music and watch movies: Two of the most interesting ways to learn any language is to listen to songs and watch movies in it. This way, one can learn new words and phrases while practicing their listening comprehension skills and spend time in doing something they actually enjoy. People can easily find a wide collection of Hebrew songs, TV shows and movies online today. They can start with watching these shows or movies with English subtitles initially, to become more comfortable with the language.
The pointers mentioned above can come as a huge help to any person trying to learn Hebrew.