Deciding to learn Hebrew can be a joyous way to celebrate the rich historical, religious, and cultural significance of the language. While traditional Hebrew has primarily been studied by religious scholars, modern-day Hebrew has many practical benefits as the most commonly spoken language in Israel. The United States is the second largest Hebrew-speaking population with about 220,000 speakers.
There are a few basics that you need to know about the Hebrew language as you begin your journey. Hebrew is written from right to left, which will require quite an adjustment for English speakers. It also has an alphabet with 22 letters, but no vowels, only vowel sounds.
Verb tenses can confuse beginners. There are a relatively small number of verb roots to learn, but the inflection can change their meaning which can get somewhat complicated. When learning spoken Hebrew, it’s best to begin with the frequently used words in context, and then scale your learning gradually towards understanding verb families.
Here are a few simple Hebrew words:
- shalom שלום – Hello
- ken כן – Yes
- loh לא – No
- bevekshah בבקשה – Please
- Toda תודה – Thank you
- आप (āpa) = You (formal/polite)
We know it’s not enough to learn the Hebrew words. You must feel confident in speaking your new language to thrive in real-world conversations. And that’s where Rosetta Stone comes in.
Learn the Hebrew Language
Rosetta Stone can help you achieve your goal of speaking Hebrew. With over 25 years of experience, and our proven Dynamic Immersion® methodology, we will teach you the Hebrew language, not just the words. Our program will prepare you to use your new language as part of your life, ensuring you’ll be ready to handle everyday situations in Hebrew with ease and confidence.
As with many other languages, Hebrew pronunciation has some unique sounds unfamiliar to English speakers. Because the traditional Hebrew alphabet consists entirely of consonants, it can be tricky to get the hang of how to pronounce some words. Four of the Hebrew consonants can also double as vowels, so listen closely for how those letters are being pronounced in Hebrew words you encounter. You will also come across a common sound in Hebrew that is a deep, throaty noise that English speakers use in the “ch” portion of the word Bach. To practice this sound in your throat, expel the noise while pretending that you are breathing on a window to make visual steam.
It is a primary goal at Rosetta Stone to make sure your Hebrew words are pronounced correctly. Which is why we have a patented speech-recognition engine that we embed within every lesson. TruAccent™ compares your voice in real-time to native speakers, and provides real-time feedback to allow you to fine-tune your pronunciation and speak Hebrew with confidence.
Practice is crucial to your success. And it is especially important in a language such as Hebrew. Getting your pronunciation right is going to take you some time. Consistency is key, and with our program, you will continue to get feedback until you’ve coached your tongue and mouth into the flexibility it takes to pronounce Hebrew words. With a devotion to practice, and the Rosetta Stone program, you will achieve your goal of being able to speak Hebrew confidently.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Hebrew whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.