Strategizing . . . .

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I’ve been brainstorming a bit the best strategy to learn Hebrew. I’m learning lots right now with Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, and complementing it with Accel Flashcards. All these resources should give me good foundation but won’t get me very far past that.

Lack of media and particularly audio with a script doesn’t seem to be a problem right now so I want to dive right into creating sentence cards (ala AJATT’s sentence method) to learn Hebrew as I’m finishing Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone. I was amazed at the amount of Korean I learned once I started using the sentence method. It’s easy and stress free because I’m not trying to memorize anything, just trying to learn.

I’d like to get recordings of sentences on rinsopike but so far that doesn’t seem to work to well for Hebrew. I found online a New Testament translated in modern Hebrew which will be a great source for sentence mining.  I also found a few books on Librivox in Modern Hebrew.

I’ll add these sentences to the words that I got from both ulpans A and B that I got online. I’ll try to put audio for those words with Forvo but I don’t want to work to hard on that because a lot of those words I have the audio for in Accel ipod flashcard program I’m using.

For all the sentences that I put in I will put audio though. These I can get from movies with subtitles, tv shows with subtitles, interesting lines from songs, the New Testament audio, Librivox audio, and I’ll buy several of the audio books from the audio book site I found. That should get me plenty of things to work with.



On the roll. . . Hebrew conversations

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The last twenty four hours I’ve had my four first real conversations in Hebrew. . . which has been very cool. I talked to the guard yesterday night asking till when he worked and talking about my friend, saying he was sleeping now. Then today I talked to the guy changing our lightbulb, asking him his name, and if he worked in Kedma (I wanted to practice asking him his age, but didn’t know if that was appropriate, so I skipped that). Tremping to the town later this afternoon I got to ask the driver where his house was and where he was going.

Later I talked to boy while tremping (hitchhiking) and we had a very long conversation — where did I work? I worked in in this kfar noar. . . what do I do there? I work in a green house. . . . how many people did I work with? . . there are three of us working there. . . where am I from? what does he do? he’s a student. I love it when people don’t switch to English when you don’t understand and instead try to explain what they said again in Hebrew or ask the question slower. It’s incredibly helpful.

Being able to have somewhat sensible (although very broken) conversations with random people is really cool — especially since these first four opportunities came right after another. I need to keep on seeking out opportunities to practice.

Hebrew Podcasts

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There seem to be a whole bunch of nice Hebrew podcasts here. I want to make sure most of my dead time I’m having some kind of Hebrew audio in the background. I say most, because I still want to play Korean sometimes. But I’d like 90% or so to be Hebrew.

The podcasts available there should be useful for that end.

The last week or so I’ve been downloading about hundred and fifty full length videos in Hebrew as well — some of these are original Israeli productions, the other 50% or so are foreign productions (mostly Disney) dubbed in Hebrew.

I started today downloading the shows that Nogoodnik’s blog referenced — I need to keep a continual supply audio/media in Hebrew, so this is a good start.

Changing Interfaces

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I read Benny Lewis’s Language Hacking Guide over the weekend. It had lots of good advice and encouragement to just dive into the language. One aspect of immersion he talks about is changing computer and phone interfaces to the language you are trying to learn.

The macbook pro doesn’t change languages to Hebrew, so I’ll keep that at Korean. However the interfaces for Gmail, Facebook, and my ipod touch can be changed (although the ipod touch interface doesn’t seem perfect).

The end result? Pages are mirror image and I can’t understand any of the buttons.

But now I have to learn what the buttons mean, and fast. Fortunately with Forvo I should be able to get the pronunciations for the names of the different menus and icons.

Hebrew shows

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I found a whole list of Hebrew shows over at Nogoodnik’s Hebrew language learning blog. I’m busy procuring them now. The list is:

הבורר (Haborer)
החברים של נאור (Hahaverim Shel Naor)
מסודרים (Mesudarim)
סרוגים (Srugim)
פולישוק (Polishook)
רביעיית רן (Revieyat Ran)
רמזור (Ramzor)
שירות חדרים (Shirot Hadarim)

Some of them you have to search in the Hebrew, sometimes in the translation.  I was told Hahaverim Shel Naor has Hebrew subtitles which will be very useful for looking up words in the dictionary.

Update: I showed a friend at the Kfar Noar this list and he gave me another series to download: RedBand.

Visiting the library and gossiping in the fields

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I found out where the library was in my youth village the day Wednesday and borrowed three books in Hebrew. I found it extremely useful when studying Korean to go through children’s books to learn words and grammar that is commonly used but often not in beginning textbooks. Because the grammar of Hebrew is so similar to English, I think I’ll have a lot easier than the first Korean book I read.

Tuesday  my boss had asked me how much Hebrew I knew and I had only responded with: ani mavin ktstat ivrit (I know a little Hebrew), and he had asked me if that was really true. Even though it was only a small sentence, it sort of broke the ice and the next day (Wednesday) I was able to practice all kinds of sentences with them.

After a few exchanges, they told me not to learn Hebrew. When I asked why, they said that if I knew Hebrew they couldn’t talk about us (the other foreign volunteer and myself) behind our backs while we were with them.

I was rather pleased. Although I still only know ‘ktsat’ (a little) Hebrew I was able to make them a bit unsure how much I knew — enough so that they were worried what I did or didn’t understand.

First day in the kfar noar

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I was able to understand some of my first Hebrew conversation a few workmates were having out on the cucumber field. . . son of a b**ch this, son of b**ch that . hehe It’s ben zona in Hebrew, and I had learned it last week.

Working in the fields seem to give plenty of time for audio listening — I was listening to some of Pimsleur Hebrew today.