Hebrew is one of the oldest languages spoken even today. Dating back to more than 2000 years, the relationship of Hebrew with Ancient Near East and other Semitic languages makes it a highly fascinating language to learn. Harvey Shapiro Northeastern University mentions that no matter whether one desires to travel to Israel or read and understand the Torah, learning Hebrew can prove to be advantageous for all. Harvey himself received his doctoral degree in Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College, and is fluent in the language.
Native English speakers who are just starting to learn Hebrew may initially find the language too complex or foreign. Harvey Shapiro Northeastern University mentions that Hebrew has a whole new alphabet that is different from English, along with a lot of grammar and vocabulary rules. Hence, initially, it is pretty normal to be overwhelmed by this language. However, as people step into the world of Hebrew, gradually things shall become much easier for them.
Here are a few pointers underlined by Harvey Shapiro Northeastern University that one should keep in mind when learning Hebrew:
- Embrace the mistakes: Mistakes are just a step in the process of learning Hebrew. Almost everyone makes errors, mixes up words, forgets terms and mispronounces things when learning the language for the very first time. Hence, it is important to use these mistakes as a valuable learning opportunity. One must try to embrace their mistakes, learn from them, and remember that their goal is to progress and not attain perfection at once. Having a positive attitude is far more important than accuracy when it comes to learning Hebrew.
- Study before bed: Establishing a bedtime study routine for Hebrew would be a great move to practice it consistently. Even if a person does spend time in learning the language during day time, there is no harm in doing a quick revision before going to bed. Not only can reading soothing Hebrew prose be great for relaxing and sleeping smoothly, as per science, but the people who study right before going to bed are also more likely to retain the information. The reason behind this being that the brain processes what people have learned during the day as they sleep, and moves that information to their long-term memory. Just ten to fifteen minutes of Hebrew practice before going to bed would be more than enough.
- Write down new words: When learning Hebrew, one shall be exposed to several new words. They can type notes on their phone, take a screen shot or add these words to a digital flashcard library to remember them better. While all of these processes are effective, the best means to record and learn new vocabulary words would be to jot them down with good old pen and paper. This practice stimulates the brain, and helps people better retain the new words better.
Anyone learning Hebrew should keep the pointers mentioned above in mind.