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Willis

Manchester, NH, United States | Member Since 2004

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  • FSI Language Courses: Hebrew

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Foreign Service Institute
    • Narrated By Foreign Service Institute
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    Despite the fact that are only approximately six million speakers of Modern Hebrew, a disproportionate amount of interest relative to its size exists in learning Hebrew. This is largely tied to Jewish communities around the world, but is also generated by interest among many Christian communities. An enduring resource for those looking to learn Hebrew has been the program originally developed by the Foreign Service Institute, a department within the U.S. State Department. While originally aimed at providing overseas diplomatic personnel with practical Hebrew language skills, these courses are now available for the general public.

    Willis R. Corson says: "A Beneficial Tool in Assisting Hebrew Study"
    "A Beneficial Tool in Assisting Hebrew Study"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It may seem that I rated this Hebrew course a little higher than others. Yes, the tape-recording sound quality dates this course from a time gone by. Almost all of my audio books come as a Level 4, but because of the poor sound quality, it is more difficult to listen to. I found that by listening to the lessons for a while, I was able to finally understand the pronunciation; that is, my ears adjusted to the sound, and I could understand it. At first, I was discouraged, but once I found I could assimilate the sounds and understand the communication, I found it was useable for me and beneficial in my language learning in Hebrew. One of the down sides of this course is, there is no booklet to follow along and learn the meaning of newer words. The thing that made this course workable for me was the fact that I completed the entire Audio Pimsleur Hebrew Levels 1 to 3. I was able to understand many of the sentences, numbers, clock times and everyday happenings in Hebrew despite the poor sound quality. Also, some of the sentences I had never heard before, but I knew everyone of the words from having completed the Pimsleur Hebrew. And therefore I was able to assimilate the meaning of these newer sentences and expand my base of Hebrew comprehension. I will admit I was a US military linguist using German behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, and I and other linguists had to deal with much poorer sound quality than this but yet understand it and process it; so maybe I have an edge. I would not recommend this to the Hebrew student starting out for the first time. I would recommend doing the Audio Pimsleur Hebrew first then go for this one for reinforcement and language maintenance. The more different Hebrew speakers you listen to will help you to understand more Hebrew speakers with different accents and patterns of speech.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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