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Hebrew For Dummies Paperback – 23 May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Pap/Com edition (23 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554896
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Covers common expressions, conversations, and cultural notes

With this guide, you can return to your roots or create new ones

Want to discover how to speak Hebrew? This easy–to–understand guide explains basic grammar and usage, covering everything from the alphabet and numbers to making small talk, planning a trip, and changing money. You’ll also discover the basics of Hebrew blessings and prayer, as well as the significance of the holy days.

All this on the Audio CD

  • Pick up Hebrew the easy way through actual conversations
  • Features dialogues by native Hebrew speakers
  • Allows you to hear Hebrew as it’s really spoken
  • Reinforces lessons from the book

About the Author

Jill Suzanne Jacobs is a Jewish educator and writer. She holds a master of arts degree in Jewish education from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, a bachelor of arts degree in history from UCLA, and has studied at a variety of institutions in Israel, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches and writes in the Boston area, and is part of the editorial team of MyJewishLearning.com, a comprehensive online resource exploring Jewish religion, history, and culture produced by Hebrew College and Jewish Family & Life! Media.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J Grainger VINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is frustrating. It starts by stating that learning how to count is fundamental and then lists the numbers. Fair enough but is this really the first thing a beginner needs to learn? Especially when the author doesn't give you any nouns with which to practice counting objects.
You are then told there are 22 consonants in the Hebrew alphabet - but the table shows 26 with no explanation as to why there are an extra four consonants. The exercise at the end of Chapter 1 consists of writing the sounds of 8 of the consonants, and that's it! There is no practice at all for numbers. The only other time you meet Hebrew script is on pages 268 and 269, so you wonder what the point of introducing it is, in the first place.
Verbs are introduced in Ch. 2. There are only four ways to conjugate the present but the reader is given no clue as to how any of the cases are constructed. Again, at the end of the chapter there are only two exercise questions; neither of these are on verbs. Either there's a need for exercise and repetition or there isn't and this book doesn't seem to know which to choose. This Dummy definitely needs the chance to be tested on what he's just learned.
Overall it is hugely disappointing book which is a pity as the cultural background to Hebrew which the author describes is excellent.
The answers to the frustrating questions posed in this book are all to be found in Colloquial Hebrew which properly describes the alphabet, the verbs and all other aspects of the grammar. It also provides plenty of exercises for readers to test themselves and check their level of understanding of what they've just learned. Colloquial Hebrew is excellent value for money: Hebrew for Dummies is a complete waste of money. I just can't see how anyone could learn Hebrew using this book.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By tiggrie AKA Sarah on 10 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
There are lots of good things in this book, but they are outweighed by a lot of negative things.

Good things: this is quite a fun and entertaining way of picking up a little Hebrew. The vocab and topic covered are wide and varied, everything from chatting someone up to blessing a meal in Hebrew. I also rather like the "10s" section at the back of the book - the 10 commandments in Hebrew, 10 books to read in Hebrew, 10 Jewish expressions, and so on.

As the book uses the Hebrew alphabet only a little, it is accessible for those who don't want to read Hebrew but only to speak it, and grammar explanations are kept to a minimum.

The bad: some of the grammar that is missed out would make some of the vocab that is given difficult to learn to use. For example the conjugation of verbs is not explained very well and not enough examples are given to apply what is learned to the vocab given. There is, in many cases, just enough grammar to be confusing, and not enough to actually be able to use the grammar. It would be better to have a fuller explanation OR just teach phrases without touching on the underlying grammar. In some fairly basic phrases (such as "How are you?") grammatical forms are missed out - presumably on the grounds that it will make life simpler and that one will be understood even if the grammar is incorrect. However, in later sections the grammatical forms are used for less useful vocabulary, which seems a little strange.

The Hebrew alphabet is only touched on in the main part of the book and used a little more in the Sacred Hebrew section... for anyone serious about using the language this is a serious minus point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joao Correia on 29 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book, like most books of the "for Dummies" series, is well organized and presents things in an interesting way. However, that fact that it doesn't go in to Hebrew Alphabet, or shows the words written in actual Hebrew, this makes it really miss the its purpose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George on 20 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very good at explaining to you in simple terms about the basics of Hebrew grammar. It builds up your vocabulary well beyond the standard of a beginner - provided you put the work in. The explanations and examples it gives are very clear and easy to understand. The one thing I wish was different about the book is that when it gives you new words, it doesn't give you the word in the Hebrew letters, and I would have liked it to but instead it gives you them in phonetic English. BUT DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU FROM GETTING THE BOOK! In this day and age any word in any language is easily acquirable on the internet, and with the knowledge this book gives you, you will most likely be able to work out the Hebrew spelling of the word on your own - 8-9 times out of 10 this is the case.

For any person with little to no knowledge of the Hebrew language, this is the perfect place for you to start. I was unable to speak Hebrew, I bought this book, and with this book alone I was soon able to hold a conversation with a native speaker. It also puts you in an easy position to rapidly expand your vocabulary even further by being able to join in conversations and watch Hebrew television and listen to Hebrew radio. Combining this with the CD your understanding of the language will go from weak to solid by the time you get through enough of this book.

It is a book for beginners, so when deciding whether or not to go with this book, it is best not to over analyze it. If you are new to the language. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO NEED!
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