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on 10 December 2010
This new course in Modern Hebrew is, to the best of my knowledge, the most extensive course yet published. There are many good sides to it, already explained in the other reviews here, so I will focus on the flaws that other reviewers have not mentioned. That is not to say that I don't like book (I do!), only that it could have been even better.

The main problem is the publisher's preference for the Internet (same problem in Routledge's Introductory Course to Persian). There is nothing wrong with having a supporting website for a course, quite the opposite, but a website is NOT an excuse to exclude fundamental parts of the course from the book.

I bought this book wrapped, so I did not have the opportunity to open it. Little did I expect that I was paying 90 Canadian dollars for a course with no sound recordings! Yes, all the sound recordings are available at the website, and that would be fair enough if you could download them. You can't. I enjoy taking a language course to a café, to the park or to the seaside and listen to the recordings on my iPod. That is not possible here. To use this course, you HAVE to be connected to the Internet and that, dear publisher, is simply not good enough.

The same thing with the keys to the exercises. Yes, you find them online but not in the book. Once again, that means that you cannot bring the book with you anywhere to read, you have to be seated in front of your computer to be able to check your exercises. Once again, not good enough.

This is a very expensive course, and it would be worth the money if it would contain answer keys and you would either get the recordings or be able to download them. As it is, you pay rather much for NOT getting what much cheaper courses give you for free. The Internet is a great supporting tool but it is not a substitute.

While this is the most extensive course I've seen, and a must for the serious student, there are other courses that might be better for the beginner. Another course in Modern Hebrew, also published by Routledge, is Colloquial Hebrew. Although not as extensive as this course, it is much more user-friendly. The introduction to the Hebrew alphabet is smoother, the conversations are more engaging and, crucially, you get both the recordings and the answers to the exercises. For a total beginner, I would recommend starting out with Colloquial Hebrew and to use this course as the next step. For those who speak French, Assimil's brand new L'Hebreu sans peine is another user-friendly course. Not as extensive as this course, nor Modern Hebrew, but it has the funniest conversations and the best introduction to the alphabet.

Here are the links to the two courses that might be more useful for complete beginners and for those who want to be able to take the course with them when leaving the computer.

Colloquial Hebrew (Colloquial) (Colloquial Series)
L'Hébreu
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on 14 May 2011
I used this book for my first year of college Hebrew, and it was very useful and user-friendly. Right away we started off with conversational Hebrew, and even those who had never studied Hebrew before could form sentences from the first day of class. Even though I use a different textbook in a higher level of Hebrew, I still can (and do) refer to the website for its extensive verb dictionary, to either hear how to pronounce a verb or to review the conjugations. It also has a link to a website to teach Hebrew typing, and it's clear that the website was designed with students' needs in mind. I have never used a Hebrew textbook that is more useful or enjoyable, and the website helped me while I was using the book and well into the future. The complete list of vocabulary at the end of each unit was very helpful, and the glossary at the back is better than most.
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on 9 August 2015
I am self-studying Hebrew and I have found this book challenging - as all languages are at the beginning - but at the same time doable and fun.

The vocab is repeated in real-world examples, and additional words are added as the units go along. The companion website, which includes the audio materials, answer key and glossary of instructions is great. As I am self-studying Hebrew I am also using YouTube to help with things like diphthong pronounciation.

It would be ideal if you could download the audio examples easily from the companion website, and if all of the new vocab that is included within the text could be included in the vocab audio file, but all in all, I am still giving this book 5/5.
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on 20 September 2010
The approach in this book might differ from the methods used in other books. As opposed to either getting the book with no way to actually hear what the language is meant to sound like or having to pay a fortune for a good text book and a bunch of CDs, this book is different.

The audio resources are all on one website. Not only can you hear what the dialogues sound like in Ivrit, you can also click on each line. That way, I felt, it was a lot easier to pick up speaking skills and reading skills at the same time.

The introduction includes explanations of different systems with or without vowel marks and letters being used as vowels. If you're interested in learning Ivrit, this is the way to go. That is, if you feel the approach is right for you.
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on 1 May 2016
This can be a little difficult to begin with your Hebrew studies by yourself. But sooner or later you must have this. If your have already some understanding about the structure the language and you have learned the basic frasies and some of the basic vocabulary of Hebrew so in the case this book takes you into the very nucleus of Hebrew language as you have noticed it in Hebrew magazines and newspapers but newer understood. In this book your have a realistic path into the the language. Texts and exersices are exellent and internet resouces easily useable. But you must have a good wordbook. You'll need it with this book - and later, too.
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