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Monday, May 23rd
If you ask anyone where you should go to learn a language through self-study, their first suggestion is probably going to be Rosetta Stone. There's no other learning system with more name recognition: more than 12,000 corporations, 9000 organizations, and 22,000 educational institutions have implemented Rosetta Stone at one time or another, with millions of learners worldwide.
Now featuring affordable online access
Rosetta Stone used to be delivered in CD-ROM format alone - and at pretty hefty prices. Not anymore. You may still be able to find some legacy software if you really want to go old school, but why bother when you can access all of their content plus their newest features with an affordable online subscription? Your Hebrew lessons here will cost $35.97 for three months of access or $143.88 for a full year. That's less than $12/month, making Rosetta Stone one of the most economical language packages on the market. And, if you're working on being a polyglot and love the idea of having lifetime access to all of the 20+ languages offered here, $299 gets you in the door forever. Whichever route you choose, you've got a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on if needed.
Try it for free
We highly recommend you start your Hebrew studies by taking advantage of Rosetta Stone's 3-day free trial. All you'll need to provide is an email address and you'll be taken right to the main page for their lessons. You'll be asked to indicate whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or proficient user of Hebrew. Next, choose whether you're learning for travel, work, family or "basics and beyond" .
Learning plan based on your language level
That will set up your learning plan. For example, at the beginner level of Basics and Beyond, we were given a 30-minutes-per-day setup, assuming 5 days of studying per week, which would last us about six weeks. We could see at a glance that this would cover basic sentences and everyday items in the first week, colors/sizes and clothing/quantities in the second week, and so forth. There's also a button that lets learners skip ahead to a future week's materials: a useful feature if you think you're pretty skilled up in a designated topic already.
Useful speech recognition feature
As you get started, you may need to set your browser to allow microphone use. This is important because Rosetta Stone uses proprietary TruVoice software to help you work on your accent through speech recognition. That's also why you'll have to choose your voice type in the setup process: adult male, adult female, or child.
Immersion-based teaching model
And then you jump right in! You'll see pictures of boys and girls and learn to identify which sounds and characters represent each one, then sentences like "the girl drinks" and "the boy eats" . Feel lost? Don't panic! All of Rosetta Stone's languages use a teaching approach known as Dynamic Immersion, intended to imitate how we learn our first language: by exposure to it in context, not with lengthy grammatical worksheets and high-level explanations. That can feel frustrating at first, especially if you're the kind of person who doesn't like the "error" part of learning by trial-and-error. But, stick with it for a while and you'll soon realize that you're picking up on words, phrases and even grammar without realizing it (at least, that's the idea!).
Scavenger hunt tool for new vocabulary
When you've gotten comfortable with the Hebrew lessons on desktop, give Rosetta Stone's mobile app a try. All lessons can be used both on- and offline, but there's a fun See & Speak tool (for iOS only, apologies to Android users) that makes learning Hebrew more like a scavenger hunt for new vocabulary based on the world around you.
Committed to preserving endangered languages
We commend Rosetta Stone for working to protect "endangered languages" , preserving and revitalizing them through partnerships with indigenous communities around the world. While you won't be able to access those materials through Rosetta Stone (because the communities own the materials and their sales/distribution rights), you can rest assured that Rosetta Stone values all languages, not just the ones that make money for them. To date, some of the communities working with Rosetta Stone include the Chickasaw Nation, Navajo Nation, and the Inupiat Tribe.
A few typos
Our only hesitation with Rosetta Stone is the number of typos we found on their main Learn Hebrew page. It left us wondering just a little bit if these Hebrew lessons don't get much attention as their more popular language counterparts.
Best overall option for Hebrew lessons
If you can work through the sometimes-maddening immersion approach Rosetta Stone uses, you'll find yourself feeling victorious as you figure out exactly what's being said without being told. After all, if you were just dropped off in Tel Aviv and had to sink or swim, you'd probably be learning exactly that way: struggling at first to gather information, but gradually picking up on the words and phrases you need. Rosetta Stone has been at the forefront of language learning for many years, and with their frequent improvements and lower-than-ever pricing, there's no reason not to consider them first when choosing where to take Hebrew lessons. Rosetta Stone continues to earn our first place ranking.
Unless you're moving to Israel and benefitting from the hours-long sessions at an ulpan, you'll need to find Hebrew lessons that are a good fit: for your time, your ideal learning mode, and your budget! It's not easy to get in-person lessons for all ages, especially if you don't live in an area with a university or a significant Hebrew-speaking population.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online options to choose from. Do you learn best by listening? Some Hebrew lessons place strong emphasis on acquiring the language that way: work through audio files of syllables, words, phrases and sentences and repeat after the speaker. Not your style? No problem! Choose a Hebrew language platform that makes everything into a game, from grammar lessons to writing practice and even speech recognition software that compares your recorded language to that of a native speaker.
Better yet, almost all online Hebrew lessons take great care to include cultural and historical information as you study. Hebrew has such a rich history and symbolism; you can't fully understand the language without knowing where it has come from and how it's used in context today.
As you look through the various possibilities for Hebrew lessons, it's easy to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out which one to use. Don't worry! Here are some criteria you can consider as you narrow down your choices:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for taking Hebrew lessons today. We're confident that this information will help you improve your fluency in reading, writing, and especially speaking Hebrew!
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