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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Hebrew quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Hebrew tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. HebrewPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Hebrew teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by HebrewPod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Hebrew Language, Hebrew Online, Learn Hebrew, Site Features, Speak Hebrew, Team HebrewPod101

Tisha B’Av: A Day of Mourning

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Israel had a particularly rough history, fraught with tragedies and wrongs. Each year, there’s a special day set aside just for mourning and reflection: תשעה באב (Tish-ah be-Av), or “Tisha B’Av.” 

In this article, we’ll talk about some of these tragedies, cover the most common Tisha B’Av practices and customs, and go over the most important Tisha B’Av vocabulary. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Tisha B’Av?

An Image of David’s Tower and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av is a day of אבל (evel), or “grieving,” for Jews, and it serves as a time to commemorate the many tragedies that Israel has experienced. In particular, Jews mourn a collection of events that are often referred to as “the five calamities.” These events all took place on or around the date of Tisha B’Av, giving this day a negative reputation. Here’s an overview of each calamity:

1 – Moses’s Twelve Spies in Canaan

In the biblical book of Numbers, it’s said that Moses sent out twelve spies (or observers) to explore the land of Canaan, God’s “Promised Land” to Israel. 

However, ten of the twelve spies gave Moses only negative reports about the land and its people (whom the spies called Nephilim). These reports led to widespread fear among the Israelites and revealed the spies’ lack of faith in God’s promise. As a result, God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Two of the spies gave Moses a positive report, and those two were the only ones allowed to enter the Promised Land after those forty years. 

2 – Destruction of the First Temple

The destruction of the first temple of Israel (which was built by King Solomon) occurred in either 587 BC or 586 BC, when King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon invaded Judah. This happened as a result of Judah’s then-vassal king turning his back on Babylon and backing the Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt instead. 

3 – Destruction of the Second Temple

The destruction of the second temple occurred in 70 CE at the hands of the Romans. This led to the people of Judea becoming scattered and marked the beginning of Israel’s גלות (galut), or “exile,” from the Holy Land. 

4 – Destruction of Betar

In 135 CE, the Romans destroyed the Jewish city of Betar following a strong revolt led by Bar Kokhba. This event resulted in the deaths of nearly 600,000 Jews. 

5 – Plowing of the Temple in Jerusalem

Not long after this massacre, a Roman commander named Turnus Rufus plowed over where the Temple of Jerusalem had once stood. 

While Tisha B’Av largely encompasses these five tragedies, this day is also a time to reflect on more recent ones, such as the First Crusade and the Holocaust. 

2. When is Tisha B’Av on the Gregorian Calendar?

The Jewish Month of Av

Each year, Tisha B’Av takes place on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. For your convenience, we’ve listed below this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: July 30
  • 2021: July 18
  • 2022: August 7
  • 2023: July 27
  • 2024: August 13
  • 2025: August 3
  • 2026: July 23
  • 2027: August 12
  • 2028: August 1
  • 2029: July 22

Keep in mind that this holiday actually starts on the evening before the date listed.

3. Tisha B’Av Customs & Restrictions

A Woman Sitting in Front of an Empty Plate

There’s a three-week period leading up to Tisha B’Av, during which Jews may begin the mourning process. While mourning, Jews may fast from meat and neglect to shave. Those who don’t mourn during these three weeks will usually begin their mourning during the last nine days before Tisha B’Av. 

As mentioned earlier, Tisha B’Av is a time of grieving. On this day, practicing Jews are not to engage in any type of pleasurable activity. In addition, Torah reading for Tisha B’Av is limited to the מגילת איכה (Megilat Eicha), or “Book of Lamentations,” and other sad or grievous books. 

1 – Tisha B’Av Restrictions

There are חמישה איסורים (khamisha Isurim), or “five prohibitions,” that practicing Jews must adhere to on Tisha B’Av. These Tisha B’Av rules are:

  • Fasting for twenty-five hours (especially from meat and wine)
  • No showering 
  • No intimate relations
  • No leather shoes
  • No creams or oils 

Of course, there are limited exceptions to these rules. For example, if someone has a specific medical issue, they may consult a rabbi to permit them to eat as needed. 

2 – Other Customs & Activities

On Tisha B’Av, Kinot text readings and liturgies are given in the synagogues, and many Jews also read or listen to the Book of Lamentations. Both the Kinot and Lamentations mourn the destruction of Israel and the plight of Jews throughout history. 

Because this is a day of mourning, Jews tend to abstain from many day-to-day activities, especially those that are considered pleasurable. Examples include gift-giving and leaving the home for entertainment purposes. People are expected not to laugh or smile on this day, as Tisha B’Av is often labeled “the saddest day” on the Jewish calendar and a day on which bad things are likely to happen.

3 – End of Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av officially ends that night, though generally, Jews observe the rules and fasting until around noon of the following day. 

4. Menachem Begin’s Proposal

Former Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, once proposed that Tisha B’Av should become a holiday devoted to all of Israel’s tragedies. Under this proposal, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and Tisha B’Av would all be observed on this one day. 

His proposal was denied, however, probably as a means of preserving the significance of each remembrance day and the religious nature of Tisha B’Av.

5. Vocabulary for Talking About Tisha B’Av in Hebrew

The Book of Lamentations

Let’s review some of the Hebrew vocabulary words and phrases from this article!

EnglishHebrewRomanizationPart of Speech + Gender
JerusalemירושליםYerushalayimProper noun, feminine
Tisha B’Avתשעה באבTish-ah be-AvNoun, masculine
FastingצוםtsomNoun, masculine
AvאבAvNoun, masculine
Destruction of Jerusalem wallsנפילת חומות ירושליםNefilat khomot Yerushalayim
Burning of the Templeשריפת בית המקדשsrifat beit ha-mikdashFeminine
Book of Lamentationsמגילת איכהMegilat EichaNoun, feminine
GrievingאבלevelNoun, masculine
Between the gatesבין המצריםbein ha-metzarimMasculine
Cloth shoesנעלי בדna’alei badNoun, feminine
No intimate relationshipאיסור תשמיש המיטהisur tashmish ha-mitahNoun, masculine
No showerאיסור רחיצהisur rechitzahNoun, masculine
KinnotקינותKinotNoun, feminine
Five prohibitionsחמישה איסוריםkhamisha IsurimMasculine
ExileגלותGalutNoun, feminine

Remember that you can find each of these words with an audio recording of its pronunciation on our Tisha B’Av vocabulary list

Final Thoughts

The significance of Tisha B’Av in Jewish society can’t be overstated. It provides an opportunity to reflect on past wrongs, mourn accordingly, and look ahead to what the future may hold. 

What are your thoughts on Tisha B’Av? Is there a holiday of mourning or remembrance in your country? Let us know in the comments; we look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

If you want to learn more about Israel and Jewish culture, HebrewPod101.com has several free resources for you, straight from our blog:

Wherever you are in your Hebrew-learning journey, and whatever your reasons for wanting to learn, HebrewPod101 has you covered! Create your free lifetime account today and take advantage of our numerous audio and video lessons, themed vocabulary lists, spaced-repetition flashcards, and so much more.

We hope to see you around. Shalom!

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Rosh Hashanah: How to Celebrate the Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts—very much like New Years around the world. On this day, Jews cast aside their wrongdoings from the previous year in hopes of becoming better the following year, and they wish each other a sweeter new year.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Rosh Hashanah meaning and history, and what traditional celebrations look like today. In learning about this significant religious and cultural holiday, you’ll gain much into Jewish culture. This, in turn, should fuel your desire to master the Hebrew language! On the other hand, if you’re looking for New Year’s vocabulary that would be more useful at a secular, December New Year’s Party, we’ve got something for you, too. Learn how to say all the seasonal words in Hebrew with our New Year’s vocabulary article!

At HebrewPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Rosh Hashanah?

Israel uses a Hebrew calendar alongside the Gregorian calendar which is used by most other countries. The Hebrew year begins on the first of Tishrei, and on that day people celebrate Rosh Hashanah—the holiday marking the beginning of the New Year. The Hebrew calendar is based on a combination of the cycles of the moon and the sun. Every year is more or less parallel to the sun cycle and contains twelve or thirteen months, each beginning in the birth of the moon and ending with the birth of the next moon.

The Jewish New Year is considered to be a Day of Judgement, or יום דין (yom din) in Hebrew. Additionally, Rosh Hashanah is considered to be the day on which God is crowned by the world. On this day, people are judged on what they did the previous year, and they predict what will happen in the coming year.

Happy New Year!
שתהיה לך שנה טובה!
she`tihiye lekha shanah tovah!

2. When is Rosh Hashanah?

Standing Up Calendar

Each year, Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah beginning on the first of the month Tishrei, and thus it varies each year on the Gregorian calendar. For your convenience, we’ve composed a list of this holiday’s start date for the next ten years on the Gregorian calendar.

  • 2019: September 29
  • 2020: September 18
  • 2021: September 6
  • 2022: September 25
  • 2023: September 15
  • 2024: October 2
  • 2025: September 22
  • 2026: September 11
  • 2027: October 1
  • 2028: September 20

3. How is Rosh Hashanah Celebrated?

On the day before Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to hold vow release rituals in which every person asks to be released of his or her vows in front of three people who act as a sort of court, holding the power to release a man from his promises.

The Shofar is the most significant and well-known custom associated with the Rosh Hashanah festival. The Shofar is made of ram’s horn, and it makes a sound that resembles crying as we blow it in-between the holiday prayers. This reminds of the true meaning and importance of Rosh Hashanah.

During the Rosh Hashanah evening, families meet together for a festive holiday meal. They consume special Rosh Hashanah foods, such as pomegranate seeds, cooked fish, dates, and desserts containing honey, or as it’s called in Hebrew, דבש (dvash). Family members will wish each other a better new year.

As Rosh Hashanah symbolizes new beginnings, the Tashlich custom is very popular. On the first day of the holiday, after lunch, we go to a seashore or river, recite special Rosh Hashanah prayers, and shake out our clothes and pockets to symbolically cast away the sins and wicked deeds we did last year, and to express our desire to be a better person the next year.

There’s a common Jewish saying: “He who sleeps on Rosh Hashanah, his luck sleeps too.” For this reason, some people don’t sleep on Rosh Hashanah.

4. Apples & Honey

Person Offering Forgiveness

Do you know why we eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah?

On Rosh Hashanah, we dip slices of apple in honey and offer each other Rosh Hashanah greetings that we shall be renewed with a good and sweet year. So we’re asking that the following year will be as good as the sweet taste of apples and honey.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Rosh Hashanah

Man in Deep Thought

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Rosh Hashana!

  • תפוח (tapu’ach) — apple
  • ראש השנה (Rosh Ha-shanna) — Jewish New Year
  • גפילטע פיש (gefilte-fish) — Gefilte fish
  • תפילה (tfilah) — prayer
  • מלכויות (Malkhuyot) — Malchuyot
  • דבש (dvash) — honey
  • שערי שמים (sha’arei shamayim) — gates of Heaven
  • סליחה (slikha) — forgiveness
  • תשליך (tashlikh) — cast away
  • ספר החיים (Sefer-Ha’khayim) — Book of Life
  • זכרונות (Zikhronot) — Zichronot
  • התחלת השנה (hatkhalat Ha’shanna) — the beginning of the year
  • שופר (Shofar) — shofar
  • חלה עגולה (khalla agula) — round challa
  • השתקפות (hishtakfut) — reflection
  • רימון (rimon) — pomegranate
  • שופרות (Shofarot) — Shofarot
  • זכרון (zikaron) — memory

To hear each of these Rosh Hashana vocabulary words pronounced, check out our relevant vocabulary list!

How HebrewPod101 Can Help You Learn About Jewish Culture

What do you think about the Jewish New Year and its traditions? How do you celebrate the new year in your country? Let us know in the comments! We always look forward to hearing from you.

To continue learning about Hebrew culture and the language, explore HebrewPod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a variety of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps to learn Hebrew anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

If you want to really get the most out of your language-learning journey, we suggest that you upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Hebrew teacher who will help you develop a personalized learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Hebrew’s a beautiful language, but no easy feat to learn. Know that your effort and determination will pay off, and it will be well-worth it! HebrewPod101 will be here to help on each step of your journey to Hebrew mastery, with comprehensive lessons and constant support!

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

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Watch TV in Hebrew: Top 10 Israeli TV Shows for Learners

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One of the best ways to study any language is to expose yourself to real language as used by native speakers in natural, day-to-day contexts. Obviously, immersion is the most effective way to manage this, but not all of us have the opportunity to live in a country where the language we’re learning is spoken.

That’s where TV in Hebrew can come in handy. You can use this as a highly practical tool to expose yourself to native speech. In fact, even if we are staying in the country of our target language, or among natives of that country abroad, TV shows and movies have a certain advantage in that they allow us to pause and replay segments we wish to hear again—unlike people in real life, who tend to resist getting paused and replayed!

Another advantage of watching Israeli TV series is that they generally offer language learners very idiomatic language, as opposed to the more formal or fancy language you might encounter in literature or on the news. For this reason, TV shows are a great way to expand your vocabulary with everyday words and expressions—including slang and colloquialisms—as well as pick up on nuances of pronunciation and inflection.

And it goes without saying that watching Israeli TV shows is a fantastic way to improve your listening comprehension! The best thing of all is that, provided you choose shows that you like watching, TV can make language-learning a fun and relaxing activity which has been proven to improve learning abilities.

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Table of Contents

  1. Tips for Using Israeli TV Shows to Learn Hebrew
  2. Show #1: Ktzarim
  3. Show #2: Ha-Shoter ha-Tov
  4. Show #3: Fauda
  5. Show #4: Srugim
  6. Show #5: Eretz Nehederet
  7. Show #6: Slikhah al ha-She’elah
  8. Show #7: B’li Sodot
  9. Show #8: Mo’adon Laylah
  10. Show #9: B’ney Arubah
  11. Show #10: Ha-Gashash ha-Khiver
  12. HebrewPod101 is Here to Help You Learn the Fun Way!

1. Tips for Using Israeli TV Shows to Learn Hebrew

Study Books

Before we take a look at the top ten Israeli TV shows to learn Hebrew, let’s first see some of the most effective ways we can put TV shows in service of our language-learning goals.

  1. The first thing to remember is that the very act of watching a TV show in Hebrew is going to help you learn passively. Basically, as long as you’re exposing yourself to the sounds, patterns, and rhythms of Hebrew as it’s spoken in modern-day Israel, you’re attuning your ears and your mind to the language.
  2. A very helpful way to both expand your vocabulary and improve your listening comprehension and pronunciation is to use subtitles while watching Israeli TV shows. For beginners, it may be easier to watch Israeli TV shows with English subtitles, but as soon as you’re comfortable, you should definitely switch the subtitles to Hebrew. While it’s useful to match up the English words you see on the screen with their Hebrew equivalents as spoken by the characters in the show, it will help you much more to watch Israeli TV shows with subtitles in Hebrew as you listen to the words being pronounced.
  3. A great way to work on vocabulary acquisition and pronunciation is to set goals for each episode you watch in terms of learning new words and phrases. Say you watch a forty-five-minute show, you can set a goal, for example, to learn ten new words and/or phrases. As you watch, just jot down any unfamiliar words or phrases as you come across them. You can either write the definition if you caught it, or look them up later. Then go and practice them!
  4. To practice pronunciation specifically, you can set a similar goal of words and/or phrases to practice. Listen for whatever language is tricky or confusing for you, and replay the segments so you can practice your pronunciation, matching it to the native speakers’ in the show. You can even take this a step further by recording the bits you want to practice with your cell phone, then recording yourself saying the same bits and comparing to see how close you’ve gotten.
  5. Test your listening comprehension on short segments by trying to write a transcript of what you hear a character, or various characters, saying. Obviously, you want to either not look at the screen or turn off the subtitles while you do so. Then, watch the scene again and check the subtitles to see how close you got.
  6. Utilize the language you learn in your speech. Watching Hebrew-language TV shows is a great way to pick up commonly used words and phrases in Hebrew. Try to grasp the appropriate context in which the words or phrases are used in the show, and use them accordingly when you speak Hebrew!

2. Show #1: Ktzarim

Kids Laughing Watching Computer Screen

Let’s start with one of the best Israeli TV shows for learning Hebrew. This show, קצרים (Ktzarim) or “Shorts,” is a hilarious sketch comedy with the same five actors in a seemingly endless variety of roles and situations. The quintet includes award-winning actor Moni Moshonov, who has appeared in various English-language movies as well, alongside Keren Mor, Shmulik Levy, Riki Blich, and Yuval Segal. The best way to catch this show is on YouTube, where many full episodes as well as sketch segments are available free of charge.

This show doesn’t have any particular theme, and is based, as its name suggests, on very brief comic sketches, ranging from a few seconds to around a minute long. Generally speaking, the characters in these sketches go by their real names (first name only), and can be seen portraying just about anyone.

The main advantage of this show for language learners is that, because the sketches are so short, they provide a great opportunity to focus on listening comprehension for small chunks of language. You can definitely take advantage of their short length by doing some repeated listening and/or repeated speaking to learn new words and phrases.

3. Show #2: Ha-Shoter ha-Tov

One of the greatest Israeli TV shows on Netflix, השוטר הטוב (Ha-Shoter ha-Tov), or “The Good Cop,” is another Israeli comedy show, albeit with full-length episodes rather than sketches.

The show follows policeman Dani Confino and his fellow officers through one misadventure after another. For example, due to what’s deemed to be violent and uncontrollable behavior, Dani is sent to meet with a psychologist to talk about his issues. The scenes with the psychologist are frequent and quite funny. The series also follows Dani’s dysfunctional relationships with his parents, as he moves back in with them after finding out that his girlfriend has been cheating on him.

The show features Yuval Semo as Dani, Leora Rivlin as his mother, Moshe Ivgy as his father, Guy Loel as the station chief, Yigal Adika as Dani’s partner, and Ortal Ben Shoshan as Dani’s co-officer and eventual romantic interest.

This show offers a great opportunity to pick up day-to-day Hebrew, including slang and colloquialisms. You can also note the different accents and dialects that are featured, from Dani’s more or less standard Tel Aviv accent to his partner’s Oriental Jewish accent to Dani’s father’s Morrocan accent.

4. Show #3: Fauda

פאודה (Fauda), or “Fauda,” is an absolute must-see. The name of this action-packed Hebrew TV series is actually in Arabic, and means “chaos.” It’s interesting for both its storyline and in linguistic terms.

This show deals with IDF officers involved in Israel’s undercover security operations to track and capture terrorists within the Palestinian territories. As undercover agents, all of these characters (and thus the actors who play them) must speak perfect Arabic, so the show is a good opportunity to hear both Hebrew and Arabic and to note the differences between them. Fauda is available to stream on Netflix.

Fauda stars a number of noteworthy Israeli actors, such as Lior Raz as Doron Kavillio, Itzik Cohen as Captain Gabi Ayub, Yuval Segal as Mickey Moreno, and Rona-Lee Shim’on as Nurit. It also stars Arab-Israeli actors and even French-Lebanese actress Laëtitia Eïdo as Dr. Shirin Al Abed.

This show is a great opportunity to pick up military lingo, which is a huge part of everyday Hebrew in Israel. This is because military service in the IDF is obligatory for all citizens, male and female, upon graduating high school. For this reason, there’s a lot of military jargon—often acronyms—that gets used even in non-military contexts. To give you an idea, here are a few examples of words you may hear on the show:

  • פז”ם
    Pazam
    “Seniority” (literally the acronym for “time out” )
  • שיפצור
    Shiftzur
    “Improvised repair or improvement” (formed from שיפור צורה, shipur tzurah, “improvement of form/shape” )
  • ג’ובניק
    Jobnik
    “Non-combat soldier”

5. Show #4: Srugim

Jews Lighting Menorah

Srugim is a very interesting show that examines life within the so-called National Religious Community in Israel. Essentially, these are religious, observant Jews who are strong supporters of the modern state and participate fully and with distinction in the armed forces as well as the workforce, unlike their ultra-Orthodox counterparts.

In fact, this is the origin of the show’s title. The word סרוגים (srugim) means “knitted” or “crocheted” and refers to the style of כיפה (kipah), or “yarmulke,” that modern Orthodox Jews wear. The ultra-Orthodox tend to favor velvet or leather yarmulkes.

With well-known Israeli actors including Ohad Knoller as Dr. Nati Brenner and Yael Sharoni as Yifat, the show provides a fascinating in-depth look into the lives of Orthodox Jews living in the midst of a mostly secular Israeli society, as well as the dilemmas and choices they face. It’s unique in its attempt to portray this sector of society in an unbiased manner.

Srugim is a wonderful opportunity to learn Hebrew—not just useful daily Hebrew, but also Hebrew that pertains more to religious life, sometimes involving Biblical references (i.e. ancient Hebrew) or rabbinic sources (yet another strain of the Hebrew language).

6. Show #5: Eretz Nehederet

ארץ נהדרת (Eretz Nehederet), or “What a Wonderful Country,” is a satire show that’s similar to Saturday Night Live in that it includes sketch comedy with a notable political bent. Hosted by Eyal Kitzis, it also features such prominent comedic personalities as Tal Friedman, Alma Zak, Orna Banai, and Asi Cohen. It can be found on Netflix, with some episodes and clips available on YouTube. As with Ktzarim, since the show consists of sketches, it’s one of the most practical Israeli TV shows to watch if you want to work on comprehension or pronunciation.

As the show touches on all facets of Israeli life, all accents and dialects are represented, albeit mostly in a humorous vein. The show is also a funny opportunity to see and hear comic impersonations of various famous Israelis, from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to model Pnina Rosenblum.

7. Show #6: Slikhah al ha-She’elah

Questions Marks Above Woman's Head

סליחה על השאלה (Slikhah al ha-She’elah) means “Sorry for Asking.” As far as TV shows in Hebrew go, this one is quite unique in that the premise of the show is to ask difficult or uncommon questions received by anonymous submissions from viewers. For example, episodes may feature people who have at some point been members of a cult or people who use a wheelchair, who are asked to field a number of challenging questions.

The show does not have any set cast, as it merely shows the interviewees for each episode, with each episode having separate interviewees. In addition to providing a wonderful opportunity to hear from different—and perhaps unusual—perspectives within Israeli society, watching this show is also a fantastic way to practice questions in Hebrew! You can watch it on YouTube.

8. Show #7: B’li Sodot

This show, בלי סודות (Bli Sodot), or “Without Secrets,” is a children’s show, so it may not be for everyone. However, if you really want to work on the basics of Hebrew vocabulary and grammar, this is a great choice as far as children’s TV shows in Hebrew go. Its goal is to help teach Israeli children to read, and because it’s geared toward children, the actors—including Oshik Levi and Hanny Nahmias—tend to speak very slowly and clearly.

The show features songs and sketches which are all in some way related to words and reading, so its educational value is unquestionable. Obviously, however, it does tend to deal with juvenile topics and situations, so you may wish to limit how much you use this one for learning. It does, however, contain some great elements that can surely be helpful if you take the show as lightly as it was intended. For example:

  • The recurring character Itonaish plays a game where he must identify syllables in order to match up the ones that go together and determine which one doesn’t fit.
  • Words learned in a previous sketch are repeated, broken into syllables for ease of comprehension.
  • The recurring character Alphy creates words learned in previous sketches. Children read out the words, and in some cases Alphy removes the nikud, much to the children’s initial dismay, but later pleasure, as they realize how to read without the vowels being indicated.

9. Show #8: Mo’adon Laylah

מועדון לילה (Mo’adon Laylah), or “Nightclub,” is another Israeli satire show, hosted by Erez Tal. This show features panelists—including Ofer Shechter, Israel Katorsa, Maya Dagan, and Tal Friedman—who comment satirically on various daily events, often responding to short video clips.

This show is a great way to have fun while getting to know all about Israeli politics, celebs, sports, and more. It’s also another opportunity to expose yourself to a broad array of language, as well as different accents and dialects, including in impersonations. This show is available on YouTube.

10. Show #9: B’ney Arubah

Hands Bound

בני ערובה (B’ney Arubah), or “Hostages,” is a thrilling Israeli series that follows a family that’s taken hostage by armed men who attempt to force the mother, a prominent surgeon, to intentionally cause the prime minister’s death by botching a surgery she plans to perform on him.

Starring Ayelet Zurer as Dr. Yael Danon and Jonah Lotan as Adam, the series was so popular it was acquired by BBC to be remade in English. This show features many highly intense scenes with rapid exchanges between characters, so you can consider it advanced listening comprehension. It’s available on Netflix.

11. Show #10: Ha-Gashash ha-Khiver

Saving the best for last, this one isn’t actually confined to one show. הגשש החיוור (Ha-Gashash ha-Khiver), or “The Pale Tracker,” was a longstanding comedy trio that can perhaps be considered the most important comedic influence in modern Israeli society. The trio consisted of Yeshayahu Levi (nicknamed “Shaike”), Yisrael Poliakov (nicknamed “Poli”), and Gavriel Banai (nicknamed “Gavri”). The three produced shows, movies, and records, many of which are widely available on YouTube.

This comedy is not only brilliant but also very linguistically oriented. In fact, Ha-Gashash ha-Khiver probably influenced the modern Hebrew language much in the way the plays of Shakespeare revolutionized the English language. Plays on words, spoonerisms, neologisms, and just about every other form of language manipulation, are a regular part of the trio’s approach to humor.

The trio very often does impersonations or impressions, and even has skits about language itself. Watching these three comedians is a guaranteed way to enrich your Hebrew and laugh while doing so, while also getting great exposure to different accents and dialects.

12. HebrewPod101 is Here to Help You Learn the Fun Way!

Happy Faces

We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s change of pace. We here at HebrewPod101 are committed to providing you with learning materials that keep you interested and having fun. We know how important it is to the success of any language-learning endeavor to enjoy the process. For this reason, we try to include as much fun as we can.

As we hope you can see, Hebrew TV shows are a fantastic way to bolster your more academic lessons. By no means should you consider them secondary. On the contrary, exposing yourself to real-life Hebrew is just as important as hitting the grammar books!

There’s no better way to work on your comprehension and pronunciation than by hearing and imitating native speakers. Why not do so while enjoying a great Israeli TV show? Consider it a two-for-one: entertainment and education all in one sitting. Just don’t forget the popcorn—in Hebrew, פופקורן (popkoren)!

Which Hebrew TV show do you want to watch first? Let us know in the comments!

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Purim in Israel: How to Celebrate the Purim Holiday

Purim is a Jewish holiday, celebrated each year in commemoration of the overthrowing of Haman’s plot against the Jews, outlined in the Scroll of Esther. Purim in Israel is, therefore, one of the most important holidays the country celebrates.

In learning about Purim, you’re opening your heart and mind to Jewish culture and its people—including its previous and current hardships. At HebrewPod101.com, we hope to make this journey both fun and enlightening. So let’s get started!

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1. What is Purim?

Purim (also called the Feast of Purim) is based on a story written in the Scroll of Esther. According to the Purim story, Ahasueros, the king of Persia, banished his wife and chose Esther, the Jewess, to take her place. Haman, the highest ranking minister in the kingdom, planned to kill all of the Jews, but Esther discovered his plot, and thanks to her wisdom and sensitivity, she was able to thwart Haman’s plans. Since then, Jews have celebrated the victory over Haman, and have read the Scroll of Esther ever year.

2. When is Purim?

Girl with Face Painted

The date of Purim varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. However, the Purim month is always Adar, with the celebration on the fourteenth. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s beginning and end dates for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 20 (sundown) through March 21 (nightfall)
  • 2020: March 9 (sundown) through March 10 (nightfall)
  • 2021: February 25 (sundown) through February 26 (nightfall)
  • 2022: March 16 (sundown) through March 17 (nightfall)
  • 2023: March 6 (sundown) through March 7 (nightfall)
  • 2024: March 24 (sundown) through March 25 (nightfall)
  • 2025: March 14 (sundown) through March 15 (nightfall)
  • 2026: March 2 (sundown) through March 3 (nightfall)
  • 2027: March 22 (sundown) through March 23 (nightfall)
  • 2028: March 11 (sundown) through March 12 (nightfall)

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Woman in witch Costume

So, how is Purim celebrated? Read the Hebrew text below to find out (you can find the English translation directly below it).

—–

בכל מקום תוכלו לראות נסיכות, אבירים, מכשפות, ליצנים, קוסמים וגיבורי-על. את התחפושות לובשים לא רק בערב, אלא גם ביום החג: בבתי הספר, ברחוב ובמקומות העבודה. בפורים צריך לשמוח ולחגוג, ובכל מקום תוכלו למצוא מסיבות רחוב ומצעדים צבעוניים ועליזים.

בפורים נהוג גם לתת אחד לשני חבילות של מאכלים טעימים, שנקראות משלוח מנות. את משלוחי המנות נותנים לחברים, לעמיתים לעבודה ולפעמים גם לזרים, כדי לשמח אחד את השני. מנהג נוסף בחג הוא לתת תרומה לעניים, וכמה שיותר – יותר טוב.

בפורים נפגשים כדי לקרוא יחד את מגילת אסתר. בזמן הקריאה מחזיקים כולם רעשנים, ובכל פעם שמוזכר שמו של המן הרשע – מרעישים בכל הכוח. הרעש מסמל את הבוז כלפי המן.

—–

The most prominent custom associated with Purim is wearing costumes. Princesses, knights, witches, clowns, wizards, and superheroes can be seen everywhere. The costumes aren’t worn only at night, but also during the day, during the holiday, at school, on the street, and at work. On Purim, we must be happy and celebrate, and you can find street parties and bright, colorful parades everywhere.

On Purim, it is customary for people to give each other tasty food packages. These are called mishloach manot. They are given to friends, colleagues at work, and sometimes even to strangers, so that we make each other happy. Another holiday custom is to give alms to the poor—the more, the merrier.

On Purim, people gather to read the Scroll of Esther together. During the reading, everyone has noisemakers, and each time the name of the evil Haman is mentioned, people make as much noise as they can. The noise symbolizes our disdain for Haman.

4. Additional Information: Haman’s Ears

Which sweet Purim food do we eat to celebrate, and what body part is it associated with? On Purim, we eat a sweet, brittle cookie made of dough stuffed with poppy seeds, or sometimes, with chocolate or dates. They’re called “Haman’s ears”, because their triangular shape looks like the ears of the evil Haman.

5. Must-know Vocab

A Pastry called Hamentasch

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Purim!

  • אלכוהול (alkohol) — alcohol
  • פורים (Purim) — Purim
  • זרש (Zeresh) — Zeresh
  • עשרת בני המן (Aseret Bnei Haman) — ten sons of Haman
  • משלוח מנות (Mishloakh Manot) — Mishloach manot
  • מגילה (megilah) — Megillah
  • מרדכי (Mordekhai) — Mordechai
  • אוזן המן (Ozen Haman) — hamentasch
  • המן (Haman) — Haman
  • רעשן (ra’ashan) — gragger
  • מתנות לאביונים (Matanot La-evyonim) — Matanot l’Evyonim
  • סעודת מצווה (seudat Mitzvah) — festive meal
  • אסתר (Esther) — Esther
  • תחפושות (tachposot) — costume
  • אחשוורוש (Achashverosh) — Ahasuerus
  • להטיל פור (le-hatil pur) — draw a lot
  • תהלוכה (tahalucha) — parade

If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Purim vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now you know how Jews celebrate Purim. What are your thoughts? Is there a special holiday in your own country this reminds you of? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the Hebrew language and culture, visit us at HebrewPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Hebrew learners. You can also upgrade your account to begin using our MyTeacher program, so that you can learn Hebrew one-on-one with your own personal Hebrew teacher.

Know that your hard work will soon reap benefits, and you’ll soon be speaking Hebrew like a native. In the meantime, keep studying and treat yourself to a hamentasch or two!

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Tu BiShvat: How to Celebrate the Jewish Tree Holiday

Tu BiShvat (meaning Jewish New Year for Trees) is a Jewish holiday dedicated to preserving the environment, keeping the beautiful world that God created in good condition. It should come as no surprise that the Jewish people care so much about environmental health, considering the command it’s believed God gave to Adam, the first man: not to ruin the world’s beauty.

Learn more fascinating Tu BiShvat facts with HebrewPod101.com, from its origins to important vocabulary you should know!

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1. Why Should You Know About Tu BiShvat?

Learning the most popular holidays of any country reveals a lot about that country’s culture, and cultural knowledge is just as important as vocabulary knowledge. Understanding Tu BiShvat will provide you with greater knowledge of the Jewish people as well as context for your vocabulary.

Tu BiShvat is certainly an important holiday to the Jewish people; it reflects both their devotion to God and their care for the world we live in. When we examine the origins and customs of this Jewish holiday, it’s clear to see that this is a day close to Jews’ hearts.

2. What is Tu BiShvat?

Also known as ראש השנה לאילנות (rosh ha-shana la-ilanot), the Jewish holiday Tu BiShvat is an agricultural holiday, meaning that it centers on the environment and its preservation. Tu BiShvat derives its name from the date on which it takes place: the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat.

When looking at the history of Tu BiShvat, we can see that it’s celebrated mainly as a way of commemorating and honoring the command that Jews believe God gave the first man Adam, which was to protect and care for the world He made.

Jews typically do this through נטיעות (netiot) or “planting” trees. In fact, just about everyone gets involved with the tree planting; schools even take classes on field trips to do this!

But the customs and celebrations don’t end there; find out more about common Tu BiShvat traditions below.

3. When is Tu BiShvat?

15th of Shevat on Hebrew Calendar

Tu BiShvat takes place on the fifteenth day of Shevat on the Hebrew calendar. This usually converts to a date in January or February of the Gregorian calendar. Here’s a list of this holiday’s dates, converted to its date on the Gregorian calendar, for the next ten years:

  • 2019: January 21
  • 2020: February 10
  • 2021: January 28
  • 2022: January 17
  • 2023: February 6
  • 2024: January 25
  • 2025: February 13
  • 2026: February 2
  • 2027: January 23
  • 2028: February 12

4. How is Tu BiShvat Celebrated?

A Variety of Fresh Fruit

As mentioned earlier, Tu BiShvat in Hebrew culture is an agricultural holiday and is often observed by the planting of trees. But what holiday would be complete without food?

1- Tu BiShvat Seder

The Tu BiShvat Seder is a relatively new tradition for this holiday, starting up about four-hundred years ago.

In Hebrew, a seder is a type of religious feast, often accompanied by prayer and other religious formalities. While they usually take place during the two days before Passover, many Jewish people also participate in a Tu BiShvat Seder.

During this the Tu BiShvat Seder, families often gather together to eat fruit (usually dried), which is an absolute staple and symbol of this holiday. While feasting, prayers are said and blessings are given in both celebration and respect for טבע (teva) or “nature.”

2- שבעת המינים (Shiv’at ha`minim) — The Seven Species

Jews typically consume a particular group of foods, called שבעת המינים (Shiv’at ha`minim) or “The Seven Species.” This is a list of seven agricultural foods which are named in the Torah, the main religious book of the Jews.

These seven Tu BiShvat foods are:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Pomegranates
  • Olives
  • Dates

3- Children’s Songs and Stories

The Jewish people want to do everything they can to make sure Tu BiShvat is a holiday their children will enjoy celebrating, now and in the future. Aside from school field trips to plant trees, children also come to appreciate this holiday through a variety of fun songs about it as well as Tu BiShvat stories.

5. Additional Information

1- Why Dried Fruit?

In case you’re wondering why Jews tend to eat their fruit dried on this day, it’s important to take the country’s history into account.

This holiday was first observed before the time of refrigerators and other more modern methods of preserving food. And because fruit spoils quickly, it was important to find some way to preserve it; this meant drying it.

As many customs and traditions do around the world, this tradition stuck. (Plus, dried fruit tastes fantastic, and is oftentimes more convenient to eat!)

2- The Almond Tree

Another important symbol of Tu BiShvat is the שקדיה (shkediya) or “almond tree.” This is because it happens to bloom right around the time of Tu BiShvat.

6. Must-know Vocab for Tu BiShvat

A Green Sapling

It’s good to know certain words and phrases for any holiday you plan on celebrating or taking part in. With that in mind, here’s some helpful vocabulary terms for you to take with you to your Tu BiShvat celebration:

  • פרי (pri) — Fruit
  • עץ (etz) — Tree
  • פירות יבשים (peyrot yveshim) — Dried fruit
  • שבעת המינים (Shiv’at ha`minim) — Seven Species
  • נטיעות (netiot) — Planting
  • טבע (teva) — Nature
  • ט”ו בשבט (tu bishvat) — 15th of Shevat
  • איכות הסביבה (eikhut ha`svivah) — Environment
  • שתיל (shtil) — Seedling
  • שקדיה (shkediya) — Almond tree

To hear each of these words with a pronunciation, you can listen to them with audio recordings on our Tu BiShvat vocabulary list on HebrewPod101.com!

Conclusion

Now you know a little more about the Jewish agricultural holiday Tu BiShvat. Is there a similar holiday in your country? If so, we’d like to hear about it!

If you want to learn even more about Hebrew culture, be sure to visit us at HebrewPod101.com. We have an array of insightful articles, vocabulary lists, and even an online community where you can chat with other Hebrew language learners! For one-on-one guidance in language-learning, also be sure to check out our MyTeacher app.

Happy Tu BiShvat!

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5 Ways to Profit from Your Mistakes While Learning Hebrew

5 Ways to Profit from Your Mistakes While Learning Hebrew

The fear of making mistakes is one of the biggest roadblocks to language learning. Out of all the discomforts that come with learning a foreign language nothing looms quite as daunting in the mind of a beginner.

It’s almost as if we’re hardwired to want perfection when we speak. However the reality is that mistakes are unavoidable. I’d even go so far as to say that they’re an integral part of the learning process.

But still we try are hardest to fight them, thinking that perhaps the key to learning rests in the flashiest method or the LiveFluent Hebrew course or HebrewPod101.

Think of small children who are just starting to learn English. They mispronounce words. They use words incorrectly, and their grammar is usually pretty lousy. Sometimes they even make up their own words. Research and academic opinion show that this is all a natural part of the process. If making mistakes made up such a huge part of learning our native language, why do you expect it to be any different when learning a foreign one?

In this post we’ll talk about five ways you profit from your mistakes while learning Hebrew. Because in the end mistakes shouldn’t be feared they should be welcomed. The more you make the faster you will learn.

1) Be humble

There’s no room for pride when you’re learning Hebrew. If you’re a beginner, native speakers will likely be very accommodating with your mistakes and slower reaction times during conversations. There’s no reason to be embarrassed. Remember that it’s a sign of respect to learn another person’s language. No one expects you to speak flawlessly right from the start. No on else with hold your mistakes against you, so make sure you don’t either.

2) Don’t play the comparison game

Whether it’s a native speaker or another Hebrew learner don’t make the mistake of comparing your progress to someone else’s. No doubt at the beginning there will be times when it feels like everyone is speaking perfect Hebrew while you’re left you in the dust.

Try not to get discouraged. It’s your race to run not theirs. Everyone has their story, their own reason and method for learning Hebrew. Comparing your progress to someone else’s is like well…comparing apples and oranges.

It’s easy to freak out when someone speaks perfectly while you’re struggling to make the most basic sentences. But don’t forget that while you can easily see someone else’s success, you’re much less likely to see the hard work that got them their. Every Hebrew speaker you meet had to learn the language at some point. Whether it was as a child or an adult they too had to wade through their mistakes before they could speak fluently.

Get feedback on your mistakes

3) Get feedback on your mistakes

Anytime you write or speak Hebrew try to get feedback from someone who speaks the language. I cannot stress this enough. You can make mistakes day and night, but if you’re never corrected they do you no good. You can’t learn from a mistake if you don’t know that it’s a mistake. Many in the language learning community hold that feedback is an integral part of the language acquisition process.

Encourage friends and language partners to correct your Hebrew anytime all the time. Worst case scenario you’ll make a mistake 100 times and get corrected 100 times. It might seem petty or frustrating, but it’s all worth it the 101st time when you finally remember your mistake and start speaking correctly.

Some mistakes will be easy to amend and you’ll adjust your Hebrew right away. Others might take awhile. Speaking a foreign language is a lot like juggling. There are a lot of moving pieces you have to keep in place. Whether it’s pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary getting feedback on your effort will help refine your Hebrew until you feel comfortable in the language.

Listen to your brain

4) Listen to your brain

After all the practice and feedback, eventually you’ll start to notice that certain Hebrew words come to mind quicker than you have the chance to think about them. Instead of having to scan your brain for the latest “Hebrew word file”, you sort of instinctively come up with a word for a given sentence.

Don’t hesitate to blurt this word out. Sometimes it will be completely wrong. Other times it will be dead on. When words start coming to mind instinctively that means your brain is starting to get more and more used to using Hebrew. The incorrect words (I like to call them brain farts), are sort of like growing pains. You’ll have them for a little while but over time you’ll see them less and less until all of your instinctual words are correct (this is essentially fluency).

So don’t let the fear of making a mistake short circuit your brain’s natural learning process. Go with whatever word your brain gives you!

5) Never take the easy way out

If there are two ways to say what you want to say in Hebrew, one you know and are comfortable with, and the other you’re not sure off….use the one you’re least comfortable with. Purposely choose subjects and sentence constructions that are difficult for you. Don’t get complacent and fall into the trap of using the same phrase over and over again, or having the same type of conversation with a language partner.

You always want to push the boundaries. Think of it as lifting weights. If you only ever lift 20 lbs for 20 reps, you’re not likely to get stronger after a certain point. Eventually you have to increase the weight. When you do it’ll burn and it won’t be comfortable, but overtime your body will adapt and you will become stronger.

It’s the same with languages. Except in this case your brain is the muscle and the weights are the difficulty of the language.

6) Enjoy the language for its own sake

Small children not only make a ton of mistakes when they learn to speak, they also have a ton of fun. To them life and language are both one giant mysterious adventure. They aren’t worried about making progress, impressing people, or speaking perfectly.

Take a note from their playbook. Enjoy Hebrew as you learn it. Let your focus be on the beauty and magic of the language. Savor the times you get to use it. If you loosen up and enjoy the ride you will learn much faster.

Final thoughts

Mistakes are a powerful and indispensable part of learning a language. I hope this post inspired you to stop being afraid of them and start embracing them. This subtle change in outlook could mean the world to your Hebrew learning!

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Click Here to Get Your All Access Pass at HebrewPod101

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study Hebrew. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn Hebrew on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All HebrewPod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your Hebrew goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete Hebrew learning program – ALL Audio/Video Courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team HebrewPod101

P.S. Get 25% OFF ANY Plan! Master Hebrew with YOUR All-Access Pass!

Want to learn Hebrew fast with an ALL-ACCESS PASS to our entire learning system? Get 25% OFF Basic, Premium and Premium PLUS and unlock ALL audio/video lessons, study tools and exclusive apps that you’ll ever need. And with Premium PLUS, you get your own teacher! Just $3 a month & up to $137 in savings. Ends March 31st, 2017.

Get Your Hebrew All-Access Pass! Click here to get 25% OFF ALL Plans!

HebrewPod101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

You want to learn Hebrew but you don’t want to spend a cent. You don’t want to lose time creating an account if they ask you for your credit card just after. For you Hebrew learner, we tell you how you will access great resources for free for life and without card or having to pay. This is your unique path to fluency for free.

free lifetime account hebrewpod101 benefit

HebrewPod101 is not really free, is it?
Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
A Free Lifetime Account is – simply put – a free membership at HebrewPod101.

What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at HebrewPod101. You have access to all of these features for life:

  • New audio and video lessons every week – 3-5 new, free lessons a week
  • The first 3 lessons of every single series – 100+ lessons in total
  • New Daily Dose of Hebrew lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Hebrew Word of the Day lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday
  • The Innovative Language 101 App for the Android, iPhone and iPad
  • The 100 Most Common Words List to get a head-start on learning vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and phrase lists for topics, themes and holidays
  • Bonus resources and mobile apps in the Hebrew resources section

    Start speaking Hebrew now!

    Do I need a credit card to sign up?
    No. All you need is a valid email address to join. The only times you’d require a credit card (or another payment method such as PayPal) is if you want to upgrade to a Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS subscription.

    To sum-up, you create a free account only with your email address, you’ll get a 7-day trial to experience Premium access to HebrewPod101, and after this period you will stay on as a “Free” member accessing all our tool and resources mentioned before. So what are you waiting for?

    It will take you only 30 seconds and a valid email, no credit card, no money asked, to create your free lifetime account and get on the way to reach Hebrew fluency!

  • Introducing Our Brand New Dashboard!

    Hey Listeners!

    Guess what? Your language learning goals just got a little easier!

    As you’ve probably realized by now, there have been some major improvements made to your dashboard! These updates have been designed to improve your overall experience with the website and help keep you organized and on-track! Here are a few of the changes:

    • Your progress is now tracked right, smack in the middle of the page to keep you motivated and organized.
    • A new, sleek and easy to navigate design allows you to worry less about where to click and more on learning Hebrew!
    • An enlarged profile picture that gives your dashboard a unique and more personal feel.
    • A new layout for the “Latest News” feed to keep you informed on all of the most recent HebrewPod101.com updates.
    • Bigger buttons to make it easier on the eyes. Locate your all of your lessons and materials faster than ever.

    Stay tuned, as more updates are being rolled out later in the month!

    Enjoy your new dashboard,

    Team HebrewPod101

    P.S. Get Access To Our My Teacher Tool For Extra Help!
    As you may have noticed, on the left side of your dashboard is our My Teacher feature. This tool allows you to have 1-on-1 interaction with your very own personal teacher! This is only available to our Premium Plus subscribers, so be sure to upgrade if you want to take your studies to the next level!

    Click Here To Sign Up For Premium Plus Now!