FSI Language Courses: Hebrew

  • by Foreign Service Institute
  • Narrated by Foreign Service Institute
  • 22 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
The challenge with the FSI Hebrew course has been the text quality. While the course text is certainly still legible, its age has started to show. However, the quality of the audio remains the same.
For someone with some basic rudiments of Hebrew, the audio alone should prove to be a significant boost to learning. The course provides the student with the basic patterns of the Hebrew language by imitating native speakers in the audio. This is coupled with vocabulary memorization, which allows the student to manipulate the basic phrases covered and create a large number of sentences.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Demanding, traditional course.

Considering this course offers some 22 hours of Hebrew learning for less than £6, it seems like a bargain, and in a way it is, but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. The course was designed fifty years ago (yes, 50) for a class based Drill and Learn method. Without a teacher and a class, it loses much of its power. Also, without the original written material, it is all but useless to beginners. Even so, there is no translation on the audio, so you have to keep referring to the text, and this is both time consuming and frustrating. In a live class situation, I can see how effective the course would be, but listening to it in solitude, even with the notes to hand, is a bit of a bind. The notes, by the way, are over 500 pdf pages so you'll be flicking around endlessly. There is, and I told Audible this, a free version of the audio, but it isn't as organised, although more might have been done to identify and bookmark the units and chapters. To summarize, I would say that if you have a smattering of Hebrew and are both patient and rigorous in your learning habits, give this a go, otherwise try to find something more user friendly.
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- Ellis

Very dry, convenient but expensive for what it is

If you could sum up FSI Language Courses: Hebrew in three words, what would they be?

Dry, old fashioned.

What was most disappointing about Foreign Service Institute’s story?

The most disappointing thing is that the exact same thing is available for free. If it's going to be offered to be bought, some effort should've been made to improve it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Quite dry and the recording quality isn't great.

Any additional comments?

Better to get it from the FSI website, Spotify or similar. Audible's version has no added value.

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- tiggrie AKA Sarah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-07-2012
  • Publisher: ABN