How long does it take me to read Hebrew

Hello everybody

I am interested in learning Hebrew and my question is how long does it take me to learn how to read Hebrew?

I am not interested in speaking, only reading and listening, what can achieve in 1 year?

Thank you very much

Learning an alphabet takes a good while. The best approach I found is to learn the letters in groups of five by writing each of them say 20 times as you loudly pronounce the name of the letter each time. Don’t practice too many letters at a time and don’t progress too quickly. It might even take a few weeks if you’re going to do it thoroughly. That’s how I learnt how to read Hebrew.

Learning how to read efficiently, on the other hand, is something that will require daily practice for many, many weeks. Or months even. I never became a very fast Hebrew reader (I don’t know the language either), but I do remember it took me a while to learn how to read Russian efficiently after learning the alphabet. Reading Hebrew is more difficult though because of either A) no vowels or B) vowels are below or to the top left of the letter with added complications such as the dagesh, sheva and the furtive patach. It’s going to take you some weeks at least. And that’s with regular practice.

I learned the alphabet with the book Zola’s Introduction to Hebrew by the way. The book teaches you all the letters and how to write them properly in cursive, which is useful because then you won’t have to learn cursive later. The book doesn’t teach you any grammar. It only teaches you how to read and write and requires a patient student.

Thank you very much for your great answer, Ijoh. I would like to ask how long now you have been reading Hebrew and where your is your level at the moment?

Maybe another question is, where can I be after 1 year of daily practice?

My level is still at beginners as I never advanced past the alphabet stage. It’s very difficult to give you an exact answer, but say it takes you a few months to become a competent reader then I guess you could master some of the language too within a year. You could also just learn the basic alphabet (22 consonant letters) and then just listen to the audio materials and repeat. Saves you having to learn Niqqud (vowels).

sorry to say, but I think you are wrong. for someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the words in hebrew (unlike an israeli child that learns to read and write) to learn to read without the niqqud is almost an impossible task. and the niqqud- the basics of it i.e simple sounds of the vowels, is easy

Well I wouldn’t know as I never tried to learn Hebrew without the niqqud. Also the niqqud I’ve learnt is that of biblical Hebrew, not modern Hebrew. Maybe modern Hebrew niqqud is easier?

The reason I suggested trying to learn only the consonants and then use audio materials is that many like to learn things in practice instead of relying on grammar and pronounciation rules. I don’t know how realistic/difficult that approach would be. I guess I just didn’t want to sound pedantic.

the niqqud in the bible is much more diverse or elaborated, but it does help to read the text properly, not only the words, like where to put your dagesh aso, but also the sentence. don’t know, if it’s true to all european languages, but if one for example pronunciate a german word diffrently from what is common, ppl might think he’'s from another area or a foreigner, but still, they’d understand what words he used. in hebrew, a different pronunciation might mean ppl (and alsol yourself) will think, you meant something else or you would not read what is actually written.for hebrew kids learning the language, when they transfer to reading without niqqud it is easier since they do know that words themselves and so, what they have to practice is to understand the written words according to the context of the sentence in order to differentiate between words that look the same, but actually, they’re not.

Personally I’d recommend learning the niqqud then.

I cannot read myself, except phonetically with vowels which is not included in most adult texts, but I learned the Aleph Bet at a young age so it’s permanent for me. I would say you could read phonetically after a week or two if vowels are involved. With no vowels, It’s still not incredibly difficult if you restrict yourself to beginner texts. I’ve read a few here on lingq and learned to read a few words without the vowels. But if one wanted to say, sit down and read a Chapter from the Torah, that may be relatively far away, especially if you want to understand what you read. I still think much progress could be made within 6 -12 months. Given my experiences with Spanish, which is of course easier to read than Hebrew and Japanese which is much more complex, I firmly believe that inside of a year one can read with a fair degree of skill.

It shan’t take you long if you have a halfway decent visual memory. It took me a day to learn Cyrillic, easy as bonjour. Hebrew is harder, yes, especially without the vowel markings, but if you’re serious about Hebrew then it’s literally the easiest thing about Hebrew. Be glad it’s not even 1% the difficulty of learning Hanzi. Try this site Learn Hebrew Phrases with Audio #21: What is the dollar exchange rate? it will help pronouncing entire phrases. It’s not hard because of all the different letters, but because of the individual infrequent letters that trip you up…let me rephrase that, IT’S NOT HARD AT ALL