Hebrew Isn’t That Scary

Hi! My name is Sergey and I’m a Russian nerd who has nothing better to do than to waste time doing various useless things, one of which is learning weird languages. I’m logically-minded so I need to sort out my knowledge to get a better understanding of what I know and don’t know. This book is the result of such sorting out my knowledge of Hebrew, which is pretty limited I admit.

It is mostly inspired by a great book named Hebrew Through the Brain [HTtB] by Russian Israelis Vladimir Kohen-Tsedek (Katsman) and Natan Prital. It’s probably the most exhaustive reference on Hebrew available in Russian, but I believe it’s too complicated for beginners, even for nerds like me. And it makes Hebrew seem to be really harder than it is.

But how hard is Hebrew, really? You might think that it’s pretty hard because it looks so alien, like Chinese or Japanese. In fact, it doesn’t matter much what a language looks like. Japanese is one of the easiest languages too, by the way, once you get past the fact that you need to learn some 2000 totally new characters. But beyond that, it is much easier than, say, French or German. I’d say it’s about as hard as English, which is certainly one of the easiest languages around.

Hebrew is the same way, only there’s just about 23 new letters to learn instead of 2000. On the other hand, its grammar is not as ridiculously simple as Japanese one, but it’s pretty logical, which makes it especially attractive to nerds like me.

I decided to write this in English to make it available to more people around the world. It is aimed for logically-minded people after all, and most of them speak English well enough. But while my own English is much better than my Hebrew, it still lacks here and there, so please forgive me when I make occasional mistakes.

The book consists of three parts: Introduction, Details and Reference. In Introduction, Hebrew features are introduced in a random sequence, giving an idea of what Hebrew looks and sounds like, what difficulties there are and how they can be overcome. In Details, more strict and correct rules are introduced for what is given in Introduction in rough forms. And Reference is just a lot of tables and shortened rules representations gathered in one place. Well, actually there is the fourth part too, but it’s just some drafts that didn’t make it anywhere else at the moment, so it’s better to not even try to read them.