Hebrew is one of the world’s oldest languages known to mankind. Once a lost language, it is slowly being revived in Europe and Palestinian regions. Mobile language apps can help speak/understand Hebrew, be it out of curiosity or if you’re simply traveling to West Asia. We have compiled a handy list of Android and iOS apps that will help you learn Hebrew and help with its translation and pronunciation.
Learn Hebrew Translation and Pronunciation
If you have ever thought of learning a new language before, I’m sure you must have already heard of Duolingo. It offers tutorials in many languages including Hebrew. The app covers all aspects of learning a language, that is, the basics of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and focus on grammar. Depending on how keen you are on learning the language, you can pick a time goal. There are four basic time frames you can choose that are casual (5min/day), regular (10min/day), serious (15min/day), or insane (20 minutes/day).
Duolingo makes it easy to check your language proficiency with a brief language test. It automatically adapts the lessons accordingly. Moreover, if you are a complete beginner, you also have the option to start from scratch. The lessons are a mix and match of images, audio, and sentence solving. These activities speed up the learning process if you already know the basics of the Hebrew language.
- Dynamic lessons (image, audio)
- Gamified approach
- Covers all aspect of language (reading, writing, grammar, etc)
- Lacks basic alphabetical approach
- Not good for complete beginners
2. Write It! Hebrew
The title of the app is pretty self-explanatory. The app teaches you how to write Hebrew alphabets by drawing them on your phone’s screen. Writing is a great way to learn and memorize any language. The lessons contain minimal animation which a user has to follow with touch strokes.
In addition to writing lessons, you can also toggle audio playback that helps you with Hebrew alphabet pronunciation. Once you are confident about a set of alphabets, take the test and try to collect stars to prove your proficiency. There is a review section as well that allows you to review and revise what you’ve learned to date. However, that’s behind a paywall and will cost a $4.99/one-time fee which also removes ads.
- Animated stroke by stroke lessons
- Minimal and clean UI
- Great for beginners
- Full-screen ads
- Review section behind a paywall
- Only restricted to alphabets and word formation
3. Hebrew Letters Writing
If you’re on Android, this is a better app for learning Hebrew alphabets and their pronunciation. Certain features such as the animated stroke option and audio pronunciation are common, but you can compare the original form with your stokes. Another major difference is that the alphabets aren’t given in groups but individually so it’s far better to get an overview.
If you’re someone who loves watching videos while practicing, the app has a dedicated videos section as well. Although you are redirected to YouTube to watch the videos, the video segregation within the app makes it easy to follow. You can find many video playlists such as Hebrew for kids, basic phrases, weekly words, etc. Lastly, you can use the test section to test your skills. It even allows you to make custom tests for alphabets you find hard to learn.
- Stroke by stroke lessons along with the undo option
- Test section with custom test feature (make your own test)
- Video lessons (YouTube)
- Banner as well as full-screen ads
- Removes ads for $8 (costly for what it offers)
4. Learn Hebrew. Speak Hebrew
You will learn how to speak and pronounce Hebrew words in a conversational style – just like between two people. It takes up a few basic phrases at a time and is easy to grasp even if you are a complete beginner. The app also combines images with common phrases just like you learn in school. As words are repeated at intervals by professionals (audio), the user gets the hang of the pronunciations really well.
If you want to brush up on basic conversational skills, this app is a must-try. Besides that, you can keep a track of your progress through the stats section. It shows you the overall time you spent practicing, words and phrases you have learned, and also a weekly progress line graph. You can also practice conversations with a chatbot named Mondly. So if you don’t have a native speaker to practice with, Mondly AI will help you breeze through daily Hebrew phrases.
- Multiple lessons (phrases, chatbot, vocabulary)
- Weekly detailed progress stats
- Very comprehensive app
- Phrase lessons under the premium plan ($3/month)
- Requires Sign-up to save progress
5. Gus on the Go: Hebrew
Most apps we have discussed so far cover various aspects of learning Hebrew. Whether it’s Hebrew pronunciation, writing, or learning basic phrases. However, none of the Hebrew learning apps were designed with kids in mind. Since teaching has shifted to a mix of online and offline curriculum, Gus will make your kid’s Hebrew effective. The app uses animation to teach and an audio guide to make the lessons more engaging.
The app also features various vocabulary games which children will find engaging. There are several categories of words such as transportation, clothes, numbers, colors, body parts, etc. to choose from. The app will set you back by $3.99 but the best part is that it is specially designed for kids and doesn’t contain any ads or in-app purchases. If your kid loves stories, you should also try Hebrew for Kids with Stories (free) by the same developer.
- Gamified approach
- Designed for kids
- Vivid and colorful UI
- Teaches basic daily use words
- Not a free app
- Not suitable for adults
6. Google Translate
There is nothing better or accurate than Google Translate when your wish to translate any language to Hebrew or vice versa. Most Hebrew translation apps I tried either lacked this feature or had Google Translate built-in. Google Translate comes in handy as it not only translates what you type but also shows definitions, phrases, and even alternate translations.
Google Translate has a very unique conversation feature. It allows you to speak in any language which the app automatically translates to Hebrew. The only downside is that speech output isn’t available for Hebrew as of yet. Apart from that, you can use Google Translate in any app by giving it permission to draw over other apps on Android.
- Offers offline translation
- Translate words in any app
- Supports conversational translation
- Camera translation (detect Hebrew and translate in real-time)
- Only restricted to translation
- Not suitable for someone looking for lessons
- No games/quiz feature like other apps
7. YouTube Channels
Since the pandemic, online classes have shot up extensively and YouTube is a great platform to find these in one place. Unlike other apps, you are not bound by a certain curriculum or syllabus but can watch hundreds of videos and choose what you like. The option to download videos offline comes in handy when you do not have access to active internet all the time. Here are some of the best channels to learn Hebrew I found if video lessons are your thing.
- Learn Hebrew with Daniel (Basic Hebrew)
- Learn Hebrew with HebrewPod (Comprehensive lesson plans)
- Basics of Biblical Hebrew (Not a channel but a one-hour masterclass)
Closing Remarks: Which is the Best App to Learn Hebrew
If you are a complete beginner at learning Hebrew, I highly recommend getting used to the alphabet first. You can try both the apps listed above and see which works for you. If you’re traveling and want a quick start with usual words and phrases, try Learn Hebrew with Mondly (AI) app. It is a full package and is super easy to follow. Lastly, the Google Translate app will rescue you from any situation, whether you want to write something in Hebrew or wish to translate a local in English.