Learning Hebrew For Creative Types

Discussion in 'Languages' started by McPatrickClan, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Yes, how could you go wrong reading the Bible in Hebrew?

    6 vote(s)
  2. No, it will just inhibit the proper learning process.

    5 vote(s)
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  1. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    Hey there- I am learning Hebrew now and am in my first semester. I completed Greek with respectable grades but honestly kind of hated it. It was an intensive summer course where we took three semesters worth of Greek in about 100 days. :lol: Yes, I am serious. It was intense!

    Most of the guys did fairly well. I struggled. It was not due to lack of time spent or discipline to do the work. I probably spent 1-2 hours a day on my Greek and still had a tough time keeping up. I think that part of that is because I tend to be less "left-brained" than most of my better-performing peers. Writing papers that earn good grades is pretty easy for me. Public speaking is not that intimidating for me. Articulating my thoughts is something I enjoy. However, the analytical aspect of learning the language in parts (kind of like a puzzle) is very tough for me.

    Nevertheless, it is something I must do if I want to plant a PCA church, study my original texts for good sermon prep and overall enjoyment of the office of Teaching Pastor/Teaching Elder. So I was talking this out with my wife today and thought that maybe just reading 15-20 minutes in a "helper" or interlinear translation of the OT would be a good idea. I asked my kind professor and he said it would be good, so long as it did not become a permanent crutch.

    I just think that when I see things in the big picture, it might flow better for me than only drilling paradigms, vocab, etc. I won't stop those things, I will just supplement them with this reading practice.

    What do you think?
  2. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I think I am terrible at languages and you shouldn't ask me for my opinion.

    on a side note, do you know Matthew Oliver? We went to CHBOLC together right before school started. Great guy. He tried to convert me to Redeemer, but without success.
  3. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    Absolutely! He sits right next to me in the front row- good guy... though sometimes he's a little aggressive in the mornings when I am just waking up!!!
  4. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

    First thing I was taught in greek and hebrew in seminary was "Throw away anything you have with inter and linear anywhere in the title!" The logic was that it encouraged laziness and hindered a proper understanding of the language as a whole. :2cents:
  5. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    LOL, that sounds like him. When we were in Columbia, SC I used him and his connections to eat dinner with Dr. Fergueson a few times.

    Tell him I said hi
  6. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    Move to Biblical Israel for 2 years? :lol:

    I've heard immersion is the best way to learn any language, its a shame that we can't learn the original languages that way.
  7. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    A Better Way

    Gavin, broadly speaking, there are two poles in language learning pedagogy - inductive and deductive. The deductive approach relies heavily on charts and paradigms, giving you the "theory" of the language before you actually read any. The other approach, inductive, is "immersive," putting you in real linguistic contexts and having you figure out the rules from your experience.

    Naturally, almost no language program is at either one of the poles, but ancient language pedagogy has generally leaned heavily toward the deductive pole. This is unfortunate, because it is not how people naturally learn languages. When you were five years old, you could pretty much make yourself understood without any formal training. The rules come later to polish you up. So, you want to strive for a learning environment that incorporates as many linguistic acts (reading, writing, speaking, listening, conversation) as possible. Pure immersion isn't the best, though, because it can be simply overwhelming for an adult whose brain isn't growing at the same pace as a child's.

    One good standard curriculum is the Yale edition by Kittel and Hoffer:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Hebrew-Second-Yale-Language/dp/0300101031/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258208575&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: Biblical Hebrew, Second Ed. (SET) (Yale Language Series) (9780300101034): Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel, Victoria Hoffer, Rebecca Abts Wright: Books[/ame]

    There is a nice blend of approaches in this textbook, and it comes with a couple of CDs with audio recordings of the alphabet, vocab, memory songs, and recorded Psalms (with music). I recommend purchasing the accompanying workbook as well.
  8. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess I would like to give the inductive stuff a try... see if that helps it stick a little more. I can't use two textbooks at once, only because I do not have the time... but I could listen to something in the car or read a Hebrew Bible, I guess. Maybe I could read English & Hebrew Bibles side by side...
  9. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

    Glad to hear your taking Hebrew. Get the Hebrew reader's bible, it will help you greatly. Also what I did and do is have reading groups in both languages, this helps greatly. Iron sharpens iron. Get the guys in the class together to read. I love my my Greek and Hebrew reading groups, there's accountability, my reading groups are like support groups, they help me stay consistent. I find the more I read the better I am getting (vocab/parsing) ect.. -Shalom
  10. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman

    I would second the Reader's Hebrew Bible. I would also recommend vocabulary cards. The best you can do is memorize down to all words used ten times or more. After you do this, only use the BHS and a dictionary.

    God Bless,
  11. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    Great suggestions- thanks fellas!
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