20 Best And Worst Online Hebrew Courses For 2021

  • Johann Brennan
    Written byJohann Brennan
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20 Best And Worst Online Hebrew Courses For 2021

The list of decent online Hebrew courses has been steadily growing. 🙂

Hebrew’s fast becoming a popular and desirable language for a lot of people.

It’s not just the desire to visit Israel and communicate or for theological study (though these are the most popular reasons), but it’s also a great language to learn for professional development, business, politics and more.

Careers in Hebrew translation (civil and military) can be lucrative.

Plus, Hebrew has a fascinating and rich history. 🙂

Today I want to sum up the best and most popular online Hebrew courses for you (I’ve used almost all of the ones listed below) and give you my personal opinion.

I’ll highlight what you can expect to get from each Hebrew course, price and any negatives it may have.

There are some Hebrew courses that I’m not completely on board with and you may find a few resources that Donovan has written about previously (including links to those reviews).

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items listed below aren’t technically “courses” for Hebrew. But they’re important enough for Hebrew learners (in my opinion) to be listed in an article like this. There are also some affiliate links included in the list.

Now… on to the list. 🙂

The best Hebrew courses online (for Modern and Biblical Hebrew)

1. HebrewPod101

HebrewPod101

Cost: Starts as low as $4 a month.

Summary: HebrewPod101 is an app that uses its teachers to provide lessons to students. While HebrewPod101 claims to provide its teachers with a basic roadmap as to what sorts of lessons to teach students, many students complain that the lessons feel messy and unstructured.

One of the last things someone new to a language wants is to utilize a program that is difficult to follow. Learning a new language is hard enough, and users want programs that simplify the process rather than complicate it.

The lessons are grouped thematically, which may appeal to some users. Those looking for a straightforward grammatical progression in their lessons would likely do better to look elsewhere.

What I like:

  • Create your own intuitive path through the materials provided.

What I don’t like:

  • Choosing your own path as the student might not be the best way to truly learn a language.
  • Pricing

See HebrewPod101 review.

UNIQUE OFFER: Use the code MEZZOGUILD to save 25% on any of their Hebrew course options.


2. Pimsleur Hebrew

Pimsleur Hebrew

Cost: $14.95 a month subscription (or $119.95 per level)

Summary: Those looking to buy the program outright may be in for a shock – the website sells the total Hebrew set, that’s 5 levels, on CD for $1,190, while individual CDs go for around $345. While the Pimsleur method may be effective, it loses clout on this list due to what is inaccessible pricing for many.

Pimsleur separates itself from other language learning sites in that it is selling a method, not just language learning lessons. The Pimsleur lesson relies heavily on recall and demands learners to prove they’ve retained information over and over again.

Pimsleur is an audio-based program, meaning users have no visual component. If your primary goal is to learn and practice speaking Hebrew, Pimsleur might work well for you.

What I like:

  • Active learning is proven to make a huge difference in the learning experience. This method focuses on forcing participation, to the user’s benefit.

What I don’t like:

  • No visual component means it’s ill-suited to visual learners and those looking to practice writing in Hebrew.
  • Pimsleur is costlier than many other options we’ve mentioned, and users should be certain Pimsleur is the method for them before committing themselves.

Read Pimsleur review.


3. Mango Languages Hebrew

Mango Languages Hebrew

Cost: $7.99 a month

Summary: Mango Languages has implemented one of the most intuitive ‘chunking’ approaches in its course style for Hebrew (very close to The Mezzofanti Guild’s method). It does this by avoiding grammar explanations and instead highlighting lexical chunks in colors to help you learn language patterns.

The only problem with Mango is that it’s quite lightweight on its course depth. If they developed advanced courses for Hebrew, it would be a perfect solution.

Why I love it:

  • Mango’s intuitive ‘chunking’ interface is the best implementation in any product we’ve seen
  • Beautifully designed and a pleasure to use
  • Inexpensive

What I don’t like about it:

  • Lacks the Hebrew course depth I would expect to see in such a great platform making it mostly unsuitable for higher-level learners

See Mango Languages review.


4. Glossika Hebrew

Glossika Hebrew

Cost: $30 a month.

Summary: Glossika is an innovative language learning sensation. There is a reason this program is so popular with those looking for the best online Hebrew course.

Glossika takes the best of many programs mentioned here and combines them. Practice speaking with reception, learn syntax, and more, all from native Hebrew speakers.

Rather than learning Hebrew through the lens of a more sanitized online speaker, Glossika utilizes genuine speakers for its carefully crafted materials, covering grammar, vocabulary, and more.

What I like:

  • These lessons have everything. They are well-structured and utilize real Hebrew speakers.

What I don’t like:

  • Some new speakers may find certain Hebrew dialects difficult to understand at the beginning of their language journey.

See Glossika review.


5. Mondly Hebrew

Mondly Hebrew

Cost: Starts at $9.99/month.

Summary: Mondly takes a different approach than module-based learning systems. Rather, this service offers learners the opportunity to learn Hebrew by playing games.

Using cutting edge technology, users can choose between VR, Virtual Reality, and AR, Augmented Reality, options in order to fully immerse themselves in a world learning Hebrew.

Users are encouraged to participate in daily lessons in order to accumulate the knowledge necessary for the weekly test. Because users who miss a day are not able to participate in the weekly assessment, Mondly capitalizes on the science behind practices that make apps addictive for users.

What I like:

  • Immersive and feels much different than other, typical language learning programs.

What I don’t like:

  • Some may find the VR and AR settings touted by Mondly to be offputting.

See this Mondly review to learn more.


6. Transparent Language

Transparent Language Hebrew

Cost: Pricing varies

Summary: Transparent is one of the most surprising online Hebrew courses I’ve tried.

The system and interface are antiquated and slow which is a real drawback, but if you can look past it, Transparent Language provides a real depth of Hebrew course content.

The voice recognition comparison is non-existent in Transparent Language. It relies on recording on your voice and showing you your sound wave to compare with the native speaker’s sound wave.

No inbuilt system to automatically compare sounds.

I remember when Rocket Hebrew used to do the same thing but recently incorporated Google Web Speech to compare pronunciation which was a game-changer. I don’t know why Transparent Language haven’t done this since it’s so easy to implement (and free to develop).

The Transparent Language course has a “Produce it. Say it.” section that literally asks you “Were you right?”.

In other words, no way to automatically detect whether you were correct or not – it relies on your own determination. This is incredibly outdated.

Overall, if you can look past the outdated design and deficient voice recording aspect, Transparent Language Hebrew is an outstanding course option.

What I like:

  • Hebrew dialogue is 100% natural speed
  • Extensive coverage and depth of content

What I don’t like:

  • Outdated and slow interface that’s a pain to navigate
  • Pronunciation section has no inbuilt voice recognition to compare to native dialogue

7. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Hebrew

Cost: Starts at $6.49 a month.

Summary: Rosetta Stone is one of the biggest names in the language learning business. Its longevity and brand recognition make it one of the go-tos for those looking to learn a foreign language.

However, Rosetta Stone crafts the modules for each language learning course very differently. One’s experience learning another language with their software, say, French, does not equate to their experience learning Hebrew.

Rosetta Stone is another program that is probably best suited to beginners. However, one’s experience with Rosetta Stone Hebrew often feels similar to that of being in an-ill designed public school language class. You may find yourself learning vocabulary and speaking patterns that you may never use in real conversation.

What I like:

  • Accessible and easy to use.

What I don’t like:

  • Impractical for learning useful, conversational Hebrew.

Read this Rosetta Stone review.


8. Memrise

Memrise Hebrew

Cost: Perhaps the best thing about Memrise is that it is an entirely free app, making it a great addition to the Hebrew learner’s repertoire.

Summary: This app does exactly what it sounds like it does – helps you to memorize vocabulary. It is essentially a flashcard app.

If you’re having trouble remembering certain words or simply want some ready-made flashcards to help you to facilitate your language learning process, Memrise Memrise is a great choice.

In terms of looking for a singular solution, Memrise will not and cannot help you to comprehensively learn Hebrew.

What I like:

  • Easily to use for memorizing vocabulary.

What I don’t like:

  • No grammar or supplementary materials.

9. Hebrew Podcasts (Explore Analytics LLC)

Cost: $89 per year or $69 every 6 months

Summary: Hebrew Podcasts (that’s the name) appears to be a very old site, but if you can look past that, it’s actually one of the best Hebrew courses available.

It’s frequently updated and includes audio and video lessons on many topics that can be downloaded. Overally, a great Hebrew course.

What I like:

  • Huge amount of content
  • Great library of video lessons
  • Downloadable content
  • Regularly updated

What I don’t like:

  • Ancient website
  • Expensive for such an old platform

10. Duolingo Hebrew

Duolingo Hebrew

Cost: Free (or $9.99/month for Premium).

Summary: Students are often divided when it comes to this big name in language learning. When it comes down to it, the app is great for providing a base for those completely unfamiliar with Hebrew.

To learn new vocabulary, Duolingo is really not bad at all. However, users will often argue that Duolingo promotes fluency. Whether one can truly become fluent from Duolingo’s lessons is dubious.

However, what Duolingo does accomplish, it accomplishes well. Students will likely have a relaxed learning experience as a supplement to another more intensive online Hebrew course.

See this great review of Duolingo.

What I like:

  • Duolingo is a big name in the industry for a reason. It is accessible and enjoyable to use.

What I don’t like:

  • Does not accomplish what it advertises, which is advanced fluency and language skills.

11. Udemy Hebrew courses

Cost: Pricing varies depending on the specific course selected.

Summary: Udemy is a very popular online course platform and currently serves over 300,000 Hebrew language students.

One of the best features of Udemy is that students can choose from a wide range of Hebrew language courses so they can find one that is tailored to their needs.

Udemy can help students find the right course as well after the student takes a short survey.

What I like:

  • The courses provided feature expert-level instructors and every course includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What I don’t like:

  • The downside of this option is that there is an overwhelming number of course options to choose from, which may not be ideal for students who are looking for a more convenient, ready-to-go option.
  • Quality varies greatly.

12. Latinum Institute (Biblical Hebrew)

Cost: Free

Summary: Latinum Institute is primarily aimed at students of Latin, but they have an entire section on their site and YouTube channel for Hebrew (and Aramaic).

This is a really solid resource for Biblical Hebrew students, but the videos are quite low quality and the course material is quite old. If you can sit through it, you’ll learn a lot.

What I like:

  • Free on YouTube
  • Extensive
  • Great for Biblical Hebrew students

What I don’t like:

  • Poor quality videos
  • Old material used in course

13. Lingualift

Cost: LinguaLift costs $14 per month or $99 per year.

Summary: LinguaLift is a full-course Hebrew language program that focuses heavily on tutoring.

As you progress through LinguaLift’s course material, a tutor will assist you with areas that you don’t understand.

While LinguaLift is one of the most comprehensive Hebrew language tools on the market, it is also one of the most expensive options available.

Tutoring plays a big role in LinguaLift’s curriculum, but you might want to connect with a tutor directly if you aren’t interested in the additional course material that LinguaLift offers.

What I like:

  • Comprehensive

What I don’t like:

  • Expensive

14. LearnHebrewPod

Cost: $180 a year

Summary: LearnHebrewPod is a gem, but unfortunately overpriced. If you can handle the steep cost, it’s one of the better courses available. The dialogue and video content are outstanding (though the platform needs to be updated).

What I like:

  • Excellent lesson content
  • High quality dialogues
  • Comprehensive in scope

What I don’t like:

  • Overpriced
  • Dated platform

15. FSI Hebrew

FSI Hebrew

Cost: Free.

Summary: FSI (Foreign Service Institute) is a government entity that trains diplomats and government officials in foreign languages including Hebrew. The full course and audio are available online to download.

The problem with the FSI material is that it’s very very old.

So although you can download the comprehensive, detailed Hebrew course of FSI for free with audio, be aware that the material is literally photocopied booklets that were typed up on typewriters making it almost illegible.

It’s good stuff but so dated that most people won’t find it useful.

What I like:

  • Free.
  • Comprehensive since it’s a diplomat program.

What I don’t like:

  • Extremely old and dated material.

16. Learn Hebrew Easily

Cost: Free

Summary: Learn Hebrew Easily is basically just a really old blog run by a Hebrew teacher and it’s extremely dated, but it’s actually got quite an extensive amount of content you can freely access.

This site’s great as a simple grammar reference as it’s clear and easy to follow. No audio though unfortunately.

What I like:

  • Extensive
  • Free

What I don’t like:

  • Ancient blog
  • No audio

17. Loecsen

Cost: This course is available for free.

Summary: Loecsen is a self-paced online Hebrew course delivered 100% online that allows students to learn through basic repetition. This web-based program provides lessons across a range of major themes, including colors, family, and feelings.

What I like:

  • On the plus side, it does offer a printable vocabulary list and there is no need to register or sign up for the course, as it’s all published publicly online.

What I don’t like:

  • The major downside to this online Hebrew course is that it doesn’t provide any content for advanced learners and the website is poorly designed, featuring a weak user experience overall.

18. Living Language Hebrew

Living language Hebrew

Cost: Starts from $25

Summary: It comes as no surprise to my readers that I never liked Living Language Hebrew when I reviewed it several years ago. I’m including it on this list because it is one of the big names and most popular courses for Hebrew (plus I get asked about it from time to time).

I found Living Language Hebrew to be bland, incorrectly levelled and just a very uninspiring grammar-heavy course.

Read my extensive review of Living Language Hebrew.

What I like:

  • Quite thorough in its Hebrew grammar explanations

What I didn’t like:

  • Incorrect levelling – especially for higher levels
  • Trashing of competitors in its marketing is extremely off-putting

19. Wyzant Tutors

Cost: Wyzant Hebrew tutors go as low as $16 an hour, making the price you pay entirely dependent on the hours you’re looking to commit to learning Hebrew. Potentially higher priced than italki but may be easier to find a good teacher.

Summary: Unlike many options on this list (except for italki), hiring a personal tutor is an entirely different experience to using an online Hebrew course.

Your experience is going to vary greatly from tutor to tutor, but many offer one-on-one web conferences in order to provide learners with a uniquely tailored, personalized course experience.

What I like:

  • Get a unique experience. Most Wyzant tutors love input from students regarding the topics they’d like to cover.
  • Take advantage of an expert’s knowledge to craft a personalized curriculum.

What I don’t like:

  • You never know if a tutor’s style will suit you until you try out a class with them.
  • Higher priced than italki.
  • Instead of using a set curriculum, you’ll have to rely on the tutor’s expertise and assume they know what they are teaching you is correct.

20. italki

italki Hebrew

Cost: Varies widely. Can go as low as $4 an hour.

Summary: Similar to Wyzant, italki’s a facilitator which connects interested learners with teachers, tutors and partners. As with similar services, neither provide curriculum or content to instructors.

What italki has going for it is its extremely-well vetted instructors. italki has a large reputation online as being as good of a service as a structured learning program, and for good reason.

Teachers succeed on italki through client feedback, meaning subpar teachers simply will not cut it on the platform.

Read this italki review.

What I like:

  • Facilitates great connections with expert Hebrew teachers.

What I don’t like:

  • No set curriculum means you could be paired with an inexperienced new teacher not yet weeded out by italki’s review system.

UNIQUE OFFER: If you sign up to italki using this link and take a lesson, you’ll get a bonus Hebrew lesson for free.


20. Zondervan: Basics of Biblical Hebrew Video Lectures

Zondervan Hebrew

Cost: $149.99

Summary: If you’ve been studying theology for any amount of time, you know what Zondervan is. It’s one of the most recognized names in Christian academia.

They have an online self-study Hebrew course run by Dr. Miles Van Pelt from Reformed Theological Seminary worth checking out.

What I like:

  • One of the most reputable Biblical Hebrew courses in the world
  • Unique methodology

What I don’t like:

  • Pricey

Summary: Best online Hebrew courses

This article covers most online Hebrew course options currently available (if I missed one, let me know).

No matter which Hebrew course you go for, I highly recommend daily Hebrew practice with native speakers - ideally in person.

If you want to learn Hebrew, this is vital.

But if you have no opportunities to speak to native speakers near you, then italki (mentioned above) is an incredible platform to find really affordable practice partners and tutors.

Overall, your success is determined by your own commitment.

Even if you had every course on this list, you could still fail at Hebrew without high motivation and consistency.

Likewise, even a mediocre Hebrew course can be powerful in the hands of someone with the right attitude and learning style.

If you’re looking for tips on how to learn Hebrew and overcoming various language learning struggles, make sure to subscribe below by ‘Joining the Guild’.

Good luck! 🙂


Know of an online Hebrew course that I didn’t mention?

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
Greek

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Marcus

Marcus

Thanks for the overview - I recently acquired two Hebrew courses not mentioned above - Modern Hebrew by Assimil, the book from Amazon and the MP3s directly from Assimil. And the Biblical Hebrew course from The Great Courses, which I can access for free through my local library via the Kanopy app.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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