Reviews - What do customers think about Zeh Lo Nora: Reference Book for Students of Hebrew?
Useful Reference for Learning Israeli Hebrew and Understanding What You Already Know Feb 25, 2007
In my experience, students approach the study of Israeli (Modern) Hebrew from a variety of vantage points. Some grew up with Hebrew speakers in the home, some (actually) learned a little Hebrew in Hebrew School, some have spent a fair amount of time in Israel and some--like myself--started learning the language from scratch. I think each of these types of students will find something useful in Zeh Lo Norah.
As the sub-title indicates, this book is not a course for learning Israeli Hebrew; instead it is a REFERENCE for those who are already somewhat familiar with various aspects of the language but now wish to advance further in their study. Good written courses in Israeli Hebrew are indeed needed--but that's not what this book is trying to do. I would not recommend this book for someone who has not already had at least some contact with the language in the various forms already described, something equating to a couple of courses or so of university study.
The book's most advantageous feature is that there is truly something here for everyone. Students who are conversational in Hebrew but perhaps have never considered the basic structure or "binyanim" of the verbal inflections of the language, will find an excellent outline of this system. Other students who wish to advance in their compositional Hebrew will find more of what I would call practical tips that grammars omit: How do I create a conditional sentence? How do I emphasize something? How do I improve my word order and syntax? How do Israelis express politeness? How do I express vagueness and approximation? The student who has absorbed the language in less-formalized ways will experience many: "Oh THAT'S why it's done this way" in this book.
Conversely, students like myself, who are more interested in reading than writing Modern Hebrew will learn to better recognize these constructions when they are encountered in the text.
But by far and away, the best part of this text is its plethora of practical examples on virtually every aspect of the language. In my opinion, this book is far superior in this respect to the few other books available that attempt to do something similar. As Adler notes, this is a not a book that you will buy to learn Hebrew and then discard. Rather, it is a "companion" text for those who wish to make some sort of longer-term commitment to the language. It is a text meant to be used more than simply read.
Alas, No Zero-Star Option... Dec 21, 2006
I was recommended this book as a resource in my attempt to learn to better understand the Hebrew language, so I decided to buy it. 4 minutes and $30 later, the shrink wrap was off and I learned I'd been gypped. If all you're looking for is a collection of obscure rules and obtuse examples, you're in the right place, but if you want to learn Hebrew, look elsewhere.