Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Lavan Noise
October 17, 2009, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Infrastructure, Work

iTunes 10172009 70505 PM

I’m still using my Hebrew every day.  Lately, it’s a lot of ordering Tony Vespa’s.

But I ain’t been studying, and I’m forgetting verbs faster than Balloon Boy’s family is losing credibility.

I’ve heard that one really good way to boost your Hebrew learning is to watch a lot of Hebrew TV programs that have English subtitles.  Hearing the ‘brew while seeing the ‘glish is supposed to be very effective (more than the other way around).  But I don’t have TV in my apartment.  Great.  Yeah, I’m just too busy to watch hardly any, plus cable is super expensive (for my budget), plus I can watch any American shows I want online for free.

Another good tool I heard about is to listen to talk radio in Hebrew.  This I experienced for myself a bit the last time I got my haircut from Barber Figaro (his real name), the cute, little old man who has really bad body oder and cuts my hair.  You may not get the entire gist, but you definitely are able to pull out certain words you know and help to figure out context from them.  Plus, a lot like the way one right word in a crossword puzzle can spur on a whole bunch of other discoveries, hearing the way a word you know is used in a sentence and with what other words/phrases is really helpful. Comprehension is exponential.

Right, but I don’t have a radio either.  Oh wait – maybe I could download a bunch of Hebrew podcasts and just play ’em in the background.  So, I tried the iTunes store.  But I wasn’t finding them at first.  Searches for “Hebrew podcasts” turned up instructional language-learning type of podcasts.  And “Israel podcasts” revealed a lot of Middle East politics discussion podcasts, but they were all in English.

Finally, I found one – a tech/gadget podcast in Hebrew.  And then, yay for the “listeners who liked this, also liked this” type of box, b/c that’s how I finally found a whole mess of them.


Curiously, although I also found a few Hebrew podcasts about art, science or Judaism, the majority of them were also tech podcasts.  But I guess that makes sense, since it’s mostly Tech Geeks who are ‘castin anyways.

So, I tried it out on Thursday.  Pretty cool.  Men’s voices.  Women’s voices.  Call-ins. Conversations.  It’s such an opportunity to eavesdrop on real Israeli conversations.  I like it.  I’ll keep it up and let you know how I think it’s working.



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