been to ulpan?

Yochanan Childs jayc at
Fri Sep 25 14:48:55 EDT 1998


I am one of those guys who really has done things "backwards".  I began with Biblical,
did enough Modern Israeli Hebrew to get me into trouble, did a unit of 12th century
Hebrew, and finally did Ulpan at Hebrew U. this past summer.  While I have no real
regrets as to any of my experience, I am convinced that doing Modern first really sets
you up as  a scholar who is acquainted with Hebrew as a living language.  Hebrew is
alone amongst the classical languages with this kind of similarity to something in
conversational use.  Greek was not "mothballed" in that sense and did not have the
benefit of someone like Ben-Yehuda, who was able to revive all the classical elements
into the formation of the new tongue.


Jonathan Robie wrote:

> At 09:32 PM 9/22/98 -0400, Bryan Rocine wrote:
> >B-Haverim,
> >
> >Wanted:  someone who learned BH first, and later attained fluency in Modern
> >Hebrew, maybe by learning at ulpan and then being 'immersed.'
> >
> >Question:  What was it like?  How did your experience with modern Hebrew
> >affect your reading and/or teaching of BH?
> A similar question...for a rank beginner like me, would it be better to get
> out the books and cassettes for Modern Hebrew from the Foreign Service
> before working my way through the Bible, or is Modern Hebrew different
> enough from Biblical Hebrew that I should focus on Biblical Hebrew?
> Jonathan
> jonathan at
> Texcel Research
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