The Jewish Eye
A Great New Way to Understand and Learn Hebrew Grammar!
Davka Corporation, 2001
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 14, 2002
Let's face it, studying grammar can be a major bore - all those nasty rules and such - yuk! In Davka's new program, Davka Dikduk, they actually managed to make learning grammar fun - although it still takes a lot of work on the part of the student to learn the material. The Davka Dikduk program is self-contained on one CD-ROM, and thoroughly covers all aspects of Hebrew grammar. Topics covered range from the parts of speech and verbs, to the rules for masculine and feminine words.
The program is organized into five units. Each unit includes instructional text, and multiple exercises that will help reinforce your understanding of the material. These exercises range from choosing the plural forms of the various words listed, to practice conjugating the past tense of a verb. If you make an error while working the exercises, a message will appear that offers an explanation of why your answer was wrong. Each unit is also accompanied by a short story presented in Hebrew along side of its English translation. Throughout the story, words that were introduced in that particular unit are highlighted in red. If you roll your mouse over these red words, a brief, dictionary style definition of the word will appear, along with information whether it is a feminine or masculine word.
Besides the explanatory text, the exercises, and the short story, each unit also includes a graded test. These tests are made up of a series of short, graded quizzes. The program will keep track of your scores, so that you can monitor your progress throughout the course. After you complete all the quizzes in a test section, the program will also give you a letter grade for that unit. In all, there are over 50 quizzes and exercises scattered throughout this program.
Besides the lessons, this CD also includes a printable Hebrew - English Dictionary and a detailed help section that clearly explains how to best use the program. This program is also accompanied by sound effects and music. While there are some audio components to the program, for example a voice will say "correct" or "wrong answer," as applicable, the voice will not read the text for you. There is a presumption that you can already read Hebrew, and are solely using this program to study the mechanics of the Hebrew Language.
To use this program, you run it directly off of the CD. When the CD opens, it will automatically resize your window to fit the program interface window that the program runs on. This interface consists of a screen surrounded by a border. On the left-hand side is a navigation menu that you click on to open, and in the upper right-hand corner an option's menu, that you also must click on to open. Along the bottom of the boarder is a series of buttons that allow you to return home, or to page through the lessons. There is also a button that you can use to print the page you happen to be looking at.
Davka Dikduk is a great way to learn Hebrew Grammar. It is perfect for self-study, and as a study aid for those learning in a classroom setting.
This program is very easy to navigate through, and the lessons follow a logical and progressive pattern. It starts out assuming that you know nothing other than how to read Hebrew, and consequently begins with the basics of Hebrew grammar working up to more complicated aspects. Due to this progression, it is well suited for all students, from Middle School age and up. The lessons are spiced with the occasional appearance of cute animated figures, and the lessons and exercises are actually fun without being juvenile. Conversely, the exercises are also challenging, but not so much so that you become overwhelmed. In short, the authors of this program achieved a perfect balance between fun and serious study.
PC with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, 32MB RAM, CD-ROM Drive, Sound Card,
Recommended: Pentium 233 and 64 MB RAM
Mac Minimum: Power Mac 166, 32 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, System 7.5 and above.
Mac Recommended: G3 233, 64 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, System 7.5 and above.
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- Davka Dikduk II.
An introductory course on advanced Hebrew grammar, which includes several short stories and 50 different exercises and quizzes. (CD)
- Modern Hebrew - An Essential Grammar, By Lewis Glinert.
The third edition of this invaluable reference book provides a concise and up-to-date overview of Hebrew grammar, and a selection of practical exercises that allows you to test your knowledge of the topics covered.
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