I like the sound of Hebrew, and since I already speak Arabic I believe that would somehow help me when learning it. I already know the letters (not the handwritten ones) and can read (yet really slow). Thing is, I don't really know how to start, I'd love to hear about your experiences to help me out. Thanks in advance
I already hear lots of songs (that's what got me started it the first place)
The way I started learning Hebrew was through a beginner's course in college. In that course they taught us the basic form (binyan Qal) in the past and present, and the future through saying basic things like "I want to do אני רוצה לעשות".
The course was designed for Arabic speakers learning Hebrew and so they assumed we understood some grammatical structures like "al idafa" which is "smichut" in Hebrew, among other similar constructs that are identical in both Arabic and Hebrew. The course also focused on vocabulary that is similar between the two languages, words like katav כתב, ra'a ראה, banah בנה.
The course only showed me the way to start, but from there I kept reading material that was made for natives, and I watched lots of shows, news, and podcasts and all kinds of media that is indended for natives, not learners. This way I dived into the real language, and not the boring stuff you see in learners books. This made the learning experience more engaging, challenging, and more fun and realistic.
The only book for learners that I've ever used was the one from that college course. I don't think you can find it anywhere on the internet though because it wasn't published for the public. It was a book from the language center where my teacher used to give Hebrew language courses in Jerusalem. The book's name was "Midabrim Ivrit מדברים עברית" which is also the name of the language center :)
I suggest just using any beginner's book to sort of learn the basics, and as soon as possible just jump into the real language. Try reading articles or stories to increase your vocabulary, then start watching TV shows to get used to the spoken language. I don't suggest watching the news early because the presenters use a very "robotic" tone when they speak, and also the amount of speciality words (political, military, scientific, medical, etc.) is just too much. Trust me, I still don't get a lot of what they say in news reports even now after three years of learning - (although I did neglect Hebrew for a long while in the past). I guess what im trying to say is start simple, and slowly build up your vocab, and do something with the language - no matter how small - every day.
It's so important to stay in contact with the language, otherwise you're gonna forget a lot of stuff. This happened to me a lot in Hebrew because I stopped listening and reading for periods of time and I wish I never did that. My level would have been much better now if I didn't neglect it, but oh well, I guess we all live and learn from our mistakes :)
Anyways, Good Luck ve behatslacha בהצלחה
And if you need any help just drop me a line ... I'm always happy to help
Shokran ya Aysar.
Is it possible that you tell me which books you suggest to start with, the ones from your course?
Also, it's always great to read other learners' success stories so great job with Hebrew and any other language you may be learning :)