Hebrew is a Semitic language, related to Arabic, and has a unique alphabet that is written right to left. It has a few sounds unfamiliar to native English speakers, and its grammar, syntax and most of its vocabulary is also very different from English and other European languages. Hebrew is only spoken as an official language in Israel, but it is also spoken in Jewish enclaves throughout the world.
There are not as many resources to learn Hebrew as other languages, mostly because there are so few speakers of Hebrew (relative to languages like Spanish or Chinese), and also because the average computer and the internet are not conducive to a language with a very unusual font that is also written from right to left! So, what options are there to learn Hebrew?
Internet/Free. Learn Hebrew Online at Foundation Stone This site has an online tutorial for free for learning Hebrew that can also be downloaded.
Internet/Free. Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Hebrew. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language
Pimsleur Comprehensive Hebrew
As far as ease of use and quality of the material and method, Pimsleur is the best. You learn to speak Hebrew in a natural and comfortable way. It's the same for all Pimsleur language programs, but Hebrew with it's different alphabet and writing system requires extra effort when it comes to reading. Pimsleur provides a reading booklet and cd but their focus is clearly on speaking skills, and this is where they shine. The Pimsleur Comprehensive is my favorite method and would be my first choice, but also note that Pimsleur's Hebrew program is only offered for Level 1 and Level 2. There isn't yet a Level 3. Pimsleur Comprehensive Hebrew is a great way to begin speaking Hebrew with good pronunciation and a good accent but in order to fully study Hebrew, additional materials will be needed to improve reading skills and to advance in the language. Read my more in-depth Review of Pimsleur Products.
Transparent Hebrew Premium uses native speaker audio, text, video, games and dialogues to immerse you in the Hebrew language. With 15,000 words in mp3 format to use in your iPod or mp3 player and it can be fully integrated with BYKI. All with a 6 month guarantee. Overall, a great and affordable resource to learn Hebrew!
Hebrew Language Resources Here are some resources to help you learn Hebrew. There are online tutorials to get you started and some links to sites with additional resources. For penpals, chats, language exchanges and more resources on learning languages in general go to the language resources page.