If you are one of those people who have some knowledge of Hebrew or if you are a fluent non-native speaker, then this article is for you.
I am one of these people, who never leaves a bookstore with a book written in Hebrew under my arm. I want to enjoy my reading; not to be forced to figure out the meaning of every Hebrew word and sentence.
After a few frustrating years, I finally enjoyed plunging into my first book in Hebrew, Jules Verne’s classic “Around the World in Eighty Days”, which was translated into simplified Hebrew by Ira Yospa. This book is perfect for anyone who has studied Hebrew for at least a couple of months, and is also perfectly enjoyable for people like myself, who are more fluent in Hebrew but have been struggling to find something fun and easy to read after a long day.
Ira is a licensed Hebrew teacher for the past 15 years. Her students have always asked her for reading recommendations to complement their studies. None would ever come to mind. As there exists a very significant gap between spoken and written Hebrew, the only available books she could suggest (availability in terms of the students’ ability to understand the book’s contents) were designed for very young children.
Ira therefore set out to fill the gap.
The book is illustrated (to emphasize its leisurely quality) and written in a language accessible to Hebrew students (as well as the hordes of non-native speakers who suffer the same lack of enjoyable adequate reading material) and includes footnotes with explanations for complex words.
Modern Talk Books (aka Modern Talk), the publishing house behind this initiative, is focused on translating our most cherished classic novels into simplified written Hebrew, this one being the first in the series. As the series’ intended mission is to ease readers, in an enjoyable manner, into more traditional written structures, the reader will find the difficulty level gradually increase throughout the chapters, thereby offering by the end of the book a glimpse into proficient-level written form. Work on the next book in the series has already begun.
The book is not a textbook, it is a reading book for those who want to enjoy a classic novel in Hebrew and enrich their vocabulary.
My fellow Olim … finally a book we can read!
This article was written by Helena Rusk, a Ola Hadasha who speaks Hebrew fluently, and finally has a book she can read in Hebrew.