The 18-credit program may be thought of as the equivalent of “three years of university or seminary Hebrew,” with the added advantage of being taught as CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) where the teaching enhances rapid internalization of the language. This sets a high introductory platform for training translators and consultants.
Common sense expects of translators to work from within a source language. This can be compared to a translator of Shakespeare who has a skill to read an English-English dictionary and a commentary on Shakespeare written in English. Such a translator is able to work within English and from English and can be said to have reached a minimal professional standard for translating from that language.
One credit refers to 14-15 class hours with instructor and 28-30 hours of student prep/homework.
- Successful students will build a robust foundation towards achieving a level of independently working from the source text. (Such a level will be attained during the third certificate stage.)
- Translation team members with this certificate would be able to meaningfully discuss source translation issues with other team members and consultants.
- This first certificate provides a useful evaluation level. Depending upon course evaluation results, students may be recommended to proceed to further training, or they may be recommended to concentrate on other aspects of the translation task than source comprehension. Students who have successfully completed the certificate would be ideal candidates for scholarships for the second certificate.
The 6 courses of the “Certificate in Biblical Hebrew” are:
Course 1: “Oral Foundations of Biblical Hebrew, Jonah A.” (3 credits)
Learning objectives for Oral Foundations of Biblical Hebrew, Jonah A & B:
- Remapping of cerebral neurons so as to integrate the language within the oral-aural networks of the brain
- Discovery learning of the Hebrew alphabet
- Acquisition of 300 vocabulary words
- Reading and comprehension of the Jonah text
- Laying a foundation for appreciating authorial choice in narrative syntax
In order to learn biblical Hebrew at a fast pace and to internalize it, a person must re-orient and re-map their cerebral neurons to process biblical Hebrew as a human language. This module provides a spoken biblical Hebrew environment and also an opportunity for those with a previous background in biblical Hebrew to re-lay the foundations of biblical Hebrew so that it is integrated within the oral-aural networks of the brain. Natural language processes will be sped up, as will reading skills. This module becomes the foundation for the further language development through the program. *
“Oral Foundations of Biblical Hebrew A” is a beginning Hebrew language course based on the book of Jonah. 50 hours of asynchronous prerequisite preparation introduce over 200 vocabulary items within a discovery picture framework. The alphabet is also discovered and practiced in parallel lessons after or during the picture introductions. After the 50 hours of asynchronous prerequisite training, synchronous online sessions are run in biblical Hebrew. The narrative of Jonah is read, with an emphasis on comprehension, authorial choices, combined with acting out dialogues, memorizing Bible passages, and participating in ‘live’ language. (Optional homework material provides glosses and explanations in English, also available in French.)
* Persons with advanced analytical knowledge of biblical Hebrew have profited from this module and recommend it despite its “introductory” status.
Course 2: “Oral Foundations of Biblical Hebrew, Jonah B.” (3 credits)
This course is a continuation of Course 1 and completes the book of Jonah. Students prepare 50 hours of asynchronous work before the synchronous sessions meet to complete the course.
Course 3: “Hebrew Narrative: Abraham” (3 credits)
- Understanding the syntax, morphology, and discourse structures of biblical Hebrew
- Understanding of verb morphology, of both regular and weak verbs
- Attainment of intermediate level reading skills
- Attainment of intermediate level of language internalization and retention
This is an intermediate biblical Hebrew course based on a selection of biblical texts from Genesis, revolving around Abraham. An asynchronous pre-requisite training of 50 hours provides added preparation from between the Jonah course and this “Abraham” course. This course, both asynchronous and synchronous parts, integrates the syntax, morphology, and discourse structures of biblical Hebrew (text linguistics), while expanding comprehension through reading. The online synchronous sessions function in Hebrew, using an immersion approach, and includes TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Verb morphology is reviewed, both regular and weak verbs. The spoken biblical Hebrew environment enhances long-term retention and facilitates future studies in more advanced biblical Hebrew or other dialects of Hebrew. Extra stories are told in biblical Hebrew in order to illustrate and to help internalize these features. As part of the homework, written explanations about Hebrew structures are provided in English and Hebrew. Recorded material for listening is also included in the homework in order to increase internalization.
Course 4: Intro to Modern Hebrew with Selected Readings in Hebrew Bible–A, (3 credits):
- Learning vocabulary useful for daily life, which helps to initiate personal and practical “thinking in the language.”
- Increasing fluency for common daily situations.
- Mastery of first third of Hebrew level Aleph.
- Continued deepening and internalization of biblical Hebrew through reading and discussion of texts.
Students will prepare 50 asynchronous hours of Hebrew before the synchronous course. The course will work with daily modern vocabulary while simultaneously reading and discussing selected biblical texts with students (Ruth). This course is an essential building block for internalizing the biblical language.
Course 5: Advanced-Intermediate Hebrew: Narrative [Samuel] (3 credits)
- Understanding of literary choices made by the biblical authors
- Attainment of advanced-intermediate level understanding of verb morphology and syntax patterns for biblical Hebrew
This is an advanced-intermediate course based on selected narrative texts (First Samuel). The course includes a 50-hour asynchronous preparation that prepares for 28 synchronous hours plus individual homework. Beyond the continued reinforcement of verb morphology and syntax patterns for biblical Hebrew, there is a focus on understanding the literary choices made by the biblical author(s) and the literary function of the texts. This looks at the syntax and the structural and explicit choices that a biblical author makes in writing a text, applying principles of discourse grammar and text linguistics. The instruction is in Hebrew to enhance long-term retention and to facilitate future studies in either advanced biblical Hebrew or other dialects of Hebrew.
Course 6: Introduction to Modern Hebrew with Selected Readings in Hebrew Bible–B, (3 credits):
- Learning additional vocabulary useful for daily life
- Increasing fluency for common daily situations
- Mastery of second third of Hebrew level Aleph
- Continued deepening and internalization of biblical Hebrew through reading and discussion of texts
Students will prepare 50 asynchronous hours of Hebrew before the synchronous course. This may be achieved by working through additional material like Rosetta Stone, units 5-8, or equivalent. The course will work with daily vocabulary while simultaneously reading and discussing selected biblical texts with students (Genesis 1-11). This course is both an essential building block for the internalization of biblical Hebrew as well as a sophisticated introduction to the Hebrew in Genesis 1-11.