English-Hebrew Language Learning Software from LingvoSoft . January 2008 . Vol. 14 No. 1

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles.

December 2007--CounterSpy Anti-Spyware and Edventure Maze
November 2007--Anti Spyware Software: You've Got to Have It


English-Hebrew Language Learning Software from LingvoSoft

By Becky Berenbon

After years of traditional, person-to-person Hebrew lessons, I was excited to continue my education.  Mesmerized by the Rosetta Stone commercials, I excitedly went to the Website. What I found there was a price that wasn’t very allowance-friendly.  The LingvoSoft program seemed like a good alternative.

Installation and registration was fairly easy.  I went to the application manager, where you can view each learning tool, and began to explore.

First, I tried out the talking dictionary.  I was very pleased with this--you can choose a Hebrew word, listen to it, and see the various definitions in English.  Or, you can do the opposite starting with an English word.  The audio does not sound very robotic, which definitely helps the learning experience.

After that, I went to the talking phrasebook.  This helpful application first gives you a list of
categories to choose from, such as traveling, hotel, and local transport. You select which common phrase you would like to learn (“What time does the flight leave?”) and you can hear it said in English and in Hebrew. Again, the process can be reversed to Hebrew to English. This is perfect for people traveling to Israel.

Finally, I decided to check out the flash cards.  I felt that this was the best tool. In this game, you learn words from categories that you choose from with 5 different methods.  (All methods can be done either English-->Hebrew or Hebrew-->English.)

Review It!

The English word is shown on one card while the Japanese translation is shown in Hebrew.

Type It!

The English word is shown, and you must type it in Hebrew.

Pair It!

5 English words and 5 Hebrew words are shown, and you must match them to each other.

Guess It!

One English word is shown along with 5 Hebrew words, and you must choose the matching Hebrew word.

Recall It!

One English word is shown, and you are prompted to think of the Hebrew translation in your head.  The game remembers your statistics, so you'll be able to track your progress.  Also, you can decide which words you do and don't want to learn.

Note: The flash cards worked on an older Windows XP but not a slightly newer one.  We reported the problem to LingvoSoft technical support, but have not heard back in time for publication of this review.

I was somewhat disappointed with this software for two reasons.  First of all, this program does not teach you the "Aleph Bet," or the Hebrew alphabet. This is vital if you want to be able to read and write in Hebrew.  Second, I was hoping for a more integrated program, similar to Rosetta Stone.  LingvoSoft is made up of separate applications that don’t work together in any way.  And one more problem: after installation, it automatically starts up when Windows loads displaying its application manager.  This can be fixed, but it should be an option you can avoid and is very annoying.

Aside from the flash card game, it may be better for reference than a complete learning program useful for travelers and business people.

The language software designed for Windows PCs, portable and pocket, and is inexpensive, sold in modules from $34.95.  It’s available online at LingvoSoft.com.  And you can download and their demo the software for free.

- Becky Berenbon