“English Hebrew by Subject” by Hanna G. Perez has recently become one of my favorite for learning Hebrew. It’s part dictionary and part phrasebook, listing 41 categories of words from sciences, mathematics, animals, the town and everywhere in between. It also has 12 other chapters on parts of speech adverbs, conjunctions, possessive adjectives etc. I now recommend this book to my students after a textbook, dictionary, and 501 Hebrew verbs.
The best aspect of this book is that it isn’t just limited to beginners/intermediate students. It has words and phrases you simply won’t find in a dictionary. For example, unit 20 on the postal service. Do you know how to say postal order (המחאת דואר), trackable (ניתן למעקב), certified mail (דואר רשום)? Or lesson 27 on film, television, and performing arts, how do you say TV series (סדרה), sequel (סרט המשך), or remake (גרסה מחודשת). Studying this dictionary or giving a section a once over before an upcoming encounter with one of the topics is a surefire way to go from whatever your current level is to being culturally savvy master of the topic. Don’t worry it also has common words too.
The categories are really intuitive and simply listed by nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Depending on the topic there are also sub-categories e.g. topic 15 “The House 1: Building and Real Estate” lists types of housing, construction & materials, structural elements, rooms & the garden, plumbing & fittings, professionals, and real estate. Everything is fully vowelized.
The author also went to the trouble of listing the American and British equivalents i.e. מעלית is listed as an elevator and lift. Aside from being very hand for speakers of all varieties of English, it’s quite entertaining learning how Brits say things, especially if you a language lover like myself. The book also comes with a 12 hour CD that helps you review vocabulary and check pronunciation. I was very pleased to discover that a native English speaker read the English parts and a native Israeli read the Hebrew parts.
Physically the book is solid. Comfortable size, quality paper, and good binding. The publisher also has a keen eye for typography and layout. The book really is bi-lingual (tri-lingual if you include the British-isms!). There is a nice introduction, guide how to use the book, and a section where are abbreviations and conventions are spelled out. Well done!
or check out the YouTube video demonstration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGAawy7aK5A