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presenting: Dikduk 2 - Product Peview

Oct. 30, 2003
Davka Dikduk: The sequel

Davka Dikduk II: Advanced Hebrew Grammar, a CD-ROM in English and Hebrew. For Windows 98 and up and a Pentium 166 Mhz PC or better; and for Macintosh G3 233, System 7.5 and up; from Dekel Software (tel: 02-9912718 or alanr@netvision.net.il), for ages 13 through adult, $49.95 or NIS 250 including VAT. - Rating: *****

English speakers who improved their Hebrew grammar when Davka Dikduk I arrived in Israel over two years ago can now proceed to a more advanced level - along with others who have not encountered that excellent program before. This new grammar disk not only teaches more, but it does so in a more eye-grabbing, user-friendly way that encourages students to push ahead through the forest of Hebrew adverbs, noun declensions and stressful tenses.

Immersing yourself in Hebrew grammar may seem grim - most Israeli children, normal adults and Knesset members don't pay slavish attention to proper forms anyway - but Davka Dikduk II makes serious study very entertaining. There are five main lessons, each of them comprising more than a dozen sub-topics, with a total of 50 unique exercises and quizzes to test acquired knowledge. There are also five Israeli - or Jewish-oriented original stories presented in Hebrew and English, with many words appearing in red that can be clicked for an English translation and grammatical details.

Each story is accompanied by tantalizing animations, photos and illustrations. You click on a selected spot and see a rabbit running (to illustrate the Hebrew word for hurry) or "massage" a point on the screen to see a pair of eyes follow you. Jerusalem scenes are numerous, and though the program was Davka produced in Illinois, the program has a real Israeli flavor.

A superbly organized navigation center lets you choose the lessons and subtopics, the stories and exercises with a click of the mouse button. The exercises and tests are completed by dragging words to complete sentences and clicking on the right answers among options to fill charts. If you err, the correct answer will show up with a black background, and a disappointed voice will tell you so, but if you picked the right one, you'll be encouraged with anything from "Correct" and Great!" to "Good Job" and "Cool!" The Options section lets you check your grades for any and all sections that are calculated in front of your eyes.

A Hebrew-English dictionary with hundreds of words listed by the first Hebrew letter offers not only the translation but also the part of speech and other grammatical details, while music and other sound effects are soothing and impressive. Hot keys enable you to open the dictionary instantly and print out all texts.

The disk, which doesn't have to be installed on the hard disk to be used, will be welcomed not only by Diaspora Jewish pupils (as young as eight, not only of Bar Mitzva age) - and their teachers - but also adults; if the English explanations were translated into Hebrew, the program would be a perfect way to help Israeli kids understand the workings of their mother tongue.

Click here to see sample screens
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DIKDUK 2 - A Great New Way to Understand & Learn advanced Hebrew Grammar!
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