Hi meet in rio,
I've studied Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic but not modern Hebrew. Having said that, here are a couple of things I've heard about it:
- Biblical and modern Hebrew are actually quite different. As a matter of fact, many of the modern Hebrew speakers in my various Biblical Hebrew classes had trouble due to negative language transfer.
- Appearantly there are a fair number of English loan words in modern Hebrew.
- Biblical Hebrew is not a difficult language (as languages go). I don't know if modern Hebrew shares this desirable trait but I suspect that it wouldn't be too much more difficult. (I'm comparing this with Latin, Greek, French, German, Japanese, and Akkadian, all of which I have studied). I think one of the main problems you'll have is the writing system. The vowels are not usually written in Hebrew. With Biblical Hebrew there is a vowel "pointing" system that really helped me a lot.... I don't know if there is one for modern Hebrew.
- If you're looking for languages useful for studying (English) etymology I'd suggest: Old English, Middle English, Latin, and Greek (and perhaps French) to start with. I wouldn't image that modern Hebrew (a fairly new language) would be of much assistance in this regard... but I could be wrong.
That's about all I can say. I don't imagine I've been all that helpful but figured I'd toss in my two-cents worth.
Have fun in class.