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  1. Hebrew Language - Structure, Writing & Alphabet - MustGo › worldlanguages › hebrew
    • Status
    • Dialects
    • Structure
    • Did You Know?

    Hebrew is spoken by about 5 million people in Israel (Ethnologue). This figure includes those who speak it as a a native language and those for whom it is a second language learned to varying degrees of proficiency. It became an official language of British Palestine in 1922. Today, it is the official language of the State of Israel. It is used for official, public and private purposes throughout Israel, wih the exception of the Arab sector, where Arabic is used. Government schools teach in either Hebrew or Arabic, however, Hebrew is a compulsory subject through the tenth grade in all schools, even the Arabic ones. Hebrew is the medium of instruction at the university level as well. It is the language of most newspapers, books, magazines, radio, and television. In addition,Hebrew remains the liturgical language of Jews worldwide. There are other surveys that place the number of Hebrew speakers worldwide at 9 million, but this figure does not indicate what is meant by “speakers”.

    There are two main dialects of Hebrew. 1. The Europeanized dialect is spoken by AshkenaziJews of European descent. It is strongly influenced by Yiddish. Today, the Europeanized dialect enjoys greater social prestige and tends to be preferred by most young Israelis. 2. The Oriental dialect is spoken by Sephardi Jews whose ancestors came to Israel from Middle Eastern countries. The name “Sephardic” comes from the Hebrew word Sefarad, ‘Spain’. These Jews lived in Spain and Portugal from the Middle Ages until their persecution and mass expulsion from those countries in the last decades of the 15th century when they fled to the Middle East. Oriental Hebrew is strongly influenced by Arabic. 3. Although the Academy of the Hebrew Language attempts to establish standards, native speakers of Hebrew who now constitute a majority, have created a variety, Spoken Israeli Hebrew, that has yet to be systematically described and standardized.

    Sound system

    Hebrew is unique in that it was resurrected from being a written language to becoming one that is spoken today as a first language by millions of people.


    The grammar of Hebrew is fairly typical of all Semitic languages: 1. Many words consist of three consonants separated by vowels. Changes in the vowels or their omission affect word meaning, e.g., the root K-T-V produces katav ‘he wrote’, ktav ‘writing’, katuv ‘written’, andmiktava‘desk’. 2. Prefixes and suffixes are added to roots to modify word meaning and express grammatical relations. 3. There are significant differences in the grammar of Modern as opposed to Biblical Hebrew. The descripti...


    When the Hebrews started using the Aramaic script for everyday use, reserving the Old Hebrew script for religious use only, the Aramaic script quickly became known as the Jewish script. Because of the shape of the letters, it was called the square script. The earliest preserved texts in the square script date back to the 5th century BC. 1. The Hebrew alphabet, or alephbet ’ivri, is a consonant-based syllabic writing system which consists of 22 consonants, five of which have a special word-fin...

    English has a number of words of Hebrew origin, among them many biblical terms. A few of the loanwords are listed below: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda The revival of Hebrew is intimately associated with the name of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who was born in Russia and who came in 1881 to Palestine, then a province of the Ottoman Empire, with plans to revive the Hebrew language. Ben-Yehuda wanted the Jews in Palestine to speak Hebrew exclusively. He settled in Jerusalem, planning to use it as the base for spreading his revivalist ideas throughout Palestine and the Diaspora. His plan was to make Hebrew the language of the home and of education, and to expand the Hebrew vocabulary to meet the demands of the Israeli society. He understood that if children could learn Hebrew from a young age in school, they would become proficient in it when they grew up. In this way, Hebrew would become a living language. And so it did.

  2. A Brief and Interesting History of Hebrew Language › history-of-hebrew-language

    Apr 15, 2019 · If they didn’t, people would chastise them publicly, saying things like “Hebrew (man), speak Hebrew!” (ivrit, daber ivrit! /עברי, דבר עברית). When Israel was established as a state in 1948 after the British decided to end their mandate, the vast majority of people living there spoke Hebrew either as a first or second language, with 80% of the Jews born there speaking it as a first language.

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    What is the difference between Hebrew and Modern Hebrew?

  4. How Different are Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew? › language-features › how-different
    • If Hebrew Was Revived, Then Why Is Modern Hebrew Different?
    • Morphology – The Way That Words Are Formed and Fit Together
    • Vocabulary
    • Syntax
    • Verb System
    • Pronunciation
    • Summing Up

    Modern Hebrew was “revived” in the 19th century as a spoken language, but it wasn`t like they just took Biblical Hebrew and started speaking it again. They looked at Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew (rabbinic writings from the Talmud) and literary Hebrew from throughout the centuries and tried to create a standard Hebrew language from all of those pieces. But the people who adopted the newly revived Hebrew language weren`t always able to speak the new language the way they intended to, which...

    This aspect of Modern Hebrew is almost exactly the same as Biblical Hebrew. Hebrew words are mostly derived from 3 consonant roots, and different word types are created by inserting those roots into templates that determine the vowel sounds and surrounding consonants.In this example there are three root letters at the top that correspond to English m-l-ch(like the “ch” in German). The first word מלך “melech” means “King”, the second one מלכות “malchuut” means “Kingdom”, and the third one מלך...

    The core vocabulary of Modern Hebrew comes from Biblical Hebrew. A large majority of simple nouns and verbs – at least those that existed in the days of the Bible – are the same. But there are also a lot of words in the Hebrew Bible that are not used in Modern Hebrew, and some that are used differently.The Bible was obviously written in a very different world from the one we live in today, which means that some Biblical Hebrew are used today to represent a different thing, but a thing that pe...

    Most languages you know about are probably SVO (subject-verb-object) in syntax, or maybe SOV (subject-object-verb) like Japanese. But Biblical Hebrew was VSO, which is common in Semitic languages. 1. דיבר האיש אל מאש “diber ha-ish el-moshe” (The man spoke to Moses). Word for word: spoke the man to moses.Since the languages that most early adopters of revived Hebrew were SVO, Modern Hebrew became SVO. The same sentence in Modern Hebrew: 1. האיש דיבר אל מאש “ha-ish diber el-moshe”. Word for wor...

    The conjugations and verb forms are the same in most cases, but the meaning they convey is somewhat different.In Modern Hebrew, tense is conceptualized in the same way as it is in most Indo-European languages, using past, present, and future. In other words, actions are either before now, now, or after now.In Biblical Hebrew and other Semitic languages, there are only two tenses: perfect (completed action) and imperfect (incomplete action). People who know Modern Hebrew will sometimes be conf...

    Biblical Hebrew these days is usually pronounced with Modern Hebrew pronunciation, so lots of people aren`t aware of how Biblical Hebrew used to be pronounced. It had a lot of sounds that are not present in MH, but are present in Arabic. They`re not present in MH because Hebrew was first revived by Yiddish-speaking Europeans, and I`m sure they tried hard but they just couldn`t easily reproduce some of the original Hebrew sounds, so some of them merged with other sounds or were replaced by app...

    There are significant differences, but most literate native speakers of Hebrew can read Biblical Hebrew and understand it. That is partly because of the similarities with Modern Hebrew, but also because most of them study the Bible in school, and if they`re religious then they study the Bible continuously and read Biblical Hebrew on a regular basis. Through exposure they become familiar with the differences.As a second language learner, I always thought of Biblical Hebrew as archaic and somew...

  5. Why Is Hebrew Called the Holy Tongue (Lashon Hakodesh ... › library › article_cdo

    The Torah tells us that until the incident of the Tower of Babel, all of mankind spoke the same language: 1 Biblical Hebrew. 2 In fact, the power of the Holy Tongue was what fueled the initial success of the tower-builders. 3 To deter them, G‑d “confused” their languages, and the many diverse languages were born. 4

    • Yehuda Shurpin
  6. What Are The Jewish Languages? - WorldAtlas › articles › what-are-the-jewish
    • History of Jewish Language Development
    • Status of The Jewish Languages
    • Alphabets
    • The Jewish Languages Today

    Towards the end of the Bronze age, the Hebrew language was not differentiated from other Semitic languages like Amarna, Canaanite, and Ugaritic, however, during the iron age 1200–540 BCE there was some noticeable difference. The Hebrew as a separate language is believed to have developed around Canaan, an area that lies between the Mediterranean Sea and River Jordan, in the Second Millennium BCE. Even though the main reason for the decline of the Hebrew language is not completely understood,...

    Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, and Ladino languages are among the most widely spoken Jewish languages that were developed in the diaspora. A good number of distinct and ancient Jewish languages such as Judeo-Malayalam, Judeo-Arabic, Krymchak, Judeo-Berber, and Judeo-Georgian have greatly fallen out of use as a result of the massacre of European Jews, the assimilation of Israeli policies during its early days, and the Jewish exodus from Arab states, as well as other factors. Several Jewish languages i...

    Languages such as Spanish, English, Greek, French, Arabic, and German have been transcribed using the Hebrew alphabet. Despite the practice being uncommon, it is believed to have occurred over the last 2000 years. Throughout the world, Jews spoke the dominant or local languages of the places they migrated to for centuries thus branching off as independent languages or developing distinct dialectal forms of the languages. The development of such languages often happened through the addition of...

    Everywhere that the Jews have lived, throughout the entire world, they have either written or/and spoken differently from non-Jews around them. Jewish languages differ from one another by as much as a highly variant grammar or by as little as a few embedded Hebrew words. Linguists have devoted a great deal of time and resources to carry out extensive research on several Jewish languages including Judeo-Arabic, Jewish English, Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, and Judeo- Italian. Dur...

  7. Is Aramaic and Hebrew the Same Language › Is Aramaic and Hebrew

    Was it the same as Hebrew their original language? Some say it is the same language just a different dialect however the Bible says differently. The Jews who spoke Hebrew would need an interpreter to understand Chaldean unless they had been taught it as a separate language.

  8. How to say say 'I speak a little Hebrew' in modern Hebrew - Quora › How-do-you-say-say-I-speak-a

    The liturgical pronunciation of Hebrew in Western synagogues has little in common with standard modern Hebrew; it was indeed heavily influenced by German (or more probably by Yiddish, a variant of Medieval German with lots of local borrowings, which was the language used by European Jews down to the 20th C whatever country they lived in).

  9. For a long time, people think the idea that people, who speak different languages, think differently because of the language itself is simply wrong or just too difficult to test out. However, as more and more multi-lingual people have self-reported different ways of thinking when they are speaking different languages, it is a issue that should ...

  10. How the Language You Speak Influences the Way You Think ... › us › blog

    Aug 08, 2018 · The English language has a word for children who have lost their parents (‘orphan’), and a word for people who have lost their spouse (‘widow’ or ‘widower’), but no word for parents ...

  11. Johnson: Do different languages confer different personalities? › prospero › 2013/11/05

    Nov 05, 2013 · Multilingualism Johnson: Do different languages confer different personalities?. There are good reasons why people feel differently speaking different languages, but it may not be because of the ...

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