Hebrew

Language History

Considered a Semitic language, Hebrew traces back to the second millennium B.C.E when the earliest Hebrew texts were found. It is believed that Israelite tribes who invaded the area of Canaan spoke Hebrew and helped it become commonly spoken until the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. Hebrew remained a written language for Jewish prayers, sacred and literary texts, including sections of the Hebrew Bible and the Mishnah. At the time, the language was referred to as “lashon ha-kodesh,” meaning, “the holy language”.

Until around a century ago, Hebrew was not used as a spoken language. A man named Eliezer Ben-Yehuda helped revive it believing that Jewish people should have their own language if they were to have their own land. He created hundreds of new words and eventually published a dictionary that has become the basis of the Hebrew language today.

According to Wikipedia, Hebrew is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. 7 million allegedly speak the language fluently.

Where is Hebrew Spoken?

Hebrew is the primary official language of the State of Israel, while the United States has the second largest Hebrew speaking population (about 220,000 speakers). Other countries where Hebrew is spoken include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, Panama and the UK.

Israel language_map_inner page

FACT

Did you know that Hebrew borrows many words from Amharic, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Persian?

Did you know that Hebrew borrows many words from Amharic, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Persian?

Did you Know?

Interestingly, Hebrew is written right to left, but numbers are written left to right. The numbers used are the same as they are in English.

Amharic is the second most spoken Semitic language in the whole

“Hebrew was often thought to be the language of the angels, and of God.”

Hebrew Loanwords We Use in English

• Hallelujah

• Amen

• Tariff

• Behemoth

• Jubilee

 

4 Easy Phrases in Hebrew!

HebrewEnglish
בֹּקֶר טוֹב - boker-tovGood morning
לְהִתְרָאוֹת - lehitraotSee you later
סְלִיחָה - slichaSorry/Excuse me
בְּבַקָּשָׁה - bevakashaPlease

Population vs. Internet Penetration

Israel Population:

8,583,916

Internet Users:

7,002,759

Penetration:

81.6%

As of 2019. Source:
www.internetworldstats.com

FACT!

The word “Shalom” takes on several meanings including “peace”, “hello” and “goodbye”.

The word “Shalom” takes on several meanings 

Hebrew Translation Tips

• Remember! Hebrew verbs have three tenses (past, present, and future), an imperative, and an infinitive.

• Each Hebrew word is either Masculine or Feminine. Most feminine words end with “ה” (“h”) or “ת”(“t”).

• There are 10 personal pronouns in Hebrew – and two different variations for the Hebrew pronouns “You” and “They”.

• Hebrew adjectives are conjugated based on the gender and number of the item/s they describe.

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