An Overview of the Hebrew Language
Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. It is the official language in Israel with 5 million native speakers and over 9 million speakers worldwide. Hebrew is also the official national minority language in Poland since 6 January 2005. The Hebrew has been referred to by Jews as ‘the Holy Language” since ancient times.
The History of Hebrew
Hebrew proliferated as a spoken language in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah during about 1200 to 586 BCE. It was nearly extinct as a spoken language by Late Antiquity but continued to be used as a literary language and as the liturgical language of Judaism, evolving various dialects of literary Medieval Hebrew until its revival as a spoken language in the late 19th century.
5 Amazing Hebrew Language Facts:
- Scholars agree that the Bible is written in 3 languages. Hebrew is one of the original languages including Aramaic and Greek.
- The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters which are all consonants and no vowels.
- Verbs in Hebrew take different forms depending on whether the subject of the sentence is male or female. There is also no way to say the verb “to be” in Hebrew.
- Hebrew is written from right to left which is believed to be because of how they chisel words in stones where they hold the chisel with their dominant hand and it was easier to move the chisel from right to left.
- In Hebrew, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. The neutral form “it” does not exist.
Hebrew, being one of the oldest languages can give you access and understanding to thousands of years of historical and philosophical texts. Learning the language can help you understand classical Hebrew and read the Bible in its original language. There is also a great opportunity for a better and high paying job because there is a growing demand for Hebrew translators in the business and legal fields.
Learning Hebrew with Overpass Apps
It is our pleasure to provide language learners with apps that can make learning fun and exciting, so Overpass came up with another Language learning app. The Learn Hebrew Bubble Bath Game has 63 language categories ranging from “Numbers” to “Weather”. In this game, you have to pop the bubbles before they float off the screen. Each time you tap on a bubble, you hear it spoken by a native speaker and try to read the word. So you’ll increase your vocabulary as well as learn how to pronounce each Hebrew word. Download the app now for free and enjoy all the benefits of knowing how to speak Hebrew.
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This post is also available in: Spanish