Whether you are planning to learn Hebrew or you are just curious about this language, read this article to discover some interesting facts about it.
It’s One of the Hardest Languages to Learn for English Speakers
Learning Hebrew can be a true challenge for English speakers. According to ACTFL, modern Hebrew is very challenging to learn. It’s harder than Spanish, German, and even Russian and Turkish. The only two languages that are considered more complicated to learn for native English speakers are Arabic and Chinese.
While it sounds like a big challenge, you can be sure that the reward is worth it. Aside from knowing an extra language that can help your career or come in handy while traveling, you increase your brain development.
If you decide to embark on the Hebrew-learning journey, check out the 11 Best Apps to Learn the Hebrew Language. Language learning applications are an easy and fun way to start studying languages.
Hebrew Is Almost Extinct
The Jewish people were exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon. During that time, the Hebrew language almost died out. It was slowly replaced by Aramaic. In 132 A.D., when the Bar Kohba Revolt was suppressed by the Romans and Jews spread all over the world, a further decline in the use of Hebrew happened.
In most cases, Jewish people were using the languages of the areas they moved to after the revolt, but Hebrew somehow still survived. When Jews started coming to Palestine, Eliezer ben Yehudah revived the spoken language, and Hebrew became one of the official languages there.
What’s interesting is that modern Hebrew was created by teaching it to waves of immigrants. Because of that, grammar is systematic and not complicated, which can make your learning a little bit easier.
From Right to Left
Hebrew is written from the right to the left side, which can be confusing for people who are just starting to learn it. It has 22 consonants, and modern Hebrew incorporates vowel diacritics to aid pronunciation. Vowels can have both short and long forms, and their pronunciation can vary depending on the stress and position of the word.
Biblical and Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew is used now by Jewish communities worldwide and in Israel. It’s derived from the ancient Hebrew known from biblical texts. There are many biblical words that reappear in modern Hebrew. However, the latest one incorporated many words from other languages and created a new vocabulary.
By learning Hebrew, you can not only increase your chances for better job opportunities, but also open doors for an academic life in linguistics or theology.
Hebrew Is One of the Oldest Languages In the World
Hebrew is a Semitic language and is one of the oldest in the world. The Hebrew alphabet is at least 4,000 years old. The ancient version of Hebrew was based on many historical, philosophical, religious, and poetic texts. Many ancient Hebrew words changed their meaning or are no longer in use, but the language itself survived, which is a huge achievement considering its history.