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Languages > Hebrew
Most Popular Hebrew Language Product Types
Children's Books
Let's Learn Hebrew Picture Dictionary (Hardback)
Classroom/Schools
Vocabulary Flashcards (1,000 cards) Modern Hebrew
Dictionary
Hippocrene Compact Dictionary: Romanized Hebrew dictionary
Games
Vocabulary Flashcards (1,000 cards) Biblical Hebrew
Handheld Dictionary
Ectaco Partner EH800 - English <-> Hebrew Talking Electronic Dictionary and Audio PhraseBook
Keyboard
Keyboard for Hebrew - BTC5126 PS2 Ivory
Keyboard Stickers
Keyboard Stickers for Hebrew (blue)
Learn
At Home with Hebrew CD-ROM Tutorial
Microsoft Office
Hebrew Office 2000 Standard Upgrade Version
Movies/Videos
Berlin Jerusalem (DVD) In German & Hebrew
Software - Mac
Alef To Tav ArtScroll for Eng,Fren,Hebrew,Span Speaker (Hybrid)
Software - Windows
Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Devarim (Deuteronomy) for Windows
Translation
Dagesh Pro - Document Translator
Travel
Hebrew 101 (DVD)
Word Processing
Dagesh Pro - Plus OCR
All Hebrew language product types


Language Information


Hebrew is one of the world's oldest languages, spoken and written today in much the same way as it was more than two thousand years ago. After ceasing to exist as a spoken 1anguage about 250 B.C., it was reborn as a modern language in the 19th century, and today it is the principal language of the State of Israel. Books, newspapers, and magazines published in Israel today are written in a Hebrew that is much the same as the language of the Bible.

For over three millennia Hebrew has been the religious, and often the literary and secular, language of the Jewish people. A Semitic tongue, it was spoken during the period of the migration of the Patriarchs into Palestine and remained the language of the Jews throughout the Old Testament period. In the post biblical period Hebrew gradually gave way to Aramaic as the spoken language, but continued throughout the centuries to serve as the language of ritual, prayer, literature, and written communication.

The renaissance of Hebrew as a spoken language in the 19th century may be ascribed almost entirely to the efforts of one man: Eliezer ben Yehudah, who devoted his life to the revival of the language, and at the same time adapted it for modern use through the introduction of thousands of modern terms. Hebrew gradually came into use among the Jewish settlers in Palestine and became the official language of the State of Israel when that nation was created in 1948. Today about 3 million people speak Hebrew either as their maternal, adopted, or religious tongue.

The Hebrew alphabet of twenty-two letters (five of which have a different form when they appear at the end of a word) consists entirely of consonants. The language is written from right to left without vowels. Thus the word kelev (dog) appears as the Hebrew equivalents of, from right to left, k, l, and v. It is therefore impossible for one not familiar with the language to know how to pronounce a word from the way it is written. About the 8th century a system developed for indicating vowels through the use of small dots and dashes placed above and below the consonants. These signs are still in use today, but they are confined to school books, prayer books, and textbooks for foreigners, and are not to be seen in newspapers, magazines, or books of general use. The text below contains the vowel signs as well as a series of marks called the trope, which indicates the notes to be used when the passage is chanted in the synagogue.

English words of Hebrew origin include amen, hallelujah, sabbath, rabbi, cherub, seraph, Satan, kosher, manna, shibboleth, and behemoth. More recent contributions are kibbutz and sabra.


Hebrew is spoken/used in the following countries:
Gaza Strip, Israel, United States of America, West Bank.

Language Family
Family: Afro-Asiatic (Hamito-Semitic)
Subgroup: Semitic
Branch: Canaanitic


Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.


Writing Sample


Writing Sample

Translation


And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the top of the moun-tains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say: "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of God from Jerusalem. And he shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.

—Isaiah ii. 2-4