Hebrew

The Hebrew Language: History, Origins, and Usage in The World

As a Semitic language of the Northern Central or Northwestern group, the Hebrew language is closely related to Phoenician and Moabite, languages with which it is placed in the Canaanite subgroup by linguists. It was spoken in ancient times in Palestine, but in the 3rd century BC, the language was replaced by the western dialect of the Aramaic language. However, it continued to be used as a liturgical and literary language.

Many years later, in the 19th and 20th century it was revived as a spoken language and became the official language of Israel.

Today this language is spoken by around 5 million people mainly living in Israel where, alongside the Arabic, it is the official language of the country. Furthermore, an additional 2 million people across the world speak Hebrew in France, Germany, Palestine, Panama, Argentina, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and Canada. In the United States, there are approximately 220.000 individuals who speak the language actively.

Hebrew Alphabet and Written Language

The first recorded alphabet used to write Hebrew emerged between the second and the first millennia BC. Understandably, the script is closely related to the Phoenician alphabet. However, the alphabet used today in the Modern Hebrew language was developed from an alphabet known as Proto-Hebrew/Early Aramaic. It consists of 22 letters with the addition of final letters and diacritics and the direction of writing is right to left in horizontal lines.

This alphabet is actually not only used to write Hebrew but also Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, Yiddish, and many other Jewish languages.

The New Beginnings of Hebrew

It is interesting to mention that the Hebrew language was long forgotten for almost 20 centuries when all of a sudden, European Jews dreaming of a cultural renaissance in Palestine began started propagating the language once again in the 19th century. The version of Hebrew we have today is called the Modern Hebrew. This resurrection of the language was done by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who is considered the father of Modern Hebrew. He and his associates developed a new vocabulary based on the ancient and medieval Hebrew with the addition of new words.

Shortly after, in 1922, Hebrew became one of the official languages of British Mandate Palestine, and today it is a modern language spoken by the citizens of Israel and Jews around the world.

United Language Services brings you the best in professional language translation and interpretation of the Hebrew language. From meetings to doctor’s appointments, depositions to court dates, web applications to legal documentation, whatever you need help with, we are here for you.

The Hebrew Language: History, Origins, and Usage in The World

As a Semitic language of the Northern Central or Northwestern group, the Hebrew language is closely related to Phoenician and Moabite, languages with which it is placed in the Canaanite subgroup by linguists. It was spoken in ancient times in Palestine, but in the 3rd century BC, the language was replaced by the western dialect of the Aramaic language. However, it continued to be used as a liturgical and literary language.

Many years later, in the 19th and 20th century it was revived as a spoken language and became the official language of Israel.

Today this language is spoken by around 5 million people mainly living in Israel where, alongside the Arabic, it is the official language of the country. Furthermore, an additional 2 million people across the world speak Hebrew in France, Germany, Palestine, Panama, Argentina, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and Canada. In the United States, there are approximately 220.000 individuals who speak the language actively.

Hebrew Alphabet and Written Language

The first recorded alphabet used to write Hebrew emerged between the second and the first millennia BC. Understandably, the script is closely related to the Phoenician alphabet. However, the alphabet used today in the Modern Hebrew language was developed from an alphabet known as Proto-Hebrew/Early Aramaic. It consists of 22 letters with the addition of final letters and diacritics and the direction of writing is right to left in horizontal lines.

This alphabet is actually not only used to write Hebrew but also Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, Yiddish, and many other Jewish languages.

The New Beginnings of Hebrew

It is interesting to mention that the Hebrew language was long forgotten for almost 20 centuries when all of a sudden, European Jews dreaming of a cultural renaissance in Palestine began started propagating the language once again in the 19th century. The version of Hebrew we have today is called the Modern Hebrew. This resurrection of the language was done by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who is considered the father of Modern Hebrew. He and his associates developed a new vocabulary based on the ancient and medieval Hebrew with the addition of new words.

Shortly after, in 1922, Hebrew became one of the official languages of British Mandate Palestine, and today it is a modern language spoken by the citizens of Israel and Jews around the world.

United Language Services brings you the best in professional language translation and interpretation of the Hebrew language. From meetings to doctor’s appointments, depositions to court dates, web applications to legal documentation, whatever you need help with, we are here for you.