Modern Hebrew is one of Israel’s official languages , and it differs from the older Hebrew (often called Biblical Hebrew) used in the Bible, Jewish holy books, and prayers. Spoken Hebrew as an everyday language has been dealt with for more than 1,500 years, but it was resurrected in the 19th century. The United States is the country with the second-largest number of Hebrew speakers after Israel.
Hebrew is a phonetic language to a large extent, with a relatively small vocabulary, and many words in this language mostly have the same roots. This provides a good way to assist memory without the complexity of many European languages. Compared with other languages such as French, Spanish, Chinese, and even English, Hebrew pronunciation is considered much easier than any.
On September 29, 1923, the British Trusteeship recognized Hebrew’s status: “Arabic, English, and Hebrew are the official languages of the region.”
Although Hebrew has faced many challenges before and after the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, and the number of immigrants often exceeds the number of original residents, Hebrew’s status as a sign language has never been shaken.
Hebrew is the official language of the State of Israel, spoken by over 9 million people (not including those in Judea and Samaria) and about 200,000 speakers in the United States.
Who needs to learn Hebrew?
Some people are always curious to know about a new culture and its Ethics, so if you want to know the Jewish culture, ethics, lifestyle, and history, you should learn Hebrew. This will help you to cooperate with Jews. Christians or even any other religious followers, who would like to read the Hebrew version of the Bible, first have to learn Hebrew.
Through learning, you will master basic daily Hebrew communication, such as various inquiries in Israel, information inquiries, etc., and achieve a more smooth communication level when talking with Jews.
Modern Hebrew is similar to ancient Hebrew (Biblical Hebrew), and learning one of them can be the basis for mastering the other.
Miracle evolution of the language
As Jews wandered around the world, Hebrew perished for more than two thousand years, but after the founding of Israel, Jews from all over the world learned the Hebrew language and used it in their daily lives and with their family. The Hebrew language is miraculously resurrected, which is a unique miracle in the history of world languages.
The Hebrew language today was similar to the Hebrew language more than two thousand years ago. Suppose time can go back to the time of King David in ancient Israel. Modern Israelis can understand the conversations of people more than 2,000 years ago. Modern language can communicate with the language of more than two thousand years ago, which is also a rare miracle in the world.
1. Language of the Bible
The Hebrew Bible related to Israel’s history, focusing on the Hebrew Bible text and Israel’s land’s physical archaeological discoveries.
The Hebrew language was magically resurrected, and its main promoter was Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. This Russian Jew was born in a small village in Lithuania 150 years ago and was born in 1881.
The Hebrew “Bible” provides words for concepts such as “justice,” “kindness,” “love,” and “hate,” but in it, people cannot find words like for some today’s time things such as “office” and “socks.”
Therefore, “Father of Modern Hebrew,” Ben Yehuda himself invented new words, of course, mainly based on the word-formation pattern and roots of Hebrew in the Bible.
2. Hebrew Is one of the oldest spoken languages in the world
Hebrew belongs to the semantic family of Asian – African languages. It is one of the oldest spoken languages in the world. In earlier times, nearly 2500 years ago, Hebrew was mainly used to study the Bible and related religions. Students majoring in Hebrew mainly studied linguistics and literature of the Hebrew Bible and modern Hebrew.
3. Get involved in business and politics in Israel
Israel is one of the most important technological centers globally for countless fields, cyber, artificial intelligence, missiles, autonomous vehicles, semiconductors, communications, digital printing, agriculture, water, cultured meat, food, and much more.
Apparently, there is no international technology company that has not opened an R&D center in Israel. All the big names are in the various high-tech centers scattered throughout Israel, mainly in the center. Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, HP, Applied Materials, and the list goes on. Besides the large tech companies, there are thousands of start-ups and investment funds from around the world.
Many Israelis speak English, and you can always get along, but is it really possible to connect with them? Is it really possible to understand them in English? Of course, it is much more difficult.
Anyone who wants to focus on Israel seriously must invest in learning Hebrew. This will be the best way to understand Israel and understand Israelis.
On top of the above, following the development of the energy industry, the alliance with Greece and Cyprus, the peace agreements, and the dramatic change in the Middle East’s geopolitical map, Israel is becoming a major political axis the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.
Many international political processes, international conferences, conferences, and events, will take place in Israel. Hebrew will become a key language for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in the area and its expected developments.
4. Approach Israeli Entrepreneurs Directly And Unmediated
Israel is located between Asia, Africa, and Europe. It has good access to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It is an important transportation hub for all over world trade. So definitely, it has some amazing business and entrepreneurial benefits of this innovative country.
Israel is strong in science and technology and has many applied science and technology, Which automatically increases the chances of industrialization and entrepreneurial opportunities for the business.
Its technological advantages in new materials, biotechnology, energy conservation, environmental protection, and information technology are undeniable.
Hebrew is the basis to know and understand Israeli culture and to take advantage of its geographical location. So to take the benefit of these business opportunities, quickly find out where to learn Hebrew from.
5. Understand Israeli culture
Continuing from the previous section, Hebrew must understand Israeli culture, how Israelis think, what motivates them, what will convince them to cooperate with you, and what will make them distance themselves. What is considered polite in Israeli eyes, and what will be considered rude. What Israelis like and what they hate. What will create an immediate bridge for Israelis, and what will keep them away from you?
The best way to truly understand Israelis is through language. The language breaks down barriers, creates closeness, and makes it possible to understand cultural codes that cannot be understood when speaking a language other than a mother tongue.
6. Complete Different Experience When Traveling To Israel
The tourism industry in Israel includes various historical and religious attractions surrounding the holy land, modern resort beaches, various archeological tours, historic site tours, and eco-tourism. To experience all the treasures of Israel and see its fascinating culture, learning Hebrew is the better option.
For people who plan a trip to Israel or students preparing to study in Israel, learning Hebrew becomes important, as it will make their lifestyle easy there.
7. Engagement With Israelis When Traveling Abroad
Although Israel is a country with a tiny population, the Israeli travelers’ community is huge and disproportionate to its size. If someone wants to estimate the size of the population of the State of Israel according to the number of Israeli travelers in the world, he will probably assume that it is a country with tens of millions of inhabitants.
Israeli travelers come everywhere, and in some places, their presence is very noticeable. The tendency of Israelis to crystallize together anywhere outside of Israel creates the prominent presence of Israeli travelers. The Israelis are very sociable and welcoming. Those who want to travel in a group with Israelis, on treks, in third world countries, in isolated areas, will have a cohesive and protective group with people who help and support each other.
Knowledge of Hebrew in such a situation is a highly thought out asset. The ability to communicate with Israeli travelers will upgrade your trip and travel to places you would only travel to in a group. Also, knowing Hebrew will be an excellent tool for getting to know Israeli culture through Israeli travelers.
8. Hebrew is an essential part of Jewish identity
Hebrew is the platform on which Jewish culture rests. It is impossible to understand Jewish culture without understanding Hebrew. From the Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Talmudic commentaries, Halacha (Jewish law), and Mussar’s (moral) books, all the Jewish holy books were all written in Hebrew. Several Philosophy books were written in Arabic by Jews living in Arab countries. Family, joys, and less happy events, and the basis of all of them in Hebrew. Therefore, if anyone wants to get to know Jewish culture in-depth, he must learn Hebrew.
Can I learn Hebrew
Hebrew belongs to the Semitic language family. The difference between the Germanic language family’s English to the Sino-Tibetan language family is so great that it makes people feel “separated” by comparison.
The degree of difficulty in learning once discouraged many people who wanted to learn but couldn’t learn it. Therefore, Hebrew also got a special “acquaintance” of “cannot learn.”
At present, only a few universities all over the world offer modern Hebrew courses; also, there are very few Christian seminaries, mostly in western countries, that offer Biblical Hebrew language course because the original text of the Hebrew Bible is in Hebrew (the original text of the Christian Bible is in Greek).
Hebrew grammar is close to Arabic, and they belong to the Semitic family, and its pronunciation and intonation are a bit like French, but it sounds much harder than French. Hebrew is a “highly condensed” language:
After the most common question of where to learn Hebrew, the next important question is how to learn Hebrew. Many people who wish to learn this language always have a question, where to learn Hebrew from.
Hebrew grammar is partially analytic, using prepositions instead of grammatical cases to express forms such as dative, off-case, and accusative. But inflection played a decisive role in the formation of verbs and nouns. For example, nouns have a structural state called “smikhut,” which indicates the relationship of “belonging”: this is the inverse of the genitive of more tortuous language. The term is often used in smikhut hyphen combined.
However, in many cases, the old declension forms are retained (especially in idioms and similar situations), and the “person” preposition is widely used as the “declension” preposition.
Hebrew lacks adjectives, so they use metaphors in the description process, such as your love is more beautiful than wine, your lips are like a scarlet thread, my beloved is among men, like an apple tree.
Hebrew has 22 consonants. When spelling, the four consonants Alef, He, Vav, and Yod are used as vowels to spell words. That is to say, the four consonants Alef, He, Vav, and Yud have two roles, both as consonants and vowels. These four letters can also be combined to form compound vowels. Modern Hebrew spellings are quite regular and accurate.
How to learn Hebrew
In general, the right way to learn Hebrew is no different from the way to learn anything. The most important thing is the decision to start. Then it is a matter of willpower and perseverance.
Once there are these two, the methodology is not complicated. There is an extensive selection of online courses, apps, websites, and textbooks. Everyone has to choose the path that suits them. Most of the courses available offer to start learning the alphabet. In my opinion, this is a mistake that can cost dearly.
Most people who learn Hebrew learn it for communication and not for reading. Those who study Hebrew for communication waste their energy on content that is not relevant to them in the first stage. It is better to concentrate the effort on learning to speak and understand Hebrew. Anyone who studies for any research must, of course, learn the alphabet.
From the moment you choose a path, you will stumble upon it and learn every day. Combine different types of learning, videos, podcasts, songs, games, etc … Despite the feeling that there is a lot of content available for free online, in practice, the most effective learning is through a structured and organized course when the free online additions should be complementary to the course.
Those who give up purchasing a course will have to learn eclectically from various sources without understanding the language’s logic and the scale of difficulty of learning the language.
Few interesting facts about Hebrew learning
- Hebrew is written from right to left and traditionally does not contain any vowels, although vowels can be represented by small dots above and below the consonants.
- English words derived from Hebrew include cherub, hallelujah, and amen.
- Speaking modern Hebrew can help you understand a lot (but not all) of Biblical Hebrew, just as speaking English can help you understand a lot (but not all) of Shakespeare’s English.
Where to learn Hebrew?
Through Hebrew professional courses and related inter-professional courses, students can understand and master more comprehensive Israeli literature, history, politics, economics, and society. The knowledge of diplomacy and Sino-Israel relations cultivates Hebrew professionals who have an international perspective and serve the country by teaching Hebrew and people aware of their roots.
The major in Hebrew adopts polyphonic (Hebrew + English), and in professional courses [Hebrew + Diplomacy, Law (International Economic Law), Journalism (International News), International Economics and Trade or for International Education] as a training model.
This major established a cooperative relationship with Bar-Ilan University in Israel in 2016. The 2020 students will implement the “2+1+1” training method: students need to study the college’s professional basic courses in the freshman and sophomore years and achieve college admission requirements. In the junior year, students have the opportunity to apply to study in Israel, and outstanding students have the opportunity to receive scholarship support.
Most of the Hebrew learning courses require basic English language understanding. Some resources are all free online, and some resources charge a fee. Everyone has different learning methods and focuses, and resources have their advantages and disadvantages, which can be selected according to personal preference.
The best resource to learn Hebrew from is the Hebrewpod101.
The explanation in Hebrewpod 101 is very detailed, suitable for people who do not have a Hebrew foundation; of course, it is also suitable for people who want to learn Hebrew as a reference only.
The audio content is the first play dialogue in Hebrew, and then explain the usage of the words or phrases in the dialogue, and then play the dialogue again. Also, there are corresponding texts (pdf) and tests for each lesson.
There are different levels, but it is best to understand (such as letters and simple sentences) before listening. After registering, there is a 7- day free trial, and you can use all the functions. After 7 days, if you don’t pay, you can only listen to the content of the first few lessons of each level, and you cannot download the text or take the test. If you have other learning resources, please leave a message for the recommendation; you are also welcome to share your learning experience. Click Here to visit Hebrewpod101.