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Hebrew

Photo courtesy of Roberta Molokandov

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: 5,316,700

 

Language Family: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic

 

Spoken in:
 
Israel, Australia, Canada, Germany, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, Panama, United Kingdom, United States.

 

 

History:
 

Hebrew is a member of the Canaanite group of Semitic languages. It was the language of the early Jews, but from 586 BC it started to be replaced by Aramaic. By 70 AD use of Hebrew as an everyday language had largely ceased, but it continued to be used for literary and religious functions, as well as a lingua franca among Jews from different countries.

 

During the mid-19th century the first efforts were made to revive Hebrew as a everyday language. One man who played a major role in these efforts was Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922), who was the first to make exclusive use of Hebrew in his home, and encouraged the use of Hebrew among others, as well as its use in schools.

 

 

Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Regular and Biblical versions of Hebrew are also available.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.