Hebrew language

Hebrew
עברית, Ivrit
Temple Scroll.png
Portion of the Temple Scroll, one of the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran
PronunciationModern: [ivˈʁit] – Ancient: [ʕib'rit][1]
Native toIsrael
RegionLand of Israel
EthnicityIsraelites; Jews and Samaritans
ExtinctMishnaic Hebrew extinct as a spoken language by the 5th century CE, surviving as a liturgical language along with Biblical Hebrew for Judaism[2][3][4]
RevivalRevived in the late 19th century CE. 9 million speakers of Modern Hebrew of which 5 million are native speakers (2017)[5]
Early forms
Standard forms
Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew Braille
Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (Archaic Biblical Hebrew)
Imperial Aramaic script (Late Biblical Hebrew)
Signed Hebrew (oral Hebrew accompanied by sign)[6]
Official status
Official language in
 Israel (as Modern Hebrew)
Regulated byAcademy of the Hebrew Language
האקדמיה ללשון העברית (HaAkademia LaLashon HaʿIvrit)
Language codes
ISO 639-1he
ISO 639-2heb
ISO 639-3Variously:
heb – Modern Hebrew
hbo – Classical Hebrew (liturgical)
smp – Samaritan Hebrew (liturgical)
obm – Moabite (extinct)
xdm – Edomite (extinct)
Glottologhebr1246[7]
Linguasphere12-AAB-a
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Hebrew (/; עִבְרִית, Ivrit [ivˈʁit] (About this sound listen) or [ʕivˈɾit] (About this sound listen)) is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel, spoken by over 9 million people worldwide.[8] Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh.[note 1] The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE.[9] Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.[10][11]

Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language somewhere between 200 and 400 CE, declining since the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt.[2][12][note 2] Aramaic and to a lesser extent Greek were already in use as international languages, especially among elites and immigrants.[14] Hebrew survived into the medieval period as the language of Jewish liturgy, rabbinic literature, intra-Jewish commerce, and poetry. Then, in the 19th century, it was revived as a spoken and literary language. It became the lingua franca of Palestine's Jews, and subsequently of the State of Israel. According to Ethnologue, in 1998, it was the language of 5 million people worldwide.[5] After Israel, the United States has the second largest Hebrew-speaking population, with 220,000 fluent speakers,[15] mostly from Israel.

Modern Hebrew is the official language of the State of Israel, while premodern Hebrew is used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world today. The Samaritan dialect is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular. As a foreign language, it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, and by archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, as well as by theologians in Christian seminaries.

The Torah (the first five books), and most of the rest of the Hebrew Bible, is written in Biblical Hebrew, with much of its present form specifically in the dialect that scholars believe flourished around the 6th century BCE, around the time of the Babylonian captivity. For this reason, Hebrew has been referred to by Jews as Lashon Hakodesh (לשון הקדש), "the Holy Language", since ancient times.

Etymology

The modern English word "Hebrew" is derived from Old French Ebrau, via Latin from the Greek Ἑβραῖος (Hebraîos) and Aramaic 'ibrāy: all ultimately derived from Biblical Hebrew Ibri (עברי), one of several names for the Israelite (Jewish and Samaritan) people. It is traditionally understood to be an adjective based on the name of Abraham's ancestor, Genesis 10:21. The name is believed to be based on the Semitic root ʕ-b-r (עבר) meaning "beyond", "other side", "across";[16] interpretations of the term "Hebrew" generally render its meaning as roughly "from the other side [of the river/desert]"—i.e., an exonym for the inhabitants of the land of Israel/Judah, perhaps from the perspective of Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, or the Transjordan (with the river referenced perhaps the Euphrates, Jordan, or Litani; or maybe the northern Arabian Desert between Babylonia and Canaan).[17] Compare cognate Assyrian ebru, of identical meaning.[18]

One of the earliest references to the language's name as 'Hebrew' is found in the prologue to the Book of Ben Sira,[a] from the 2nd century BCE.[19] The Bible does not use the term 'Hebrew' in reference to the language of the Hebrew people;[20] the ancient Israelites referred to their tongue as "Canaanite language" (Canaanite language" (Isaiah 19:18)—and later Yәhudit (יהודית; meaning literally "Judean/Jewish language"), when Judah (Yәhuda) became the surviving Hebraic kingdom after the destruction of the northern Kingdom 2 Kings 18).

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Иврит
адыгабзэ: Джуртыбзэ
Afrikaans: Hebreeus
Alemannisch: Hebräische Sprache
አማርኛ: ዕብራይስጥ
Аҧсшәа: Иврит
العربية: لغة عبرية
aragonés: Idioma hebreu
arpetan: Hèbrèo
asturianu: Idioma hebréu
Avañe'ẽ: Evréo ñe'ẽ
azərbaycanca: İvrit dili
تۆرکجه: عبری دیلی
Bahasa Banjar: Bahasa Ibrani
Bân-lâm-gú: Hi-pek-lâi-gí
башҡортса: Йәһүд теле
беларуская: Іўрыт
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Іўрыт
Bikol Central: Hebreo
български: Иврит
Boarisch: Hebräisch
bosanski: Hebrejski jezik
brezhoneg: Hebraeg
буряад: Иврит
català: Hebreu
Чӑвашла: Иврит
Cebuano: Inebreo
čeština: Hebrejština
Cymraeg: Hebraeg
dolnoserbski: Hebrejšćina
Ελληνικά: Εβραϊκή γλώσσα
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Ebràic
español: Idioma hebreo
Esperanto: Hebrea lingvo
estremeñu: Luenga ebrea
euskara: Hebreera
فارسی: زبان عبری
Fiji Hindi: Hebrew bhasa
føroyskt: Hebraiskt mál
français: Hébreu
Frysk: Hebriuwsk
Gaeilge: An Eabhrais
Gaelg: Ewnish
Gàidhlig: Eabhra
贛語: 希伯來語
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hî-pak-lòi-ngî
한국어: 히브리어
հայերեն: Եբրայերեն
hornjoserbsce: Hebrejšćina
hrvatski: Hebrejski jezik
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Ibrani
interlingua: Lingua hebree
isiZulu: IsiHebheru
íslenska: Hebreska
italiano: Lingua ebraica
עברית: עברית
Basa Jawa: Basa Ibrani
kalaallisut: Hebraimiutut
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಇವ್ರಿತ್
Kapampangan: Hebrew amanu
ქართული: ებრაული ენა
kaszëbsczi: Hebrejsczi jãzëk
қазақша: Иврит тілі
kernowek: Ebrow
Kiswahili: Kiebrania
коми: Иврит
Кыргызча: Еврей тили
Ladino: Lingua ebrea
لۊری شومالی: زۊن عبری
latviešu: Ivrits
Lëtzebuergesch: Hebräesch
lietuvių: Hebrajų kalba
Limburgs: Hebreeuws
lingála: Liébeleo
lumbaart: Lengua ebraica
magyar: Héber nyelv
македонски: Хебрејски јазик
Malagasy: Fiteny hebreo
മലയാളം: ഹീബ്രു
მარგალური: ურიული ნინა
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Ibrani
Baso Minangkabau: Bahaso Ibrani
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hĭ-báik-lài-ngṳ̄
мокшень: Евреень кяль
монгол: Еврей хэл
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဟီဘရူးဘာသာစကား
Nederlands: Hebreeuws
Nedersaksies: Hibbrais
नेपाल भाषा: हिब्रू भाषा
日本語: ヘブライ語
нохчийн: Иврит
Nordfriisk: Hebreewsk spriak
Norfuk / Pitkern: Hiibruu
norsk: Hebraisk
norsk nynorsk: Hebraisk
occitan: Ebrieu
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ivrit
پنجابی: عبرانی
Перем Коми: Еврей кыв
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភាសាហេព្រើរ
Piemontèis: Lenga ebréa antica
Plattdüütsch: Hebrääsche Spraak
português: Língua hebraica
qırımtatarca: İbrani tili
română: Limba ebraică
Runa Simi: Iwriyu simi
русиньскый: Гебрейскый язык
русский: Иврит
саха тыла: Иврит
Scots: Ebreu
sicilianu: Lingua ebbràica
Simple English: Hebrew language
slovenčina: Hebrejčina
slovenščina: Hebrejščina
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Єврєискъ ѩꙁꙑкъ
Soomaaliga: Af-Hebrow
српски / srpski: Хебрејски језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hebrejski jezik
suomi: Heprea
svenska: Hebreiska
Tagalog: Wikang Ebreo
தமிழ்: எபிரேயம்
Taqbaylit: Taɛebrit
татарча/tatarça: Яһүд теле
తెలుగు: హీబ్రూ భాష
ትግርኛ: ዕብራይስጥ
тоҷикӣ: Забони ибрӣ
Türkçe: İbranice
Türkmençe: Iwrit dili
українська: Іврит
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئىبرانى تىلى
vepsän kel’: Evrejan kel'
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Hebrew
Volapük: Hebreyapük
吴语: 希伯来语
ייִדיש: העברעאיש
Yorùbá: Èdè Hébérù
粵語: 希伯來文
Zazaki: İbranki
žemaitėška: Hebraju kalba
中文: 希伯来语
Kabɩyɛ: Hɛbra kʊnʊŋ
Lingua Franca Nova: Ivri (lingua)