Hebrew is a Semitic language spoken by the majority of the 7 million people in Israel. Ancient (or Classical) Hebrew flourished as a spoken language from sometime before the 10th Century BC. It faded as a spoken language around the 3rd or 4th Century BC, replaced by Aramaic, but it remained as a lingua franca with scholars and was used by the Jewish community around the world. It continued as a written form for contracts, laws, commerce, and poetry. Near the end of the 19th Century,
it was revived in its present form as Modern Hebrew and replaced a score of languages spoken by Jews at this time. It was declared an official language in British-ruled Palestine in 1921, along with English and Arabic. In 1948 it became an official language of the newly-declared state of Israel.
Modern Hebrew is written from right to left, using the Hebrew alphabet.
• • • •
• • • • • •
• • • • •
What People Are Saying
“I have listened to Pimsleur in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, and now Dutch. The Pimsleur courses are the absolute best for tuning your ear to the language and for giving the practice time truly needed to be comfortable speaking. If you want to learn a language, start with Pimsleur before you do anything...”