The Academy of the Hebrew Language
President Professor Moshe Bar Asher cautioned against the "erosion of the Hebrew language" by "the dependency and inferiority complexes of the media in regards to the US and due to the incredible usefulness of the internet."
His warnings followed a Hebrew University's
decision to allow PhD students to present their doctorate theses in English.
"It is clear that, unintentionally, one decision leads to another and in the end university classes in English will become prevalent in a process which will eventually happen in high schools and elementary schools."
Bar Asher bemoaned the decision which reversed the Hebrew University's founders' insistence that all academic papers be written in Hebrew.
"Placing English on the same level as Hebrew is a sharp deviation from the course set by the university's founders. This should be insisted upon precisely because of the Hebrew language's erosion.
Bar Asher, 'See the signs' (Photo: Atta Awisat)
Bar Asher asserted: "Walk the street and see the signs. Once there was a Jordan Hotel, Carmel Hotel. Now hotels carry English names.
"People don't say Shalom but rather Hi and Bye. We are the keepers of a 3,000 year old culture which conducted itself in Hebrew even in a foreign-language environment."
"Those who care for Hebrew's stature should insist on it. I'm not saying we should have a language-police, but that Hebrew lovers should stand for Hebrew's cultural value."
The Professor said that his remarks are not pointed at slang terms and common use of the language, which he finds beautiful, but to "Hebrew spoken in official capacities – in lectures, speeches or articles.
"I can't complain about the younger generations," he added, "because they are taught much less Hebrew these days. Teachers know less Hebrew and therefore pupils are taught less of the language."
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