Culture  Art&Culture
Keeping Hebrew Israel's living language
Anav Silverman, Tazpit
Published: 17.01.13, 13:36
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18 Talkbacks for this article
1. Let the natives learn English
Dovid ,   Haifa, Israel   (01.17.13)
2. Hebrew 1st
Tova ,   Canada   (01.17.13)
Hbrew should the frist language of Israel. Arabic should be taught as they are your neighbour and you need to know & undestand what is being said. Russian should be of less importance.
3. Interesting Article
Mitchell Cohen ,   (01.17.13)
I am always intrigued (and grateful) when I hear about The Academy of the Hebrew Language and the work they are doing to preserve the Hebrew language. That being said, there is just no turning back the clock on certain words. For example, "sach rachok" will never replace the international word "telephone" (I learned that one from my daughter BTW, who learned it during Hebrew appreciation week at her school). "Mirshetet" will never replace "internet". Nor will the original words for radio and television (I don't even remember what they are, nor do most Sabras I reckon) replace those words. To be sure, Hebrew was never a 100% pure language. In more ancient times, it was influence by Greek and Amaraic. In the period leading up to the founding of Israel, German words found their way into the Hebrew language, while today English words and Arabic words (Yalla!!!!) have worked their way in. So, I have faith that Hebrew will survive and thrive....
4. I'm old enough to remember when....
Bluegrass Picker ,   Afula   (01.17.13)
....the professorim were crying about the "Aramaic-izing" of the Hebrew language. So try to understand, it is not Hebrew that is becoming Anglicized; it is in Hebrew that 3000 years from now, professorim will write essays about the lost English language.
5. #1 Wow, such as a gracious "thank you" to the Israeli people
Jake   (01.18.13)
6. And while at it, please get rid of words like "sababa",
Jake   (01.18.13)
"kef", "mabsut", "freikha", "keefak", "jiffa", "bassa", etc. Ok, ok, we can draw the line at "ahlan" and "yallah".
7. As an Oley Hadash from Los Angeles I need English
Yakov Butterfield ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (01.18.13)
As an Oley Hadash from Los Angeles I need English to survive until I can speak Hebrew. Yes, I am taking an Ulpan, but it take time and practice.
8. I also cry when I see English taking over
Larry ,   Los Angeles   (01.18.13)
There was a time when stores and companies loved Hebrew, companies like T'nuva, Zim, El Al sought out Hebrew words to describe their companies. But that was before the invention of the "siciyon" (the Hebrew word that was supposed to be used for television but never stuck). But with the TV and now the internet so firmly established in the lives of Israelis, the love of America shows in the names of every new store that has the name center, super, hyper, etc attached to the name. The more American, the more accepted. I cry inside at the zilzul of our national treasure, Hebrew.
9. The Academie Francaise had the same problem
Scarborough1414 ,   Scarborough, Ont. CA   (01.18.13)
Cardinal Richelieu groused about the infiltration of Italian words into the French language, approximately two hundred years ago. More recent French academics have railed against the influx of English words (like le toast and le weekend and le drugstore) into French. Yet, French survives. Hebrew will survive words like "svedder" (sweater), "bakkax" (rear axle) and "protexia" (shlep; having influence in high places). BTW the early word for television was "see-kayon" (a TV set, not the idea of television as a medium). One victory the Hebrew Academy achieved was replacing "informatzia" (information) with "madah", from the verb meaning "to know". Some foreign words will never get rooted out, the public loves them too much. Words like "telefon", "muzika" (music) and "elektronika" (electronics) are probably here to stay. When I was in ulpan I complained about "intimi" (intimate) and "moderni" (modern). My teacher said not to worry. English is crammed with foreign words (even some from Hebrew) and guess what, the English language isn't going anywhere. Chill out. (We did win a victory with "chashmal" for electricity, from the book of Ezekiel, too bad about "elektronika". Oh well). Ben Yehuda refused to include curse words into Hebrew, so many people use Russian or Arabic words to curse in. Sigh. At least we have "karnaf" for rhinoceros. You have to measure these victories in small increments. Shalom, le'hitra'ot.
10. to 7: English NO
Moshe ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (01.18.13)
Sorry but i-m also an oleh jadash and my native languages is Spanish. English can't have more privileges than other languages. If you want to live in English come back to the USA. Here Hebrew only!
11. Mayor Yahav - comment excruciatingly hypocritical
Haifa Resident ,   Haifa, Israel   (01.18.13)
ENGLISH is the problem? Sir, in your own city hall, English is continuously erased to make room for Russian. Even in international offices, even the bathroom signs are in Russian and Hebrew only. Your own vice-mayor ran her campaign in Russian ONLY - just like the Arabs run their campaign only in their language. And the kicker: your staff distributes a Russian dictionary to Hebrew-speaking employees. Russian-speakers got the same money to learn and use Hebrew in this country and to be WITH Hebrew-speakers as other olim. There is no excuse for this shameful steamrolling of your Israeli city.
12. Where's the Israeli meltingpot I have been told about?
The patchwork the Israeli society is supposed to be formed from? Look like the polish is cracking...
13. The struggle against English language
Jon Krüger ,   Hamburg, Germany   (01.19.13)
Israel sounds like Quebec! ☺
14. Yiddish-isms in America
ASTRONAUT ,   ME, USA   (01.19.13)
How many Yiddish/Jewish words like "schlepp" "bagel" "schmear" "putz" have found there way into the hearts, minds, and everyday language of America, not to mention the entire planet! You know how many gentiles I've heard, (with a smile on my face) using these Yiddish-isms, not realizing that they are "speaking Yiddish?Not to worry about "Ivrit." Her beauty shall infuse the "everyday speak" of many generations to come. Besides, as young and energetic global entrepreneurs chat and "tweet" they'll continue to integrate, develop, and meld all languages into their own expert communication.
15. I left Montreal to hear this **** all over again?
Donna ,   Netanya   (01.19.13)
Xenophobia against English is a big joke. Let's not be the French, folks. Accept that foreign words enter your language. Is pyjamas native English? Cookie? Do you know how many French and Latin words are used in legal terminology? Oh, do me a favour...
16. Why not start with The Academy of the Hebrew Language
David ,   Ir Ivri   (01.19.13)
17. removing the word academy from their name, maybe Machon....
David ,   Ir Ivri   (01.19.13)
18. At least the Tora s Hebrew will...
ORA ,   JERUSALEM   (01.19.13)
always be pure.
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