Say Hello in the Hebrew Language
Hebrew as a language dates as far back as 1200 BC. It is of Biblical origin and its history is spread over 4 main periods, which are:
- Classical or Biblical Hebrew – used till the 3rd century BC; the form of Hebrew in which the Old Testament is largely written
- Rabbinic or Mishnaic Hebrew – used till about 200 AD; the form of Hebrew in which a Jewish tradition collection called the Mishna is expressed; never used as a spoken language
- Medieval Hebrew – used from around 6th century AD to the 13th century AD
- Modern Hebrew – the currently used form of the language in Israel
Hebrew saw a steady decline as a spoken language from the 9th century AD to the 18th century AD. However, it was still used as a sacramental and literary language during this time. It was then gradually revived over the 19th and 20th century to become the official language of Israel.
Learn some basic greetings such as how to say hello in Hebrew and more here:
|English:||Hello||My name is|
While it actually means “peace,” shalom is the word commonly used to say hello in Hebrew. It is also used to say goodbye. In informal settings though, it’s acceptable to use hay (pronounced like the hey in English) or the Arabic ahlan (pronounced Ah-lahn) to say hi.
If you want to wish someone a good morning, boker tov (pronounced BOH-ker TOHV) is the phrase you want to use. Likewise, you say erev tov (pronounced Eh-rehv TOHV) to wish someone a good evening and laylah tov (pronounced LIGH-lah TOHV) to wish someone a good night.
Want to express gratitude? Say toda (pronounced toh-DAH) and you’re likely to get bevakashah (pronounced be-vah-kuh-SHAH), which means “you’re welcome,” as a response. Bevakashah is also an acceptable way to say “please.”
Did You Know You Were Speaking Hebrew?
Words in English from the Hebrew language:
Learn the basics of the Hebrew Alphabet here:
Here are some resources that delve into Hebrew as a language in depth:
- 500 Basic Hebrew Words Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view this content
- University of Texas at Austin: Hebrew Language Tutorials
- NASA: Voyager Audio Greeting in Hebrew
These resources briefly discuss the Hebrew culture:
- Country Study: Israel
- CIA World Factbook: Israel
- Israel: International Travel
- American Jewish Historical Society
- The Jewish Calendar
Who Can You Talk To?
There are a total of more than 9.3 million people who speak Hebrew all over the world. Around 8.3 million of these are in Israel alone, where Hebrew is the official language. Another language spoken extensively in the country is Arabic. Other countries where Hebrew is spoken include Australia, Canada, Germany, Palestine, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Now, you can say hello in Hebrew to over 9.3 million people!*
*Source: Ethnologue: Hebrew – (Register for free to access.)
Say Hello to the World was created by Lorri Mon.
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