War of the Languages

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The war of languages (Hebrew: מלחמת השפות) was a debate in Ottoman Palestine revolving around the language of instruction in the country's new Jewish schools. This "language war" was a cornerstone event in the history of the revival of the Hebrew language.

In 1913, the German Jewish aid agency Deutscher Juden declared that the official language in the first technical high school established in Palestine would be German. This sparked a public outcry between those who supported the use of German and those who believed that Hebrew should be the language spoken by the Jewish people in their homeland. The issue was not just ideological: Until then, Hebrew was primarily a liturgical language and lacked modern technical terms.[1]

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