Talk:Hebrew language/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Merge with Modern Hebrew Language article?

Why not?Ep9206 18:36, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew grammar

"Hebrew grammar is mostly analytical, lacking inflectional mechanisms for dative constructs, and having no systematic ablative, accusative or dative constructs"

This is slightly misleading, as hebrew has a very concrete accusative construct - the nota accusativi "et". Also, while hebrew 'lost' it's noun-case inflections, it retains many other mechanisms or constructs for differentiating the case of an object.

I place my comment here since the refered 'talk' pages talk little of linguistic aspects of the language.

You are right. I think I've fixed it. - Mustafaa 01:47, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yes, Very well written!

"Standard" Hebrew

The terms "Standard Hebrew" or "Israeli Standard Hebrew" are hardly ever used outside the pages of Wikipedia. Does it refer to the Hebrew spoken and written by educated Israelis? The "correct" Hebrew promoted by the Academy of the Hebrew Language? The pre-exilic Hebrew of the majority of the Bible, as standardized by scribes, massoretes, and medieval grammarians? It's not a well-defined specific term.

I've changed the sentence in the article, "Sefardi Hebrew is the basis of Standard Hebrew" because it's not meaningful to anyone who's unfamiliar with the Wikipedia-term "Standard Hebrew". I'm not disagreeing with the facts: Sefardi Hebrew pronunciation (not much else though) is indeed the basis of the most widespread, ethnically neutral variety of Israeli Hebrew pronunciation. It's just that the phrase "Standard Hebrew" (with capital s) as a technical term meaning "the most widespread, ethnically neutral variety of Israeli Hebrew" is not an established term, outside of Wikipedia. Maybe it's a good term and everyone should immediately start to use it, but it's not in keeping with Wikipedia's role to promote the use of a non-standard (!) terminology. Not to mention the fact that in many ways the most widespread, ethnically neutral variety of Israeli Hebrew is quite different from the norms promoted by the Academy of the Hebrew Language and the educational system in Israel. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

First off, please sign your posts with four tildae (~~~~). Secondly, please do not edit your posts so long after you've made them, it makes it very confusing.
Anyway, in what ways is "Standard Hebrew" ambiguous? Israeli Hebrew seems coherent enough to me. Kari Hazzard (T | C) 22:41, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Online translator

Does anyone know of a good online translator page that can render Hebrew websites in English? There are some good articles on our Hebrew counterpart which potentially contain a lot of useful information for the English language versions. Timrollpickering 14:06, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be nice. - Gilgamesh 07:01, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've translated the entry in the Hebrew Wikipedia under "Hebrew language," but I'm not sure how best to share it with the group. Any suggestions?Mlevie 04:26, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Torah and Bible

Line 2: "... the original Bible, the Torah ...". While I know that the Hebrew Bible is sometimes referred to as "Torah", this name is more typically used to mean Pentateuch, i.e. the five Mosaic books. A less confusing Hebrew name, in this particular sentence, would be Tanakh.

In any case, the phrase 'Hebrew Bible' is both inaccurate and misleading. 'Bible' is the Christian term for the 'two books' of the two Christian Testements. The Tanakh is many scriptures.


This page is 40 kb long! I see that the former articles for sections such as Hebrew grammar and Hebrew phonology were merged here. Is there some reason why this was done? It is kind of inconvenient for people with old browsers who can't upgrade. Wikiacc 01:35, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am that I am

The second paragraph of I am that I am makes some assertions about the subtleties of interpreting אהיה אשר אהיה. I'm pretty sure it isn't accurate. Perhaps someone watching this page could give that text a quick fixup? Thanks, Dbenbenn 04:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have to say that I couldn't help snorting at the idea of "I be that I be," but I don't dare correct it. In all honesty we may never really understand what that sentence meant, but since the name of God (let's write it "Yahweh") is derived from the same root as the verb "to be," I have heard it suggested that the sentence means simply "I am Yahweh," which at least makes something approaching grammatical sense.Mlevie 21:53, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

After twenty years of Biblical study on the subject, I would like to add that the phrase "I am that I am", as quoted from Exodus 3:14 is the Hebrew phrase " 'Ehyeh 'Asher 'Ehyeh' I will be what I will be {or become}. Furthermore, 'Ehyeh = I will be, spoken of Himself, He will be, spoken of by other people, He is, was, and will be hereafter. I Am That I Am, is also taken from the Hebrew Concordance #1961 Hayah, To Exist, or I Exist, which is the reference number for the Sacred name, and also #1933 Havah, which means to breath. Hence we have the Creator of all breathing things of flesh and of Spirit(Ruach)which also means to breath. It is most befitting for the Ever Existant One to say then "I Am", as a reference to His name. He is the Giver of life (breath)(existance), or the one who can take it away (non existance, extinction), hence, the dinosaur age for example. He is also the one who can change life toward any given direction. (He will be whatever He will be.)User:Pope/pope 11:00, Jan 2006


I know that at least one person, Arthur Koestler proposed romanising Hebrew. Although I think this was probably only ever a minority opinion, can it get some kind of mention? It is a curious footnote if nothing else.

I suggest a sub-article, for now I can provide the following links (if there's any trace from Koestler's suggestion that's indeed interesting). Some contemporary Israeli scholars are promoting Romanisation (Prf. Haar-Sagor for example)
 [1] - (interesting presentation of the state of written hebrew)
[2] - (iso standart) 
[3] - (a wiki discussing various sugguestions)
I find the suggested or presented or shall I say suggested Romanization of Hebrew in the article problematic. First of all the is an official Romanization system for Hebrew by the Academy for the Hebrew Language since 1957. This system is quite efficient and in use in official documents and signs for many years. It would be proper to stick to the official system, unless you have good arguments to change it, while trying to change only the necessary (pay attention for example to the swap of 'alef and `ayin). A nice presentation of the official Romanization you can find on under "Official Romanization of Hebrew". It also presents a very challenging improvment for the official system.
I'll look at your web site, but meanwhile I can say that I've thought a lot about the Academy's system and many others. The Academy's system is inferior in many ways to the American Library Association - Library of Congress system. The ALA-LC system is easier to learn, easier to apply (convert from or to Hebrew spelling), and leads a reader who doesn't know Hebrew to a more accurate pronunciation.

Common Hebrew Phrases

I think a new section needs to be adden containing some common Hebrew words and sayings similar to what has been done with Greek. What are your thoughts?


A fricative like the "ar" in "heart"? There's no fricative there. A better explanation is required. Chamaeleon 14:48, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

In fact there is no "r" in Hebrew like the English "r". The common Hebrew version is an Uvular as presented in the IPA's sysmbols as flipped "R" (or alternatively the IPa's "R"). Neither are in the article...


"Generally speaking, the imperative of most verbs in Modern Hebrew is expressed by using the 2nd person future form."

this is inaccurate, omission of the first syllable, is also very common (contrast with biblical hebrew - ommiting the first syllable, and reapplying "bgd-kft"). Imperative in modern hebrew is a currently an unstable phenomenon, and the subject of research, but by no means is being 'replaced' by '2nd person future' (which does exist)

example: b.d.k. 'infinitive' livdok (to check) imperatives in common use: (male) vdok! (rm 1st) tivdok! (2nd f.) bdok! (classic-hebrew form) (female) vdeki! (rm 1st) tivdeki! (2nd f.) bdeki! (classical male + i) bidki (classical). all forms are very common, the 'rm 1st' form is unique to modern hebrew, and is an example for a case in which modern hebrew does not obey 'bgd-kft'.

The omission of the first syllable may be common but it is not grammatical. For livdok, grammatical imperatives are "bdok/bidki/bidku" (classical and still in use in formal situations) and "tivdok/tivdeki/tivdeku" (same as the future tense). Dropping the first syllable of the future ("vdok/vdeki/vdeku") is not grammatical, as initial v (written bet) is not allowed. People may use "ain't" all the time in English, but it ain't correct. A reverse example: some speakers may say "pilosofiya" instead of "filosofiya" because they know that initial f (written pe) is not allowed in Hebrew words (since this is a foreign borrowing it's an exception.) I've corrected the article to reflect this. 20:29, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

In Modern Hebrew, the use of the normal infinitive as a general imperative, no doubt under the influence of European languages (eg. German)recreates a major use of the infinitive absolute in Biblical Hebrew well described by Haiim Rabin (A Textbook of Israeli Hebrew p. 315)as "...used in commands that are addressed to nobody in particular, but are valid for everybody; its use is in such cases comparable to that of the imperative. significantly, an example will be found in the Decalogue."

Geographic distribution

"Hebrew is spoken primarily in Israel by its close to six million Jews as well as by the two million Arabs who live there. However, outside of Israel, Sephardic Jews, mainly in France (with over half a million Jews), and expatriate Israelis, mainly in the United States, (about half a million people), tend to use it as a home language. Usually, most Ashkenazi Jews not born in Israel, (about eight million people), find it difficult to learn and use Hebrew in colloquial speech."

There is an appparent contradiction in the last sentence. My guess is that it should read "do not use", but someone who knows more than I do should correct it.

I assume your proposed correction "do not use" is intended to suggest that "learn and use Hebrew in colloquial speech." should be altered to say "learn and do not use blahblahblah". I don't think such a rewording is necessary, since the compound verb here is "learn and use". Many Ashkenazim know Hebrew, but find it incredibly difficult to use as a colloquial language. That is to say, they can read it, and understand what they're reading. They can pray in Hebrew and understand the words they're saying. But if you say something to them in Hebrew, they look at you like you're addressing them in an extinct dialect of some previously unknown click-language from the highlands of Papua New Guinea... TShilo12 07:37, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think this paragraph's first sentence is the only one that makes any sense, and I'm in favor of removing the rest of it. I'm Sephardic (I live in the US) and I speak Hebrew although my family speaks no Hebrew at home. Sephardic Jews are not centered in France. I know many Ashkenazim, particularly the more religious sort, who spend lots of time in Israel and speak Hebrew. Perhaps TShilo doesn't know them, and there may be no survey that says how many there are, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Non-Israeli Ashkenazim do not "find it difficult" to learn and use Hebrew, any more than Italian-Americans "find it difficult" to learn and use Italian. In fact, I find that sentence offensive. Hebrew is no more difficult for them than, say, Japanese. It's just that most non-Israeli Jews are not descended from Israeli Jews, nor do they have any Israeli relatives, and therefore for them Hebrew is a language they learn for their bar mitzvah and after that they don't see the point.Mlevie 21:46, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hey. Don't blame me. I didn't write it! My comment about Ashkenazim was in fact that they do know Hebrew, unlike what the article says. My experience with many Ashkenazim, "particularly the more religious sort", however, is that their ability to use Hebrew conversationally breaks down rapidly after a few sentences, especially when faced with someone who speaks MIH or a sefardi or mizrachi (etc.) flavor of Hebrew. This inability is far more pronounced in people who have never been to Israel, or more accurately, have never been outside of a "black-hat" yeshiva in Israel. Personally, I think the whole paragraph is utterly bogus. Large sectors of the Jewish population in Israel obstinately refuse to learn Hebrew, whether it's that portion of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union whom that describes, who prefer to speak Russian, or those charedim who consider MIH to be a desecration of the <shudder>"loshen kodesh"</shudder>. There are also significant numbers of so-called "Anglos" in Israel, who prefer to learn as little Hebrew as possible, opting instead to use English. As for the claim that the "two million" (Good lord! What does that author know that the Israeli census missed?!) Arab citizens all speak Hebrew, that's just plain laughable, and should be summarily deleted without comment. TShilo12 09:36, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally, my remark about click-languages comes from personal experience: Most ashkenazim are not aware that `ayin has a pronunciation, and often look shocked when they hear it pronounced. Similarly, most ashkenazim regard the pronunciation of cheth differently from khaf as an alien concept, and some don't appear to be able to tell sometimes that you're even saying a cheth...and if they manage to catch the difference between a kaf and a quf, watch their eyes go wide... TShilo12 10:06, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, honestly I can go to an Ashenazic synagogue and not understand a word, I can barely believe it's the same language, but that's a diaspora for you. Still, the pronounciations you mention (non-silent 'ayin, chet and kuf as in Arabic) are non-standard and people are entitled to look a little askance at them, just as Parisian French speakers struggle to understand the Quebecois or Germans from Munich squint at Schweizerdeutsch. As for Israeli Arabs, would it not be fair to say that the million or so who live inside the Green Line and went to Israeli schools probably know Hebrew fairly well? In fact, most of them probably speak it better than the Anglo and Russian 'olim you mention.Mlevie 04:25, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Aspect in Modern Hebrew

Can someone expand on Aspect in Modern Hebrew compared to Biblical Hebrew, and the usual Semitic aspect system? The Semitic languages page could also use some explaination of the Semitic Aspect system.

Israeli Hebrew Vowels

"Recently many Israeli speakers have merged /ə/ into /e/, reducing the vowel phonemes to 5"? Only if by "recently" you mean several generations ago. It's a fiction that there is a /ə/ phoneme different from /e/. (In Israeli Hebrew, that is. In American Sephardic they are indeed different.) The truth is that there are some /e/'s that can be deleted and others that can't -- they sound the same. In terms of underlying (lexical or grammatical) representations, the instances of [e] that can be replaced by zero are best considered to be underlyingly nothing at all (or some other vowel), with a [e] inserted if necessary, or optionally. That is, [jixtevú] is underlyingly /jixtovu/ or maybe phonologically /jixtvu/, but not /jixtəvu/. The [e] in [jixtevú] sounds no different from other [e]'s.

I think the information above is valuable. If you can, please include it somehow in the article's vowel phoneme section. (It may be necessary to place it strategically to avoid any edit /e/-/ə/ edit war. ;) ) --Haldrik 01:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
The manual of the IPA does not give the shva as a seperate phoneme - this could be cited as a source (a good citation would prevent an edit war). I would do it myself, but my copy is currently misplaced. Mo-Al 01:41, 22 September 2006 (UTC)


"Ancient Hebrew did not have diphthongs. Although diphthongs do exist in modern spoken Hebrew, grammar rules discourage their use. Thus, the root Y-Kh-L, 2nd person singular, future should have been conjugated tuykhal, however the correct form is tukhal."

Firstly, this is simply incorrect. Biblical Judian Hebrew, had most probably had Diphthongs, this is actually the strongest Shiboleth between Biblical Hebrew and other Canaanite dialects. Second - could someone explain the "tuyhkal" example? what does it mean 'should have been' (wasn't, isn't, doesn't have any will of it's own does it?). This should either be clarified or removed.
It's "tukhal" because it's supposed to be, not because of some made up nonsense about diphthongs. Whoever wrote that rubbish needs to study a little bit before pontificating esoterically. The root Y.K.L is a result of an innovation of classical Hebrew by which initial W was replaced by Y. This is why whereever the root, for example, Y.L.D is preceded by any consonant, including yud, the Y from the root seems to disappear. It doesn't disappear, it's just realized in its original form, hence words, using the example of Y.L.D, like noladeti and toldot. If you look at Arabic, it has preserved the original initial vav (ok, so , in Arabic)...whence the Arabic word "walid". As for what "tukhal" means, I don't actually know, but "tokhal" is "you will eat" TShilo12 17:22, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I gather it's agreed then that this sentence be removed? I'm well aware of the W->Y shifts in Hebrew and Aramiac, but I don't see their relevance to either Diphthongs nor to the form imaginary form tuykhal. Oyd11 23:21, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If it were up for a vote, I'd vote "yes". Remove the sentence altogether. The entire thing is garbage, from the first word to the last. Someone who knows more about the HYPOTHETICAL status of diphthongs in Biblical Hebrew can then write something that makes sense to take its place. TShilo12 04:36, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hebrew avoids dipthongs in the sense that a syllable must contain a consonant and a vowel and therefore dipthongs are impossible. This doesn't really have anything to do with "tukhal" per se, which by the way means "you will be able to" and should have been (meaning, I guess, were it a regular verb) conjugated "tikhol" not "tuykhal." Even today I think dipthongs are only found at the end of a word, as in the non-Biblical past participle (taluy "dependent," or samuy "hidden.") Correct me if I'm wrong. Mlevie 21:33, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I had a brain fart with tukhal. As for the presence of diphthongs, I doubt that the fact that they are only found at the end of words in the way modern Jews speak Biblical Hebrew can be used as evidence that this has always been the case. (I'm not thinking of -uy, I'm thinking of -ay...) My assumption is based on the fact that the Tiberian mesortim used -y and -w in their vowel-sound representations. My guess is that what we pronounce as akhshav was then pronounced akhshåu, and my guess is that the yud in `oyev was diphthongized in forms like `oyveini (oh no! two diphthongs in the same word, and neither at the end!)... Anyways, I think this whole discussion is (1) moot, since the offending section has been deleted (Thanks Mlevie) and (2) demonstrative of the fact that this constitutes too much of a delving into the hypothetical, about which there exists no consensus, and certainly insufficient documentation to warrant certain-sounding mention of possibilities as though they were established fact. Shabat shalom lekulam TShilo12 16:36, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Use of the name "Ladino"

Someone put in that Judezmo is "wrongly called Ladino". This may be the opinion of a large number of Judezmo-speakers, but from a linguist's or historian's standpoint, there is certainly nothing whatsoever wrong with referring to it as such. Therefore, I have changed "wrongly" to "also", although this is, IMHO, slightly inaccurate, since it is far more often referred to as "Ladino" in English than as "Judezmo"...and this is the ENGLISH Wikipedia. Regardless, any personal rants about the "wrongness" of calling it Ladino should be substantiated and included on the Ladino page, and discussed on the talk page there, not on the Hebrew page. TShilo12 13:24, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps, as a compromise, you could mention that most linguistics classify Judezmo as a form of Ladino, while mentiontioning that some Judezmo speakers object to this?--Josiah 23:57, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)
It's the other way around. The few linguists who distinguish these two terms, notably Prof. Haim-Vidal Sephiha, insist that "Ladino" should refer only to the ultra-Hebrew-influenced "translationese" in which Bible translations were written, and call the language itself Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo. I think most linguists see this as excessively pedantic, though. - Mustafaa 00:12, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is not particularly pedantic, actually: "Ladino" as a name for "translationese" covers not only Judaeo-Spanish (= Djudío-spanyol, Djudezmo, Jaquetía, Spanyol, etc.), but also Castilian and other Iberian language forms. In most of the history of "Ladino", it has been understood to be the idiom of literal translations from Hebrew/Aramaic into an Iberian (though usually not Portuguese) written language. The tendency to call the everyday language of Balkan and Ottoman Sephardim and some mainly coastal North-African Sephardim "Ladino" is almost entirely 20th Century invention, with this usage becoming significant only in the second half of the Century... -- Olve 23:58, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

two main features?

Modern Hebrew has a rich jargon, which is a direct result of the flourishing youth culture. The two main features of this jargon are the Arabic borrowings (for example, "sababa", "excellent", or "kus-emmek", an expression of strong dissatisfaction which is extremely obscene both in Arabic and in Modern Hebrew), and the obfuscated idioms.

Firstly, as already discussed in the past, wouldn't it be preferable to replace 'kus-emmek' with some of the many other borrowings from Arabic? (See the old discussion, giving the comparison "English has many words derived from Anglo-Saxon, such as fuck, cunt and whore.")
Second - what's the other 'main feature'? and what makes these features more central to others?
what are the obfuscated idioms? Is this perhaps one of them?

Oyd11 23:44, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Inconsistent translitarations

The article's translitaration of hebrew includes 'h' for xet (hataf), 'x' for xet (nax), xazaq, 'y' inside SAMPA quotes where apparently 'j' is ment, 'c' for cadik: industrializacia, 'ts' for cadik shem etsem, mixed SAMPA, IPA, and apparently ad-hoc translitarations. Now, I'm just saying we should decide on a consistant standart, at least for the article. Was there such a discussion in the more general scope in WP? Oyd11 23:44, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It looks like there's already a standard: Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Hebrew)

--Mo-Al 02:06, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Transliteration scheme for Hebrew from Nynorsk Wikipedia

The following is a quick (and, as far as the comments go, not entirely complete) translation of the transcription convention for Hebrew from the Nynorsk Wikipedia. It follows mainly the Qimḥian analysis of the Masoretic system. Could this be something to build on for the English Wikipedia too...? -- Olve 00:32, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Hebrew alphabet


Hebrew Transcr. Hebrew Transcr. Comments
א ’. -     When a א has no vowel sign (including ševá) under it, it is not transcribed.
ב בּ b, bb  
ג ğ גּ g, gg  
ד d דּ d, dd  
ה h, - הּ h When this consonant is last in the word, it is only transcribed when it has a vowel sign or a mappíq (point, similar to dagéš).
ו v, u, ū, o, ō וּ vv  
ו z זּ zz  
ט טּ ṭṭ  
י j, ī, i, ē, e יּ jj We do not write īj, ēj, ej, but ī, ē, e.
כ ך kh כּ ךּ k, kk  
ל l לּ ll  
מ ם m מּ mm  
נ ן n נּ nn  
ס s סּ ss  
פ ף f פּ ףּ p, pp  
צ ץ צּ ṣṣ  
ק q קּ qq  
ר r      
שׁ š שּׁ šš  
שׂ s שּׂ ss  
ת t תּ t, tt  


Hebrew Transcr. Hebrew Transcr. Hebrew Transcr. Hebrew Transcr.
אִ אִי ī אִ אִי i        
אֵ אֵי ē אֶ אֶי e אֱ ĕ    
אָ ā אַ a אֲ ă אְ ə (audible) or
non-transcribed (silent)
אֹ, אוֹ ō אָ o אֳ ŏ    
אוּ, אֻ ū אוּ, אֻ u        

Thank you, however, the problem here seems to be of the "The good things about standards is that there are so many different ones to choose from" sort. I possibly suggest the 'academic semitic transliteration' for a phonemic transliteration, and either IPA or SAMPA for phonic. While this is a bit awkward, as the two are confusingly different, it's mostly alright, as most linguists are familiar with IPA, and most Semitic linguists are familiar with the 'semitic transliteration' (I forgot whom it's named after).
An example: Most modern hebrew speakers do not differentiate the pronounciation of ʾ and ʿ, thus the words 'ʾbd' and 'ʿbd' are both pronounced /avad/.
Now, is this what 'we' want? Oyd11 01:15, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The Newnorsk system is a fine transliteration system. --Haldrik 21:58, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Minor edits regarding the definite article

The article at one time stated "Hebrew has only a definite article, ha-..." which an anonymous user changed to "Hebrew has only one definite article, ha-..."

Both statements are accurate. The point that is being made in the article, however, is not that Hebrew has only one definite article, but that Hebrew has a definite article, ha-, but not an indefinite article.

I changed the word "one" to "the", so it now reads "Hebrew has only the definite article, ha-...", and would have clarified that there is no indefinite article, but perhaps that work is better left to a Hebrew grammarian, who could insert such a paragraph, or brief mention, directly preceding the apparently confusing mention of the definite article.

In the meantime, hopefully my alteration will prevent further "helpful" edits that end up changing the whole gyst of the text.

TShilo12 09:02, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think the sentence is somewhat awkward - especially the "only" part. Why not simply write: "Hebrew has a definite article, ha-, but no indefinite article" or something similar. Moreover - I wonder about the statement further up in the article that Afro-Asiatic originated in Mesopotamia and then moved northeast "eventually reaching the Middle East" - surely this cannot be? Vice 23:59, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You're right. It sounds idiotic. Originally, it said "northeast africa" or something like that, which I changed to "the fertile crescent", and someone else changed to "mesopotamia". In any of those three cases, "eventually reaching the ME" is tautologically and repetitively redundant at best, and just plain silly at worst. Fixing... TShilo12 01:08, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Mesopotamia" is wrong. Almost all historical linguists agree that Afro-Asiatic originated in Africa, and the one exception I know of thinks it came from Palestine. See Afro-Asiatic languages. - Mustafaa 03:55, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You are correct. My original alteration of the article to say "Fertile Crescent" was as a result of my misreading of the paragraph, whereby I thought it was saying that the Semitic branch itself developed in Africa (exclusively)...a theory for which there is neither extensive evidence nor widespread academic support. This, of course, does nothing to resolve the issue about the definite article verbiage. -t TShilo12 07:13, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Number of speakers of Hebrew

The vast majority of Israeli Arabs and even of Arabs living in "the territories", in addition to Arabic, also speak Hebrew. Of less concern to me than the inclusion of "as well as its Arab citizens" or whatever the article used to say, is the fact that there are probably 100,000 Russians, Jews or otherwise, who stubbornly (and quite obnoxiously) refuse to learn Hebrew. Also, the US census number is kind of a bizarre thing to include as a separate number...what should be differentiated is "first language" and "second/additional language" speakers. I would say, comfortably, that there are probably about 800,000 to as many as 1.5M Hebrew speakers in the US, whereas the US Census numbers reflect only those who speak Hebrew as their home language (i.e., "native speakers"). Tomer TALK 05:53, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

The number 195,375 in the U.S. was from my research (and somebody linked it). If you can find different (larger) numbers then by all means please post it there.

Falcoboy7 02:05, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

spawning sections to new articles

I took the Grammar section and sent it to Hebrew grammar, and the Sounds section and sent it to Hebrew phonology. Hope nobody minds too much... This article is getting big enough. (For justification, see relevant argument at Talk:Yiddish_language#Recommendation_to_split_article) Tomer TALK 07:34, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

Good idea. Jayjg (talk) 15:42, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Displaying vowels correctly

I've noticed that the vowel diacritics don't seem to display as well in Firefox as in MSIE. Does anyone know of a fix for that?  :) — Helpful Dave 12:21, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Heave a sigh of disgust and switch to MSIE6 until Firefox has better extended character-set support. IE has the best support for non-English languages I've seen, which is why I've been using it almost exclusively (except for testing) instead of Netscape or Mozilla, ever since IE5 came out. (Mozilla's language support has been vastly improved over the past 2 years, but it's still fraught with problems.) Tomer TALK 12:26, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
No, MSIE has plenty of problems. I'll keep Firefox as my default browser, although I commonly have that, Opera and Avant Browser (based on MSIE) open at any one time. My concern is not so much about how I can view the characters correctly, but whether I can make sure that all visitors to my website can view my material. Chinese seems to display not too badly, but Hebrew is tricky.
If I want to write "Shem", this should do the trick, shouldn't it?
Hey, that displays fine for me in Firefox! The problem must be the font then. The above box uses Courier New, I believe. I had been using Arial Unicode MS (specified for the class "Unicode" in the stylesheet). Does anyone know which fonts I should specify to make the dots display correctly across all browsers and platforms? The answer to this question could also help us display Hebrew correctly on Wikipedia.  :) — Helpful Dave 14:13, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, IE has its share of problems, but most of them are security-related, not display-related. BTW, what did you think was "helpful" about removing the "superfluous accent" from Judæo-Catalán? If you're that opposed to accents, why did you not change the word "Catalán" to "Catalonian"? Catalán is not the correct English name for the language, but if you're going to use the spanish word Catalán, it should retain its accent. Either that your you should insist on using the Catalán word for the language, Català, which OOPS! still has a pesky accent in it!!! Tomer TALK 03:52, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

"Diaspora Hebrew"

i've come across several vague references to "diaspora hebrew" (as opposed to israeli hebrew).

can anyone on here who is more familiar with hebrew than i am tell me whether or not there is such a thing?

Gringo300 00:11, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Diaspora Hebrew" is Hebrew as spoken outside Eretz Yisrael. In ancient times, it referred to the liturgical forms of Hebrew in use, and in modern times, it refers to their modern forms. There is no language "Diaspora Hebrew", if that's what you're asking. In modern times, it's just a catch-all for "Non-Israeli Hebrew". Tomer TALK 04:48, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

so in other words, "diaspora hebrew" isn't a single monolithic dialect and/or language.

if i understand correctly, the term "diapora" has had different meanings at different times in history. particularly, different meanings before and after the founding of the nation of israel in 1948.

come to think of it, i've also seen the term "diaspora" used in entirely non-jewish contexts. Gringo300 06:52, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

"What makes it unique"

From the article:

What makes it unique is that the original Hebrew Bible, the Torah, that Judaism teaches to have been recorded in the time of Moses 3,300 years ago, was written in (Biblical) Classical Hebrew.

I don't understand why this makes the Hebrew language unique. Tempshill 21:45, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In a technical sense, yes, there is only one language in which the Torah was written. But of course, as you note, this is just a peacock phrase. - Mustafaa 22:48, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It makes it "unique" only to people who consider the OT/Hebrew Bible to be holy, viz. Jews and Christians. If I were a Hindu say I wouldn't be impressed with the statement ;) Kuratowski's Ghost 23:58, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I made a first stab at rewriting it to reflect what I thought the original author was trying to convey without the "peacock phrase"ology. Tomer TALK 05:00, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

Some pointers

Like any article about a living language, this should focus more on the language spoken today. Right now the sections on sounds and grammar have been reduced to just minor paragraphs which is completely unsatisfactory. The modern phonology and grammar should be properly discussed here. Whisking it all off to subarticles won't do. The Sounds-section is missing a consonant table, a vowel chart, proper information on allophones, assimilations and phonotactis. The Grammar-section needs to be expanded to (preferably) include morphology, syntax and proper examples to illustrate it all (no endless lists, though). If anyone feels that the article is too long, then I suggest trimming the bloated history section instead of keeping everything else to a minimum. Keep in mind, though, it's not until the article grows past 50k that we can start talking about trimming material. Like with any living major language, this is a top-level article and should be allowed plenty of space to cover everything.

Peter Isotalo 23:39, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Phonology is discussed briefly in the article, with a note that the topic is covered in more depth at Hebrew phonology. What's the gripe? The same thing is done with any number of other language articles. Tomer TALK 02:48, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
That a lot of language articles are lacking in either of these sections is no excuse to leave it in its present state. Please have a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Language Template. The structure is considered standard for all living languages and it calls for information on much more than just the fact that the pronunciation varies.
If you have a look at the latest language articles to become FAs, they have all been much more well-balanced.
Peter Isotalo 01:38, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

עברית as /iv'rit/

This is perhaps a minor point, and as I'm still a newbie, I don't want to go around changing the many instances until I know I'm right in doing so ("be bold," I know... don't rush me ;) )

This article twice mentions that עברית is pronounced /iv'rit/, and I believe I've seen that in other Hebrew-related pages before. But seeing as ר is usually /ʁ/ in modern Hebrew, shouldn't the correct pronouncation for עברית be listed as /iv'ʁit/? Again, I know it's a minor issue, but I figured, why not bring it up?  :-) -Eleusinian 04:27, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

When one uses two /´s instead of [ and ], that means one isn´t using real IPA, only a simplified form for a specific language. So it isn´t wrong. I also wonder about a thing: isn´t it an unrounded open back vowel in car, and an [a], i.e. an unrounded open front vowel, in hebrew? If I´m right that should be changed. 15/5 2006 - Laurelindë

It certainly is "real IPA"! The principles of the IPA explicitly allow for simplification when it doesn't lead to ambiguity. The IPA is an alphabet, a means for expressing ideas (about pronunciation); it doesn't tell you what ideas to express.
Phonemically, one should include the ‘ayin, actually: /ʕiv'rit/. -- Olve 21:11, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The "almost"-adoption of Hebrew by the US's "founding fathers"

I've previously heard that the US's founding fathers, when having to decide upon what language would be spoken in the new country being formed -- and considering that they were very anti-England and everything associated with it (apparently, including the English language) -- that Hebrew was a very real possibility. From what I've heard, it only lost by one voice.

No doubt, it would have been Biblical Hebrew, as Modern Hebrew didn't exist at the time.

One website that mentions this in passing is [4].

If anyone has more information about this, it would be very interesting to add to the article page.brozen 19:40, August 9, 2005 (UTC)

I heard the same story, except that it was German that "only lost by one voice." And it's completely untrue: see here [5]. And I can't imagine the Founding Fathers, who wrote such beautiful English, would have considered giving it up, regardless of their feelings toward Mother England.Mlevie 18:19, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

nonsensical diphthong text

Deleted -- it does not seem to make sense:

Hebrew usually has two types of diphthongs: 'a' (ey) and 'i' (ai/ae). For example: חיים - haeim (life).

Benwing 02:35, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

I haven't taken the time to examine what you're talking about, and probably won't for a few days, but I have to agree with seems nonsensical. There are only 2 types of diphthongs I know of: rising and falling. Both of these horribly explained diphthongs seem to be rising. Given your past edit history on the subject, however, I would recommend that you not rely upon how things "seem" to you, since often "seems" is your excuse to push your view without regard to scholarly opinion to the contrary. Again, however, in this case, I agree with how things seem to you. Tomer TALK 06:48, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
Hebrew (עברית [‘Ivrit])
Spoken in: Israel
Region: Israel and other countries
Total speakers: ~6 million (including app. 500,000 non-Jewish speakers in Gaza/West Bank). 195,375 in the United States.1

1United States Census 2000 PHC-T-37. Ability to Speak English by Language Spoken at Home: 2000. Table 1a.

Ranking: not in top 100
Genetic classification: Afro-Asiatic


Official status
Official language of: Israel
Regulated by: Academy of the Hebrew Language
(האקדמיה ללשון העברית)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 he
ISO 639-2 heb
See also: LanguageList of languages

apical trill

"... rather than as /r/, an apical trill, as in Spanish."

Wouldn't it be better to write "Alveolar trill" instead of "apical trill"?

njaard 16:45, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Probably - I changed it. --Mo-Al 09:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew naming conventions

Urgent: see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) to add your opinions about this important matter. Thank you. IZAK 17:26, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The letter shin (ש) is transcribed by "sh".?

I'd be VERY careful with this! Have you ever heard "Ishrael" for the country? S'pose not, but Israel DOES contain a shin! It depends on where the dot is (left or right branch of character), whether it's pronounced sh or s. -andy 15:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. In unvocalised texts, it is generally up to the reader to guess where the dot is. So your advice is only moderately helpful. JFW | T@lk 15:52, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


What I was wondering is whether or not the Khazars were using Hebrew? Is there anything known about that? If so, that could be one of the intermediates between the demise of Hebrew in the Roman period, and its recent resurrection. JDH 13:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew language of jews

What the crap is this? Hebrew language of jews (sic)? And to think a registered Wikipedia user made this change!

quite ridiculous, yes. "X language" (rarely just "X") is the standard form for articles about languages—German language and Latin, not German language of germans or Latin language of romans. I've moved it back. —Charles P._(Mirv) 04:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Kaki ?

Take a break from serious topics! Could someone(s) check out the Kaki article and agree/disagree with

Strangely enough, I can find a reference to this word=meaning for Esperanto ! (Good grief, now everyone can say it ...) Thanks. Shenme 00:31, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it does mean that in Hebrew, but Wikipedia is not a dictionary, so I removed it.--Mo-Al 04:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Copy question

This article is copied from English Wikipedia! Is that allowed? [6]-- 23:07, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you should ask on the question pages instead. --Mo-Al 01:40, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Velar fricative? (contradiction with voiceless uvular fricative article)

I see that under 'consonants', it says that hebrew has a VELAR fricative. I had always thought it was an (voicless) uvular fricative for chet and chaf... --Mo-Al 14:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, velar. For classical and some forms of Sephardi and Mizraḥi Hebrew, this sound represents the graphemes כ‎ and ך‎ (khaf). For Ashkenazi Hebrew and many forms of Sephardi Hebrew, as well as commonly in Israeli Hebrew, this sound may also represent the classically speaking unvoiced uvular fricative ח‎ (ḥet). -- Olve 03:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I realize that. The phonetics section is specifically about Israeli Hebrew, and not Sephardi or Mizrahi Hebrew. I'm pretty sure that modern Hebrew uses an uvular fricative.--Mo-Al 04:31, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Also, the Handbook of the IPA backs me up. In both oriental and non-oriental modern Hebrew, chaf is a voiceless uvular fricative, and in neither is chet a voiceless velar fricative.--Mo-Al 22:23, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Uvular in principle or uvular in actual speech...? Most non-Sephardi/Mizrahi Israelis I have heard tend to have a (retracted) velar (not palato-velar, in other words) pronunciation. -- Olve 00:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Actual speech. Maybe that's what you've heard, but that may not be how most pronounce it. I'm not an expert, but I have always heard a uvular fricative.--Mo-Al 00:40, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
This page contradicts Voiceless uvular fricative, which says that Hebrew has a voiceless uvular fricative. --Mo-Al 04:34, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
don't you think that mistake is in 'fricative' article? -- tasc talkdeeds 12:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily, and even so, it is still a contradiction (it would make sense to place the tag on the other page too).--Mo-Al 00:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The IPA Handbook does give the uvular fricative, taken from transcriptions of Oriental and non-Oriental Modern, Israeli Hebrew. Perhaps the issue is more to do with differences in the place of articulation in different Hebrew varieties. — Gareth Hughes 00:34, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The chapter on Hebrew in the IPA Handbook gives very atypical speech, unrepresentative of the speech of most Israeli Hebrew speakers ("Oriental" or not). On this point, though, it's correct -- the sound is almost always uvular.

No it is not a contradiction. We all agree that Hebrew has a voiceless uvular fricative, namely chaf. The only question is whether it has a velar fricative (hhet) as well. So there is nothing wrong with the "uvular fricative" article citing Hebrew as an example. Please remove the contradiction mark. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 13:04, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Het is not velar. If it's different from khaf, het is pharyngeal, which is in the opposite direction from velar. Velar is further front in the mouth than uvular, pharyngeal is further back.
Okay, but then Hebrew phonology should be changed, since it says that chet is [x]. --Mo-Al 01:26, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I must apologize profusely. It is chaf that is the velar fricative ("ch" in Scottish loch): hhet is the same sound, for non-Arab Jews, and a uvular fricative (much further back in the throat, as in Arabic) for Mizrahim. I got the two terms muddled up because my browser does not support IPA symbols properly so I couldn't make sense of the table. Please edit accordingly. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I was under the impression that in Mizrahi Hebrew, het was a voiceless pharyngeal fricative. Anyway, if het is an uvular fricative, it should be on the chart (since it is phonemic), and the velar fricative should not (since it is an allophone of /k/).--Mo-Al 23:08, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
You're probably right about that too. As among those three words, "velar", "uvular" and "pharyngeal", we need to use whichever represents the point furthest back in the throat. It's a bit hard to make the same chart represent more than one pronunciation system at a time, especially when we are only representing phonemes and not the actual letters. Over to you. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:26, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, since the article uses IPA, you can't just say its the point "farthest back in the throat". It can be determined (and has been in the manual of the IPA) whether the sound is velar, uvular, pharyngeal, epiglottal, or glottal. (By the way, the farthest back sounds are actually the glottals; since Hebrew has a phonemic glottal stop, you can't say that Het is the farthest back.) We are only using one pronounciation system.--Mo-Al 20:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, unless someone can give a good reason not to, I'm changing the (phonemic) velar fricative to an uvular fricative.--Mo-Al 21:12, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I hesitate to land myself in it yet again, but I suggest the following. The table is intended to represent modern Israeli Hebrew, not all dialects. So in the main table, eliminate uvulars and pharyngeals altogether, and assume that hhet=chaf=velar fricative. Then have a footnote saying that in Mizrahi usage, and arguably in historic Hebrew, hhet is a pharyngeal like Arabic hha. Then eliminate the reference to Hebrew from the uvular fricative article, but insert a reference in the pharyngeal article (if there is one) saying that, in Arabic and MIZRAHI Hebrew, ayn/ayin and hha/hhet are examples. Is this acceptable to all parties?

I do not want to get into the argument about whether the differences are phonemic. There are certainly examples where a difference between hhet and chaf, or between tet and tav, alters the meaning of a word, but that does not affect the fact that some people pronounce them alike (leaving the meaning to be deduced from the context) and some people pronounce them differently.--Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 14:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay, one, resh is usually uvular in modern Hebrew - the uvular section stays. Two, the IPA handbook says that het is an uvular fricative in ALL varieties of modern Hebrew. Three, I'm pretty sure that the statement in the article "BH /ʕ/ and /ʔ/ have usually merged into SIH /ʔ/, but this distinction may also be upheld in educated speech of many Sephardim and some Ashkenazim" is correct, although that's just from experience. Anyway, there is no basis for getting rid of the uvular column. Mo-Al 16:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Latinized Hebrew

This would work flawlessly for Transliterating Hebrew text into Latinized Hebrew text. (use this alphabet reference)סרגון יוחנא

There is already a standard: Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Hebrew) --Mo-Al 02:07, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


I suppose Qoph is pronounced /q/ and not /k/, isn't it? Ayadho

Not in modern Hebrew.--Mo-Al 00:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


Maybe this talk page should be archived.--Mo-Al 00:53, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Earliest Appearance of Hebrew

The article mentions the tenth century BCE as an unqualifed date for the first appearance of Hebrew. Can this be substantiated linguistically?

Of course, all dates for the first appearance of a language are bound to be somewhat arbitrary. However, in this case, I suspect that the author may have been too influenced by political events. It seems likely that Hebrew was the native language in Canaan long before the start of the monarchy. Hebrew was the language of the Canaanite civilisation, which had already established city life perhaps as early as 10000 years ago (Jericho).

It is certainly mistaken to believe that Hebrew was introduced to Israel by the Jews. Presumably Jews spoke other languages prior to arriving in Israel; an early form of Coptic, perhaps, during the Egyptian captivity and Sumerian, (Akkadian?) in the case those who arrived with Abraham.

I write this seeking advice before altering the text. Please correct me if you have variant information.

--Philopedia 21:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Making Distinctions Between Dialects Palpable

The article does quite a thorough job of discussing the development of various dialects of Hebrew. What is missing (and would really be valuable) would be some comparative material to demonstrate the content and substance of differences; for instance, examples showing how certain sounds changed, perhaps with indication of how the changes were brought about by contact with other language speakers; as well as major changes in the grammar.

This is just a wish entry. I'm afraid I lack expertise to contribute.

--Philopedia 21:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

"Ashkenazic" Hebrew doesn't exist, unless a person is being really particular to meen Hebrew as spoken by German Jews. There are 5 or 6 dialects of Hebrew spoken by European communities, all equally valid, and the one spoke most before the war was Galitzianer. The difference? Eloikinee and Elokeynoo. Pretty substantial differences. Russian Hebrew had no Shin. Maybe the dialects section should be expanded to include all dialects, not just NCSY made up dialect vs. Ben Yehudah made up dialect. Not to mention the dozen or so different ways sefardim speak. 23:37, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


I agree that this article should be merged into the main Hebrew article. The discussion there of Biblical Hebrew is already better than the discussion in this article. Indeed, I wonder if there is anything in this article worth retaining. --Ssilvers 23:24, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

GA Passed

Congratulations! I agree with the nominator that the article deserves GA status. On the improvement side, I would like to see more references, creation of new dialect pages or the removal of wikilinks for them and the note in the infobox be moved to the reference section. --CTSWyneken(talk) 21:18, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Also, the lead will need to be shortened to four paragraps, as per WP:LEAD. Homestarmy 23:59, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Archaic Biblical Hebrew

The Song of Deborah and the Song of the Sea are generally agreed to be pre-monarchic. A better timeline would probably put 1200-850 as the "archaic" phase (represented by these old poems and the the bulk of Samuel) and 850-550 as the "biblical" phase, as the bulk of the Tanakh probably dates from this period.--Rob117 22:06, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

That sounds plausible. If you can find a handy book citation and/or online citation, we can use the rough dates 12th-9th and 8th-6th centuries BCE. It's a bit awkward to refer to the 12th-century as it seems Hebrew didnt exist yet as a distinct dialect of Canaanite. --Haldrik 21:47, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

"Revision"ism by a user

I would like to request that Haldrik stop changing transliterations of Hebrew letters, etc. to his own system. Most of these transliterations were based on discussions at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew), and reflected the consensus achieved there.

Haldrik, I know you would not like it if someone came along and replaced many transliterations with another system, say Ashkenazi Hebrew transliterations. Please refrain from making these type of changes until they have been discussed at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew). --Eliyak T·C 20:03, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not imposing one system against another. The spelling of the Hebrew is wildly inconsistent in places. I'm just standardizing for consistency. The article is about Standard Israeli Hebrew, so the spelling follows this pronunciation, and there is no conflict with other dialects. (Humorously, the same tables that describe a transcription system often use words spelled according to another transcription system. It's anarchy. A transcription system must match pronunciation, otherwise it will never be stable.) I'll hold off for now, but the need for well thought-out standard is imperative. --Haldrik 21:02, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Going through the edit history, I see that this is really an ongoing edit-war among many users. Let's all please stop and wait until Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) becomes policy. Until then, I suggest that any new edits follow the current proposed policy. --Eliyak T·C 20:12, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Tutorial on using Hebrew on a Western Word Processor

Could somebody please direct me to some help on how to type Hebrew in Microsoft Word, etc? I do not understand why, when or how the Word Processor decides to reorder the letter sequences left-to-right or right-to-left. It's a real pain to try to type something and then watch the Word Processor reverse all of the letter sequences. How do you ensure that the Word Processor lets you type and view everything right-to-left instead of left-to-right? Is there an online tutorial for this somewhere? Thank you. Ep9206 18:39, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

If you have a recent Windows it should handle right-to-left. You have to activate it tho. (You might need to have the Windows disk! So if your computer didnt come with one, you might not be able to do it.)

  • 1. Click the Start menu in the corner of the screen.
  • 2. Click the Control Panel.
  • 3. Click Regional and Language Options.
  • 4. Click the Languages tab in the popup.
  • 5. Check the box: Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)
  • 6. Click the Details... button.
  • 7. Click the Settings tab.
  • 8. Click the Add... button for Installed services.
  • 9. Click the drop list for Input language.
  • 10. Select Hebrew.
  • 11. Click the OK button.
  • 12. Click the OK button of the Text Services popup.
  • 13. Click the OK button of the Regional and Language Options popup.
  • 14. Open your Word for Windows application.
  • 15. When you have a page ready, look at the Window's Taskbar strip usually across the bottom of the screen. You should see a blue language icon with EN, which stands for the language English. This appeared after you added Hebrew as an Input language.
  • 16. Carefully click the EN icon, without hitting the taskbar itself, so that your Word window is still active. In the dropdown menu select the HE for Hebrew.
  • 17. Theoretically ... you should be able to start typing Hebrew in your Word document. It might take you some time to get used to the Hebrew keyboard!
  • 18. Good luck! --Haldrik 22:21, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

If there are any tech gurus who want to modify or expand the instructions above, please do so! --Haldrik 22:24, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


I was hoping that some people who frequent this page might actually speak Hebrew. Can anyone, perhaps, provide a transation or at least transliteration for the term גיס חמישי (I hope I copied that right) on Fifth column? --Bucephalus 13:43, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


According to Niqud, kamatz katan is pronounced in Standard Hebrew as /o/ (i.e. same as kholam). This article does not make that distinction. Do native Israeli speakers of Hebrew indeed make that distinction? (My observation is that the word כל is pronounce "cull" not "coll" but I don't know if this distinction is made accross the board) --Jms2000 17:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

כל is definitely pronounced /kol/ in modern Hebrew. Mo-Al 17:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
But is that the exception or the rule for pronunciation of kamatz katan? In other words, is it this article that needs to be corrected to note distinction between kamatz gadol and kamatz katan? or does niqud need to be corrected to show /a/ for kamatz katan? --Jms2000 18:39, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I have always heard kamatz katan (and ONLY katan) pronounced as [o]. Mo-Al 22:32, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, modern Israeli speakers do make this distinction--but it's almost impossible to tell the difference between kamatz qatan and kamatz gadol, you basically just have to know the word. So In Israeli Hebrew, kamatz qatan is actually written as cholam to avoid confusion, as the niqud article correctly notes. For some reason כל is an exception to this. Mlevie 17:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Have to know the word? This is not true. There are very specific rules for when a qamats should be regarded as a SHORT vowel and pronounced /o/. Put simply, if the a syllable is closed (CvC) and unaccented (CvC'Cv[C]), then the vowel in the syllable must be pronounced short. There is no rule for accented syllables, which can contain long or short vowels within a closed syllable. But, it is clear in unaccented syllables. The only confusion that can result is in the analogous form in the qal perfect of 3fs verbs, which appear to have a closed syllable with qamats. However, the syllable in this form is NOT closed, and the vowel is long. The sheva opens the following syllable in such cases rather than closing the previous one. - Yonah mishael 18:52, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

What is "Standard Hebrew"? That's not a standard term anywhere outside of Wikipedia. Does it mean the Hebrew of the majority of the Bible, as standardized by scribes and massoretes? Does it mean the way most educated Israelis speak and write? Does it mean "correct" Hebrew as promoted by the Hebrew Language Academy and school textbooks? Wikipedia should not be introducing new terms.


as in "go"

Is that correct? Wouldn't Israelis pronounce it as in "hut"? --Jms2000 17:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

There is no sound like the one in "hut" in modern Hebrew. Mo-Al 17:17, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
They definitely don't pronounce kholam as in "go". Is there a sound in English that approximates the modern Hebrew sound for kholam? --Jms2000 18:41, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
That's because "go" in English isn't pronounced [go], it's pronounced [gɐʊ]. Mo-Al 22:35, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that English speakers do not generally produce pure vowels. Most long vowels come across as diphthongs (like Mo-Al demonstrates above). Perhaps a more closely sounding /o/ will be found in hope /hop/, which is less diphthongized in regular speech. - Yonah mishael 18:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Italics in Hebrew

A guideline on whether or not to italicize Hebrew (and all scripts other than Latin) is being debated at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (text formatting)#Italics in Cyrillic and Greek characters. - - Evv 16:44, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


אני מאוד שמח שיש אנשים בארצות הברית או הבריטניה שיודעים עברית

.גם יש יהודיים באה"ב ובבריטניה, נכון? אנחנו בכל העולם‎   ;) Yonah mishael 19:04, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

שלום לך

האם אתה גר בארצות הברית כי אני חי בישראל וזה מוזר לפגוש אנשיים יהודיים שגרים במדינה אחרת אנא סלח לי אם אני מטריד אותך

אנחנו בוויקיפדיה לא יכולים לפגוש אותך אם לא תשים את החתימה שלך בדף. אני אמריקאי. אני מתכנן לנסוע עוד פעם לישראל בפברואר. יש לי חברים בראשון לציון ובמזקרת בתיה. איפה אתה גר? אם אתה רוצה, יכול לענות על השאלות האלה בדף שלי. - שלום וברכה, יונה מישאל

"מזקרת בתיה"? רק הראש הכחול שלי מפרש את שגיאת ההקלדה הזו באופן משעשע? (האיות הנכון: "מזכרת בתיה") 20:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)