Hebrew language

of these articles treated explicitly the office language of Israel, do not see for it” Iwrit “.

Hebrew belongs to the northwest branch of the semitischen languages and thus to the afro asiatic language family. The holy writing of the Jews, Tora, became forwardsThousands of years in this language codifies and the following generations passed on. After the destruction of the first temple to Jerusalem by Nebukadnezar II. in the year 586 v. Chr. and the following Babylonian exile came the there office language Aramäisch under thatJew in circulation; late parts of the Bible contain therefore aramäische components. Also the native language of Jesus of Nazaret was possibly Aramäisch. To the destruction of the second temple to Jerusalem in the year 70 the center of Jewish settlement of Judäa shifted after Galiläa. Connected with it also the hebräischsprachige element in the population decreased. Approximately starting from the year 200 Hebrew stopped functioning as native language. Meanwhile a Sakralsprache remained, excluding for liturgical purposes was however never used,separate always also for the drawing up of philosophical, medical, legal and poetic texts, so that the vocabulary in the course of the centuries could extend. It is likewise testified that itself the scattered Jewish municipalities for the communication among themselves the Hebrew served. The renewalthe Hebrew one as native language began in late 19. Century under Eliezer Ben Jehuda,1889 it created the “advice of the Hebrew language” in Jerusalem with the goal of reviving for approximately 1700 years hardly more the spoken language of the Bible. Despite thatdevelopment lasting for thousands of years are the differences between oldHebrew and newHebrew much less importantly as for example between oldGreek and newGreek. With respect to Israel between old and newHebrew, with respect to both cases is from “Iwrit” the speech is not differentiated at all. By DavidBen Gurion, which is a first Prime Minister of the modern State of Israel, the utterance delivered: “If Moses today would return and for a piece bread would please, one it would understand. “

Table of contents


one differentiates between three Entwicklungsstufen: Old, central and newHebrew.

early history

of the Gezer calendars come from the year 925 v. Chr., i.e. from the term of office of the king Salomo, and is considered as the oldest well-known Hebrew inscription. This concerns a agricultural calendar from sevenhorizontal written lines and a respected vertical line, in which the phönizische alphabet is used.

The most famous work in Hebrew language is the Jewish Bible, the Tanach (called in the Christian linguistic usage old will). The exact data of their drawing up are disputed(see in addition Bible criticism). The oldest copies of Biblical texts were found 1947 in Qumran and come from the time between that to 3. Century v. Chr. and the late 1. Century n. Chr.

later history

the Jewsin the Perserreich used Aramäisch, which became for the following 700 years the colloquial language and particularly in the Bible translation Targum was literarily used and in parts of the Talmuds. Aramäisch belonged likewise to the northwest branch of the semitischen languages and is thusHebrew very close related. In the centralHebrew phase numerous aramäische expressions and idioms were transferred to the Hebrew, above all however the aramäische writing, which is as square writing until today used. During approximately two millenia Hebrew was not spoken language. In the traditional Jewish training, beginning in the Cheder and continued in the Talmud universities, however much time was used in order to be able to read Tora, Mischna , Gemara and rabbinische comments in the original. The most important contribution toPreservation of the traditional Hebrew comes from the Masoreten, from 7. up to 10. , i.e. data added after-Christian century for the originally purely konsonantischen text of vowels, accents and Teamim so mentioned to the liturgical singing in the service. Inthe Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is printed the masoretische text.

Hebrew writing

see in addition beginning the article Hebrew alphabet as well as the entries under the individual letters, with Aleph.


major item: Hebrew grammar

in that Hebrew grammar for the distinction by subject and object no cases are used, but prepositions. Inflection plays however an important role with the education and derivative of verbs, nouns, the genitive construction status constructus, that on Hebrew Smichut(“Supporting”) one calls, and the ownership structure.

Examples of Smichut:

báyit = house; lechem = bread; béit lechem = house of bread (Bethlehem).

In the Smichut stands the article, contrary to the Indogermani languages, before the object:

aliyá = immigration; nó `acre = youth; aliyát hanó `acre = the immigration of young people.

The ownership structure can be shown on Hebrew by a short form and a longer form. The short form exists the longer form in the connection of a personal suffix, throughDerivatives of the preposition schel (“of”). Example:

Son = ben

my son = bni and/or. habén schelí (literally “the son of me”).

The fact that the Hebrew writing is a consonant writing does not come from approximate: in the Hebrew language a word trunk exists onlyfrom consonants. The different derived forms develop by adding different vowels as well as by pre and suffixes. For example: the word trunk G - N - W marks the idea of stealing. From this the among other things following words are derived:

ganáw= thief; derived from it the German word “Ganove”

(aní) gonéw = (I) in addition

steals gniwá =

theft about word trunk sees the section “Grammar” in the English article over the semitischen languages, EN: Semitic LANGUAGEs.

The Hebrew language knows two grammatical sexes and/or. Genera: male and womanlike. Female nouns and name end mostly with A or th, correspond in each case to the Hebrew letters “He “and/or. “Taw “. Example: Judith, `Ivrith. It gives however also some, For example the word ends to exceptions “lájla” (night) with the letter “He” and is nevertheless male.

Mostly the last syllable is stressed, in some cases also the next to last syllable.

Hebrew nouns and adjectives can with the certain article “hectar” definedbecome. Indefinite nouns and/or. Adjectives carry no article. The certain articles together with the associated word one writes. Example:NO `acre = youth, hano `acre = the youth.

Hebrew verbs have today three time forms, past, future and present.For the present each verb has four forms, whereby between male singular, female singular, male majority and female majority one differentiates. Example:

(aní, atá, hu) kotéw (I, you, it) [M.] write, write, writes
(aní, RK, rear) kotéwet (I, you,it) [f.] write, write, write
(anáchnu, atém, hem) kotwím (we, it, it) [M.] write, write, write
(anáchnu, atén, hen) kotwót (we, it, it) [f.] write, writes, write
serves the line-makeup, please do not remove

the basic form for the derivative of all conjugation forms is in the Hebrew one 3. Person singular maskulin the past, example katáw: it wrote. The moreover most verbs, with exception of some passive forms and Modalverben , order over infinitive as well as Imperativformen.

Hebrew verbs know neither a Vorvergangenheit nor Futur II. This lack of temporal styles becomes however balanced by the fact that the millenium-old word trunks (see above) by the derivative of kausativen and reflexiven forms again to be animated to be able. Examples:

  • lichtów: write, derived from it:
    • michtáw: Letter
  • lëhachtíw: “give to write”, i.e. dictate, prescribe, derived from it:
    • hachtawá: Dictation
  • lëhitkatéw: “write each other”, i.e. correspond, derived from it:
    • hitkatwút: Languages
with strong Hebrew

influences in the centuries

of the Diaspora the Jews numerous used correspondence [work on]Languages such as Jiddisch, Jenisch, Ladino and/or. Judezmo, Karaimisch, Judäo Arab and others, which descend not directly from the Hebrew one, exhibit however numerous Hebrew leaning words and with the Hebrew alphabet were nearly always noted.

influencesHebrew on the German and in reverse

by the Bible translation of Martin Luther numerous expressions and idioms with Biblical background were taken up to the German language. Examples: surely as in Abrahams lap, rejoicing year, Kainsmal.

First name HebrewOrigin are far common:Jakob, Joseph, Joachim, Joel, Johanna, Jonas, Jonathan, Maria, Miriam, Johann, Rebekka, Samuel, Achim and many different.

Some Hebrew words are over Jiddi into the German language arrives, e.g. Tachles out hebr. tachlit = purpose, meaningful, meschugge out meshugá = move/over-snatched, malochen out melacha = work, more koscher from more kascher = purely, suited, smell out tov = well, betucht out batuach = reliably, to Stuss out schtut = nonsense (out: [old])

for historical reasons many terms of the business life are under it. Since the Jews in Christian Europe hardly different sources of income were permitted for many centuries, many of them were active in the trade or in the monetary system. Herebelong the expressions gravel in the sense of (bags) money from gravel = bag; Broke out peleta = escape, escaping; Frictionoh out rewach = profit. Into the criminality pushed aside Jews contributed some words and idioms of the Gaunersprache, e.g. Ganoven (of Hebrew ganav = thief). See in addition also Hebraismus.

With the creation from Ivrith to beginning 20. Century from most European languages different expressions were taken over. The modern names of the month in Israel correspond to the German designations: January, February, March etc.The only modification results at the month August, which is expressed Ogust, since the vowel connection is unusual outer in the Hebrew one. The again-Hebrew designation iton (newspaper) from et = time, is formed after the model of the German word.

Thatcolloquial Hebrew some German has and/or. jiddische expressions taken up, e.g. “squirt”, “sip”, “shreds”.

Also in the sector relating to crafts are some German expressions, as bspw. “Insulating tape” or “peg”, which however - due to in Hebrew which is missing u sound - “Diebel” is expressed.

see also


  • Metzler encyclopedia language, 1993
  • [old] Hans's Peter Althaus, small encyclopedia of German words jiddischer origin, C.H.Beck2003


  • Stähli, Hans's Peter: Hebrew short grammar, Goettingen 1985.
  • Gesenius/Kautsch/Bergsträsser: Hebrew grammar, Olms 1995.
  • Meyer, Rudolf: Hebrew grammar, Berlin 1992.
  • Grains, Jutta: Hebrew study grammar, Langenscheidt 1996. (in detail)
  • Lambdin, Thomas's O.: Text book Bible-Hebrew, 1999. (from thatAmerican)
  • Feldhendler, Marie Paule: Grammaire de l'hébreu israélien. Ellipses. France 2004.


  • Gesenius, William: Hebrew hand dictionary, Berlin 1962.
  • Charcoal burner, Ludwig/tree gardner, walter: Hebrew and aramäisches encyclopedia to the old person will. 3. Edition suffering 1996.
  • Fohrer, George: Hebrew and aramäisches dictionary to the old personWill, Berlin | New York 1997.
  • PONS compact dictionary oldHebrew, Stuttgart 2006.

Text books:

  • Jenni, Ernst: Text book of the Hebrew language of the old will, Basel 1981. (School book for High Schools conceived)
  • Matheus, franc: Introduction to the Biblical Hebrew (I study grammar, II study bookfor the group and self-instruction), Münster 1997.

To language history:

  • haUniversita haPetucha: Peraqim praying oiling DOT haLashon ha'Ivrit 1-11. Tel Aviv.
  • Gesenius, William: History of the Hebrew language and writing., Olms 1973.
  • Kutscher, Eduard Yechezkel: A History OF the Hebrew LANGUAGE. Jerusalem 1982.
  • Sáenz Badillos, fishing rod: A History OF the Hebrew LANGUAGE. Cambridge 1996.

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Wikibooks: Hebrew - learning and teaching materials

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