Hebrew is Almost Here!

[deactivated user]

    Shalom, Duolingo! Hope your day is going well!

    I wanted to express my excitement for the soon-coming of the Hebrew for English speakers course! It is not exactly right around-the-corner, but it is close! I am going to share with you all the info I have dug up about the coming course!

    Airlibre, one of the course contributors, commented on the progress of this course 3 days ago. I have quoted it here for you all to read;

    Recently we've been making great progress, and indeed, we will soon have finished the bulk of the work on our side of the course. We currently have 2561/2735 words completed, and only a handful of skills left to complete. However, we then have to entrust the issue of the voice to the Duolingo team, and this might take a couple of months to be completed. So the course isn't right around the corner, but we are certainly nearing the finish line. I'm starting to gain confidence that our manually-set estimated completion date of June 10th is on the safer side of things.

    We also continue to receive highly valuable feedback from our alpha tester (read his update from a couple of weeks ago, below this one, if you missed it!). The impression he has given us so far is that the course is suitable for complete beginners. We have just been ironing out a few tiny niggles such as keyboard typos.

    During the voice acquisition process we will still have some things to do. We already have tips and notes prepared for a large part of the tree, including the introductory skills (where they are vital), but we will continue to double and triple check those and write up any pending tips and notes.

    Woot woot! Super cool, huh?

    I myself went to another contributor, asking about alpha testing. I told him I was super grateful they were making this course, and that I had NO experience with the language, other than a few words. He responded to me:

    No problem, thanks. I also started from a no-experience viewpoint (which was a requirement to be alpha tester). Once it enters Beta, everyone will be able to use the course, which should be around June - so in about 3 months hopefully you can start learning some Hebrew

    Hebrew is going to definitely be a language to check out. I did some research, and found out some cool stuff about the language:

    • The Hebrew alphabet only has 22 letters, and there are no vowels

    • Hebrew is the original language of the Bible

    • Hebrew is written from right to left

    • Hebrew is the 92nd most spoken language (source below)

    How are we supposed to read right to left? Eh, I'll get used to it. =)

    I hope you enjoyed reading the facts about Hebrew, and are now happy to hear that it is coming soon!

    Sources: https://frankherles.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/the-100-most-spoken-languages-on-the-world/

    Wikipedia

    Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

    2 years ago

    23 Comments


    https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123
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    Hebrew is the original language of the Bible

    It's a bit more complicated:

    The Old Testament was mostly created using Biblical Hebrew, over a span of many centuries during which the language naturally changed. There are some passages in Biblical Aramaic as well.
    The New Testament was probably written in Koine Greek (some people seem to argue that it might have been originally written in the Aramaic of the time, which is probably what Jesus would have spoken; but it definitely wasn't written in any form of Hebrew).

    And while Modern Hebrew is based on Biblical Hebrew, the language has changed a bit to a point where even native speakers can't understand everything written in the older variant (maybe comparable to Modern English vs. the English of Shakespeare or Chaucer (I'm not sure which would be more accurate but you get the idea)).

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/richardliantonio

    Chaucer would be a poor analogy. Verb endings and forms are nearly identical in modern Hebrew and biblical. The big difference is idiom and vocabulary.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Vernon61078

    Wow can't wait so excited

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/danielmount
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    I'm particularly excited to learn this language because it will kill two birds with one stone. (For any non-native English speakers reading, that's an English idiom for getting two things done at once). Even though it's not identical to ancient Hebrew, learning modern Hebrew will grant access to a modern tongue and be a great start towards understanding Biblical books from 3000+ years ago.

    By the way, there is some talk among the early church fathers that one book of the New Testament, Matthew, was originally written in Aramaic and then translated to Greek so early on that the Greek is the earliest version available. There's not complete consensus on that, but there's at least some people making the case.

    But church fathers then and most scholars today would agree that most or all of the rest of the NT was originally written in Greek.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

    Hebrew is also the only language to go extinct and then be revived. Also, Hebrew doesn't have an alphabet, it has an abjad, a type of writing system similar to an alphabet, but abjads don't have any symbols for vowels.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

    I didn't know about those. Either way, no other language has been revived as successfully as Hebrew (there are ~9,000,000 speakers today)

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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    Wikipedia says 5 million native (L1) speakers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language

    But yes, a very successful revival.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/IgnasioAndres

    Belarusian has about 4 mill native speakers, it's official in Belarus and Poland, besides being recognised a minority language in Russia and 3 more countries, so, It seems that it is as successful as Hebrew.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
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    Belarussian wasn't revived, it has been alive for hundreds of years without interruption

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/blonic

    Yeah, it seems as though all of the languages on this page are languages that had been reduced to very few native speakers, but Hebrew is the only one to be revived from NO native speakers.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/IgnasioAndres

    It did face a huge interrumption. It almost went extinct cause polish and russian had more importance at the time (1800-1900 aprox). In fact it just regained most of its popularity after the Soviet Union disolution in 1991, and, if i'm not wrong, its grammar was officially established in the XX century. When a language faces almost complete extinction and then regains its importance it's considered revived by definition.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/richardliantonio

    A lot of those languages in the list either only have "efforts to revive" but have not been widely successful, or are attempts to revive a language that is diminishing but not yet extinct.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ViolettePolyglot
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    Yay! Now I can add Hebrew to my list of to be learned languages!

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/bubblylife

    Same! :D

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/bubblylife

    Thx for posting this. :D

    2 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      No problem!

      2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/bubblylife

      No really... Thanks so much!

      2 years ago

      [deactivated user]

        B ) No problem (BTW, the emoji is just cool sunglasses)

        2 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/SurfinMan
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        looking forward to it!!

        2 years ago

        [deactivated user]

          Me too! I know another word: Mesuga. It means "crazy"

          2 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/SurfinMan
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          coool!

          2 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Nefetz
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          meshuga or in yemenite méshugʕå

          2 years ago
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