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For those asking about Modern-Biblical Hebrew Intelligibility

Since the Hebrew course was released, several people have been asking if Modern and Biblical Hebrew are mutually intelligible.

Short Answer: Yes, to a certain degree.

Long Answer: http://langfocus.com/language-features/how-different-are-modern-hebrew-and-biblical-hebrew/

Hopefully this short article will help everyone understand the differences.

June 29, 2016



Thanks Gudu - this is very interesting!


If I may add a bit of self promotion, here is a concise answer about it on Quora https://www.quora.com/How-similar-are-Biblical-Hebrew-and-Modern-Hebrew/answer/Marta-Krzeminska


On the website I linked below, there is a free dictionary being written that lists all of the Modern Hebrew words that are not in the Bible. It can be helpful if you are reading Modern Hebrew and are curious if a word is in the Bible. It is not complete yet but the first official release should be done within a month. The current example version does have hundreds of words listed already. Here is the website: https://learn-hebrew-from-genesis.weebly.com/in-the-works.html


I think a more precise answer would distinguish between mutual intelligibility in oral and written forms. How many modern Hebrew speakers can understand this bit of late-period Classical Hebrew with reconstructed pronunciation?: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14339528/Sealoflovetiberian.mp3

Fewer than those who could read the text, would be my bet. And that's still hundreds of years closer to our time than what the earliest parts of the Bible would have sounded like.


Yes, I'd have to agree. All I understood was ״תפוח״

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