learning biblical Hebrew and stopped by the modern on duolingo

Noticed that the two have significant differences and can often be confusing. Is anyone else able to comment on learning biblical herbwe while knowing modern or vice versa?

July 5, 2017


Learn what you're interested in. It doesn't really matter. They're closely related. You can apply knowledge from one to the other.
It's not like in Arabic.

July 8, 2017

could you elaborate on the "not like in Arabic part? just wondering.

July 24, 2017

In Arabic, there is what's called the "literary" Arabic, which is the language of the Quran, and is used as a common language between all Arabic speakers, but on the other hand is considered "archaic" and you would sound pretty dumb if you were to actually speak with it. Imagine someone trying to communicate with you in Shakespeare's English. Therefore Arabs don't speak literary, but rather each region has it's own Arabic dialect, which can be different in vocabulary, but even in pronunciation (for example, an Egyptian would say "gamil" and not "jamil" (=pretty), and a Lebanese (in some regions) might say "ahawa" instead of "kahawa" (=coffee) )

Bottom line - Knowing one region's Arabic doesn't mean you will be able to understand literary Arabic, and vice versa.

In Hebrew, knowing modern Hebrew can help a lot in understanding biblical Hebrew, and vice versa, but the latter is harder since biblical Hebrew is ancient and does not suit modern-day needs.

July 29, 2017

As a native Modern Hebrew speaker, I can tell you that most of the words are the same but it can still be hard for me to read the bible fluently without stopping to think. If you learn Modern Hebrew it will help you understand most of the Biblical Hebrew, but as with how English bibles have words like "Thou", or Dutch bibles have "Gij", Hebrew bibles have several unique words too.

July 12, 2017

I learned Biblical Hebrew before I learned any Modern Hebrew. I can read the Bible fluently in most places, but some of the psalms, proverbs, song of Mosheh, etc, take a bit longer for me sometimes, because sometimes there are uncommon words there I do not have memorized.

When I started learning Modern Hebrew (I will be done with the Duolingo course in a month or so) I noticed many differences. For example, when the Bible leaves out a Yod or a Vav, Modern Hebrew adds them, because the Yod and Vav are commonly used with vowel markings, so in a way, this is the method Modern Hebrew uses to clarify some vowels (since the markings are usually not used in Modern). There are many Modern words that share the same root word that Biblical words do, but it can be confusing because often times the Modern word either has a completely different meaning, or a more modernized version of the meaning. One example is זמן which in Biblical can mean 'to appoint' but in Modern it means 'to order' or 'to invite'. There are also many grammar differences between Biblical Hebrew and Modern. For example, the Modern word של is never in the Bible, and the English word 'of' is often implied in the Biblical text via word pairs and other grammar methods.

On the Webpage I listed below, there is a free book that lists the Modern Hebrew words that are not in the Bible, it is called Hebrew Comparisons:

April 9, 2018

I won't say too much, the only thing that is different is that in bible the words are words that in modern Hebrew we don't use (not all of them though) so if you are speaking and reading modern Hebrew you probably will have a hard time reading Biblical Hebrew alone and so to the opposite direction. I do recommend learning modern Hebrew its much more useful the Biblical Hebrew

July 16, 2017
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