31 Jan 2011
Deror - that's the paper for me! It is ironic that Ithamar Ben Yehuda of all people should have proposed a modified Latin alphabet for Modern Hebrew.
Is it beyond the realm of possibility that the Deror alphabet - or an improved version - could be introduced again? If even educated speakers have some difficulties in reading - even with aleph, vav and yod representing vowels - there must surely be continuing discussion about this among educationists and linguists..?
Have there been any Basic Hebrew projects - like Ogden's Basic English, or the simplified versions of French, German, Spanish, "Slavonic" etc. proposed as international or auxiliary languages in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
3 Feb 2011
An interesting quirk of the current reading education of Israelis is that secular Israeli adults have difficulty in reading pointed text such as Tanach, siddur, or poetry. I stipulate secular since religious Israelis see pointed text daily in the siddur. Since Israeli children children stop using nikkud in school by third grade, when they later see a pointed text they confuse the vowels with their sense of how the word might be sounded through contextual reading. Try it. Give a 20 year old a chapter of Psalms or a poem by Bialik.
3 Feb 2011
the writer completely ignores the hebrew of the mishnah and similar texts, to which modern hebrew bears considerable resemblance. comparisons to biblical hebrew are, in fact, something of a red herring.
5 Feb 2011
Dear Dr. Berdichevsky,
I enjoyed reading your article on Hebrew language that was posted on Jewish Daily Ideas. I was born and grew up in the United States and attended Jewish day schools and summer camps in the 50's and 60's. My teachers were either from Israel or from Europe, many of them Holocaust survivors. My evenings were spent reviewing and memorizing lists of verbs as well as poems by Bialik. I was so proud of my ability to rattle off the verbs in every binyan, never forgetting the feminine plural in atid and in tzivui. I attended camp Massad each summer where we all wore a " tzimria" not a " sveder" in the morning to avoid being chilled.
I attended the NAPH conference this past summer and was shocked to hear young professors of linguistics tell us that if spoken Hebrew in Israel is no longer including the feminine "At" or the feminine plural "Aten" or the "Et" before a direct object it is OK. There was a distinct line drawn that separated the listeners according to age with the seniors defending the "Et" and "At".
I have one question for you. In your article you translate "tselem" as shade. Isn't "tsel" shade and "tselem" image?
Languages, Literatures and Cultures
2400 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18104
6 Feb 2011
This is a fascinating article! I have been looking for something like this for some time. Thank you for writing it.
6 Feb 2011
You mention English becoming the high cast language and Hebrew becoming the low cast language. This sounds like a similar situation to when Aramaic began to displace Hebrew 2000 years ago.
10 Feb 2011
Just a small correction to the article:
maĤSHaVa (thought) is hardly a "newly coined word"...
וַאֲנִי, כְּכֶבֶשׂ אַלּוּף יוּבַל לִטְבוֹחַ; וְלֹא-יָדַעְתִּי כִּי-עָלַי חָשְׁבוּ מַחֲשָׁבוֹת
יְהוָה, הֵפִיר עֲצַת-גּוֹיִם; הֵנִיא מַחְשְׁבוֹת עַמִּים.
רַבּוֹת מַחֲשָׁבוֹת בְּלֶב-אִישׁ; וַעֲצַת יְהוָה הִיא תָקוּם.
25 Sep 2011
the reasons they give to call it israeli and not hebrew are ridiculous and absurd.... I discovered i dont speak the language of Cervantes!!!!