A Look at the Hebrew Language

From here.
A look at how hard it is for an English speaker to learn Hebrew. Truth is that Hebrew is one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn.


Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are notoriously difficult to learn, and Arabic (especially MSA) tops many language learners’ lists as the hardest language they have ever attempted to learn. Although Semitic verbs are notoriously complex, the verbal system does have some advantages especially as compared to IE languages like Slavic. Unlike Slavic, Semitic verbs are not inflected for mood and there is no perfect or imperfect.


Hebrew is hard to learn according to a number of Israelis. Part of the problem may be the abjad writing system, which often leaves out vowels which must simply be remembered. Also, other than borrowings, the vocabulary is Afroasiatic, hence mostly unknown to speakers of IE languages. There are also difficult consonants as in Arabic such as pharyngeals and uvulars. The het or glottal h is particularly hard to make.
Hebrew has complex morphophonological rules. The letters p, b, t, d, k and g change to v, f, dh, th, kh and gh in certain situations. In some environments, pharyngeals change the nature of the vowels around them. The prefix ve-, which means and, is pronounced differently when it precedes certain letters. Hebrew is also quite irregular.
Hebrew has quite a few voices, including active, passive, intensive, intensive passive, etc. It also has a number of tenses such as present, past and the odd juissive.
Hebrew also has two different noun classes. There are also many suffixes and quite a few prefixes that can be attached to verbs and nouns.
Even most native Hebrew speakers do not speak Hebrew correctly by a long shot, however, the Hebrew Language Academy norm is a prescriptive norm that few speak.
Quite a few say Hebrew is as hard to learn as MSA or perhaps even harder.
Hebrew gets a 5 rating for extremely difficult.

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20

0 thoughts on “A Look at the Hebrew Language”

  1. >> Even most native Hebrew speakers do not speak Hebrew correctly by a long shot
    It’s true that many don’t correctly speak the language described in official documents of the Hebrew Language Academy. But that “official” Hebew is not “real” Hebrew. Native-speaking Hebrew speakers speak “real” Hebrew correctly BY DEFINITION.
    To maintain otherwise would be like saying that people in South Dakota “don’t speak American English correctly because they don’t properly use words such as thy, thine, thou”.

  2. I am literally high on alcohol. High in the sense of drunk beyond normal range, drunk. Drunk. I, am Jewish by descent and I still hate You Robert…WITH A PASSION….

    1. Look man I am banning you. You can’t come here and say this to me. I am also getting tired of the stupid Egyptian race thread and banning you should put a nice dent in it.
      Merry Christmas!

  3. Hebrew is usually not as hard as MSA, for the simple reason that it has incorporated many foreign words from English and Neo-Latin languages. Sex is ‘min’, banana is ‘banana’ and math is ‘heshbon’, but many times Hebrew speakers just say ‘seks’, ‘banana’, ‘matematika’.
    People from English-speaking countries are usually awful at it, though, especially in pronunciation. Almost all accents are kind of cute except the American accent…
    That might explain the 5 rating on that site, but for Frenchmen, Germans, etc… it might be easily a 3 or 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)