Hebrew (Ivrit)Hebrew script

Origin

The earliest Hebrew script was derived from a Phoenician script. The modern Hebrew script was developed from a script known as Proto-Hebrew/Early Aramaic.

Used to write:

Hebrew, a Semitic language and the official language of Israel. Hebrew was the language of the early Jews, but fell out of use as an everyday spoken language and was replaced by Aramaic about 2,500 years ago. Hebrew continued to be used as a liturgical language since then and was revived as a spoken language in the early 20th century. Today about 5 million people in Israel speak Modern Israeli Hebrew. A further 2-3 million people speak the language in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, Panama, the UK and USA.

Notable features

  • Written from right to left in horizontal lines.
  • Some letters (kaf, mem, nun, fe and tzadi) have a final form (sofit), which is used when they appear at the end of a word.
  • There are no separate numerals in Hebrew, instead standard western numerals (1, 2, 3, etc) are used.
  • Long vowels can be indicated by the letters alef, vav, and yod. Short vowels are not usually marked, except in the Bible, poetry and books for children and foreign learners.

The Hebrew script

Modern Israeli pronunciation

Hebrew script (Modern Israeli pronunciation)

Hebrew script (Medievel/Tiberian and Reconstructed mid-2nd millenium pronunciation)

Hebrew vowel points / Nikkud (נִקּוּד ??בֶרְיָצnbsp;ִי טְבֶרְיָנִי)

Hebrew vowel points

The first row of IPA transcriptions is the Modern Israeli Hebrew pronunciation,
the second row is the Medieval/Tiberian pronunciation.

Modern Cursive Hebrew script

Modern Cursive Hebrew script

Rashi

The Rashi style is used mainly to write commentaries on texts. It is named after Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105 AD) a.k.a. Rashi, one of the greatest medieval Jewish scholars and bible commentators. Rashi did not use the Rashi sytle to write his commentaries but it is named in honour of him.

Rashi Hebrew script

Sample texts in Hebrew

Without vowels

Sample text in Hebrew

With vowels

Sample text in Hebrew (with vowels)

Cursive script

Sample text in Hebrew (cursive script

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Longer sample text (Tower of Babel)

Corrections and text samples provided by Tal Barnea.      Hebrew language courses, dictionaries, etc.

Links

Free Hebrew fonts               http://www.student.northpark.edu/pemente/hebfonts.htm
                                               http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/fonts/hebrew.html
                                               http://oketz.com/fonts/

Online Hebrew courses

  http://home.t-online.de/home/Mordechai-Pasternak        http://www.hebrewresources.com/onlineclass.html
                        http://www.hebrewcollege.edu/online           http://www.zigzagworld.com/hebrewforme

Online Hebrew dictionaries        http://www.dictionary.co.il/        http://www.milon.co.il/

Hebrew Electronic talking dictionaries     http://www.ectaco.com/dictionaries/list.php3?refid=2516&lang=25

Online Hebrew radio           http://bet.iba.org.il/

Online Hebrew news           http://www.beit-chabad.org/

The J Site - Jewish Education & Entertainment Site - includes a Hebrew Songbook, various games and other stuff:                                                    http://www.j.co.il/

Mikledet - enables you to write Hebrew, send Hebrew emails, and search the Internet in Hebrew word, without needing a Hebrew keyboard            http://www.mikledet.com/email.html

My Hebrew Name - find your name in Hebrew (no special fonts required)    http://www.my-hebrew-name.com/

Ancient Hebrew Research Center - includes lessons in Biblical Hebrew       http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/


Yiddish

Yiddish is a Germanic language closely related to German which is spoken by about 2 million people in the USA, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and many other countries. The name Yiddish probably comes from the German word for Jewish (Jüdisch).

Yiddish glosses started to appear in Hebrew manuscripts during the 12th century. The first work printed entirely in Yiddish was published in 1534. A number of different Yiddish spelling systems have evolved, some of which spell Hebrew and Aramaic words phonemically, while others retain the original spellings of such words.

Yiddish alphabet

Hebrew script for Yiddish

Sample text in Yiddish

יעדער מעצnbsp;?? װערנגעבױרן פֿרײַ און גלײַך אין כּבֿוד און רעכ׮ יעדער װערנבאַשאָצnbsp;קן מינפֿאַרש??ַצnbsp;ד און געװיסן; יעדער זאָל זיך פֿירן מי׍ אַ צװײ?? אין אַ געמינפֿון ברודערשאַפֿנטש

Transliteration
Yeder mentsh vert geboyrn fray un glaykh in koved un rekht. Yeder vert bashonkn mit farshtand un gevisn; yeder zol zikh firn mit a tsveytn in a gemit fun brudershaft.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

   Yiddish language courses, dictionaries, etc.

Links

The Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture    http://www.yiddishculture.org/

Virtual Shtetl - Yiddish Language & Culture           http://www.ibiblio.org/yiddish

Online Yiddish dictionaries        http://www.yiddishdictionaryonline.com/
                                                       http://www.ectaco.com/online/diction.php3?refid=2516&lang=15
                                                       http://www.koshernosh.com/dictiona.htm

List of Yiddish Words and Expressions                   http://www.pass.to/glossary/Default.htm

The Yiddish Voice - Yiddish radio station               http://www.yv.org/

Free Hebrew fonts                       http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/fonts/hebrew.html
                                                        http://www.breslov.com/hebrew


Ladino (ג'ודיאו-איספאנייול)

Ladino, Judezmo or Judeo-Spanish is a language derived from medieval Castilian Spanish. It is spoken by the descendants of the Sefardim or Sephardim, Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. There are currently about 700,000 speakers of Ladino in Israel, the USA and Argentina, although only about 200,000 of them use the language regularly.

Ladino is also written with the Latin alphabet.

Notable features

  • Usually writen with the Rashi version of the Hebrew alphabet. When handwritten, a cursive version of the Hebrew script known as Solitreo is used.
  • Written from right to left in horizontal lines.
  • Vowel indication is rarely used.

Hebrew script for Ladino

Hebrew script for Ladino

Sample text in Ladino

Kada benadam i benadam nase forro i igual en dinyidad i en derechos. Todos son baale razon i konsiensia i deven komportarsen los unos verso los otros kon fraternidad.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Longer sample text (Tower of Babel)

Links

Free Hebrew fonts       http://www.student.northpark.edu/pemente/hebfonts.htm
                                       http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/fonts/hebrew.html
                                       http://www.breslov.com/hebrew
                                       http://oketz.com/fonts/

Ladinokomunita - Ladino Preservation Council        http://www.sephardicstudies.org/komunita.html

La página del ladino        http://inicia.es/de/ladino/


Judeo-Arabic script

Origin

The Judeo-Arabic script is a version of the Hebrew script used to write the Judeo-Arabic language - a version of Arabic with influences from Hebrew and Aramaic. Judeo-Arabic is used by Jews in Arabic-speaking regions and began to develop after the 7th century AD, when Islam was spreading to the Middle East and North Africa. Most Judeo-Arabic literature is written by Jews for Jews and concerns Jewish topics.

Notable Features

  • Written from right to left in horizontal lines.
  • Some letters have a final form which is used when they appear at the end of a word. In the chart below, the final form is the one of the left where letters appear in pairs.
  • There are no separate numerals in Hebrew. Instead, each letter has a numeric value.
  • Long vowels are marked with alef (the first letter), waw or yod (the last two letters). The same letters are used for short vowels, though they are not usually marked at all.

Judeo-Arabic script

Judeo-Arabic script

Links 

                     Free Hebrew fonts        http://www.student.northpark.edu/pemente/hebfonts.htm
                                                                http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/fonts/hebrew.html
                                                                http://www.breslov.com/hebrew
                                                                http://oketz.com/fonts/