Hebrew is the liturgical language of Judaism (termed l'shon ha-kodesh, "the holy tongue"), the language in which the Hebrew scriptures (Tanakh) were composed, and the daily speech of the Jewish people for centuries. By the 5th century BCE, Aramaic, a closely related tongue, joined Hebrew as the spoken language in Judea. By the third century BCE, Jews of the diaspora were speaking Greek.
For centuries, Jews worldwide have spoken the local or dominant languages of the regions they migrated to, often developing distinctive dialectal forms or branches that became independent languages. Yiddish is the Judæo-German language developed by Ashkenazi Jews who migrated to Central Europe. Ladino is the Judæo-Spanish language developed by Sephardic Jews who migrated to the Iberian peninsula. Due to many factors, including the impact of the Holocaust on European Jewry, the Jewish exodus from Arab lands, and widespread emigration from other Jewish communities around the world, ancient and distinct Jewish languages of several communities, including Judæo-Georgian, Judæo-Arabic, Judæo-Berber, Krymchak, Judæo-Malayalam and many others, have largely fallen out of use.
For over sixteen centuries Hebrew was used almost exclusively as a liturgical language, and as the language in which most books had been written on Judaism, with a few speaking only Hebrew on the Sabbath. Hebrew was revived as a spoken language by Eliezer ben Yehuda, who arrived in Palestine in 1881. It had not been used as a mother tongue since Tannaic times. Modern Hebrew is now one of the two official languages of the State of Israel along with Arabic.
The three most commonly spoken languages among Jews today are Hebrew, English and Russian. Some Romance languages, such as French and Spanish, are also widely used. Yiddish has been spoken by more Jews in history than any other language, but it is far less used today, after the Holocaust and the adoption of Hebrew, first by the Zionist movement, and then by Israel.
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Other articles related to "languages, language":
... For example, in most languages written in any variety of the Latin alphabet the dot on a lower-case "i" is not a glyph because it does not convey any distinction, and an i in which the dot has been ... In Turkish however, it is a glyph, because that language has two distinct versions of the letter "i", with and without a dot ... even if (like a cedilla in French, the ogonek in several languages or the stroke on a Polish L) it is "joined up" with the rest of the character ...
... Languages spoken at home primary are of the Visayan languages continuum which contains several different languages sometimes identified as dialects of the same language ... Major languages include Hiligaynon or Ilonggo in much of Western Visayas, Cebuano in Central Visayas, and Waray in Eastern Visayas ... Other dominant languages are Aklanon, Kinaray-a and Capiznon ...
... In some languages, aspect and time are very clearly separated, making them much more distinct to their speakers ... There are a number of languages that mark aspect much more saliently than time ... Prominent in this category are Chinese and American Sign Language, which both differentiate many aspects but rely exclusively on optional time-indicating terms to ...
... Like many Austronesian languages, the verbs of the Philippine languages follow a complex system of affixes in order to express subtle changes in meaning ... However, the verbs in this family of languages are conjugated to express the aspects and not the tenses ... Though many of the Philippine languages do not have a fully codified grammar, most of them follow the verb aspects that are demonstrated by Filipino or Tagalog ...
... Arabic is the official and national language of the UAE ... Apart from Arabic, English is widely used as a second language ... Other languages spoken in the UAE, due to immigration, include Persian, Urdu, Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Pashto, Tamil, Bengali and Balochi ...
Famous quotes containing the word languages:
“I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.”
—Samuel Johnson (17091784)
“The less sophisticated of my forbears avoided foreigners at all costs, for the very good reason that, in their circles, speaking in tongues was commonly a prelude to snake handling. The more tolerant among us regarded foreign languages as a kind of speech impediment that could be overcome by willpower.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941)
“No doubt, to a man of sense, travel offers advantages. As many languages as he has, as many friends, as many arts and trades, so many times is he a man. A foreign country is a point of comparison, wherefrom to judge his own.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)