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Hebrew
עִבְרִית ʿIvrit
Pronunciation [(ʔ)ivˈʁit] - [(ʔ)ivˈɾit]
Native to Israel, Jewish settlements in the West Bank; used globally as a liturgical language for Judaism
Native speakers 5.3 million  (1998)
Language family
Afro-Asiatic
  • Semitic
    • Central Semitic
      • Northwest Semitic
        • Canaanite
          • Hebrew
Writing system Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew Braille
Official status
Official language in Israel
Recognised minority language in Poland
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Hebrew is a West Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Hebrews/Israelites and their ancestors. Other Jewish languages originated among diaspora Jews. The Hebrew language was also used by other Israelite groups who are not Jews, such as the ethnically related Samaritans. Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language by around 200 CE, and survived into the medieval period only as the language of Jewish liturgy and rabbinic literature. Then in the 19th century it was revived as a spoken and literary language, and according to Ethnologue, is now the language of 5.3 million people worldwide, mainly in Israel.

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