Number of speakers worldwide: 8 million, of which 7 million live in Israel
Hebrew is spoken in Israel and most Jewish immigrant communities.
Hebrew is one of the official languages of the State of Israel, along with Arabic.
Hebrew belongs to the Northwest Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is related to Arabic and all Aramaic languages.
The Academy of the Hebrew Language, the language’s regulator, at http://hebrew-academy.huji.ac.il/english.html. The Academy’s day-to-day activities centre on the Historical Dictionary Project, in addition to inventing neologisms to directly develop the usage of Hebrew for modern economic and social life. The Academy also creates the modern standards for Hebrew grammar. The Academy’s decisions are binding upon all governmental agencies—including, and most importantly, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, which broadcasts all public television and the radio station Kol Israel. If the Academy notices an error of any sort on a public broadcast, they report it back to the television station and offer advice on the use of their mother tongue. The advice is also available to the general public—if people have a question concerning the language, they can even call the Academy’s telephone service!
Towards the fourth century, the Hebrew language was not spoken outside of religious contexts. In the 1880s it was repopularised as a modern Jewish language, thanks to the activism of Eliezer Ben-Yehouda. Hebrew is written and read from right to left and it utilises the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet. The modern script is based on what is known as the square letter form, which developed from Aramaic script.