Rus Articles Journal

Hebrew. How to recover “dead“ language?

So, in 1882 in the world there was the first person for whom there was the family a Hebrew which was considered till that time by “dead“. However to his father, AA. Ben - Yegude, was required to make still huge efforts in order that Hebrew really recovered.

First of all it was necessary to fill the reviving language with new words. To make it became possible in several ways. In - the first , it turned out that not all “new“ words should be thought out. Many of them are in the Pentateuch or in the Talmud. For example, in the book of the prophet Iyekhezkiyel (Ezechiel) it is told:

And I saw, and here, rough wind went from the North, a great cloud and the curling fire, and shine around it (Iyez. 1; 4)

In the original this shine proceeding from a cloud is called the word “hashmal“. In the revived Hebrew the word “hashmal“ began to designate “electricity “. Logically? Quite. At least, not less logically, than to call this phenomenon by the Ancient Greek word “electron“ designating “amber“. It is known that this stone, being rubbed, gets electric charge and attracts motes, strands of wood and pieces of paper.

Medical   tool; the syringe as it appeared, not it and the new invention. It, of course, is not mentioned in the Pentateuch. However in the Talmud which was written in 2 - 3 - m centuries this tool is described and called “ìàçðÝê“.

In - the second , words for designation of new concepts it was possible to create according to rules of word formation of Hebrew. In Semitic languages these rules others, than in languages Indo-European or Turkic. But possibilities of word formation in Hebrew were quite sufficient for creation of new words.

Ben - Yeguda offered many new words for the revived language. Some of them did not get accustomed, but many entered Hebrew as if were in it for centuries. So happened to the word “train“, the ticket for which if to judge by T. Gertsl`s words, in Hebrew it would be impossible to order. The word for designation of this concept - “ðàêÝâýò“, was formed of the word “rekhev“, “povozka“. From the same root there is a bible word “merkava“, “fighting chariot“. Today it is known to much as the name of the Israeli tank.

At last, in - the third , new words it was possible to borrow from other languages. First of all, from related to Hebrew of languages Semitic: Arab and Aramaic. AA. Ben - Yeguda, for example, suggested to call tomato the word “bador“ which it made from Arab “bandor“. The word it in Hebrew did not get accustomed, and here the word “glid“ made from the Aramaic word meaning “hoarfrost“ not only got accustomed, but also was fallen in love to all children. It is ice cream. The word “kaftor“ - “button“, is borrowed from Ancient Greek language. So in Ancient Greece the fastener on a shoulder holding a tunic was called. And recruits in the Israeli army are called the same as called recruits in army of Ancient Rome: “tyrant“. The word “piyus“ (“reconciliation“) - is difficult to believe - is formed in due form Hebrew from the English word “peace“. And now, when everyone has a mobile phone, in Hebrew there was a word formed from reduction of SMS - “ëåñàìÝñ“, that is “to send SMS - the message“. Apprehended Hebrew and some words from Russian, however, having fairly modified their values: “hack-work“, “grandmother“ (so call a nested doll) and the legendary word “kibenimat“ (“the devil knows where“).

... But titanic contribution E. Ben - Yeguda to revival of Hebrew was not limited only to expansion of a lexicon of language. Its organizing work was not less productive, than its achievements on a philology field.

Best of all people are convinced by a personal example. Personal example of a family E. Ben - Yeguda inspired other families. Many of his friends and neighbors began to speak houses Hebrew. The number of children for whom Hebrew became the family grew in a geometrical progression. There were day nursery, kindergartens and gymnasiums with teaching in Hebrew. When in 1924 in Haifa the technical university was open, Tekhnion, among teachers discussion was developed: in what language to conduct teaching, in Hebrew or in German. Won against Hebrew, and it became clear that in the field of science and equipment of terminological problems at a modern language it appeared not so much, predictably.

The experience E. Ben - Yeguda extended through the newspaper created by him issued, of course, in Hebrew. On its initiative and with direct participation there was also a number of the organizations and unions intended for the embodiment in life of the slogan “The Jew, Speak Hebrew“. Strangely enough, this slogan found in Palestine not only enthusiasts, but also not less hot opponents. Transformation of sacral language, language of a prayer and sacred books, into a daily spoken language was opposed by many religious authorities. Still some religious communities in Israel avoid in daily communication to speak Hebrew and houses or in a bench use language Yiddish .

But nevertheless in Israel a titanic feat E. Ben - Yeguda on revival of language Hebrew is appreciated. Practically in each city there is a street called by his name.

Organized Ben - Yeguda Akademiya of language Hebrew exists and until now. This organization became state, and it possesses the right to establish grammatical standards of language Hebrew and to expand its lexical and terminology database. Akademiya - a peculiar Supreme Court, decisive, will become the new word the full word of language or will be considered slang and slangy.

The fact of revival of Hebrew can be estimated differently, depending on the attitude towards Jews and to their state. Anyway, it is impossible to consider Hebrew as the designed language, like Esperanto. AA. Ben - Yeguda did not think out artificial rules, and acted according to internal laws of the language which were inherent in this language still in bible days.

You should not consider also revival of Hebrew as some miracle which occurred only once on God`s command. At the end of 19 - go - the beginning 20 - go centuries in Europe appeared the new nations before which there was the same problem of creation (more true, reconstructions) national language. The enthusiasts who were engaged in the solution of this task are fans and experts - philologists solved the same problems which E. Ben - Yeguda, and sometimes was necessary to face the same ways. And - it, perhaps, nobody expected - at the end of 20 - go centuries, after disintegration of the Soviet Union, these problems arose again.