Anonymous asked in TravelAfrica & Middle EastIsrael · 1 decade ago

Is Hebrew actually an Arabic dialect?

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    An interesting question. They both derive from the same lost root language. The similarities outweigh the differences. The question is: which came first? If Hebrew preceded Arabic then Arabic is derived from Hebrew or vice versa,etc. The question cannot be answered definitely but it should be noted that a wide range of Arabic derivation languages have been documented long before Hebrew emerges. It probably has the same relationship to Arabic - ancient Arabic - that Yiddish has to German. That would explain why it sounds like mangled Arabic to a native Arabic-speaker.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Arabic and Hebrew are close in some ways and very divergent in others. Arabic broken plurals have run rampant for example. Nevertheless the amount of similar shifts that they seem to have undergone after Arabic lost it's noun endings and nunation is so absurdly similar to Hebrew that it's almost as if history redid some shifts it had lying around for those funny Semitic languages anyway.

    I don't believe that's the case, I believe endings and nunation must have disappeared and then Arabic and Hebrew (and probably aramaic and a bunch of other languages of which I have too little knowledge) underwent a bunch of common changes.

    Let's give some examples. Hebrew masculine plural ending is -īm Arabic masculine plural is nom. -ūna gen./acc. -īna. As we can see a shift of m to n occurred and word final -a was lost. in hebrew while it didn't in Arabic. This makes little sense to me. But now if we look at the 'pausal' and modern pronunciation of these two endings of Arabic we find it without an -a. -ūn/-īn The shift of word final m > n is much more natural than m > n between a long vowel and a.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dialect is not the correct term; they obviously derive from the same root but have diverged to the point of being languages in their own right. So Hebrew would not be a mere dialect of Arabic. So the the linquist above is correct in that sense. But the other fellow is right who raises the point that the proto-language - the earliest examples of Semitic languages - do emerge in Yemen long before Hebrew is observed by archeology. In a way the analogy to the relationship between German and Yiddish is reasonably accurate. Spanish and Italian are separate languages, and both began as Latin. But all modern language in the region of the ME is a variation of modern Arabic except for Hebrew,so it must have split off entirely at an early date. It is unintelligible to Arabs unless they have actually studied it,but they do notice the basic resemblance. Yiddish split off from German and was unintelligible to German-speakers without studying it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I speak Hebrew but can at best make out a recognizable word here or there...a lot more there than here! Hebrew derives from Northern Semitic or Phoenician, while Arabic derives from Southern Semitic, the language spoken on the Saudi peninsula. And even though some of the words have the same roots, their meanings are different in each language. For example, "lechem" means bread in Hebrew, but meat in Arabic. If wanted bread, the person speaking Arabic would give me meat!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They are both Semitic languages along with Aramaic and many others.

    “Semite” and “Aryan” belong to the same vocabulary, and have undergone the same perversions. Both date from the beginnings of modern philology in the 18th and 19th centuries, and from the momentous discovery that languages could be classified into cognate groups or families. In 1781, a German philologist called August Ludwig Schlozer suggested the term Semitic, from Noah’s son Shem, to designate the family of languages to which Assyrian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Ethiopic belong. Similarly the term Aryan, meaning “noble” and used by the ancient inhabitants of Persia and India to describe themselves, was adopted as the name of a group of related languages including Sanskrit, Old Persian, and some others. As far back as 1861 the great German philologist Max Muller pointed out that confusing the history of languages with the history of races would falsify everything. Nevertheless, race theorists, particularly those anxious to establish their own uniqueness and superiority, eagerly seized on this new vocabulary, and misappropriated it to their own use.

    The defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, and the discovery of the appalling crimes that had been committed in the name of racism, brought a change of attitude and, consequently, of usage. But not completely. Few nowadays outside the lunatic fringes would use the word “Aryan” as a racial designation, but the same taboo does not apply to the equally tainted and misleading use of the word “Semite.” Even otherwise respectable writers and journals sometimes permit themselves such pronouncements as that “the Jews and Arabs are both Semites.” If this statement has any meaning at all, it is that Hebrew and Arabic are both Semitic languages! “The Multiple Identities of the Middle East,” by Bernard Lewis.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Arabic, Amharic, and I think also Hebrew are semitic languages

    Arabs are semites

    the overwhelming majority of israelis are Khazarians, not semites look up "khazars"

    so zionism is the most antisemitic thing there is

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes it is, only the Jews will deny it. See they did already.

    Yasser Arafat summed it up very nicely when he said, "the Jews are Semites, we are Semites, so we are cousins." he actually said that.

    The thing is, most Ashkenazic Jews are actually Turkic and are not real historical Israelites at all. They live in the wrong place.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Same Proto-Semitic Root

    Both Considered Western Semitic in Origin

    Both Considered Central Western Semitic Languages

    They are two separate languages but at one time were the same.

    Nowadays we both can understand one another slightly since we can assume words using the same roots just like one can do between English and French both having heavy roots in Latin.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not any more than Italian and Spanish are dialects-that would fit none of the proposed definitions of a dialect.

    1. They are sister languages and separated from a Proto-Afro-Semitic mother languages a long time ago. Hebrew is less phonologically conservative than Arabic, and Modern Hebrew has a high degree of European influence. but that does not mean that Hebrew developed from Arabic.

    2. They are not mutually intelligable.

    3. Neither Hebrew nor Arabic speakers would say that they speak the same language. Trust me on that one.


    Source(s): Linguist, emphasis on Afro-Semitic langauges, knows Hebrew and Amharic
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Holy Language and all correspondence from God and His angels have been reported to the sages in Hebrew. If you have studied linguistics and early Biblical Hebrew, you will find how many languages came from it. The second language for the Jews since Mount Sinai was Aramaic which was the common language even in Roman times.

    Abraham came from the other side of the river and was not a native Canaanite. "Ivri" also refers to the fact that Abraham spoke the Hebrew language—thus named because of its ancient origins, preceding the development of the other languages current at that time. [While the other languages developed after the dispersion which followed the building of the Tower of Babel, Hebrew preceded them all. Perhaps it is etymologically related to the word עבר-past, since it is a language from the past.]

    So Hebrew means the one who is opposed, on the other side, and different from all others. Abraham was a solitary believer in a sea of idolatry and why Abraham was called a Hebrew.

    A manuscript of Maimonides’ commentary on the Mishnah, written in Arabic with Hebrew characters, in his own handwriting can be found at the site,

    Because Biblical Hebrew has no words of off-color or sins they could really described in Hebrew, the sages used Aramaic for the details in the Oral portions of the Torah which was passed down since Moses' time.

    Source(s): See on the various languages since the Tower of Babel and the esoteric knowledge of the Holy Language.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yiaddish, the jew language is a quiet new one.

    It sounds almost German to me.

    There is another variation that sounds like Spanish too.

    It depends were the jews immigrate.

    I read somewhere that they have invented an Arab like language very recently.

    I don't care what language they speak, but I do care about the little Palestinian children and their pregnant mommies being shot in the head on their own land.

    Everything is going to change very-very soon.

    bye bye

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