Jacques asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

how is Hebrew similar or not to Arabic?

and which is older?

how similar and how different?

how they both evolved differently?

how compared to Babylonians language?

please explain.

6 Answers

  • Bill W
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, Hebrew and Arabic are similar languages. They are both Semitic languages and share similar patterns of grammar and word formation. They are both consider West Semitic languages. Their exact relationship is not entirely clear.

    It is difficult to talk about how old most languages are, and Hebrew is even more difficult. Linguists believe that the language group that Hebrew grew out of became distinct in the 2nd millennium BC (2000-1000 BC). The first evidence of written Hebrew comes from the 10 century BC (1000 BC). It became used as a religious language by the people in the area, and the language found in the Torah was that of around the 6th century BC (600 BC). Hebrew went into decline in the area after the Roman destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem, and basically ceased being a spoken language after the 3rd century AD (300 AD). Jewish nationalists, using the language of the Torah, revived the language in the 19th century, which became the basis of the modern language.

    Arabic as we know it now is actually a collection of very different dialects linked by a common history and alphabet. The most important event in the language's history was it being used as the religious language of Islam. After the Muslims established themselves in Mecca, followers of the religion quickly spread out around the world, as far away as Spain and the Philippines, taking the Qur'an with them. As people converted to Islam, they learned Arabic as they participated in religious ceremonies and rites. Arabic became the main language across the Middle East and North Africa. It is likely that the dialects grew up because of the influence of local languages in each of these areas, just as local languages influenced the Latin that developed into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French in Western Europe.

    The modern versions of both Hebrew and Arabic are very different from what they were hundreds of years ago, let alone what they were 2000 years ago, so it's hard to say how old they are. Languages don't really live or die or even age. They change. When the change is enough that the old version is no longer understood, it is given a new name, but there's no hard or fast rule on when a language begins or ends.

    Babylon had many languages and some were Semitic languages while others were not. The two Semitic languages associated with Babylon were Akkadian and Aramaic. Akkadian is extinct, and not considered a close relative to the other languages. Versions of Aramaic were around in the time of the New Testament, and most scholars think that Jesus would have spoken Aramaic. Forms of the language still exist today in the eastern Mediterranean.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Firstly, Hebrew is similar to Arabic because they are in the same 'Language Family' the Semitic family. (Who's ancestors are believed to have lived in Ethiopia at some point, before bypassing Egypt and starting life in the Arabian peninsular and later spreading to Mesopotamia and Palestine etc.

    'Older'? As I understand it that's almost impossible to determine, there were speakers of Semitic languages long before there was any method of recording them at all, saying which is older isn't really possible, especially since they both evolved from one language at one point, and the definition of 'dilaect' of the early Semitic language, and seperate language from it is a mater of conjecture anyways.

    There are PROBABLY older writings in Hebrew than in Arabic.

    Similar - both semitic, most words come from the same roots, although I believe Arabic will have more foreign loan words, since when Hebrew was resurrected as a spoken language the resurrectors decided to import no foreign words, even for modern devices, I think a television is called an 'angel box' to avoid importing words, although you may want to check that.

    The most obvious difference is their writing system, Hebrew uses a modifed alphabetic script, whereas Arabic uses a native script for writing. Hebrew is also written left to right, not right to left, since when the Israelis borrowed their writing technology (which came ultimately from the Phoenicans another Semitic people) they imported over ideas from them aswell.

    They will have evolved differently because they were geographically isolated from one another, in comparison the Seimtic language used in Mesopotamia before Aramaic (which was the language Jesus would have spoken coincidentally), eventually splintered into different languages within a thousand years. Vulgar Latin also evolved into the romance languages in a similar length of time, Spanish, French, Portugesse, Romanian, Italian etc.

    According to a book I read 'language history of the world' Semitic languages have a similar grammar, so Hebrew and Arabic would be grammatically similar to Akkadian (and later Aramiac) the languages of Mesopotamia, this grammatical similarity (along with shared root words) is why Arabic is spoken to widely across the middle east, virtually everywhere that currently speaks it spoke anohter Semitic language, some have said that all a person would have had to do would be to learn different words (which would be fairly similar) and eventually the Arabic words and concepts overtook the Aramiac, Syriac (a form of Aramaic which developed into a seperate language within a few centuries of seperation) languages there already.

    Hope this helped things.

    I recommend reading about langauge families and evolution if you're interested.

  • 4 years ago

    It's more like English and German . Hebrew and Arabic are both Semitic languages. But their respective closest languages died with times , the closest language to Hebrew was Phoenician , but this language died out during Antiquity , a good part of Semitic languages died through the times and which many of them used to be spoken in Levant were very close to Ancient Hebrew. Hence why , Hebrew and Arabic are alongside Aramaic the only languages which survived.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You must remember all languages are influenced by the conquers that have passed through them . Ancient hebrew has been around since the tenth Century BC , Originally Sumerian text mixed with Phoenician, often called the Canaanite language , there are some similarities with Arabic being they were subject to Egyptian rule for centuries , about the same influence that the the Roman latin is mixed with ours . But the similarity ends there . Arab languages are a modernised Hieroglyphics, Hebrew retained its roots throughout its entirety .

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Aryans conquered the Indus valley supposedly somewhere near1400 which would kind of be before the Hebrews from Africa

    (meteor strike somewhere?)

  • *
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    very similar but still different and the letters are different.

    different style. not sure why

    i think the arabs tried to copy the persian style more and the hebrews copied the Greeks

    but maybe they copied them idk.

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