Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Idit here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of your most common Hebrew questions.
The question for this lesson is…
Are there dialects in Hebrew?
Modern Israeli Hebrew has no geographical dialects, but there are some features of the language that change between different social or ethnic groups, expressed mainly in the pronunciation of guttural consonants.
Hebrew was a "frozen" language for 17 centuries - it was used mostly for liturgical purposes, and was not a spoken language for a long time. Towards the end of the 19th century, a process started called "The revival of the Hebrew language." It took place in Europe and Palestine, and changed the usage of Hebrew from a sacred language to a spoken one – the one used for daily life in Israel.
At the beginning of this process, there were mainly three groups of Hebrew regional accents – Ashkenazi, spoken by Jews from Eastern Europe, Sephardi, spoken by Jews from Spain, Brazil, Portugal and Italy, and Mizrahi, spoken by Jews from the Middle East. As the process continued, different kinds of pronunciation merged, and today's spoken Hebrew has two main varieties – Oriental and Non-Oriental, that differ mainly in the pronunciation of the consonants ע (ayin), ח (ħet) and ר (resh).
In short, an Israeli whose parents came from Yemen sounds a little different than an Israeli whose parents came from Russia. But in recent generations, the accent normalizes to a more standard modern Hebrew accent.
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!