Hebrew is the original language of the Bible. But since it was written and received thousands of years ago, the Bible has been translated into virtually every language on earth!
Hebrew was a dying language when the Jews were in exile, but it blossomed once again with the modern rebirth of Israel. Today, many people, particularly Jews and Christians, want to develop skills in Hebrew for business, to communicate with Israeli friends, or simply to move closer to their spiritual roots.
Hebrew is not an easy language to learn. It does not use Latin (“English”) characters, and it is written from right to left. Many Hebrew words use a guttural sound unfamiliar to most English-speakers. A few Hebrew letters use a different form at the end of a word. And Hebrew can be written in script or print, as well as with or without “dots” and other vowel signs. Finally, there have been variations in the writing and pronunciation of Hebrew in different places and times.
That said, there’s no time like the present to jump right in! You can start your journey by trying to learn the characters of the Hebrew alphabet, which is known as the “alef bet.” (Alef and bet are the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, so that’s the same as English speakers calling their alphabet the ABCs.) As we say in Hebrew, “be-hatzlakha”—good luck!