Every once in awhile, something appears about Israel in the outside media which has virtually nothing to do with The Conflict. It can be quite refreshing.
So I appreciated this “From Our Own Correspondent” report by Hannah Barnes on BBC Radio 4 about the continuous development of modern Hebrew.
And unlike Ariel Sharon, I have no problem with Arabic expressions like “Yallah” infiltrating spoken Hebrew in Israel.
Update: Omri writes in the comments:
Sharon’s objection was not to Yalla (although an observant Jew will note that it’s a blatant violation of the Third Commandment), but to Yallah-bye, the English Arabic hybrid.
The Hebrew Academy’s policy is to ENCOURAGE borrowings from other Semitic languages, and discourage English, Russian, et cetera.
Further update: The BBC World Service broadcast a half-hour program by Hannah Barnes on the development of modern Hebrew, which you can listen to here.
(Hat tip: amie)