Israel

Another side of Israel (for a change)

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)

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