January 04, 2005

The growing assault on Ivrit (Hebrew)

"Fortunately the large newspapers were founded decades ago and therefore have Hebrew names - Maariv, Yedioth, Haaretz - but a newspaper that was recently opened is called `Globes,'" the Knesset's Education Committee chairwoman, MK Melli Polishuk-Bloch (Shinui), said yesterday.

She was speaking at a special meeting marking the first "Hebrew language day," initiated by the Knesset."I am worried," she said. "The globalization and use of the Internet blur the borders between states and languages, and the use of English as an international language will increase and reduce the Hebrew language."

Despite the festivity, it was clear to all that only a language in distress needs a special day in its honor.

English is spreading in the Hebrew language at a growing pace, and even when alternative Hebrew terms are coined, they remain a reflection of their English origin."

This is a very interesting article and an example of a problem that is far more universal in nature, or so it seems to me. I have read and heard numerous complaints about the prevalence of English as "native languages" slowly "disappear."

I am not clear on how "real" a problem this is or is not, but I know for certain that I am not interested in living in a homogenized world.

2 comments:

velvel said...

The real problem is having to read English words transliterated in Hebrew.

Jack's Shack said...

Velvel,

That is a real problem, especially when the transliteration is done poorly.