CIT offers Hebrew interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.
Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Hebrew language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Hebrew language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Hebrew language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Hebrew language, as well as of the culture and history of the Hebrew people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.
The Hebrew Language
The Hebrew language is the primary Semitic language of the Northern Central, or northwestern, group. It is heavily related to Phoenician and Moabite. Hebrew was spoken in Palestine. In the 3rd century BC, the language was replaced mainly by Aramaic but was continued to be used for religious and literary purposes. In the 1800s, it was later revived and is now the official language of the State of Israel.
The history of the Hebrew language can typically be broken down into 4 categories. They are: Biblical, Mishnaic, Medieval and Modern Hebrew.
Biblical Hebrew was used until about the 3rd century BC. It is what the Old Testament is written in. Mishnaic, also known as Rabbinic Hebrew, is the language of the Mishna, which is a compilation of Jewish tradition. Next is Medieval Hebrew, which was spoken from the 6th to 13th centuries. Many of its words come from Greek, Spanish and Arabic. Lastly, Modern Hebrew, which was put together by Eliezer Ben Yehuda in the turn of the 20th century by creating a Hebrew dictionary. At this time, there was a lot of backlash from religious leaders to modernize the Hebrew language and make it a language spoken outside of biblical and theological settings. Even though he was alienated for his effort, Ben Yehuda continued to write the dictionary and modernize the Hebrew language. Today, over 9 million people worldwide speak Hebrew and many more can read and write the language. The most ancient form of the Hebrew language is found in the Song of Deborah (Chapter 5 of the book of Judges). When studying Ancient Hebrew, one can expect to find Canaanite and Akkadian loanwords. The letters used in Modern Hebrew are the same used in ancient text and prayer.
During the time of the Mishna, many consonant sounds were combined and confused. Many nouns were taken from the Aramaic languages. One can also find Greek, Latin and Persian loanwords. Between the 9th and 18th centuries, the Hebrew language was not spoken much. During this time, the poems called piyyuitim started taking form. During this time, new words were added, other words were given new meanings. Soon after, the Spanish-Hebrew poets took form. During this time, around 2,500 more modern words, such as scientific and philosophical words were added.
The Modern Hebrew of today is based on the biblical Hebrew. It is a rather innovative language to meet the modern times. Although there is only one dialect of Hebrew, there are different pronunciations, particularly between the Sephardic (Hispano-Portuguese) Jews and the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews. Hebrew is written from right to left in a script that contains 22 Semitic letters.
The language has seven forms of verb conjugation. Each verb can be conjugated for male or female and plural or singular. There are four tenses: past, present, future and command form. All 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are consonants; vowels are added below or above letters to help with pronunciation.