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Translations and Other Language Solutions in Hebrew Language

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HEBREW TRANSLATIONS

HOW MUCH DO HEBREW TRANSLATIONS COST?

Translation project managers of our translation agency will carefully analyse the translation material before the realisation of each translation project and will determine the price for each order individually. The price of the service is formed from several components: the translation deadlines, the specificity of the text content, editing, formatting and any other services selected by the client (notarised certification, etc.).

IS THE PRICE LIST AVAILABLE?

Yes, the translation price list from/to Hebrew is included in our client collaboration agreement, and the client is always informed about the translation price before the realization of the project. The price of each order is determined individually based on the translation specifics (written or interpreting), the number of words in the text, text duplication in the translation and other characteristics. To receive an offer prepared just for you, simply send us the material you wish to be translated.

THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IN FACTS

Hebrew is a modern Jewish language from the Semitic family. Ancient Hebrew is the liturgical language of Judaism. It disappeared as a spoken language around the 4th century, however, in the beginning of 1880s it was renewed by Sephardi Jews. The population of Israel is around 8 million where the majority are Jews (76.4%). Other ethnic groups live in the country as well – Arabs, Palestinians and members of other ethnic-religious groups such as Samaritans, Druze, Yazidis, etc. Hebrew is one of the two official languages in Israel. Although it practically ceased to be spoken in 200 AD, Jews continued to use it as a sacred language in liturgy, philosophical scripts and in literature. At the end of the 19th century, Hebrew became a modern form of cultural expression and became an important factor for the national revival movement. During the time of the British Empire, Hebrew, together with English and Arabic, became an official language. It started to be used by Jewish organisations and education institutions. The press and literature in Hebrew experienced its boom with the birth of a new generation of authors and readers. Today Hebrew is a rich, colourful and living language. The vocabulary of Hebrew expanded with more than 120 000 words from 8 000 words, used in Biblical times. The formal linguistic development of the language is under the competence of the Hebrew Academy founded in 1953. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858–1922) was a driving force for the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language. After moving to Israel in 1881, he increased the usage of Hebrew in domestic life and in school. He created thousands of new words, released two periodicals in Hebrew, and was also involved in the establishment of the Hebrew Language Commission (1890). Moreover, he worked with 17 volumes of “A Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew”, compiling some of them. The work with the dictionary began in 1910 and was completed by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s second wife and his son in 1959. The first prose in Modern Hebrew was created thanks to authors who immigrated. Although their roots were found around the world and in many traditions derived from Eastern European Jewish heritage, their works mainly described reached achievements in the land of Israel, where they had arrived with the Zionist slogan: “To build and to be built.”

THE HEBREW ALPHABET

The Hebrew alphabet is a writing system used to write in Hebrew and other Jewish languages. Historically, two different abjad scripts were used to write in Hebrew. The initial, oldest Hebrew script, known as the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, in a large scale is preserved as a variant of the Samaritan alphabet. The latest “Jewish script” or “square script”, is quite the opposite, a form of stylised Aramean alphabet, and Jewish sages technically called it Ktav Ashuri (literarily “Assyrian script”) because it was considered to be originated from Assyria.

 The Jewish version of the Phoenician alphabet, called the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet by researchers, began to emerge around 800 BC. The oldest historically dated examples of the Aramean alphabet in this region are the Gezer calendar (10th century BC) and Siloam inscription (around 700 BC) which was found in the Siloam tunnel. In the 3rd century BC, Jews started to use a stylised, square form of the Aramean alphabet which was used by the First Persian Empire while Samaritans continued to use the Paleo-Hebrew script form called the Samaritan alphabet. After the collapse of the Persian Empire in 330 BC, Hebrews used both writing variants but later returned to the square formed Assyrian writing. The “square” Hebrew alphabet later was adapted and used to write down the languages of the Jewish diaspora, for example, Karait, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish. The Hebrew alphabet started to be used again to write in Hebrew in school and everyday life, when in the 18th–19th centuries the Hebrew language was revived as a language, especially in Israel.

The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters. It is written from the right to the left side. Numbers are an exception – they are written from left to right. Interesting is that there are no capital letters in Hebrew, not in the beginning of a sentence, nor in the beginning of a personal name or titles. It is one of the few alphabets in the world where there are practically no vowels. Vowels are marked with special writing marks, to be more precise, a diacritic mark system is used, such as dots and hyphens called “NEKUDOT”. Printed letters are not used for language notation, but it is necessary to know how to read them. The text is not connected, letters are not joined together. Rarely, when writing fast, connecting letters is allowed. The size of the letters are the same, manual hand script forms are semi-circular or oval. Each letter can also represent a specific number – ALEF=1, BET=2, etc. Throughout the ages, letters of the Hebrew alphabet have played various roles in Jewish religious literature, mainly in mystical texts. Many sources of classical rabbinical literature acknowledge the historical origin of the Hebrew alphabet in use today. In mystical ideas, the alphabet is seen as eternal, before the existing of Earth and the letters alone are sacred and powerful sometimes to such an extent that several stories in the Talmud (the primary law book of Jews and the Jewish religion) illustrate the idea that they cannot be destroyed.

HOW DIFFICULT IS THE HEBREW LANGUAGE?

According to the data of Foreign Service Institute, 11 000 hours, or 44 weeks, of learning are needed to reach the fourth or fifth level of mastering the language. According to the four language categories of ACTFL, the Hebrew language is the third most difficult language for English speakers (more difficult that Spanish and German, as difficult as Russian and Turkish, and less difficult that languages such as Arabic and Chinese). That is why learning Hebrew is an exciting intellectual challenge for adults and children that promotes positive thinking development for students of any age. Taking into account the fact that Hebrew is one of the oldest languages in the world and it has a unique alphabet, so it is very difficult to learn the language. The Hebrew alphabet has centuries-long history which is unique and does not have an analogue in any other language. That is why initially it will be needed to learn a completely new alphabet and writing symbols that are not common for other languages. Of course, the most effective way to learn Hebrew is the opportunity to be an in environment where this language is used every day. The Hebrew language has two forms – the modern spoken language and the liturgical language. Through these language forms there is an opportunity to learn about the history, religion, traditions and culture. Hebrew notation is written from right to left and has many sounds that are difficult to pronounce and are new to speakers of other languages. Modern Israeli Hebrew or Biblical Hebrew? Biblical Hebrew is a static language and it has a smaller vocabulary which makes it easier. It is also only a written language. Basically, you must only learn how read it. If the desire to learn the language is to read the Holy Scripture in the original language and understand it, you can learn that in around 18 months of intense studying or in two years of less intense studying. Modern Hebrew is more difficult. It is best to go to Israel. Very motivated people often learn the language in six months, but they cannot write in Hebrew well. After a year in Israel, people can easily use everyday speech, write about easy topics and read newspapers understanding around 80% of the content.

WHERE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE SPEAK HEBREW?

In the 3rd century AD, Hebrew was considered to be a dead language. After more than a thousand years, the language was revived making it the only successfully revived language in the world. Today Hebrew is used by about 7 million inhabitants of Israel and additionally by two million Jews in the rest of the world. Hebrew is one of the official languages in Israel, the second being Arabic. Hebrew is used in Israel and in many communities around the world where there are large Jewish communities, for example, in USA (where there are more than five million Jews), France (around 490 000 Jews) and Canada (around 375 000 Jews). It is also used in the Jewish diaspora in Belgium, Sweden, France, Germany, Great Britain, and other European countries.

HEBREW LANGUAGE INTERPRETER AND TRANSLATOR

The Skrivanek translation agency offers professional interpreting and written translations of texts in Hebrew and translations from Hebrew to Latvian. The team of translators will help you with standard and notarised translations. We will find a solution and a good Hebrew language specialist for every need of the client.

We mostly provide direct translations for private individuals from/to Hebrew. For private individuals, we offer translations of identity documents, marriage certificates, education documents, medical documents, and other written translations of documents, as well as interpreting from/to Hebrew, for example, in courts.

HEBREW LANGUAGE IN BUSINESS

The Hebrew language is becoming more and more relevant in international business, and there are pragmatic advantages of learning Hebrew because the influence of Israel in the world market continues to grow. Israel has the third most companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange market. Israel is mostly recognised worldwide in the future technology industry. Israel is a giant in the field of innovations: it is a world leader in research and development spending and venture capital investment, also a home to global research and development centres such as Google, Apple, and IBM. Taking into account Israel’s growing influence and meaning, knowing the Hebrew language and modern secular Israeli culture is very important for the future of student and business connections. Hebrew is also a desired language for those whose professional choice is in government, political science and in fields such as diplomacy, reconnaissance and military. Also taking into account the large Jewish community in USA, it truly is worth learning the Hebrew language to develop or begin business relations with companies in Israel and also in USA, if Jewish business partners are preferred. It is also worth mentioning that ancient Jews are known for their skills of doing business and the art of marketing, therefore, it would be good to know at least some polite phrases in Hebrew to show allegiance to business partners from Israel.

JEWS IN LATVIA

The first Jewish settlements in the territory of what is now Latvia were established already in the end of the 16th century with the permission of the duke of Courland because they needed people who knew how to manage finances. In the middle of the 19th century, 23 000 Jews, who moved to Latvia from Germany, already lived in Courland. Jews started to live in the eastern regions of Latvia in the 17th century, whereas Jewish communities began to form in Riga in the second half of the 18th century.

The lives of Jews in Latvia were restricted from the very beginning, therefore, while time passed and also with the growth of anti-Semitic feelings, many left Latvia and moved to other countries. After World War I, Jews became politically active and some of them were also elected to Saeima and city municipalities. However, with the coming of Kārlis Ulmanis into power, Jews had to face many restrictions again and it caused another wave of emigration. After World War II, 14 000 members of the Jewish community alone left Latvia who soon united with Jews from other Soviet Union regions. When Latvia gained its independence, the social life of the Jewish community got a second wind. Jewish communities resumed their activities in several cities of Latvia. In 1988, the Latvian Society for Jewish Culture, today known as the Riga Jewish Community, was founded in Riga. Moreover, the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia was founded in 2003. Today the community of Jews in Latvia consists of more than 10 000 people and is the second largest Jewish community in the Baltic Sea region. Diplomatic relations between Latvia and Israel were established on 6 January 1992. In October 1992, Israel opened its embassy in Latvia. The Latvian embassy in Israel has been working ever since 21 February 1995.

Collaboration between Latvia’s and Israel’s higher education systems happens regularly in the fields of education and research, including exchanges of students and professors, participation in research programmes, scholarships for studying and research work. The Centre for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia (founded in 1998) provides students, researchers and other people of interest the opportunity to gain academic knowledge about Jewish history, philosophy, language, culture and religious ideas by offering lectures, preparing publications and organising research activities. Since 2006, the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Latvia offers a study programme where there is an opportunity to learn about the field of Judaica, ancient Hebrew language, modern Hebrew language and culture. There is a collaboration between Latvian and Israeli Academies of Science, including the exchange of information and work on joined publications. On 1 September, 1989, the first Jewish secondary school, named after Simon Dubnov, was opened in Riga, which was the first national minority school in Latvia. Therefore, this school became a true legend – the first fully Jewish school in the territory of the former USSR. Jewish education in Latvia has deep historical roots: until 1940, Jewish children could have learned in Latvian, Hebrew, Yiddish and German.

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SOLUTIONS THAT WE PROVIDE MOST OFTEN FROM/TO HEBREW:

LANGUAGE COMBINATIONS:

Latvian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Latvian; Estonian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Estonian; Lithuanian to Hebrew; English to Hebrew; Hebrew to English; Hebrew to Lithuanian; Russian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Russian; Czech to Hebrew; Hebrew to Czech; Polish to Hebrew; Hebrew to Polish; Ukrainian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Ukrainian; Hebrew to Spanish; Spanish to Hebrew; German to Hebrew; Hebrew to German; Italian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Italian; French to Hebrew; Hebrew to French; Danish to Hebrew; Hebrew to Danish; Norwegian to Hebrew; Hebrew to Norwegian; Swedish to Hebrew; Hebrew to Swedish; Finnish to Hebrew; Hebrew to Finnish and others.