how similar Arabic is to Hebrew?

Aug 22, 2022 | Uncategorized

The question of whether Arabic and Hebrew are similar is one that has been asked many times over the centuries. In this article, I will try to give a simple answer here. However, I am aware that this is not an easy question to answer and there may be other points on which we can agree or disagree with each other.

I will try to give a simple answer here.

Arabic is a Semitic language that belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family. It is spoken in many countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia and Syria. Hebrew is an Indo-European language that belongs to the Semitic subfamily of languages. It was spoken by Jews until around 400 CE when they were exiled from Palestine by King Antiochus IV Epiphanes III who wanted to make Judea part of his empire (this happened after Alexander conquered Egypt).

Arabic and Hebrew share some similarities: both have alphabets based on consonants; both are written right-to-left instead of left-to-right like English; both use letters for vowel sounds rather than syllables like English does (with an exception being certain words such as “alone” or “alone”). But these similarities don’t go very far beyond simple differences in writing style between them–there aren’t many common words between them at all!

Formally speaking, Hebrew and Arabic are not similar.

Arabic and Hebrew are two different languages, but that doesn’t mean they’re similar.

Hebrew is a Semitic language and Arabic is a Semitic language. Both languages use a similar set of grammatical rules for their nouns, verbs and adjectives.

They are, after all from the same language family — Semitic languages — and have evolved in an overlapping region of the world. The Semitic language group is quite small. In fact, it’s mostly dominated by Arabic, both Modern Standard Arabic and all the local versions of Arabic. And in the Semitic language group, Amharic (Ethiopia’s official language, though not their most widely-spoken language) is spoken by many more people than Hebrew.

But, here are many words and rules that are similar.

Both Hebrew and Arabic rely on systems of three-letter roots. Groups of three letters (“triliteral roots”) are the foundations of form verbs and nouns. This means you’ll see the same groups of letters in clusters of words with related meanings. A specific example: you can find the same cluster of letters (in both languages) in words related to writing (the verb), authors, books, offices and libraries.

Some conjugation patterns overlap between Hebrew and Arabic. The past and future tense in Hebrew and Arabic quite similar. But the present tense is quite different.

Hebrew and Arabic share some letters of the alphabet. Some of the letters look similar, or have similar names. like ש (sin) and س (also sin), and some have the same names, like ا (alef) and א (also alef).

Some Hebrew and Arabic words are the same. At the beginner/intermediate level, the words for “night”, “four”, “house” and “date” are the same. Note that these are pronounced slightly differently.

Both Hebrew and Arabic don’t write their vowels (in everyday, non-religious language). This makes it hard for the initial learner, as you have to memorise where the vowels should go, learning the patterns of words.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have a “classical” form. This is much more formal than spoken Hebrew and Arabic (and more formal than Modern Standard Arabic too). The classical form writes in all the vowels and is used in mostly religious circumstances.

Both Hebrew and Arabic are written right to left.

There’s shared slang between Hebrew and Arabic. Mabsuut, akhi.


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