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James Callow Folklore Archive

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LANGUAGE OF ISRAEL: ELIEZER BEN-YEHUDA AND THE FORMATION OF

THE INFORMANT TOLD ME THE STORY OF ELIEZER BEN-YEHUDA, THE MAN WHO
COMPILED THE MODERN HEBREW LANGUAGE. BEN-YEHUDA FOUND THAT THE
JEWISH PEOPLE KNEW THE MEANINGS OF ONLY 7,700 HEBREW WORDS WHEN HE
COMPILED HIS FAMOUS DICTIONARY IN THE 1800'S. BEN-YEHUDA HAD TO
MAKE UP WORDS TO FIT NEW CONCEPTS THAT DID NOT EXIST WHERE ANCIENT
HEBREW WAS USED ("CARRIAGE," ETC.) SO HE COMBINED GERMAN, HEBREW
AND ARABIC TO FORM WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS YIDDISH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; Hebrew ; Jewish ; Language ; Origin

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
SPEECH -- Folk etymology
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