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Thread: Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...333358,00.html

    Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'
    The Academy of the Hebrew Language's president admonishes Hebrew University's decision to allow doctorate theses in English, warning against 'Hebrew's erosion'
    Shahar Chai
    Published: 01.16.13, 17:34 / Israel News



    The Academy of the Hebrew Language President Professor Moshe Bar Asher cautioned against the "erosion of the Hebrew language" by "the dependency and inferiority complexes of the media in regards to the US and due to the incredible usefulness of the internet."

    His warnings followed a Hebrew University's decision to allow PhD students to present their doctorate theses in English.

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    "It is clear that, unintentionally, one decision leads to another and in the end university classes in English will become prevalent in a process which will eventually happen in high schools and elementary schools."

    Bar Asher bemoaned the decision which reversed the Hebrew University's founders' insistence that all academic papers be written in Hebrew.

    "Placing English on the same level as Hebrew is a sharp deviation from the course set by the university's founders. This should be insisted upon precisely because of the Hebrew language's erosion.



    Bar Asher, 'See the signs' (Photo: Atta Awisat)

    Bar Asher asserted: "Walk the street and see the signs. Once there was a Jordan Hotel, Carmel Hotel. Now hotels carry English names.

    "People don't say Shalom but rather Hi and Bye. We are the keepers of a 3,000 year old culture which conducted itself in Hebrew even in a foreign-language environment."

    "Those who care for Hebrew's stature should insist on it. I'm not saying we should have a language-police, but that Hebrew lovers should stand for Hebrew's cultural value."


    The Professor said that his remarks are not pointed at slang terms and common use of the language, which he finds beautiful, but to "Hebrew spoken in official capacities in lectures, speeches or articles.

    "I can't complain about the younger generations," he added, "because they are taught much less Hebrew these days. Teachers know less Hebrew and therefore pupils are taught less of the language."
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    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Re: Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

    It's atrocious. But the issue is the deluge of foreign students and, of course, FOTB Olim. It also doenst help we have multiple primary languages in the country. Why is Arabic, Russian and French so important? Most of the Internet is in English. A lot of TV too. This is what's you get in our society. Still... less we forget, the first language in Hebrew U was.... German. So today it is still an improvement!

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    Re: Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliyah1995 View Post
    Bar Asher is right. But it isn't only in Israel. I remember about 10 years ago (maybe more?), the French too were complaining about similar problems. I guess it is inevitable in the modern world. As usual, it is not all bad, there are pluses to it too. As long as it won't go too far.

    I don't know if I am right. It is just my gut reaction.
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    Re: Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

    Still... less we forget, the first language in Hebrew U was.... German. So today it is still an improvement!
    Very true. Also, I guess we better enjoy English being the language of choice for thesis's while we can. Before we know it, this same article will be written, only "Theses in Chinese 'erosion of Hebrew'" will be the title.
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Theses in English 'erosion of Hebrew'

    Quote Originally Posted by Reffo View Post
    Bar Asher is right. But it isn't only in Israel. I remember about 10 years ago (maybe more?), the French too were complaining about similar problems. I guess it is inevitable in the modern world. As usual, it is not all bad, there are pluses to it too. As long as it won't go too far.

    I don't know if I am right. It is just my gut reaction.
    What you say is true. This is NOT unique to Hebrew. European languages are going through the same issue with their identities in general and their languages specifically.

    From where I am sitting though, I see Hebrew thriving. My personal experience is that even though my wife and I speak only English in the home with our two kids (ages 9 and 5), they both prefer Hebrew hands down. Our kids speak with each other in Hebrew (although to us they speak mostly in English; some Hebrew words pop out here and there) and our daughter (in 4th grade) reads books in Hebrew at a 6th grade level. In fact, she out reads and our writes kids in her class from Hebrew speaking homes. Also, whenever she surfs the net, she surfs in HEBREW only. I also help my daughter with her homework and I hardly see her being Hebrew deprived. Our son (in kindergarten) also prefers speaking in Hebrew (he doesn't read yet in either language). Every Friday he and the rest of the kids in his gan bring home a book for the parents to read them over the weekend. I hardly see him being deprived of Hebrew either. So, I don't see the survival of Hebrew threatened. Native Israelis will ALWAYS prefer Hebrew. Unless, of course, we go for the "one state solution" and the predominant language becomes Arabic, but that is another topic for another thread....
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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