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Rome Reports

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Could Biblical Hebrew be making a comeback?

"My name is Jaime and I am from Spain."

"Peace to you, my name is Myriam."

This is probably one of the only places in Rome where Old Hebrew is spoken. It is one of the classes offered at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, which also has courses each summer in Latin, ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew. 

They have a very interesting method, where they teach a dead language as a modern one. It requires a lot of work and careful attention for the students, but as they say, it is very fruitful. 

Student in classical Hebrew
“This method of teaching has a very large workload on the one hand, because you have to work at it everyday. It is demanding, it demands the student's attention in class, and you cannot miss one minute. However, the results are seen very quickly, because soon you begin to understand the texts, and see how the sentences are constructed.”

Although they are dead languages, the professor says that it is important that they are not lost, because they are the basis of our civilization

Professor of Biblical Hebrew
"If we want to know about our future, we need to know our past. FLASH. Knowing the original texts -that are the basis of our society- is crucial to understand who we are, where we are going and what are the perspectives of our future."

The course itself is three weeks long, but has lasting effects. The university wants to show that these so-called “dead languages” are more alive each day.