Academy of the Hebrew Language

Academy of the Hebrew Language
האקדמיה ללשון העברית
Academy of the Hebrew Language.png
Formation1890 - Hebrew Language Committee
1953 - Academy of the Hebrew Language
FounderEliezer Ben Yehuda
Legal statusLanguage regulator
PurposeTo regulate the Hebrew language
Coordinates31°46′20.34″N 35°11′54.71″E / 31°46′20.34″N 35°11′54.71″E / 31.7723167; 35.1985306
Formerly called
Hebrew Language Committee

The Academy of the Hebrew Language (Hebrew: הָאָקָדֶמְיָה לַלָּשׁוֹן הָעִבְרִית, ha-akademya la-lashon ha-ivrit) was established by the Israeli government in 1953 as the "supreme institution for scholarship on the Hebrew language in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem of Givat Ram campus."[1]


The Academy of the Hebrew Language building at the Hebrew University - Givat Ram campus

The Academy replaced the Hebrew Language Committee (Vaʻad ha-lashon ha-ʻIvrit) established in 1890 by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who was its first president. As Hebrew became the spoken language in Palestine and was adopted by the educational system, the Hebrew Language Committee published bulletins and dictionaries. It coined thousands of words that are in everyday use today.[2]

Its successor, the Academy of the Hebrew Language, has continued this mission of creating new Hebrew words to keep up modern usage.

Although the academy's business is creating new words from Hebrew roots and structures to replace loanwords derived from other languages, its own name is a loanword, "akademya."[3] It addresses this irony on its English website.[4]

The Academy's mission, as defined in its constitution, is "to direct the development of Hebrew in light of its nature" (לכוון את דרכי התפתחותה של הלשון העברית לפי טבעה).[5] The Academy sets standards for modern Hebrew grammar, orthography, transliteration, and punctuation based on the historical development of the language. It also writes a Hebrew Historical Dictionary.[6]