What Languages Are Spoken in Israel?

Israel has a host of recognized languages due to its diversity. Let's take a look at all of the languages spoken.

By Alice Bassett
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Published December 31, 2021.

Israeli society is very diverse, consisting of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Arab groups of people. This diversity is the reason why there are so many languages spoken. The main language spoken Israel is Hebrew. While Hebrew is the official native language, a staggering 85% of the Israeli population speaks English as one of their languages.

How Many Languages Are Spoken in Israel?

There are 35 officially recognized languages spoken in Israel.

The top three indigenous first languages in Israel are:

  • Hebrew, spoken by 49 percent of the population.
  • Arabic, spoken by 18 percent of the population.
  • Russian, spoken by 15 percent of the population.

There are rules and laws which govern recognized languages in Israel. An article, issued by the League of Nations in 1922 recognizes Hebrew as Israel's national language.

The group of secondary languages in Israel stems from a history of immigration and globalization.

Some of the non-indigenous languages spoken in Israel are:

  • Yiddish
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Romanian
  • Polish

Israel also has two official sign languages, being Israeli Sign Language and Russian Sign Language.

Is Hebrew the Main Language in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Too?

The main language in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is Hebrew, as it is the main language spoken in the whole of Israel. As a tourist in these cities, you should get by relatively easily as English is also widely spoken here.