What is the official language of Israel?
The Israeli population is linguistically and culturally diverse. Hebrew is the country's official language, and almost the entire population speaks it either as native speakers or proficiently as a second language. Its standard form, known as Modern Hebrew, is the main medium of life in Israel. Arabic is used mainly by Israel's Arab minority which comprises about one-fifth of the population. Arabic has a special status under Israeli law.
Russian is spoken by about 20% of the Israeli population, mainly by the large immigrant population from the former Soviet Union, and English is a known foreign language by a significant proportion of the Israeli population as English is used widely in official logos and road signs alongside Hebrew and Arabic. In addition, the 19th edition of Ethnologue lists 36 languages and dialects spoken through Israel.
According to a 2011 Government Social Survey of Israelis over 20 years of age, 49% report Hebrew as their native language, Arabic 18%, Russian 15%, Yiddish 2%, French 2%, English 2%, 1.6% Spanish, and 10% other languages (including Romanian, German and Amharic, which were not offered as answers by the survey). This study also noted that 90% of Israeli Jews and over 60% of Israeli Arabs have a good understanding of Hebrew.