- With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Hebrew became the national language some fifty years after its revival as the language of Zionist identity. The majority of the population uses Hebrew, but for only half of them is it their mother tongue.
- The waves of new immigrants who have come to the State since its creation, more than doubling its population have learned Hebrew informally or in Ulpanim (intensive programs).
- Arabs who speak the Palestinian dialect of Arabic as their first language and whose schools teach Standard Educated Arabic, find it necessary to learn Hebrew both formally in school and informally at work.
- Arabic, the language of Israel's largest minority and of the region, is taught in junior high school to Jewish pupils, a small percentage of whom continue to study it at high school.
- English is de facto the second language of speakers of both Hebrew and Arabic. It is the main language for external commerce and tourism, and a required language for all Jewish and Arab schools, and for the universities (which teach in Hebrew).
- Nearly a million recent immigrants from the disintegrating Soviet Union speak mainly Russian but also other languages of the region.
- In the 1990's, 75,000 Jews arrived from Ethiopia speaking Jewish varieties of Amharic and Tigrinya, some also reading Giiz;
- French is taught in schools and known by many immigrants.
- Various Arabic and Judeo-Arabic dialects are spoken by Israeli Palestinians and by immigrants from North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other Arabic speaking countries.
- Yiddish is spoken by older immigrants from Eastern Europe and by many ultra-orthodox Jews. Some 3000 pupils learn it at school.
- As in many countries, the first language of many members of the Deaf community in Israel is a signed language - Israeli Sign Language.
- Judeo-Spanish (Judezmo or Ladino) is still used by some Jews from Greece and the Levant; and Judeo-Aramaic (Kurdit) by Jews from Iraq and Iran;
- European languages like French and Russian and Hungarian and German and Polish are spoken by immigrants from Europe, and Spanish by those from Latin America.
- English is the native language of immigrants from North America, South Africa, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
- There are about 200,000 foreign workers, some legal and many illegal, who speak various European, Asian and African languages.
- There are newspapers published and radio programs in many of the immigrant languages, which continue to be used within the home and the community. Younger immigrants (children going to school or younger adults serving in the Army) rapidly become Hebrew speakers, but many older immigrants maintain the use of their first languages. Other significant non-Jewish language communities use as their first language Armenian, Circassian (Adygey), Assyrian and Domari (a Gypsy language).
Hebrew - official, principal language, spoken by most people
Arabic - second official language, medium of instruction in the Arabic sector of public schools, heritage language of Jews from Arabic countries
English - major foreign language
Russian - major language of about a million recent Jewish immigrants from Former Soviet Union
Amharic, Tigrinya - major languages of recent Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia
Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Tat, Judeo-Berber - a few of the Jewish languages brought by immigrants and now in some danger
Polish, Hungarian, English, French - some of the community languages of immigrants
French, German, Japanese - a few of the foreign languages taught
Armenian, Assyrian (Aramaic), Circassian - some of the community languages of non-Jewish Israelis
Israeli Sign Language (ISL) - first language of many members of the Deaf community in Israel