If Abram is the first known Hebrew, then why are the names to all the patriarchs prior to Abram in Hebrew such as Adam? My second question is, how could Hebrew have originated from a single family of individuals who resided in the Sumerian city of Ur?

"Gen. 14, in which Abraham is called a "Hebrew" for the first time"- Jewish Virtual Library


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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. How do you know that Abraham was the first Hebrew? Please edit in a source. Also, we recommend asking only one question per post. I think you should just go with the first; the second seems to be offtopic, as it does not relate to Judaism. Perhaps try asking on Linguistics? – Scimonster Jan 31 '15 at 21:55
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    Your are confusing the language Hebrew with the nation called Hebrews. – Danny Schoemann Feb 1 '15 at 7:45

Abraham was the first "Ivri", correctly translated as "Hebrew". However, "Hebrew" here refers to his nationality, not his language. Abraham was not the first person to speak the Hebrew language. The Hebrew language is the first language spoken by mankind, and originally the only language spoken by people, as it says: "וַיְהִי כָל הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים"(Genesis 11:1, see Rashi there). Until modern times, the Hebrew language was always referred to as "Lashon HaKodesh", the holy tounge, never "Hebrew", the language of the Hebrews. The names of all people in the Torah are written in Hebrew/Lashon HaKodesh, both before and after the introduction of the "Hebrews" onto the world scene.


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