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Sep 29, 2010

how to say "it's been an honor" in Hebrew...


This one's for my dear Mom.

Mom asked me how to say honor as in It's been an honor to have met you. I started brainstorming out loud, saying something with the word כָּבוֹד (kah-VOHD), which means honor and respect. So Mom said, "no, that's a literal translation." She was right - what's needed is a culturally appropriate translation, not a literal one.

So here's what I came up with, using the word for to merit - לִזְכּוֹת (leez-KOHT): אֲנִי שָׂמֵחַ/שְׂמֵחָה שֶׁזָּכִיתִי לְהַכִּיר אוֹתְךָ/אוֹתָך (ah-NEE sah-MEH-akh (masc.)/smeh-KHAH (fem.) sheh-zah-KHEE-tee leh-hah-KEER oht-KHAH (masc.)/oh-TAHKH (fem.)) - literally, I'm happy that I've merited to make your acquaintance. 

זָכִיתִי - it's polite, dignified... and useful for special occasions.

To the Jewish crowd on this blog - have a great שִׂמְחַת תּוֹרָה! (seem-KHAHT toh-RAH)

And to the Jeursalemites - when it's over, consider signing up for a course with...

Sep 28, 2010

how to say "screenplay" in Hebrew...


You may know the word for movie or film - סֶרֶט (SEH-ret). The word works both for cinematic creations as well as a ribbon, which is a kind of a film.

The word for screenplay is תַּסְרִיט (tahs-REET). Note the three-letter root embedded in the word - ס.ר.ט.

This structure - with a ת at the beginning of the word and an ee sound towards the end - occurs with many roots. For example, the root ד.פ.ס (d.p.s), which has to do with printing, creates the word תַּדְפִּיס (tahd-PEES) - printout.

Sep 27, 2010

how to say "a plug" or "a traffic jam" in Hebrew...


Onomatopoeia exists in every language, most likely. It's those words that sound like the sound they make. For example birds chirp - and a chirp makes a chirping sound. Ducks quack, tight air whizzes by, etc.

Hebrew is no exception. The Hebrew word for a plug or a cork - that which makes the pkak sound when removed quickly from that which it is plugging - is פְּקַק (pkahk). The word is also used colloquially to mean traffic jam, a situation where the road is plugged or corked.

Got Hebrew this fall?

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Sep 26, 2010

how to say "I'm full" in Hebrew...


If you're familiar with the Jewish blessing following a meal involving bread, you almost certainly know the phrase (Biblical verse) וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבַעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ (ve-ah-khahl-TAH ve-sah-VAH-tah oo-veh-rahkh-TAH...) - and you shall eat and be sated, and you shall bless (G-d)...

To say I'm full, as in I've eaten enough, is אֲנִי שָׂבֵע (ah-NEE sah-VEH-ah) for a male and אֲנִי שְׂבֵעָה (ah-NEE sveh-AH) for a female. Or, you could simply say, שָׂבַעְתִּי (sah-VAH-tee) - literally, I've become full.

The word is not related to the word for seven - that's with a שׁ (sh), not a שׂ (s).

How's your Hebrew?
If you haven't yet gotten your fill on the Hebrew language and would like a nice boost (or a starter), consider Ulpan La-Inyan:

Sep 22, 2010

how to say "to celebrate" in Hebrew...


The Arabic word for pilgrimage is حج (hahj).

The Hebrew word for holiday - particularly that which involves a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot) - is חַג (hahg).

Arabic and Hebrew are very closely related languages. You can see the common concept in these two nearly-identical words. At some point, they split off, with Hebrew expanding the concept of the word חג to mean any holiday or celebration.

There's also the Hebrew verb for to celebrate - לַחְגּוֹג (lahkh-GOHG).

Since Sukkot is about to come in, I wish everyone a חַג שָׂמֵח! (hahg sah-MEH-ahkh)

And in case you missed the early registration deadline for our courses starting right after the חגים (holidays), check out today's Jerusalem Post...

Sep 21, 2010

This one's for Tehillah. You too can request a word by filling out this simple form.

The Hebrew word for a lane on a road is נָתִיב (nah-TEEV). The Ayalon Highway is called נְתִיבֵי הָאַיָּלוֹן (neh-tee-VEH-ee hah-ah-yah-LOHN) in Hebrew - the "Ayalon Lanes". A synonym for נתיב, also used, is מַסְלוּל (mahs-LOOL).

So how does one say, "stay in your lane!" in Hebrew? Truth is, I haven't heard it much - probably because I don't usually travel in a private car in Israel. But a useful, literal translation would be תִּשָּׁאֵר בַּנָּתִיב שֶׁלְּך (tee-shah-EHR bah-nah-TEEV shel-KHAH) to a male, or תִּשָּׁאֲרִי בַּנָּתִיב שֶׁלָּך (tee-shah-ah-REE bah-nah-TEEV sheh-LAHKH) to a female. 

You could also simplify the phrase to תשאר בנתיב or תשארי בנתיב, without the שלך, so that you'd be saying literally, stay in the lane!

Important announcement

Today (Tuesday) is the last day to receive an early-registration discount on the October-November Ulpan La-Inyan courses

Would you like a recommendation? Check out our testimonials.

Sep 20, 2010

how to say "to fly" (on a plane) in Hebrew...


I'm about to board a flight to LA at Ben Gurion airport. It's my dad's 60th birthday coming up, so I decided at the last minute to try to book a free ticket with mileage (even the paid ones aren't too bad this season). Who knew? Lo and behold, less than a week before the flight, there was AAdvantage space!

So the word of the day is to fly, as in to travel by air. In Hebrew, it's לטוס (lah-TOOS). For example, אֲנִי טָס הָעֶרֶב - (ah-NEE tahs hah-EH-rev) - I'm flying this evening.

I don't have a recording for you, as I'm using Rachel Kaufman's (of Nefesh BNefesh) computer and she doesn't have my recording software. So try saying the word out loud - check it with an Israeli, if you can.

And check out the Nefesh BNefesh (and AACI, Telfed and senior-citizen) discounts on our upcoming Ulpan La-Inyan classes! (click the picture below)

Sep 19, 2010

how to say "to get updated" in Hebrew...

Israelis all around the world love to stay up to date with what's going on in the holy land. I imagine many Jews, regardless of whether they carry Israeli citizenship, love to do the same.

Ulpan La-Inyan's Level 5 class allows you to do so with the Israeli radio broadcast, as students learn to understand - as well as participate in - the חֱדָשוֹת (khah-dah-SHOHT) - the news (in Hebrew).

Suppose you wanted to say, We want to get updated every time there's a new word on this blog. Here's how to say it in Hebrew: אֲנַחְנוּ רוֹצִים לְהִתְעַדְכֵּן כָּל פַּעַם שֶׁיֵּש  מִלָּה חֲדָשָׁה בַּבְּלוֹג הַזֶּה (ah-NAHKH-noo roh-TSEEM le-heet-ahd-KEHN kohl PAH-ahm sheh-YESH mee-LAH khah-dah-SHAH bah-BLOHG hah-ZEH).

להתעדכן is to get updated. The root? עַד כָּאן (ahd kahn) - literally, until here.

Sep 16, 2010

how to say "values" in Hebrew...

Ulpan La-Inyan's Level 4 is the "upgrade" course - where students' conversation abilities get upgraded from day-to-day to something they could use to make not-so-small talk at cocktail parties... or begin to participate in discussions in the university classroom.

The central theme of the course is עֲרָכִים (ah-rah-KHEEM) - values.

Our next session begins on October 3, in Jerusalem 
in cooperation with AACI and in Tel Aviv in cooperation with AACI and UJIA. Raanana (in cooperation with Telfed) is joining our branch list in November, and Modiin and Beit Shemesh are on our list.

Sep 14, 2010

how to say "fascinating" in Hebrew...

In Ulpan La-Inyan's Level 3 course, 21-year-old חַגַּי (khah-GAH-ee) tells his date, יִפְעַת (yeef-AHT) all about his trip to Nahal Yehudiya, including the heroic act he performs there.

The word is a bit advanced for Level 3, but יפעת could have said, אֵיזֶה סִפּוּר מְרַתֵּק (EHY-zeh see-POOR me-rah-TEK) - What a fascinating story! 

מרתק means fascinating.

Sep 13, 2010

how to say "teaching" in Hebrew...

In Level 2 of Ulpan La-Inyan, students enter the busy lives of Moni and Eti, a couple with a son named Rafi, who requires them to attend parent-teacher conferences more often than they'd like.

You may very well know the Hebrew words for teacher - מוֹרֶה (moh-REH) for a male and מוֹרָה (moh-RAH) for a female. The word for teaching, as in the profession, is הוֹרָאָה (hoh-rah-AH). Say the word out loud, and you'll find that it sounds a bit like תּוֹרָה (toh-RAH). That's because the two words come from the same root.

Sep 12, 2010

how to say "to announce" in Hebrew...


In Level 1 of Ulpan La-Inyan, students take on the roles of the couple, Nava and Oren. Nava is all dressed and ready to go to a party, when she walks into the living room to find Oren sitting and reading a newspaper קוֹרֵא עִתּוֹן (koh-REH ee-TOHN). לִקְרוֹא (leek-ROH) means both to read and to call out to someone.

A word not studied in Level 1, but nonetheless a synonym of לקרוא, is לְהַכְרִיז (le-hahkh-REEZ) - which means to announce.

Sep 8, 2010

how to say "I wish you..." in Hebrew...


Here's how a male would say to a female, in Hebrew, I wish you a good year: אֲנִי מְאַחֵל לָךְ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה (ah-NEE meh-ah-KHEHL lahkh shah-NAH toh-VAH).

Here's how a female would say it to a male: אֲנִי מְאַחֶלֶת לְךָ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה (ah-NEE meh-ah-KHEH-let le-KHAH shah-NAH toh-VAH).

You can figure out how to say it to members of the same sex.

In any case, אֲנִי מְאַחֵל לָכֵם שָׁנָה טוֹבָה (ah-NEE meh-ah-KHEHL lah-KHEM shah-NAH toh-VAH) - I wish you all a good year!

And while you're getting ready for your great year, check out our courses for the fall - in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Raanana! 
(Raanana's in November)

Sep 7, 2010

how to say "to freshen up" in Hebrew...


This morning teaching at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, some of my students (well, Yogi's students - I was substituting) had some coffee or needed to get some fresh air. Truth is, so did I. We all freshened up

To become freshed in Hebrew is לְהִתְרַעֲנֵן (le-heet-rah-ah-NEHN). For example רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה הוּא זְמַן טוֹב לְהִתְרַעֲנֵן (rosh hah-shah-NAH hoo zmahn tohv le-heet-rah-ah-NEHN) - Rosh Hashanah is a good time to freshen up.

Sep 6, 2010

how to say "to raise (a topic)" in Hebrew...

If you're reading this blog, you've likely heard the word aliyah (עֲלִיָּה - ah-lee-YAH) before. The word refers to immigration to Israel, but means, literally, ascending.

To cause something to ascend is to raise something. Hence the verb, לְהַעֲלוֹת (le-hah-ah-LOHT). For those of you who are biblically inclined, you may remember this word in the title of one of the first Torah portions in the book of בַּמִּדְבָּר (bah-meed-BAHR) - Numbers: בְּהַעֲלוֹתְך (be-hah-ah-LOHT-eh-khah) - as you raise...

For example, one might say, אֲנִי לֹא רוֹצֶה לְהַעֲלוֹת אֶת הַנּוֹשֵׂא הַזֶּה, אָבָל... (ah-NEE loh roh-TSEH le-hah-ah-LOHT et hah-noh-SEH hah-ZEH, ah-VAHL...) - I don't want to raise this topic, but...

Sep 5, 2010

how to say "terror attack" in Hebrew


This past Wednesday evening four Jews (civilians) were murdered by Arab terrorists near חֶבְרוֹן (khehv-ROHN) - Hebron.

Modern Hebrew's word for such an attack is פִּגּוּע (pee-GOO-ah). The word comes from the root פ.ג.ע., which bears the concept of

May we hear of no such פיגועים anywhere in the world, this coming year, or ever again.

Sep 2, 2010

how to say "first thing in the morning" in Hebrew...

I'm really tired. I'm about to go to sleep. I want to write about being tired, but I've already done that in prior entries. Instead, I'm going to take my roommate's suggestion and write about the first thing in the morning.

אֲנִי צָרִיךְ לָקוּם עַל הַבּוֹקֵר (ah-NEE tsah-REEKH lah-KOOM ahl hah-BOH-kehr) - I need to get up first thing in the morning. על הבוקר means, literally, on the morning. But it's used to mean first thing in the morning.

That's it - I'm out.

שבת שלום - Shabbat Shalom, good weekend to all.

Sep 1, 2010

how to say "to go with the flow" in Hebrew...

This is one aspect of a request from Izzy.

לִזְרוֹם (leez-ROHM) means, literally, to flow. For example, נָהָר הַיַּרְקוֹן זוֹרֵם בְּתֵל אָבִיב (nah-HAHR ha-yahr-KOHN zoh-REHM be-TEL ah-VEEV) - The Yarkon River flows in Tel Aviv.

לזרום is also used colloquially to mean to go with the flow.

how to say "to scatter flowers" in Hebrew... (I just came back from a Shlomo Artzi concert)

לפזר פרחים

Tonight I attended a concert in Jerusalem by Shlomo Artzi. The show was great, and I even saw a couple Ulpan La-Inyan all-star students.

In one of the songs (the one dedicated to Gilad Shalit), Shlomo sings, אֶת הַגֶּשֶׁם תֵּן רַק בְּעִתּו (et hah-GEH-shem ten rahk be-ee-TOH) - Just give the rain at its time, וּבָאָבִיב פַּזֵּר לָנוּ פְּרָחִים (oo-vah-ah-VEEV pah-ZEHR LAH-noo prah-KHEEM) - and in the spring, scatter for us flowers.

לְפַזֵּר (le-fah-ZEHR) is to scatter. And פרחים are flowers.

Now, here's the song - listen for these words...