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Oct 31, 2010

how to say "to train someone" in Hebrew...

Following yesterday's word, כִּשָּׁרוֹן (kee-shah-ROHN) - talent, I've got a related word from the same root (כ.ש.ר -

To cause someone to be prepared for a task or to train someone is לְהַכְשִׁיר (le-hahkh-SHEER).

For example, אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ לְהַכְשִׁיר מִישֶׁהוּ בְּרַעֲנָנָה (ah-NEE hoh-LEKH le-hahkh-SHEER MEE-sheh-hoo be-rah-ah-NAH-nah) - I'm going to train someone in Raanana... for the upcoming session of Ulpan La-Inyan.

Oct 28, 2010

how to say "knack" or "talent" in Hebrew...

You probably know the Hebrew word for Kosher - כָּשֵׁר (kah-SHEHR). Literally, the word means prepared.

The root כ.ש.ר ( is also used to imply that someone is naturally prepared for some task; that the person has talent or a knack for it. The word for talent or knack is כִּשָּׁרוֹן (kee-shah-ROHN).

To say that a person is talented, you'd say הוּא מוּכְשָׁר (hoo mookh-SHAHR) for a male and הִיא מוּכְשֶׁרֶת (hee mookh-SHEH-ret) for a female.

For our new Raanana branch...

As we're opening a branch of Ulpan La-Inyan in Raanana in a few weeks, we're scouting someone מוכשר or מוכשרת to teach. So if you know someone... have them contact us!

Oct 27, 2010

how to say "launching" in Hebrew...

Perhaps you know the Hebrew word for a kiss - נְשִׁיקָה (ne-shee-KAH).

To cause something to kiss - such as making a new boat "kiss" the water for the first time, or launching it - is לְהַשִּׁיק (le-hah-SHEEK). 

Likewise, the act of launching a new boat, product or service is הַשָּׁקָה (hah-shah-KAH).

Launching our Raanana branch... and our next session

A new session of Ulpan La-Inyan's friendly, state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses is beginning on November 21, with classes in Jerusalem, possibly Tel Aviv... and in Raanana! Check us out.

Oct 26, 2010

how to say "suggestion" in Hebrew...

To suggest is לְהַצִּיע (le-hah-TSEE-ah). 

A suggestion is a הַצָּעָה (hah-tsah-AH). 

For example, אֲנִי פָּתוּחַ לְהַצָּעוֹת לְתָכְנִית הָרַדִיוֹ שֶׁלִּי (ah-NEE pah-TOO-ahkh le-hah-tsah-OHT le-tohkh-NEET hah-RAH-dee-yoh sheh-LEE) - I'm open to suggestions for my radio program.

Yes, if you've got a piece of Israeli music that you always wished you understood - the words, the culture, the deeper meaning... send me a request to and I just might play it with explanation on my RustyMike radio show - Wednesday at noon Israel time.

Oct 25, 2010

how to say "to expand" in Hebrew...

If you've had some Hebrew education, chances are you know the Modern Hebrew word for street - רְחוֹב (re-KHOHV). The word comes from the root ר.ח.ב (, which is the concept of width.

To expand something is לְהַרְחִיב (le-hahr-KHEEV). Likewise, the act of expanding or an expansion is הַרְחָבָה (hahr-khah-VAH). 

For example, אֻלְפָּן לָעִנְיָן מַרְחִיב אֶת עַצְמוֹ וְיַגִּיעַ לְרַעֲנָנָה (ool-PAHN lah-een-YAHN mahr-KHEEV et ahts-MOH ve-yah-GHEE-ah le-rah-ah-NAH-nah) - Ulpan La-Inyan is expanding itself and will arrive at Raanana. November 21. Check it out...

Oct 23, 2010

how to say "to take into consideration" in Hebrew...

The Hebrew root ח.ש.ב ( has the core meaning of thinking. It generates ancient words such as חוֹשֵׁב (khoh-SHEV) - thinking, thinker, architect... as well as contemporary words such as מַחְשֵׁב (mahkh-SHEV) - computer, and חַשָּׁב (khah-SHAV) - accountant (synonym for רואה חשבון, which we had the other week).

Another use of the ח.ש.ב root is לְהִתְחַשֵּׁב (le-heet-khah-SHEV) - to take into consideration. For example, צָרִיךְ לְהִתְחַשֵּׁב בָּרְגָשׁוֹת שֶׁל אֲחֵרִים (tsah-REEKH le-heet-khah-SHEV bah-reh-gah-SHOHT shel ah-kheh-REEM) - (One should/one needs to) take into account the feelings of others.

Oct 20, 2010

how to say "imagination' in Hebrew...

You might know how to say He looks like his father in Hebrew - הוּא דּוֹמֶה לְאַבָּא שֶׁלּו (hoo doh-MEH le-AH-bah sheh-LOH). The root of the word דומה is ד.מ.ה (d.m.h), which carries the concept of likeness or similarity.

The English word imagination comes from the word image, which is a likeness. Likewise, the Hebrew word for imagination - the place where images and likenesses are created - is דִּמְיוֹן (deem-YOHN).

Israeli music radio show today - noon Israel time on RustyMike Radio!

I've got my Israeli music uncovered (explained) today at noon, Israel time!

Tune in exclusively at RustyMike Radio.

Oct 19, 2010

how to say "coffee cup" in Hebrew...

I tend to write a lot about verbs and adjectives, but once in a while a noun intrigues me.

I just had a nice cup of tea. Hebrew's equivalent of the English mug (not to mug, but a mug) is סֵפֶל (SEH-fel). 

This is what Ulpan La-Inyan students get when they come to class in the morning. Well, AACI puts the coffee out for students to get up to take it... but the cozy atmosphere is still there. Come see for yourself!

how to say "coffee cup" in Hebrew...

I tend to write a lot about verbs and adjectives, but once in a while a noun intrigues me.

I just had a nice cup of tea. Hebrew's equivalent of the English mug (not to mug, but a mug) is סֵפֶל (SEH-fel). 

This is what Ulpan La-Inyan students get when they come to class in the morning. Well, AACI puts the coffee out for students to get up to take it... but the cozy atmosphere is still there. Come see for yourself!

how to say "to shave" in Hebrew...

Tonight I visited my סַבְתָּא (SAHV-tah) - grandmother - in Tel Aviv. She asked me whether I shave every day, to which I replied in the negative.

So, in Hebrew, there's to shave, and to shave something.

To shave - that is, without an object - is לְהִתְגַּלֵּח (le-heet-gah-LEH-ahkh). For example, אֲנִי לֹא מִתְגַּלֵּחַ כָּל יוֹם (ah-NEE loh meet-gah-LEH-ahkh kohl yohm) - I don't shave every day.

Then there's הוּא צָרִיךְ לְגַלֵּחַ אֶת הַזָּקָן (hoo tsah-REEKH le-gah-LEH-ahkh et hah-zah-KAHN) - He needs to shave (his) beard.

Oct 17, 2010

how to say "narrator" or "announcer" in Hebrew...

A narrator is someone who reads or calls out a storyline. To read or to call out, in Hebrew, is לִקְרוֹא (leek-ROH). Likewise, to tell a story is לְסַפֵּר (le-sah-PEHR).

A narrator or an announcer (such as on the radio) is a קַרְיָן (kahr-YAHN) for a male, and a קַרְיָנִית (kahr-yah-NEET) for a female.

By contrast, the narrator voice in a story is a מְסַפֵּר/מְסַפֶּרֶת (me-sah-PEHR (m) / me-sah-PEH-ret (f) ).

Oct 16, 2010

how to say "conference call" in Hebrew...

שיחת ועידה

The Hebrew word for conversation is שִׂיחָה (see-KHAH). 

The word for conference is וְעִידָה (ve-ee-DAH). It comes from the same root as the word for committee - וַעַד (VAH-ahd) and its synonym, וַעֲדָה (vah-AH-dah). ועדה also carries the meanings, board and commission.

Anyway, a conference call is a שִׂיחַת וְעִידָה (see-KHAHT ve-ee-DAH). This means, literally, a call of conference. The ה in the word שיחה turns into a ת as the שיחה and ועידה are connected, grammatically, with this notion of belonging - the word of implied.

Oct 15, 2010

how to say "miner" in Hebrew...


This week we've seen emotions running high and acts of courage being done in Chile, as 33 miners were rescued from 700 meters underground.

The Hebrew word for miner is כּוֹרֶה (koh-REH). To mine is לִכְרוֹת (leekh-ROHT), which is spelled the same and sounds the same as the word for to cut off

The difference? The root of to mine is כ.ר.ה (k.r.h), while the root of to cut off is כ.ר.ת (k.r.t).

שבת שלום וסוף שבוע נעים לכולם - Shabbat Shalom and good weekend to everyone!

Oct 14, 2010

how to say "marginal" or "insignificant" in Hebrew...


The Hebrew word for margins - as in the side of a paper or the side of a road - is שׁוּלַיִם (shoo-LAH-yeem).

To say that something is insignificant or marginal, you'd use שׁוּלִי (shoo-LEE).

My accountant friend used this word last night. I don't recall the context - I'm about to go to bed and it's late. So I'll make up a context:

כֶּסֶף זֶה דָּבָר שׁוּלִי לְעוּמַת חֲבֵרוּת (KEH-sef zeh dah-VAHR shoo-LEE le-oo-MAHT khah-veh-ROOT) - Money is an insignificant thing when compared with friendship.

If the underlined link bothers you, just visit the site to see the dose of Hebrew without the underline.

Oct 12, 2010

how to say "accounting" in Hebrew...

ראיית חשבון

After finishing working tonight I walked up the hill from the German Colony to Katamon (both Jerusalem neighborhoods) for the evening prayer... and to get some air. On the way back I walked with a good friend of mine, דּוֹרוֹן (Doron), who is an accountant. We had a good conversation... and I got material for the daily dose of Hebrew (as well as tomorrow's).

The Hebrew term for accountant is רוֹאֶה חֶשְׁבּוֹן (roh-EH khesh-BOHN) - literally, one who sees account(s) (רואָה חשבון - roh-AH - for a female).

The term for the discipline of accounting is רְאִיַּת חֶשְׁבּוֹן (reh-ee-YAHT khesh-BOHN).

If the underlined link bothers you, just visit the site to see the dose of Hebrew without the underline.

Oct 11, 2010

how to say "to blind" (i.e. with headlights) in Hebrew...


עִוֵּר (ee-VEHR) for a male and עִוֶּרֶת (ee-VEH-ret) for a female are the Hebrew words for someone who is blind.

By contrast, to blind someone is לְסַנְוֵר (le-sahn-VEHR). This is a very old word; it comes up in next week's Torah portion, where the angels visiting Lot strike the Sodomites with blindness - סַנְוֵרִים (sahn-veh-REEM).

So if you're driving at night and the guy behind you has his high beams on, you might complain, הוּא מְסַנְוֵר אוֹתִי (hoo me-sahn-VEHR oh-TEE) - He's blinding me!

how to say "lucky" in Hebrew...

יש לי מזל, וכו

There isn't really a word for lucky. There is one - מְמֻזַּל (me-moo-ZAHL) describing a male and מְמֻזֶּלֶת (me-moo-ZEH-let) describing female, but it's not very widely used. One could say, יֵשׁ לִי מַזָּל (yesh lee mah-ZAHL) - literally, I have luck. But that doesn't work for phrases such as It's my lucky day and the like.

At the core of the statement, I'm lucky, arguably, is a connotation of gratitude. Therefore, Israelis of a more religious persuasion would say בָּרוּךְ הַשֵּׁם (bah-ROOKH hah-SHEM) - thank God (literally, blessed is God) to say that they've had it good, while more people (religious or not) would say הִתְבָּרַכְתִּי (heet-bah-RAHKH-tee) - I've been blessed

By the way, the phrase מזל טוֹב (mah-ZAHL tohv) means literally, good luck.

Ulpan La-Inyan's teachers

I must say that I've been blessed - התברכתי - to have been working with some of the most wonderful people in the world at Ulpan La-Inyan. Each is a natural teacher (even those outside of the classroom) who walks into a classroom, does something right... and the students walk out smiling (and more proficient in Hebrew).

You can come meet some of these great people (with no commitment!) at...

Oct 10, 2010

how to say "efficient" and "effective" in Hebrew...


The Hebrew word for both effective and efficient is יָעִיל (yah-EEL). It comes from the same root, י.ע.ל (y.'.l) as yet another word for benefit - תּוֹעֶלֶת (toh-EH-let).

To take something and make it more efficient is לְיָעֵל (le-yah-EHL). For example, הַחֶבְרָה גּוּגֶל יוֹדַעַת לְיָעֵל דְּבָרִים (hah-khev-RAH GOO-ghel yoh-DAH-aht le-yah-EHL dvah-REEM) - The company Google knows how to make things efficient...

Ulpan La-Inyan...

At Ulpan La-Inyan we strive to do the same... as Google - to make Hebrew learning more יעיל. That's why we offer classes at convenient times (like 8:30-9:30am), using the best language methodology out there.

Oct 7, 2010

how to say "a benefit" in Hebrew...


Yesterday's word was יתרון - advantage. That word is also used, sometimes, to mean benefit

The literal translation for benefit, however, is הַטָבָה (hah-tah-VAH), from the word טוֹב (tohv) - good or goodness.

For example, יֵשׁ מִגְוַן הַטָבוֹת לְתָכְנִית סֶלוּלָרִי זו (yesh meeg-VAHN hah-tah-VOHT le-tohkh-NEET seh-loo-LAH-ree zoh) - There's a variety of benefits to this cellular plan.

Writing from Heathrow Terminal 5.

What are the הטבות of Ulpan La-Inyan?

Find out here.

how to say "advantage" in Hebrew...


Perhaps you know one of the Hebrew words for more - יוֹתֵר (yoh-TEHR). It's the word that creates comparative adjectives, such as better - יוֹתֵר טוֹב (yoh-TEHR tohv); bigger - יוֹתֵר גָּדוֹל (yoh-TEHR gah-DOHL); more interesting - יוֹתֵר מְעַנְיֵן (yoh-TEHR me-ahn-YEHN); etc.

Related to this word is one that appears already in Biblical Hebrew. It's the word for advantage, as in the pros in a list of pros and cons: יִתְרוֹן (yeet-ROHN). The plural is יִתְרוֹנוֹת (yeet-roh-NOHT) - with a feminine ending, even though the word itself is masculine.

I have always pronounced the word יִתָרוֹן (yee-tah-ROHN) - like most Israelis - but Morfix Dictionary says otherwise.

I'm grateful the American Airlines AAdvantage program, which has allowed me to come spend my dad's 60th birthday with him. Right now I'm in Chicago. I hope to have internet access in London, where I plan to send out Friday's word. If you don't get the email, you'll know that I didn't have access.

Advantages of Ulpan La-Inyan...

As you probably already know, we've got a whole bunch of conversational Hebrew courses starting next week in Jerusalem. To find out what יתרונות our courses have over others, check out...

Oct 6, 2010

how to say "to battle" in Hebrew...


With the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War in season, I figured that a good Hebrew word for you to know is to go to battle - לְהִלָּחֵם (le-hee-lah-KHEM). For example, יִשְׂרָאֵל נִלְחְמָה בְּמִצְרָיִם (yees-rah-EHL neel-kheh-MAH be-meets-RAH-yeem) - Israel battled (with) Egypt.

Note the root - ל.ח.מ ( It's the same as מִלְחָמָה (meel-khah-MAH) - war... as well as לֶחֶם (LEH-khem) - bread. I'm not sure whether there actually is a semantic connection between מלחמה and לחם. If you know of one, I'd be happy to hear about it.

Oct 5, 2010

how to say "picture frame" in Hebrew...


The Hebrew word for picture frame is מִסְגֶּרֶת (mees-GEH-ret). Its root is ס.ג.ר (s.g.r), the concept of closing - as a picture frame is something that encloses a picture.

This particular formation of a noun based on a verb root appears in other words as well, such as מִקְלַחַת (meek-LAH-khaht) - shower, and מִקְלֶדֶת (meek-LEH-det) - keyboard.

If you like your daily dose of Hebrew...

You'll love Ulpan La-Inyan, the friendly, effective way of learning to speak Hebrew with confidence and accuracy.

We've got classes starting this Sunday in Jeursalem, and others starting late November is Raanana, Tel Aviv and possibly other places.

Oct 4, 2010

how to say "airport"in Hebrew...

נמל תעופה

There are two ways to say airport in Hebrew. 

One is the literal translation - נְמַל תְּעוּפָה (ne-MAHL te-oo-FAH), where נמל means port of (pronounced נָמֵל - nah-MEHL - when it's just port without of), and תעופה means flight or aviation.

The other way to say it translates from the lesser-used English word, airfield - שְׂדֵה תעופה.

Israel's Ben Gurion airport is נמל תעופה בן גוריון - or, more simply, נתב"ג (naht-BAHG).

Oct 3, 2010

how to say "to say goodbye" in Hebrew...


This one's for Eva - thanks for the request!

Most people who have even the most rudimentary familiarity with Hebrew know that שָׁלוֹם (shah-LOHM) means both hello and goodbye (and, literally, peace).

But to say goodbye, as in to part ways with someone - is a substantially different expression in Hebrew. The word is לְהִפָּרֵד (le-hee-pah-REHD). For example, קָשֶׁה לְהִפָּרֵד מִמִּשְׁפָּחָה (kah-SHEH le-hee-pah-REHD mee-meesh-pah-KHAH) - It's hard to part ways with family.

Planning on learning Hebrew this fall?

Consider Ulpan La-Inyan, the new friendly, state-of-the-art way of learning to speak Hebrew with confidence and accuracy.

Oct 1, 2010

how to say "a carpet" in Hebrew...


The Hebrew word for carpet or rug is שָׁטִיח (shah-TEE-ahkh). It's related to the word for area - שֶׁטַח (SHEH-tahkh), as a שטיח is something that covers a particular שטח.

Similarly, to prostrate oneself or to sprawl out - for example, over the grave of a righteous person, as many are wont to do - is לְהִשְׁתַּטֵּח (le-heesh-tah-TEH-ahkh).

Learn to speak Hebrew with Ulpan La-Inyan 

Our friendly, small, fun, state-of-the-art classes are starting next Sunday in Jerusalem. Check us out...