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Dec 11, 2011

how to say "good luck" in Hebrew

having trouble seeing the print?

 listen and repeat

highly recommended reference 
for further vocabulary growth 

How to go about wishing someone well varies from language to language and from culture to culture.

In English, we say good luck - wishing the person good fortune, that the stars line up for them, that they find a four-leaf clover.

In Hebrew, we say בְּהַצְלָחָה  listen and repeat - literally, with success

If anyone knew how
to encourage people
to be proactive,  it was
the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
A variation of that wish found in more religious circles is בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה  listen and repeat - blessing and success. This likely derives from the Lubavitcher Rebbe's staple wish to those in his personal audience, ברכה והצלחה בְּכָל הָעִנְיָנִים  listen and repeat - blessing and success in all (the) matters.

I believe Hebrew's choice of בהצלחה reflects a more proactive orientation than that of the English good luck - that Jewish/Israeli culture emphasizes the role of the individual's power to shape their destiny as at least equal to the power of external forces, even divine ones. I think wishing someone הצלחה  listen and repeat - success - is more encouraging than wishing them good luck.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

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