Share It

Jan 31, 2011

how to say "revolution" in Hebrew...

מַהֲפֵּכָה

To turn something over is לַהֲפוֹךְ (lah-hah-FOHKH). The root is ה.פ.כ (h.p.k).

A revolution is a מַהֲפֵּכָה (mah-hah-peh-KHAH).

May we hear good things from Egypt and around the world.


How's your Hebrew?

Registration is open for our upcoming Ulpan La-Inyan session!

Our friendly, enjoyable and highly effective six-week courses will be starting February 27 in Jerusalem, Raanana and Efrat.

Our registration deadline is February 13.


Jan 30, 2011

how to say "to move away from something" in Hebrew...


Suppose you're walking in the downtown district in your home town, and you pass by a smelly garbage bin that in Israel we call צְפַרְדְעִים (tse-fahr-de-EEM) - frogs.

See why we call them frogs?

You might wish to move away from the stench. In Hebrew, to move away from something is לְהִתְרַחֵק מִמַּשֶּׁהו (le-heet-rah-KHEK mee-MAH-sheh-hoo).

להתרחק is a reflexive התפעל form using the root ר.ח.ק (r.kh.k) - distance. You can learn to use the התפעל form here


How's your Hebrew?

Registration is open for our upcoming Ulpan La-Inyan session!

Our friendly, enjoyable and highly effective six-week courses will be starting February 27 in Jerusalem, Raanana and Efrat.

Our registration deadline is February 13.

Jan 28, 2011

how to say "to wander" in Hebrew...


If you know some basic Hebrew (surely if you've taken Level 1 of our program), you know how to say he is walking - הוּא הוֹלֵך (hoo hoh-LEKH).

To say he is wandering, you'd use הוּא מִתְהַלֵּך (hoo meet-hah-LEKH). This is a reflexive התפעל (heet-pah-EL) usage of the root ה.ל.כ. In Modern Hebrew, the word is often used facetiously, as in הָעַכָּבִישׁ מִתְהַלֵּךְ לוֹ בַּחֶדֶר שֶׁלִּי (hah-ah-kah-VEESH meet-hah-LEKH lo bah-KHEH-dehr sheh-LEE) - The spider is wandering around my room!

This word comes straight from the Bible. It appears in God's commandment to Abraham, קוּם, הִתְהַלֵּך בָּאָרֶץ (koom, heet-hah-LEKH bah-AH-rets) - Get up, traverse the land!, further immortalized in the song below. (can't see the video?)

The word also appears in this week's Torah portion read by Jews around the world (see this link, verse 19).

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









Jan 27, 2011

how to say "Mars" and "Venus"... in Hebrew


I've got a copy of the classic guide to dating and love, Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus, sitting on my desk. But this copy can only be read by those who can read Hebrew (get started!).

my borrowed copy


The Hebrew title is גְּבָרִים מִמַּאֲדִים וְנָשִׁים מִנֹּגַה (ge-vah-REEM mee-mah-ah-DEEM ve-nah-SHEEM mee-NOH-gah), מאדים because it's the red planet (אָדוֹם - ah-DOHM - is red), and נוגה because Venus seems to glow brightly (נוגה means, literally, glow or brightness).

Jan 26, 2011

wish you could understand what Shlomo Artzi and Idan Raichel are singing about?

Today at noon...


...check out my show, and get to know Israeli music a little better.


12-1 Israel time, only on...






how to say "a glitch" or "mishap" in Hebrew...


Suppose you're standing in a line at the bank that seems abnormally slow. Within a few minutes the reason becomes apparent when someone behind the glass tells another customer, "there's a glitch in the system."

In Hebrew, the teller would say, יֵשׁ תַּקָּלָה בַּמַּעֲרֶכֶת (yesh tah-kah-LAH bah-mah-ah-REH-khet).


Jan 25, 2011

how to say "fitness" in Hebrew...



At the end of today's dose, you'll find an opportunity to boost your fitness in order to help people in Israel with mental disabilities.


Even if you just joined Ktzat Ivrit yesterday, you almost certainly know the Hebrew word for that which is fit to be eaten according to Jewish law - כָּשֵׁר (kah-SHER) - kosher.

Fitness is כּוֹשֶׁר (KOH-shehr). For example, הַכּוֹשֶׁר הַגּוּפָנִי חָשׁוּב לָהּ מְאֹד (hah-KOH-shehr hah-goo-fah-NEE khah-SHOOV lah me-OHD) - Her physical fitness (literally, "the body fitness") is very important to her.

You're likely to hear Israeli men say informally אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת כּוֹשֶׁר (ah-NEE hoh-LEKH lah-ah-SOHT KOH-shehr) - I'm going to work out (literally, "to do fitness").


How to combine your כושר with helping others...
a word from our sponsor


This March, AKIM-Jerusalem is raising funds for people in Israel with intellectual disabilities, by inviting you to join a three-day trek in the gorgeous Israeli desert. 






Liking Ktzat IvritPass it on!

Jan 24, 2011

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


Over the past few months Wikileaks has been hovering ominously over the heads of various heads of state.

Here's how to say a leak in Hebrew: דְּלִיפָה (de-lee-FAH).

It's the noun form (gerund) of לִדְלוֹף (leed-LOHF) - to leak. This is a simple (פעל - קל) verb.

דליפה can mean either a metaphorical leak such as that of Wikileaks or a literal leak, such as that in one's roof.


Got Hebrew?

Our six-week courses start at the end of February in Jerusalem, Raanana and Efrat.

Check us out:

Jan 23, 2011

how to say "the authorities" in Hebrew...


Back in June, I introduced the word for authority, as in the Palestinian Authority: רָשׁוּת (rah-SHOOT).

So today's entry isn't entirely new, since you may already have the word רשות well integrated in your Hebrew vocabulary. Rather, today I'd like to introduce you to a specialized usage of this word, one that you're likely to come across often, especially when listening to the news in Hebrew.

To refer to the authorities, you'd use the word הָרָשׁוּיוֹת (hah-rah-shoo-YOHT). For example, הוּא הִסְגִּיר אֶת עַצְמוֹ לָרָשׁוּיוֹת (hoo hees-GEER et ahts-MOH lah-rah-shoo-YOHT) - he turned himself in to the authorities.

הרשויות also refers to the various money-collecting - or tax - authorities.

Jan 21, 2011

how to say "in-laws" in Hebrew...


Tomorrow, Jews around the world will read the Torah portion called יִתְרו (yeet-ROH) - Jethro. 

The highlight of this portion is the Ten Commandments, but there's lots of other action that takes place in this short-but-monumental section of the Torah.

We are introduced to the father-in-law of Moses, יתרו, who proceeds to celebrate with Moses (משֶׁה - moh-SHEH) the miraculous events and salvation following the Exodus from Egypt. After the festivities, יתרו proceeds to instruct משה as to how to lead the People of Israel. משה takes his father-in-law's advice, but soon thereafter sends יתרו happily on his way... far away from the camp.


A live-action shot of משה and יתרו (well, maybe not live-action...)

Perhaps this resonates with some of you.

In any case, the word used in the Torah for father-in-law is חוֹתֵן (khoh-TEN). Most Modern Hebrew speakers, however, are likely to use the term חָם (khahm) to refer to their fathers-in-law.

To say, his father-in-law, you'd use חָמִיו (khah-MEEV), the same way you'd say אָבִיו (ah-VEEV) - his father, which derives from אָב (ahv) - father.

And for mother-in-law? It's חָמוֹת (khah-MOHT). For example, הִיא אוֹכֶלֶת אֵצֶל חֲמוֹתָה (hee oh-KHEH-let EH-tsel khah-moh-TAH) - She is eating at her mother-in-law's place.

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


Jan 20, 2011

how to say "bloom" and "prosperity" in Hebrew...


In honor of ט"וּ בִּשְׁבַט (tu beesh-VAHT) - the 15th of Shvat...

If you know a bit of Hebrew, you probably know the word for flower - פֶּרַח (PEH-rahkh).

The word for flowering or blossoming, or bloom, is פְּרִיחָה (pe-ree-KHAH). It comes from the verb, לִפְרוֹח (leef-ROH-ahkh) - to blossom, flower, bloom. It's a פעל (pa-AHL) - simple verb. 



In a metaphorical sense, פריחה also refers the blossoming of an economy, or prosperity.

Jan 19, 2011

Tu BiShvat special today! - my radio show of Israeli music explained...

Today at noon...

I'm featuring some classics of Israeli music celebrating the land of Israel, as well some newer stuff that carries themes of Tu BiShvat (ט"ו בשבט).

In the lineup:




...and more.

12-1 Israel time, only on RustyMike Radio


how to say "to manipulate" or "to maneuver" in Hebrew...


Suppose a guy is trying to get through a light traffic jam by maneuvering his way around the other cars.

In Hebrew, you'd say, הוּא מְתַמְרֵן בֵּין הַמְּכוֹנִיוֹת (hoo me-tahm-REHN beyn hah-me-khoh-nee-YOHT) - he's maneuvering among the cars.

It's also the word for to manipulate another person...

You could say, הוּא תִּמְרֵן אֶת כּוּלָם (hoo teem-REHN et koo-LAHM) - he manipulated everyone.

לתמרן is an active-intensive פיעל (pee-EL) word. Here's how to use it.


Jan 18, 2011

how to say "disability" in Hebrew...


If you've read some of the Hebrew Bible or have followed the peace process listening to Israeli news, you've probably come across the word for border - גְּבוּל (ge-VOOL). 

A border is something that separates two things, or limits them one from the other.

To limit something is לְהַגְבִּיל (le-hahg-BEEL). It's a causative הפעיל (heef-EEL) verb; it's about creating a border or limit around some action. For example, מְדִינוֹת רַבּוֹת מַגְבִּילוֹת אֶת הַגִּיל בּוֹ מַצְבִּיעִים לִשְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר (me-dee-NOHT rah-BOHT mahg-bee-LOHT et hah-GHEEL boh mahts-bee-EEM lee-shmoh-NAH ah-SAHR) - Many countries limit the voting age to eighteen.

To say a man is limited or disabled, you'd say הוּא אָדָם מֻגְבָּל (hoo ah-DAHM moog-BAHL) - He is a disabled person. This is the passive-causative - הופעל (hoof-AHL).

Likewise, a disability is a מֻגְבָּלוּת (moog-bah-LOOT).



Something special you can do for people with מגבלויות
a word from our sponsor



AKIM-Jerusalem is raising funds for people in Israel with intellectual disabilities, by inviting you to a three-day trek in the gorgeous Israeli desert. 




Jan 17, 2011

how to say "frost" or "very cold weather" in Hebrew...


This word isn't very widely used, especially since we don't get too much frost here in Israel. Nevertheless, I think it's a nice tidbit with which you might be able to strike up a friendly conversation with your Israeli neighbors or to adopt an alternative expression to it's cold!!! when you shiver walking down the winter street... or moving from the shower to your bedroom (as I do).



כְּפוֹר (kfohr) means both frost and very cold weather. For example, next time I step out of the shower I'll be yelling, אֵיזֶה כְּפוֹר (EH-ee-zeh kfohr) - What cold! Another expression I use is אֵיזֶה קוֹר (EH-ee-zeh korh), where קור means, simply, coldness.

Jan 16, 2011

how to say "overnight" in Hebrew...


The online front page of one of Israel's major newspapers, יְדִיעוֹת אַחֲרוֹנוֹת (ye-dee-OHT ah-khah-roh-NOHT) reads: 
יְצִיאַת תּוּנִיסִיָּה: "הָפְכָה לְעִירַאק בִּן לַיְלָה" 
(ye-tsee-AHT too-NEE-see-yah: "hahf-KHAH le-ee-RAHK been LAH-ee-lah") - Exodus from Tunisia: "Turned into Iraq overnight."



Here's the article.

To say that something occurs overnight, you'd use the expression, בִּן לַיְלָה (been LAH-ee-lah).

To say that something has happened instantly, or over just a moment, you'd use בין רֶגַע (been REH-gah).

Jan 14, 2011

how to say "to draw close together" in Hebrew...

לְהִתְקָרֵב

Earlier this week, we saw the root ק.ר.ב (k.r.b), meaning closeness, used in a variety of forms.

We saw לְהַקְרִיב (le-hahk-REEV) - to sacrifice, give something up or to bring something close - and its passive form, מֻקְרָב (mook-RAHV). These are the causative forms (הפעיל and הופעל).

We saw לִקְרָב (leek-RAHV) - to draw close to someone or to approach. This is the "simple" form, בניין קל. The root does not appear in the נִפְעַל (neef-AHL) form (I made a mistake on Sunday, saying that it does appear in נפעל).

We saw לְקָרֵב (le-kah-REV) - to pull someone else close - and its passive form, מְקֹרָב (me-koh-RAHV) - pulled close. These are two of the three intensive forms: פיעל and פועל.

Today we've got the reflexive form, the third of the intensives. לְהִתְקָרֵב (le-heet-kah-REV) means to get close to one another. It's also used to mean to approach

I invite you to watch this music video by Gilad Segev, a song about his older brother who was killed during his military service. When you watch, listen for the phrase, הִרְגַּשְׁתִּי שֶׁאֲנַחְנוּ מִתְקָרְבִים (heer-GAHSH-tee she-ah-NAHKH-noo meet-kahr-VEEM) - I felt that we were getting close.

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

Jan 13, 2011

how to say "scandal" in Hebrew...

שַׁעֲרוּרִיָּה

This one's for ליאת (Liat). 

If you've got some Hebrew, the first word that may have come to mind for scandal is סְקַנְדָּל (skahn-DAHL).

But there's another word: שַׁעֲרוּרִיָּה (shah-ah-roo-ree-YAH). This word appears in Biblical Hebrew and is derived from the adjective שֹׁעַר (SHOH-ahr), meaning vile.

For example... אֵיזוֹ שׁערורייה! (EH-ee-zoh shah-ah-roo-ree-YAH) - What a scandal!

Don't worry - I won't leave you this week on such a note. There's still one more word tomorrow!