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Nov 30, 2011

how to say "equation" in Hebrew


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מִשְׁוָאָה 


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The other day I introduced the Hebrew word for equality, שִׁוְיוֹן (sheev-YOHN).


Here's another word that comes from that root (שׁ.ו.ה - sh.w.h): מִשְׁוָאָה (meesh-vah-AH), meaning equation. It's the word used in Israeli math classes, financial formulas and political agendas.


משואה fits into a common noun pattern, sounding similar to and structured in the same way as words like מִשְׁתָּלָה (meesh-tah-LAH) - plant nursery, and מִזְבָּלָה (meez-bah-LAH) - garbage dump.




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Nov 29, 2011

how to say "The Partition Plan" in Hebrew


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תָּכְנִית הַחֲלֻקָּה




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This one's for Yonit, whose birthday coincides with this historic date.


Today marks sixty-four years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine.


The Hebrew translation for that loaded term is תָּכְנִית הַחֲלֻקָּה (tohkh-NEET hah-khah-loo-KAH). Employing סְמִיכוּת (seh-mee-KHOOT) or grammatical juxtaposition, that's literally, the plan of the partition.


חלוקה means partition or division, but also distribution. Giving out (or distributing) prizes is חֲלֻקַּת פְּרָסִים (khah-loo-KAHT peh-rah-SEEM). The root of חלוקה is ח.ל.ק (kh.l.k), meaning part - both in the sense of participation (sharing) as well in the sense of to depart and political party (separation).


I discuss the term תכנית in another entry.


If you wish to know my views on the matter, I refer you to this article by Eli E. Hertz. If you wish to keep politics and Hebrew separate, don't click the link.





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Nov 28, 2011

how to say "equality" in Hebrew


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שִׁוְיוֹן




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The Hebrew word for equal is שָׁוֶה (shah-VEH), a Biblical Hebrew root that first appears in בְּרֵאשִׁית י"ד (beh-reh-SHEET), Genesis 14. That passage describes a war of Biblical proportions that takes place in עֵמֶק הַשָּׁוֶה (EH-mek hah-shah-VEH) - the Valley of Shaveh; this geographical location has become an expression in Modern Hebrew negotiation, meaning, we've reached a compromise - הִגַּעְנוּ לְעֵמֶק הַשָּׁוֶה - literally, we've arrived at the valley of equal (hee-GAH-noo leh-EH-mek hah-shah-VEH).


Using that root, Modern Hebrew also labels the modern concept of equality - made famous by Thomas Jefferson and still being hashed out to this day: שִׁוְיוֹן (sheev-YOHN). 


Likewise, the concept of equal rights is שִׁוְיוֹן זְכֻיּוֹת (sheev-YOHN zeh-khoo-YOHT) - literally, equality of rights.





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Nov 27, 2011

how to say "aggressive" in Hebrew


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תּוֹקְפָנִי




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When asked to translate the word aggressive into Hebrew, many Israelis are likely to say אַגְרֶסִיבִי (ahg-reh-SEE-vee), simply a transliteration from the English.


חָתוּל תּוֹקְפָנִי
(khah-tool tohk-fah-NEE)
an aggressive cat
However, you're likely to hear in the media as well as from the lips of the generation currently being educated in Israeli universities the word תּוֹקְפָנִי (tohk-fah-NEE) - also, aggressive. Likewise, aggressiveness is תּוֹקְפָנוּת (tohk-fah-NOOT). These words come from the verb לִתְקוֹף (leet-KOHF), meaning to attack. לתקוף appears in various forms in Biblical Hebrew, but is borrowed from Aramaic.


You may recognize the root ת.ק.פ (t.k.f) in a few other words: תְּקוּפָה (teh-koo-FAH), meaning period of time and תֹּקֶף (TOH-kef), meaning validity. Collecting the data, we might observe that the common denominator among validity and aggressiveness is power.





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Nov 25, 2011

how to say "anxiety" in Hebrew


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חֲרָדָה




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The Torah portion to be read tomorrow in Jewish communities throughout the world features a critical moment in the development of the Israelite/Jewish family, at which יִצְחָק (yeets-KHAHK) - Isaac - realizes he's just been tricked into transmitting the divine blessing to his younger son יַעֲקֹב (yah-ah-KOHV) - Jacob - instead of his elder, preferred son עֵשָׂו (eh-SAHV) - Esau. 


The Torah describes יצחק's visceral emotional response at the juncture of this profound paradigm shift: וַיֶּחֱרַד יִצְחָק חֲרָדָה גְּדֹלָה עַד מְאֹד - And Isaac shuddered a very great shudder (vah-yeh-kheh-RAHD yeets-KHAHK khah-rah-DAH gheh-doh-LAH ahd meh-OHD).


Modern psychology has associated under-processed fear, among other causes, with a phenomenon called anxiety. And part of the experience of anxiety is often shortness of breath and pronounced heartbeat - something close to shuddering or trembling. Appropriately, Modern Hebrew has labeled anxiety with that Biblical-Hebrew noun, חרדה. And anxiety attacks are הֶתְקְפֵי חֲרָדָה (het-keh-FEH-ee khah-rah-DAH), or simply the plural form, חֲרָדוֹת (khah-rah-DOHT).


The verb or gerund form of the root ח.ר.ד (kh.r.d) is used today only in literary contexts, with one exception. It is used to describe those who see themselves as shuddering or trembling before G-d, those who live the ultra-orthodox Jewish lifestyle: חֲרֵדִים (khah-reh-DEEM).


Taking חרדה deeper, we arrive at פַּחַד (PAH-khahd) - fear. And by resolving פחד, we can arrive at שַׁלְוָה (shahl-VAH) - tranquility. And שלווה just might lead to שִׂמְחָה (seem-KHAH) - joy.


שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים לכולם!
Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!





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Nov 24, 2011

how to say "frequency" in Hebrew


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תֶּדֶר, תְּדִירוּת




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Those of you who have studied some Talmud almost certainly know the Hebrew/Aramaic word for frequent - תָּדִיר (tah-DEER). When speaking of frequency, there are couple of words you might use, depending on the context.


To name a radio frequency or some other frequency in the physical sense, you'd use the word תֶּדֶר (TEH-dehr). 


And if you want to talk about how often an event takes place, you'd use תְּדִירוּת (teh-dee-ROOT). For example, you might ask, How often (i.e., in what frequency) are the group meetings? - ?בְּאֵיזוֹ תְּדִירוּת הַמִּפְגָשִׁים שֶׁל הַקְּבוּצָה (beh-EH-ee zoh teh-dee-ROOT hah-meef-gah-SHEEM shel hah-keh-voo-TSAH?)


Frequently, however, is a different expression that I'll introduce next week.






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Nov 23, 2011

how to say "to chitchat" in Hebrew


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לְפַטְפֵּט




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לְדַבֵּר (leh-dah-BEHR) is to speak or to talk, presumably about things of substance.


But if the דיבור (dee-BOOR) - speech - is decidedly without substance - in other words, a simple chitchat, the Hebrew word is לְפַטְפֵּט (leh-faht-PET) for the action (to chitchat), and פִּטְפּוּט (peet-POOT) for the advent (of chitchatting). A chatterbox - someone who engages in פטפוט on a regular basis - is a פַּטְפְּטָן (paht-peh-TAHN - for a male) or a פַּטְפְּטָנִית (paht-peh-tah-NEET - for a female).


This verb follows the active-intensive pattern.


A more slangy synonym is לְקַשְׁקֵש (leh-kahsh-KESH) the verb, and קִשְׁקוּש (keesh-KOOSH) the noun, also of the active-intensive variety. לקשקש also means to scribble.




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Nov 22, 2011

how to say "recess" in Hebrew


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הֲפוּגָה




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The forecast says the next couple of days we have a recess from the rains. The Hebrew word for that is הֲפוּגָה (hah-foo-GAH), of the Biblical root פ.ו.ג (p.w.g) meaning numbness. The root is used in the Biblical phrase, וַיָּפָג לִבּו (vah-YAH-fohg lee-BOH) - his heart stopped momentarily (literally, became numb).


הפוגה is also used to describe a break in workload, terror attacks, and similar things.


Recess for children on the playground or politicians in the Knesset is הַפְסָקָה (hahf-sah-KAH), literally, a pause.


Join me tomorrow for my weekly radio show, Israeli Music - Decoded, at noon Israel time at RustyMike Radio. No הפוגה for me this week!





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Nov 21, 2011

how to say "advertising" and "marketing" in Hebrew


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פִּרְסוּם, שִׁוּוּק


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שׁוּק מַחֲנֶה יְהוּדָה, יְרוּשָלָיִםshouk mah-khah-NEH yeh-hoo-DAH,
yeh-roo-shah-LAH-yeem

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Before I opened Ulpan La-Inyan and watched it develop, I didn't quite understand the difference between advertising and marketing. I've since learned that while marketing is the process of getting a product from creation to the customer, advertising - making sure people know about the product - is only a part of that process.


The Hebrew words for both advertising and marketing are nouns deriving from the active-intensive verb form


שִׁוּוּק וִירָלִיshee-VOOK vee-RAH-lee
viral marketing
To advertise is לְפַרְסֵם (leh-fahr-SEM), of the non-Semitic four-letter root, פ.ר.ס.מ (p.r.s.m), and thus the industry of advertising is פִּרְסוּם (peer-SOOM). Likewise, a television commercial or advert is a פִּרְסוֹמֵת (peer-SOH-met).


And to market is לְשַׁוֵּק (leh-shah-VEK), coming from the word שׁוּק (shouk), meaning market or marketplace. Thus marketing is שִׁוּוּק (shee-VOOK).




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Nov 20, 2011

how to say "intern" in Hebrew


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מִתְמַחֶה


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The medical field in Israel has been in upheaval over the past few months, with specialists demanding a revolution of better wages and working conditions... and not getting very far. Today it's the turn of the interns to have their voices heard.


Not in Israel in the medical field...
An expert or specialist in Hebrew is a מֻמְחֶה (moom-KHEH) for a male or מֻמְחִית (moom-KHEET) for a female. Thus, if you need a medical specialist, you'll looking for a רוֹפֵא מומחֶה (roh-FEH moom-KHEH) or a רוֹפְאָה מומחית (rohf-AH moom-KHEET). This noun is derived from the passive-causative verb pattern, and its root is מ.ח.ה (m.kh.h). To the best of my knowledge, the word first appears not in the Bible, but in the later (still about 2000 years ago) texts Mishnah


Someone on their way to becoming an expert - or someone specializing - is what Israelis refer to as a מִתְמַחֵה (meet-mah-KHEH) for a male and a מִתְמַחָה (meet-mah-KHAH) for a female. It's Hebrew's rough equivalent for the English intern.


מתמחה derives from the reflexive-intensive verb pattern. Accordingly, the training period called in English an internship is a הִתְמַחוּת (heet-mah-KHOOT) in Hebrew.





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