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Jan 7, 2013

how to say "goal" in Hebrew


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מַטָּרָה

When talking about soccer/football, the word goal when referring to scoring gets translated into Hebrew as גּוֹל, while the area designated as the goal is called a שַׁעַר- literally, gate. Likewise, a goalie is a שׁוֹעֵר.


But when speaking of a goal in a shooting range (a target), or in the abstract sense, the word is מַטָּרָה.

For example:


הוּא הִצִּיב לְעַצְמוֹ מַטָּרוֹת בְּרוּרוֹת לַשָּׁנָה הַקְּרוֹבָה.
He set for himself clear goals for this coming year.


The root of the word מטרה is נ.ט.ר (note the dot in the ט in מַטָּרָה - it compensates for the missing נ), meaning watching over/keeping. A goal is therefore something that a person watches carefully, keeping their eyes on it.

A synonym is יַעַד, which also means destination.



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