how to say “shade” and “shadow” in Hebrew

צֵל

Though physically speaking they are more or less the same, shade and shadow can mean very different things in English: shade is cool and pleasant, while shadow can be frightening, a place where monsters lurk.

Hebrew has one word for both: צל , which in Biblical has either a neutral or positive connotation, as it usually does in Modern Hebrew as well.

For example:

היום שלושים וחמש מעלות בצל.

Today it’s thirty five degrees (Celsius) in the shade.

and

יש לי צל ארוך לקראת הערב.

I have a long shadow toward the evening.

The more negative connotation of צל arrived as Hebrew was influenced by foreign cultures. Thus we have in Ivri Lider’s song:

בוא נעמוד באור ולא בצל.

Let’s stand in the light and not in the shadow.

Shadows are צללים .

After having studied literature and linguistics on the bachelors level and psychology on the masters, Ami decided to draw upon his hobby of learning languages, his understanding of human thought processes and his skill of explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to found a program that enables people to speak Hebrew with confidence.

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