Your Daily Dose of Hebrew

how to say “unbelievable” in Hebrew

לֹא יְאֻמָּן, לֹא יֵאָמֵן To believe – in Hebrew – is להאמין, an active-causative הפעיל verb. It would follow, then, that unbelievable would be לא יואמן, as יואמן is of the passive-causative הופעל form. But what most Israelis say is לא יאומן, where יאומן is of the passive-intensive פועל form. For example: איזה סל! לא יאומן! […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 12, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “just a second” in Hebrew

רַק שְׁנִיָּה The unit of time called the second is called such because it’s the second unit of time after the minute. Its Hebrew translation, שנייה, conveys the same meaning, coming from the word for two – שניים. For example: יש שישים שניות בדקה. There are sixty seconds in a minute. To say to someone, just a second, you’d […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 11, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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Weekly Hebrew Review – no plans? no watermelon, no “I’ll be glad to”, no complaints!

חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן Review Material Can’t read Hebrew yet? You spent time on your Hebrew this week. Use these review materials to make it yours to keep. Flashcards . Scatter . Gravity . Test שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים! Shabbat Shalom, and have a nice weekend!

By Ami Steinberger | June 9, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “can’t complain” in Hebrew

אֵין תְּלוּנוֹת If you’ve been in Israel long enough, you certainly know the word for to complain – להתלונן. This word too goes as far back as Biblical Hebrew. A modern example: הוא לא מפסיק להתלונן. He doesn’t stop complaining. A complaint – both formal (to the police, for example) or informal – is a תלונה: היא […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 8, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “number” in Hebrew

מִסְפָּר If you’ve got some basic Hebrew under your belt, you probably know the word for number – מספר. For example: מה מספר הטלפון שלך? What’s your (a female’s) phone number? But you may not have realized that מספר is related to storytelling – סיפור סיפורים. Unlike אבטיח – watermelon and ביטחון – security (see yesterday’s dose), the common […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 7, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “watermelon” in Hebrew

אֲבַטִּיחַ This word appears already in Biblical Hebrew, as אבטיח – watermelon – native to southern Africa, was cultivated in Egypt and eaten by the People of Israel. In researching the word, I spotted the root ב.ט.ח, which normally means safety as the word ביטחון – security. I started pondering possible connections but, coming up dry, I realized that […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 6, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “I’d love to!” in Hebrew

אֶשְׂמַח! In English, most feelings are adjectives (with a notable exception of to love): I am happy, she is afraid, they are angry, etc. In Hebrew, they’re verbs: לשמוח – to (be) happy לפחד – to (be) afraid (also in English to fear) לכעוס – to be angry So if your friend invites you over for a party, you might say I’d […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 5, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “plans” in Hebrew

תָּכְנִיּוֹת I used to think that the word for content or substance – תוכן – derives from the word תוך – inside. Makes sense, right? Contents are inside something. Except that תוכן appears in Biblical Hebrew, where it means measurement or quota. In any case, the related word תכנית – plan – has elements of both contents and measurement: a good plan has both substance and a timetable and other […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 4, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 1 Comment
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Weekly Hebrew Review – all kinds, greenery and the world as its custom

חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן Review Material Can’t read Hebrew yet? You spent time on your Hebrew this week. Use these review materials to make it yours to keep. Flashcards . Scatter . Gravity . Test שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים! Shabbat Shalom, and have a nice weekend!

By Ami Steinberger | June 2, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “the world keeps on turning” in Hebrew

עוֹלָם כְּמִנְהָגוֹ נוֹהֵג A literal translation of the world keeps on turning is העולם ממשיך להסתובב. But a more ancient expression not translated from English, appearing in the Talmud, is עולם כמנהגו נוהג – the world conducts itself as its custom. Broken down: עולם – world -כ – as מנהגו – its custom, where the ו- ending means its נוהג – conducts […]

By Ami Steinberger | June 1, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “for the same reason” in Hebrew

מֵאֹתָהּ סִבָּה People think verbs in foreign languages are hard to learn, but mistranslations of words like at, to, from and with – prepositions – remain the most common errors when speaking a second language. For example, may I use your (a female’s) pen? in Hebrew is ?אפשר להשתמש בעט שלך – literally, may (I) use with your pen? Likewise, for the same […]

By Ami Steinberger | May 31, 2017 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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