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how to say “amateur” in Hebrew

Sun | Dec 11

how to say “amateur” in Hebrew

 

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חוֹבְבָנִי
The Hebrew word for an amateur is חוֹבְבָן listen and repeat when referring to a male and חוֹבְבָנִית listen and repeat when referring to a female. Likewise, something amateur or amateurish is חוֹבְבָנִי listen and repeat in the masculine and חוֹבְבָנִית listen and repeat in the feminine.
 
שחמט
 
 
For example:
 
הַהוֹפָעָה הָיְתָה נֶחְמָדָה אָבָל טִפָּה חוֹבְבָנִית.
The show was nice but a drop amateurish.
 
The root of these words is ח.ב.ב (kh.b.b) meaning endearment. It’s the same root as לְחַבֵּב listen and repeat to like, חָבִיב listen and repeat likable, and the slang term of endearment between men (Arabic origin), חֲבִּיבִּי listen and repeat.
 
What does likability have to do with amateurishness? If we take a good look at the word amateur, we’ll see the Latin root of love, as in the Spanish amar – to love. An amateur does something as a hobby (in Hebrew, hobby is תַּחְבִּיב listen and repeat, also of the root ח.ב.ב), as a labor of love, without necessarily caring about professionalism or marketability. 
 
 
by Ami SteinbergerFounder and Director, Ulpan La-Inyan
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