how to say “sculpting” in Hebrew

פִּסּוּל

If you’ve read some of the Bible in Hebrew, you are almost certainly familiar with the word פסל – graven image or statue. There, the simple פעל verb לפסול means to chisel, as in:

פְּסָל לְךָ שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים (שמות ל”ד, א’)

Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones (Exodus 34:1)

But since the Bible, the word פסול came into Hebrew, probably via Aramaic. פסול means a defect, and לפסול came to mean to disqualify.

Thus the modern word for to sculpt is not the simple verb לפסול, but the intensive פיעל verb לפסל . And sculpting or the activity of scultpure? That’s פיסול.

For example:

היא רשמה את הילדים לחוג פיסול.

She signed the kids up for a sculpture class.

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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