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what the ubiquitous Hebrew word “davka” means

דווקא First of all, this word is used in Modern Hebrew, but it’s borrowed from Aramaic.   The Hebrew root it’s related to is ד.ו.ק (d.v.k), which has to do with thinness. The word דַּק (dahk) means fine or slight, or subtle. The root also gives rise to the words לְדַיֵּק (le-dah-YEHK) – to be precise; and  דִּקְדּוּק […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 4, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 8 Comments
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how to say “to liberate oneself” in Hebrew

להשתחרר   Here’s a word that our Level 3 students get a kick out of getting their mouth around: לְהִשְׁתַּחְרֵר (le-heesh-tahkh-REHR). It means, to get liberated.   It’s used in many contexts, such as מָתַי אֲתָּה מִשְׁתַּחְרֵר מֵהַצָּבָא? (mah-TAH-ee ah-TAH meesh-tahkh-REHR meh-hah-tsah-VAH) – When are you getting released from the army?; אֲנִי רוֹצֶה קְצַת לְהִשְׁתַּחְרֵר […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 3, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 3 Comments
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how to say “sports field’ in Hebrew

מגרש… The generic word in Hebrew for field is שָׂדֶה (sah-DEH).   However, the word used for soccer/football field, tennis court, etc. is מִגְרָש (meeg-RAHSH). It’s the same word used to mean a plot of land.   For example, a basketball field is a מִגְרָשׁ כָּדוּרְסָל (kah-door-SAHL).   And a baseball field is a מִגְרָשׁ כָּדוּר בָּסִיס (kah-DOOR bah-SEES)… […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 2, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “media player” in Hebrew

נגן   For those of you familiar with the Hassidic (Chassidische) world, you probably know the word for melody – נִגּוּן (Modern Hebrew: nee-GOON; Ashkenazi pronunciation: NIH-gihn). The root of this word is נ.ג.נ (n.g.n). Likewise, the word for musician – as well as the 20th century Hebrew word for media player of various kinds – is נַגָּן […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 1, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “hammock” in Hebrew

ערסל   It’s hot in Jerusalem… and probably in Tel Aviv as well.   These are the days when hammocks could be useful… in the late afternoon, in the shade, if the air conditioning isn’t working.       Here’s the word for hammock in Hebrew: עַרְסָל (ahr-SAHL). It comes from the Biblical Hebrew word for […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 31, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 2 Comments
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how to say “a request” in Hebrew

בקשה   If you know some Hebrew, you surely know the word for please: בְּבַקַשָּׁה (be-vah-kah-SHAH). This word means, literally, in request.   The word for a request, likewise, is בַּקַשָּׁה (bah-kah-SHAH).   I’m taking בַּקַשּׁוֹת (bah-kah-SHOHT) for daily doses of Hebrew, people. Just hit the “comments” section below and send me some. And if […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 30, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 5 Comments
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how to say “to be shy” in Hebrew

להתבייש   Israelis are big on hospitality. I think it’s a Jewish-mother thing.       So that when you go to visit a relative, a friend, an acquaintance… you’re likely to get served lots of snacks and a hearty meal, and be asked to take more – אַל תִּתְבַיֵּש (ahl teet-bah-YESH), they would say […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 28, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 8 Comments
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how to say “massage” in Hebrew

עיסוי A friend of mine, Avi Dzik, is a professional massage therapist. He just gave me a nice, soothing rub in honor of my birthday. Many Hebrew speakers transliterate the English into מַסָאז’ (mah-SAHZH – the apostrophe is supposed to go next to the ז – Blogger doesn’t quite know how to handle this). However, […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 27, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 1 Comment
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how to say “to clarify” in Hebrew

לברר   לְבָרֵר (le-vah-REHR) goes beyond the English usage of to clarify. In Hebrew, this word is also used to mean to make sure or to find out – such as in, תְּבָרְרִי מָתַי הַסֶּרֶט (te-vah-reh-REE mah-TAH-ee hah-SEH-reht) – Find out (speaking to a female) when the movie is.   The root of the word is ב.ר.ר – the […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 27, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 2 Comments
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how to say “to get some fresh air” in Hebrew

להתאוורר   Perhaps you know the Hebrew word for air – אָוִיר (ah-VEER). Note the connection between the Hebrew and English words – they’re both from the Greek aer, as in aerodynamics.   If I’m at a party in Jerusalem and want to get a breath of fresh air, I excuse myself, saying, אֲנִי צָרִיךְ קְצַת […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 25, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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Hebrew classes begin today

Classes begin today with Ulpan La-Inyan   Level 2 at AACI Jerusalem and Levels 1, 3 and 5 at AACI Central (Tel Aviv) begin today.   Level 4 begins tomorrow in Jerusalem.   Level 1 in Jerusalem was cancelled, but suddenly we’re getting more interest, so we might open up the class over the next few days. […]

By Ami Steinberger | July 24, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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