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Your Daily Dose of Hebrew

how to say “to make fun” in Hebrew

אתה צוחק עלי?   The Hebrew word for to make fun is the same word for to laugh – לִצְחוֹק (leets-KHOHK). In the case of making fun, add the word עַל – so that your sentence sounds would be translated literally into English, laughing on someone.   To ask someone (a male, in this example), Are you making fun of […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 28, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 0 Comments
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how to say “to swim the crawl” in Hebrew

לשחות חתירה   To swim, in Hebrew, is לִשְׂחוֹת (lees-KHOHT). The act of swimming is שְׂחִיָּה (skhee-YAH).   To row or to paddle is לַחְתּוֹר (lahkh-TOHR). The act of rowing or paddling – or swimming the crawl (which resembles rowing in its movement) is חֲתִירָה (khah-tee-RAH).       For example… אֲנִי אוֹהֵב לִשְׂחוֹת חֲתִירָה (ah-NEE oh-HEV lees-KHOT khah-tee-RAH) – I […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 26, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 1 Comment
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how to say “sodium” in Hebrew

נתרן   To conclude the nutrition series of Ktzat Ivrit, here’s the word for sodium: נַתְרָן (naht-RAHN).       What is the etymology behind נתרן? I’ve got no clue.   If you do, let me know!

By Ami Steinberger | August 25, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 2 Comments
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how to say “serenity” in Hebrew

שלוה   The Modern Hebrew letter ו (vahv) make a v sound when pronounced by most native speakers. In Biblical times, however, the letter made a w sound.   There are four Hebrew consonants pronounced, historically, at the lips: ב (b), מ (m), פ (p) and ו (w). Try it yourself. Linguists call these consonants bilabials.    […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 24, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 7 Comments
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how (and why) to say “bicycle” in Hebrew

אופניים   This one’s for Maurice – thanks for the request!   I explained this to Caron’s Level 4 class last week, I believe, when I was substituting.   The Hebrew word for bicycle is אוֹפַנַּים (oh-fah-NAH-yeem).    Why?   While Modern Hebrew (going on Medieval) renders a wheel a גַּלְגָּל (gahl-GAHL), the Biblical Hebrew word for […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 23, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 3 Comments
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how to say “football” in Hebrew

כדורגל, פוטבול   Someone asked me to feature football (if you’d like to have a word or phrase featured, visit our request page.) I don’t know whether s/he is referring to the game played in the World Cup or to that played with a pigskin in the States, so I’m going to feature both.   […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 22, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 5 Comments
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how to say “logical” in Hebrew

הגיוני   In English, to think is a general term, while to ponder, to contemplate, to surmise, etc. are related to thinking but are more specific.    Hebrew works the same way, with לַחְשׁוֹב (lahkh-SHOHV) meaning to think, and other words denoting something more specific. For example, the Biblical and Modern Hebrew לַהֲגוֹת (lah-hah-GOHT) means to pronounce, but […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 22, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 3 Comments
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how to say “oil” and “fat” in Hebrew

שמן, שומן   The Biblical Hebrew word for oil is שֶׁמֶן (SHEH-men).      The nutrition-facts name for fat is שׁוּמָן (shoo-MAHN).   The derogatory term for someone who is overweight is שָׁמֵן (shah-MEN) for a male and שְׁמֵנָה (shmeh-NAH) for a female.    

By Ami Steinberger | August 19, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 4 Comments
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how to say “reliable” in Hebrew

אמין   This entry was requested by Stan. Thanks Stan! Keep them coming!   If you would like to request an entry from Ktzat Ivrit, please go here.   If you’ve been minimally affiliated with any Judeo-Christian institution… ever, you’re familiar with the word אָמֵן (ah-MEN) – amen. The three-letter root of the word makes […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 18, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 3 Comments
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how to say “to double” in Hebrew

להכפיל   Perhaps you’ve been to חֶבְרוֹן (khev-ROHN) – Hebron, to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. In Hebrew, that site is called מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה (meh-ah-RAHT hah-mahkh-peh-LAH) – the cave of the doubling.   Why doubling? I’m aware of two reasons provided by the Rabbis: 1. Couples are buried there, and 2. The cave is two-storied. […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 17, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 4 Comments
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how to say “timing” in Hebrew

תזמון   I did a stint on stage a couple of years ago acting in Sure Thing, where one of my key lines was “it’s all in the timing.”   If you know a bit of Hebrew (for instance, if you’ve taken Level 1 at Ulpan La-Inyan), you surely know the word for time – זְמָן (zmahn). […]

By Ami Steinberger | August 16, 2010 | Your Daily Dose of Hebrew | 2 Comments
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