A Conversation for Hebrew

Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 1

Ath

HI kids,
I, as you can guess from the topic, am a natural born Israeli, Jew, and Hebrew speaker. Yep.
If you got any questions rearding Hebrew or Judaism or anything, I'd love to enlighten you (as much as I can), though, like most of us heretic secular Jews, I probably know less about Judaism than you do. In any case, don't hasitate to ask.
Ath


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 2

Doctor Smith

Well, I will certainly not hesitate to ask a question that's been burning in my mind for months...

My background is in biblical Hebrew, and I was wondering just how much of a difference there is between the Hebrew of the Bible and the Hebrew used in modern Israel. Is it just a matter of modernized vocabulary or are there grammatical differences as well? I haven't been able to get a good answer out of anyone that I've asked. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 3

Ath

Well, sonny, there obviously is a big difference, but it indeed is mostly in the vocabulary.
Many many words that are used today simply didn't exist back then (and in fact until about 100 years ago, when Eliezer Ben-Yehuda revived Hebrew, inventing thousends of new words to refit Hebrew into the modern world) while many others disappeared, and others changed their meaning.
Still, there are also differences in grammar. Not really wholly different rules, but rather different ways to build sentences (using lots of 'and', and even starting a sentece with it, like "Va'Yelech.." which in modern written Hebrew is unacceptable) and all sorts of little differences, especially in first person report form (Ezekiel A 4: "Va'ere ve'hine.." sounds very weird nowadays) and, ofcourse, numbers (in years and measures, especially).
The biblical Hebrew is, ofcourse, very archaic, and when used today, it's mostly for comical purposes.
In short, yes, there are differences, but not in the basic structure of the language.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 4

Doctor Smith

It sounds pretty much like the differences between Shakespeare's English and modern English. One thing I always appreciated when I had to translate biblical Hebrew into English was that it was usually fairly safe to assume tht the first word was going to be "And." At least I would have one word right in my translation...


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 5

Ath

Yeah it really is like that, and you got it right with the comparison to old English, I think.
Hmmpf, I'd have written a lot more nonsense if I had time, which I don't, so it'll have to do for now. Hope you're not feeling too sad about it.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 6

halavana

I'm writing a novel set in Israel and need a little help with some of the words my characters say. Would you mind enlightening me on a few things? Most of it is Military jargon and slang not in my Ben Yehuda dictionary. Like during target practice when an officer orders his men to fire, does he say "Esh!" or something else. More questions later. Thanks.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 7

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

Alright Ath, I'm REALLY desperate to learn how to speak modern Hebrew fluently, here's what I know:
Shalom! (everyone knows that one)
Mah shlomech/shimcha (how are you, depending on whether you are male or female)
Mah Shimcha/sh'mech (what is your name, again, depending on male or female)
Ani tov/beseder/metzuyan/lo tov........
and some odd words I know:
bayit (house)
telephone
tanur (oven)
tick (bag)

I know a bit more but I just can't remember, also if you want any help on the religous side of things ask me, I know quite a bit smiley - winkeye


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 8

Ioreth (on hiatus)

Fire is "mul!" is it not? I don't know why it would be (lit: against) but I had a hebrew story once where that was the word they used.

Katsy, ain't it a bit difficult to learn hebrew in a forum? Try the "handy hebrew phrases" part of the entry.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 9

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

I'd say that it's easier to learn hebrew from a forum, better than a book anyway!

To be honest I only came here from seeing where Shim had been, thought this forum looked interesting so I came here, I will be honest and admit I haven't even looked at the guide entry....


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 10

Anya

One Hebrew phrase missing that is useful:

I love you: Ani ohevet atah (a female speaking to a male)/Ani ohev at (a male speaking to a female) and mix and match as appropriate. I'm afraid I don't know much more converstional Hebrew, though I could give you a lovely guided tour of the Reform siddur (prayer book).


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 11

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

That's right! Thanks for remionding me! I actually know quite a lot but can never remember it, I know ohevet is love, ut and uta (m/f) and ani is me/I.......
I'm orthodox BTW.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 12

halavana

Actually, "I love you" is more like "ani ohevet ot-khah" or "ani ohev otakh" Kh is like German ch. Romanization of Hebrew sure is a pain sometimes. And there are some real vocal gymnastics required. Try saying refridgerator "m'karer" or clear "barur"
Some other useful phrases might be "Red mimeni" = get away from me
"Nashik oti hatukhas" = kiss my backside (but be careful who you say this to)
There's a nifty site on the web at about.com with lots of Hebrew slang. I stumbled on it by accident and have it on my bookmarks, but naturally I can't write this and find that at the same time. Oh well. Be well.


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 13

halavana

Found it. You could probably just write the first part until .com and still get there. Have fun.
http://hebrew.about.com/homework/hebrew/library/slang/blslangindex.htm


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 14

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

maybe when I've got a bit more time to myself..... smiley - winkeye


Genuine Hebrew speaker at your service

Post 15

Researcher 167514

Erev tov! Ahnee medaber eevreet Keetanah, vuh anhgleet a lot. I've been studying eevreet for about 2 years, off and on. A very cordial local reform rabbi took an interest in me a few years ago, and helped me learn basic hebrew. It's nice to finally find someone with whom I can converse. I'm re-reading Ha Safer. Have you ever heard of it.?
I also order once in a while from J. Levine's Judaica catalog. Hope to hear from you soon!
researcher 167514
I also like to discuss any part of the Scriptures.


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