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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776
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In Hebrew: ‘Reputation’

A daily dose of Hebrew.

שֵׁם, מוֹנִיטִין

Since the Torah portion read this past Shabbat by Jews around the world is שְׁמוֹתnames of, I thought it appropriate to introduce another important word related the common word, nameשֵׁם.

A reputation in English can also be called a good name or a bad name. The same is true for Hebrew.

For example:

לְקֶרְמִיט יֵשׁ מוֹנִיטִין
Kermit has a name for himself

הִיא נוֹתֶנֶת שֵׁם טוֹב לַמִּשְׁפָּחָה שֶׁלָּהּ.
She gives a good name to the (her) family.


יָצָא שֵׁם רַע עַל הַפּוֹלִיטִקָאִי שֶׁשִּׁקֵּר.
A bad reputation has begun circulating (literally, went out) about the politician who lied.

That’s reputation in the personal sense. But in the business sense – more appropriately translated into English as renown, the better word to use is מוֹנִיטִין (a loan word – from which language, I do not know).

לַחֶבְרָה הַהִיא יֵשׁ מוֹנִיטִין בַּשּׁוּק הַבֵּינְלְאֻמִּי.
That company has a reputation/renown in the international market.

מוניטין generally refers to a positive reputation. To refer to a negative one, you’d have to add the word רַע (bad) to the phrase: מוֹנִיטִין רַע.

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Ami Steinberger

About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.

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