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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘language’

In Hebrew: ‘Institution’

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

מוֹסָד

The Mossad – Israel’s premier intelligence agency – is famous for conducting some of the most daring and surprising undercover missions in the world.

The word Mossad in Hebrew - מוֹסָד- means institution or institute.

Referring to the intelligence agency, we say literally, The Institute - הַמּוֹסָד.

For example, educational institutions are מוֹסְדוֹת חִנּוּכִיִּם(though מוסד is a masculine noun, it takes on a feminine suffix when used in the plural).

מוסד comes from the root י.ס.ד (y.s.d) meaning foundation - an institution has been instituted or founded.

To institute is לְמַסֵּד, an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb.

For example:

בַּמֶּמֶשָׁלָה מִשְׁתַּדְּלִים לְמַסֵּד גִּיּוּס חוֹבָה לְכֻלָּם.

In the government (people are) trying to institute a mandatory draft for everyone.

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In Hebrew: The Many Ways to Say ‘Of Course’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

בֶּטַח, בָּרוּר, כַּמּוּבָן! In monday’s dose of Hebrew, we touched on the Hebrew word for securityבִּטָּחוֹן. The root of בטחון is ב.ט.ח meaning sureness and security.

To say, for sure! or of course! in Hebrew, you’d use one of several terms. Here are three of them:

בטח! A less formal way of expressing of course or for sure is to say !בֶּטַח. This word means, literally, securely! To strengthen the tone of agreement, some say !בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן- literally, of course that yes!

Take this short dialogue for example:

אַתָּה בָּא אִתָּנוּ לַסֶּרֶט? בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן! Are you (a male) coming with us to the movie? Of course I am!

ברור! Another informal way of saying of course uses the word for clearlyבָּרוּר.

כמובן! The more formal word for of course is כַּמּוּבָן. It means, literally, as that which is understood, with כַּmeaning as that which or as the, and מוּבָןmeaning understood. מובן is an adjective deriving from the passive-causative הֻפְעַל verb form, the opposite of the active-causative verb,לְהָבִין- to understand.

Take another short dialogue for example:

הַאִם הֵם מֻזְמָנִים לַמְּסִבָּה?
כַּמּוּבָן!
Are they invited to the party?
Of course!
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In Hebrew: ‘To Carry’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

לָשֵׂאת One Torah portion recently read on Shabbat by Jews around the world is called נָשֹא (nah-SOH), which, literally, means lift up or carry (in the Biblical context, it meanstake a census or lift up the heads of children of Gershon, so that they can be counted).

The infinitive form of that word is לָשֵׂאת (lah-SET). In Modern Hebrew, לשאת means to carry. However, unlike the word carry in English, a very common word, לשאת is most often used to refer to carrying in a non-literal sense.

For example:

הִיא נוֹשֵׂאת אֶת הַתִּינוֹק. She is carrying the baby. (hee noh-SET et hah-tee-NOHK).

הֵם נוֹשְׂאִים בְּאַחְרָיוּת הָאֵרוּעַ. They are taking responsibility (literally, carrying the responsibility) for the event. The more common, literal word in Hebrew for to carry is לִסְחוֹב (lees-KHOHV), meaning literally, to drag or to carry with difficulty… or just to schlep.
For example:

הוּא סוֹחֵב הַרְבֵּה דְּבָרִים בַּיָדָיו.
He is carrying lots of things in his hands.
(hoo soh-KHEV hahr-BEH deh-vah-REEM beh-yah-DAHV).
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In Hebrew: ‘Security Check’

Monday, May 27th, 2013

בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי I’ve had guests visiting from Europe the last few days. For both of them it’s the first time in Israel, and therefore the first time encountering the psychologically-astute Israeli security team at the airport.

A security check is a בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי.

Let’s break that down.

בידוק The verb for to check is לִבְדּוֹקof the active-simple פָּעַל form and the root ב.ד.ק (b.d.k). And a check or a checkup is a בְּדִיקָה.

But since a security check is a more involved process than a simple checkup, we invoke the noun form of an intensive verb, yielding the word בידוק.

בטחוני בטחוניcomes from the word בִּטָּחוֹן- security. בטחוני is an adjective, so we add a י (y) to the end of the word בטחון.

Putting these two pieces together, we get a security checkבידוק בטחוני.

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In Hebrew: ‘To Complain’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

לְהִתְלוֹנֵן, לְקַטֵּר

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In Hebrew: ‘Background’

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

רֶקַע The word background in English might refer to the visual background of an image or the conceptual background of someone’s past.

So too in Hebrew.

The Hebrew word for background is רֶקַע.

For example:

כְּכָל הַנִּרְאֶה, נַחַל עוֹבֵר בָּרֶקַע שֶׁל הַמּוֹנָה לִיזָה. It appears that a riverbed passes through the background of the Mona Lisa. and

הִיא בָּאָה מֵרֶקַע דָּתִי. She comes from a religious background. רקע comes from the Biblical active-simple פָּעַל verb לִרְקֹעַ, meaning to stamp out or to spread out. It’s related to the word for firmamentרָקִיעַ.

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In Hebrew: ‘Disturbance’

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

הַפְרָעָה If you already know some Hebrew, you may be familiar with the word for to disturb -לְהַפְרִיעַ, an active-causative הִפְעִיל verb.

For example:

מוֹרֶה: לֹא לְהַפְרִיעַ בַּשִּׁעוּר! Teacher (a male): Do not disturb (during the) class! The noun form of להפריע, a disturbance, is הַפְרָעָה. And הפרעה is also the word for disorder, such as in the Hebrew term for ADHD (Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder)הַפְרַעַת קֶשֶׁב וְרִכּוּז (literally, Disorder of Attention and Concentration).

To call someone disturbed, you’d use מֻפְרָעfor a male and מֻפְרַעַתfor a female. מופרע and מופרעת derive from the passive-causative הֻפְעַל verb form.

For example:

מְבַצֵּעַ הַטֶּבַח בַּבַּנְק בִּבְאֵר שֶׁבַע הָיָה אָדָם מֻפְרָע.
The perpetrator of the massacre at the bank in Beer Sheba was a disturbed person.
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ktzat-ivrit/in-hebrew-disturbance/2013/05/21/

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