I was referring to the transliteration into a language like English.
However, just for general information, the letters א, י, ו can be vowels – especially in nikud-less writing. For example:
- School: בית ספר, the י serves as a vowel (stand-in for e)
- Chalk: גיר, the י serves as a vowel (stand-in for i)
- Example: דוגמא, both ו and א serve as vowels (although admittedly, the א was carried over from Aramaic, so in Hebrew it is also permissible to write דוגמה).
Lehgvarim. You are more likely to hear "leegvarim" in news programs, official events, etc. In everyday talk people use "lehgvarim" (even though it is not grammatically correct). You can check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNeIhHfHqUM (the narrator explains why men have nipples even though they don't produce milk, so it even relates to our sentence!).
From the notes (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/he/There-is/tips-and-notes) for this unit (only available via the website, not on the app) :
Similarly, we add "ל" (le = "to") to any other noun that is the possessor of something:
ל + ילד = לילד = leyéled - to a boy יש לילד - a boy has
If we are adding ל to an object that has ה (the) already attached at the beginning, we remove ה and add ל. The pronunciation will be "la", not "le":
ל + הילד = לילד = layéled - to the boy
It takes some practice to hear the difference in Hebrew. To say, "the men have milk", the first word would be pronounced lagvarim, where la is a contraction of le and ha, literally "to the". If you listen again, you should be able to hear the pronunciation ligvarim (indefinite), where li is a pronunciation variant of le.
The most literal translation is not the objective; if it were, then all you'd need to know is the vocabulary. Even vocabulary can be a challenge with words that have multiple meanings, and different words with the same spelling or pronunciation. Languages also have grammar and exceptions and idiomatic expressions. Translation is about understanding the many factors that contribute to meaning, and then expressing that meaning normally in another language.
Although we can expect exceptions, as a general rule if the most literal translation sounds weird and abnormal, then it's probably wrong.
Review the lesson and other people's comments. Also review the course notes, which are online at
The construction יש ל is used exclusively for possession, always in that sense. So even though if you translated every word literally "to men there is milk" - it wouldn't represent the meaning of the sentence.
Also, גבר = man, גברים = men, and see above for why this is indefinite.
For the same reason the Dutch course contains "Sorry, I am an apple", the Portuguese course "The bishop opens the restaurant", and the Irish "I eat before the crab"... because funny or strange phrases stick in our minds better and help us remember. Thanks Duo for being entertaining AND educational! :D
That's not even the worst, nativelang on YouTube has a video called duolingo is the devil, and he shows screenshots of really bizarre and creepy sentences like: you have no culture, there's blood all over the floor, I found your dead husband.... it's hilarious, https://youtu.be/BbmXSR_QiP8
It does seem that way, doesn't it? It's always a good idea to read through the earlier posts to see if your issue has been addressed. In this case, JayStanton explained, "The construction יש ל is used exclusively for possession"; and the word order can have either יש first, or -ל first.
You'd need a different way to say your sentence in Hebrew. For example, it might be
בשביל גברים יש חלב
עבור גברים יש חלב