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  5. "זה כיף!"

"זה כיף!"

Translation:This is fun!

June 22, 2016



Would have been helpful if the word was introduced first or if it was underlined so we could click on it to see the meaning.


It is underlined on the internet version, isn't it on the app?


It's underlined for me(app)


Haha, in Bugarian кеф /kef/ is a slang-ish term meaning fun or enjoyment. Never knew it came from Hebrew!


it came from arabic KIF


Both semitic languages.


Just as Ukrainian slang-ish кайф


κέφι (kefi) means "good mood" in Greek.


الكيف is mood in arabic as well


It seems that 'כיף' is transcribable into "keif". However, the voice seems to pronounce the vowel as a simple /e/, a monophthong. Is this /ei/ > /e/ a common process in colloquial Israeli Hebrew?


Yes, but it is also a matter of accent.


Is it true that this is typical of a more Sephardic or Mizrahi pronunciation, with the /ei/ version being more Ashkenazi?


you are right. the nikkud "tsere" is pronounced by Ashkenazi accent /ei/ while in Sephardic and Mizrahi just /e/.


also, in common hebrew (let's call it "todays hebrew") it is pronounced just /e/


The nikkud צירה originally represented probably some form of long /e/, maybe the diphtong /ei/, I'm not sure. In Ashkenazy pronounciation up to the 20th century it was /ei/, and it used to be a known mark of immigrants from eastern Europe to Israel in the first part of the 20th century when they talked Hebrew.

In recent decades צירה is invariably a simple /e/. Where the צירה is followed by a consonant Yod, as in "בני אדם" = /bney adam/ = "humans", we retain the consonant or diphtong. The only exception that jumps to my mind is the "בית" in construct form, /beyt/, which is often contracted to /bet/ but it's still normal to hear /beyt/.

Now כיף is a strange case in itself. It was borrowed from Arabic, where it's pronounced /kef/, and has always been pronounced /kef/ by Hebrew speakers as far as I know. Why was the spelling with the Yod chosen? My guess is that to distinguish it from כף = /kaf/ = spoon, and adopting the Arabic spelling that has Ya; I believe that indeed the Arabic reached /kef/ by contracting /keif/ or /kaif/.


Is "כיף" a noun or an adjective?


That seems incomplete. It is used as an adjective as well


I believe not. "The fun game" would not be המשחק הכיף, it would be המשחק הכיפי.


@ Bezalel P: Honestly, I could not figure out how to read the nikkud/vowels, so I find it much easier to just remember the pronunciation of words without it. I had a terrible grammar book, but after giving up on trying to understand how the Nikkud are used, I decided that I don't need them at all.


Why does this spell 'kef' and not 'kif'? I was under the impression that a general rule of writing without nikkud was that yod following a consonant renders an 'ee' sound to the consonant immediately preceding it?

Grateful for answers!


Yod after a consonant is indeed often /ee/, but often a consonant yod following an unwritten /e/ or /a/ vowel. For the unique case of כיף see my long comment above.


Are pay and fay (the letters) being differentiated somehow?


When written with nikud, the pay would have a dot inside of it.

This course is without nikud


My understanding was that nikud are vowel markings only, not the consonantal differentiations. Is that wrong? It doesn't make any sense to me to remove them - what exactly is the benefit to the learner (or anyone else)? Maybe someone behind that choice for Duolingo Hebrew could answer?


Technically you are right, but there are a few more grammatical signs which usually go with the nikud, in terms of not showing up. A text without nikud will not have these either.


I would expect textbooks or software teaching Hebrew to have this. I know Rosetta Stone does, all the markings. I much prefer Duolingo though for the pacing and the system of review etc. but this is very disappointing.


If you learn to read Hebrew with vowels it will be much more difficult for you to read modern Hebrew texts such as books, newspapers, road signs etc' which are written almost always without Nikkud. That's the reason they left it out of this course,


See the welcome thread in the discussion section



BezalelP, I learned to read Hebrew with vowels before I started Duolingo. If I had not, I would have been completely lost when I started. But, already knowing how to read Hebrew and how the vowel system works, gave me a strong foundation. I then had no difficulty whatsoever transferring over to the non-voweled writing.


I'm not, I was pointing you to their say on the subject


A פ at the beginning of a word is generally pronounced /p/. A פ in the middle or end if a word is generally pronounced /f/


You have many /p/ in middle of words, too - for example תפוז elsewhere in this lesson.


How would you say "it's fun!"?


This, that, it (is), are all the same in Hebrew - ''זה'' or' 'זאת'' depending on the gender of the word.


How do you pronounce the female version of זה?


zo = זו or zot = זאת


Duolingo ....!!!! כיף


How do you type in Hebrew


Why i did wrong to write " כף "? It say " Kef "


It is always spelled כיף. See my long comment above for why.


Same reason it's wrong to write fuhnn


Your course English-Hebrew – Ghislaine182838

I would like to bring to your attention a problem with this course that I have been taking for the last nine weeks. The individual question sections are well designed but as I do not have a Hebrew keyboard many of the answers to the requested translations rely on the “Use Word Bank” that provides the Hebrew symbol.

However, it is sometimes the case that towards the end of a section you require a English-Hebrew translation without providing a Hebrew keyboard. At the same time the question pages states that if you do not provide an answer “you lose all the points of the section.” A very annoying result after putting a lot of effort to answering all the earlier questions.

Can you not provide Hebrew symbol keyboard?


this post explains how to add Hebrew keyboard https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/17767515


Why is this not pronounce keef?


Why is בית not pronounced beet, but it's bayit? Simply put, י is not consistently pronounced as "ee" or "i".


Because י is not the only vowel in this word, and its pronunciation depends on the nikkud of the previous letter. For example, the word בית with nikkud looks like this: בַּיִת with a Patach under the ב, and so the י's i sound will continue the a sound of the ב. In the word ביט (bit, as in digital storage unites), the ב' has a Hiriq and therefor the י will get the stronger i sound.


I think the interesting question, though, is the reverse one - given that the pronunciation is /kef/, why is it spelled כיף and not כף? The pronunciation clearly came before the spelling, when this word was borrowed from Arabic into Hebrew slang. Spelling was probably chosen only years later, when the word became so established in speaking that newspaper editors started to show it. Why did they choose to spell it with a yod? Maybe because in Arabic there is /y/ in the root? I doubt it, because I can hardly imagine these editors digging into Arabic, or giving that much attention to the question at all. An easier guess is that it's simply to avoid ambiguity with /kaf/, spoon.


Such spelling issues seem unavoidable without vowels. Morfix also shows כֵּף, defined as cape, point, headland, promontory.
But it doesn't show anything for קף.

b102 rich739183


Indeed, there is כֵּף "cape", but it's a rare word and probably the editors I imagine wouldn't mind clashing with it.

Why didn't they choose קף? Maybe they did dig enough into Arabic to know that it's ك and not ق.


Thanks, again, Yarden. So much interesting bacground info!

b102 rich739183


!זֶה כֵּיף


Because "funny" is an adjective, that means something different than כיף which is a noun, meaning "fun".


Two different words. In Spanish/Italian fun = divertido/divertimento. Funny = grasioso/comico.

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