"הבקבוק מלא בבירה."

Translation:The bottle is full of beer.

June 22, 2016

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I swear that the מ in מלא sounds like a P.


I had to listen five times before hearing the M. And it also sounds like he's saying b'vira instead of v'bira.


This is what he is saying, and this is the correct way to say that (בְּבִירָה). That is because the Dagesh (the dot in בּ) which turns the ב sound from [v] to [b], appears in the first ב of a word but not in the rest (at least this kind of Dagesh). As for the M, I also think he mispronounces it.


I thought there weren't any words that started with Vet or the f sound, unless loanwords or slang from them..(i.e. Firgun, frekha, etc.) No matter the diacritics.


The diacritics matter very much. There is a dot called a "dagesh kal" in the first letter of a word, if that first letter is one of בגדכפת (pronounced beh-ged-keh-fet as a mnemonic).

The word בירה has such a dagesh in the bet, and is pronounced BEE-rah.

However, the word here is בבירה (bevira). Once you've added another letter before the bet of בירה, the rule about a dagesh in the first letter no longer applies, so that bet (now the second letter) does not get a dagesh and is pronounced vet.



You might as well ask why in English we say that the bottle is full of beer or filled with beer rather than full from beer.

I don't believe that there is no way to predict which preposition goes with which verb or adjective (arrive-at fill-with full-of sit-down run-for). You just have to memorize them.

It's the same in Hebrew. The verb and adjective מלא goes either with no preposition or with bet (ב)


Thanks for the very understandable explanation!


Thanks for that, can you explain why it's not של בירה? מבירה? Also, מהנחש, instead of מ-נחש, i understand that מנחש is another word entirely but how often does it happen you've got to add the (normally?/) inferred hey to get around other words? Are they weird rules like ממתק , would also need מה so you don't have מממתק? Thanks!


bevira instead of bebira is the correct form grammatically, but i think it's unfortunate they chose to theach that. it makes everything much harder and NOBODY talks like that except for my grandfather. we usually just say bebira.


Every Hebrew teacher I've stumbled on in my area (which to be fair, skews elderly and lots of young people are leaving so I suppose why would young Israelis move to this part of the U.S. anyway?) whether my university hebrew teacher, the ones I've found in the community or worse the non-native rabbis are all teaching Hebrew with older pronunciations. I always heard how lost people ended up when they got to Israel even after reaching some level of fluency from the university classes! Didn't help our textbook was a dreadful typewritten (so no photos, not even computer formsting, it was the worst!) doorstop that hadn't been edited or updated since the '70s! Needless to say I didn't do well in that class and 30% of the time was spent with them professor reminiscing about her army days or discussing politics. ;)

My very first Hebrew teacher pronounces his ayins and alephs differently even (that guttural sort of ayin that I've been told basically is only used by Yemenites in Israel today...). Weirdest part is the guy is 70ish and came from Eastern Europe and grew up on a kibbutz, so maybe it was the people around him or his age. His american rabbi wife debates him on it frequently.

Very interesting, I think, the diversity and ways the language has changed in such a fairly short amount of time.


I'm not even sure "bevira" is even correct. It depends on whether the word "bira" is a Hebrew word or a foreign word. We do not modify the pronunciation of foreign words like that. So we can talk about "פנול" (phenol) in Hebrew without pronouncing it "penol".

"Bira" is obviously a loan word, and I'm not sure it's absorbed enough to even qualify for the dagesh rules.


It is a loaned a word, but more then that it is a name (of a drink, yet, a name) if so, I'm pretty sure it should be be-bi-ra, like you would say Be-Buenos Aires, not Be-Vuenos Aires...


There is certainly no dagesh in likhfar saba. And for other examples:

Biv'er-sheva, Bevat-yam, Bevinyamina, Befardes-hana, Bekharmiel, but Beberlin, Beparis, Becalcuta.

So of course the origin of bira is in another language, but after enough time has passed, words get assimilated enough that we start treating them like original words. If you want to say that something happened "in a hallway" you would say "bifrozdor", even though "prozdor" is from Greek. Enough time has passed, that we now see it as a Hebrew word.

I'm not sure if beer is there yet.


Yes, but that only applies to non-Hebrew names.

נסעתי לכפר סבא - nasaati li-khfar-saba


so after a little delay (and homework)

turns out I lived in lie, I've always thought that the pronunciation in the train p.a. system is wrong ועל זה נאמר צוחק מי שצוחק אחרון xD

although I am still determined that the loan words should be pronounced as the original words, even though (in this case, as well as most Greek loaned words) it is a word from the days of Hazal, that has taken root in Hebrew


@synp, you might be right about the fact that it applies non-Hebrew names only, but first בירה is a loaned name without a shed of doubt; and secend, your example is very intresting :) there is a big confusion about the name of כפר סבא, this city is named after a human settlement (סבא - sa-va in Aramic it means "the grandfather") that had been mentioned at Hazal literature. also modern Kfar-Sava had started it's way a מושבה so in other word - כפר, so the noun כפר had adhesive the Sava village's name and that how it became Kfar-Sava. since it is a noun, it doesn't matter if you use the מש"ה וכל"ב, the כ in כפר will, no matter ehat, have Dagesh :)


People should be taught standard language even when the everyday colloquial language is a bit different. It's much easier to switch to slang when you know the stanard language like high Hebrew. But when the colloquial language is all a person knows, it's much more difficalt.


It produces the sound /P/ between /baqBUQ-Male/ that's what your ear is catching


So do I. He pronounces P in the word מלה. It has to be M.


I hear only !בלא, not בבירה. 'הבקבוק מלא בבירה'


ha-bakbúk malé be-víra.

(colloquially, it will be "be-bíra")


I apparently can't speak English:

• The bottle is filled with beer. • The bottle is full of beer.

or... can we say in English "The bottle is full with beer"?

I keep missing points here by not being literal enough in my translations, so now I'm over-correcting and still getting marked wrong.


"Full with" is broken English.


it depends on the context. you could say 'the bottle is full with beer' as compared to other bottles filled with something else. eg; 'my bottle is filled with beer; yours is filled with water' but that is very detailed nuances of conversational english


Your last sentence is attempting the passive tense in English and in order to create the passive tense, the second verb must in the past e.g. "The couch is sat on by the teens." "The floor is pooped on by the dog."


I think it's the preposition that's the issue, because we CAN say "the bottle is full of beer." Prepositions and idioms are the hardest for non-native speakers, and even though I'm native in English, it's not my first language and I occasionally get tripped up like that! So now switching my mindset to Hebrew (my first language, but not my strongest language) is messing with my English.


מלא sounds like is being pronounced "bah-leh". Mispronunciation or correct?


I also think it sounds a bit more like "ba-leh" than "ma-leh". Maybe the actor had a cold....


Very bad prononciation please improve!


Can someone (native/proficient Hebrew speaker) explain to this beginner what is going on here? The comments here seem to be primarily about the pronunciation of "ב". Is the ב before בירה a preposition or is acting like a preposition to indicate something like "of/with/from" as in "The bottle is full of beer/full with beer" etc or something analogous to these meanings? Or am I entirely off the mark. Thanks.


Yes, there are two separate issues here:

  1. The first ב is used as a preposition. In Hebrew, the letters בכלמ as prefixes mean in, like, to or for, and from respectively. Although I just told you that ב means "in", it is the preposition used with "מלא". So מלא בבירה means full of beer or filled with beer. As others have pointed out, there is plenty of precedent for omitting the preposition entirely and staying with just מלא בירה, but schoolteachers will tell you that it is necessary.

The other issue is the pronunciation of the second ב, the first letter of the word בירה. As you know, the letters ב, כ, פ have different pronunciation according to their position in the word, with ב being pronounced as either 'b' or 'v'. According to the arcane rules, in בבירה it is supposed to be pronounced as 'v', and that is how the speaker pronounces it. However, these rules have an exception: foreign words and names are generally not subject to these changes. For example:

הגולם מפראג - ha'golem miprague - The golem of Prague

You'll notice that the P of Prague is pronounced as a P in the Hebrew despite being after a prepositional מ, rather than as an F like the rule demands.

So the question is whether בירה is a Hebrew word (and thus subject to the rule) or a foreign word. It is definitely a loan word, but it has been used in Hebrew for so long, that it has become Hebraized enough that the speaker in this exercise follows the rule.


Hi, synp! I had not noticed your reply to my comment earlier but thanks so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful, detailed explanation. It does clarify for me a lot of the knotty bits and confusions that I've been having until now trying to learn the language. I wish the course moderators provided English transliterations alongside the Hebrew. Would not only have helped with getting something of a feel for such altered pronunciations as above (often the audio comes across as too fast to a beginner; in the absence, too, of the written vowel in Modern Hebrew, figuring out the pronunciation sometimes becomes a guesswork), but would also have greatly facilitated the overall learning experience.

Thanks, again.


I agree, but I have found most transliterations on https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Main_Page ,

Pealim (for verbs mostly) https://www.pealim.com

, lyricstranslate.com and Hebrewsongs.com.... (on lyricstranslate.com, it's especially been a great help and the editors have been helpful as well). You can also ask on the Duolingo Hebrew learners Facebook page, or leave questions on videos by YouTubers who teach Hebrew like Mike Mistovev (who is originally Australian, now Israeli, so English is his first language) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2IP1iu-2BqLtlLKoKF8Clw

Ulpan Noya https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI8jE7ql6j-Fgzjun-OjyWQ

Daniel Ganor https://www.youtube.com/user/dbura1

... And if it's specific to accent, Linguistix (he's American, and does Hebrew and Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3wikulG1obZp9k1sH2cH3Q

In a pinch you can always search YouTube for the word and see what comes up, popular videos will have a lot of viewers, I've left comments asking for help and depending on the channel a user or the channel itself has responded. (Kan, the Israeli TV channel, has actually responded twice themselves to questions I've asked in English).


These are some excellent resources, TeribleTeri. Thanks so much for sharing them. I'm beginning to realize that Duolingo alone is not sufficient in helping one achieve competency in learning a new language. Don't get me wrong. Duo is a great tool in itself, especially in the beginning. It's free, too! Plus, its community of users is wonderfully helpful. But if one's aim is to become relatively proficient in the language these external aides that you shared, the little bits and pointers that one can pick up here and there from these resources, are an absolute must.

Thanks again for sharing. You're anything but terrible. :)


It's a good point that DL is a resource along with other resources in learning a new language, but insufficient on its own. Nothing takes the place of immersion. To get beyond the intermediate level to advanced, confident communication requires immersion.


Which is correct: ראיתי בקבוק מלא במים or מלא מים?


The correct one is מלא במים

You will see the other one too, but you need the ב


I'm reading in a book: הנסיך הקטן הלך לחפש מזלף מלא מים והשקה את השושנה. This is supposed to be standard Hebrew. I thought maybe in a declarative sentence "The can is full of water", you would use the ב but "a can full of water", as in the example above, would be without ב.


Interesting. Which of the three translations is this?

IMO the ב is not optional and it's missing here. But I can't find any rule about this in any online dictionary.


I don't know if this is helpful, but biblical Hebrew does not require ב with מלא. E.g., מלאה עדשים, "full of lentils" (2 Sam 23:11). I'm not saying that modern Hebrew isn't at times different from ancient dialects of Hebrew, but I don't find a rule in either biblical Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew that says it takes that preposition. I am curious how that preposition got into modern Hebrew in connection with that word.


I need a certificate and a decoder ring..


הוא מדבר בלא - אבל זה מלא


Why can't this be "The full bottle of beer"?


Because that would require ה before מלא, plus ב would need to be switched to של.

הבקבוק המלא של בירה.

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