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  5. "זבוב זה חרק."

"זבוב זה חרק."

Translation:A fly is an insect.

June 22, 2016



Is the pronunciation of חרק correct here? Morfix says when it means "insect" it's pronounced חֶרֶק (khérek), but when it's pronounced חָרַק (kharák), as here, it means "squeaked, screeched, failed"?


That's right. "חָרַק" is a common mistake for insect in colloquial Hebrew. The correct pronunciation is "חֶרֶק".


Oh, so some native speakers actually say חָרַק colloquially when they mean "insect"?


No one is recent decades (50 years at least?) says חֶרֶק. Everybody say חָרַק for both meanings.


That's good to know. Sometimes dictionaries are behind the times when it comes to real pronunciation (which is want learners want to learn). תודה!


In a previous exercise, with a word such as החבר, the recording used the formal pronunciation, beginning with "heh", even though the comments explained that everyone says "hah". Here we get the colloquial pronunciation, also requiring explanation. Is there someplace where the course tells what standard it's teaching?

b011 rich739183


Welcome to modern Hebrew )-: If you were the speaker paid to do the narration, you'd face endless dilemmas of whether to pronounce particular things by the standard or as they are spoken - you can't go all-in on one of the two options without getting into very awkward corners. Not to mention that you may not be aware of all the rules. I think if I tried to pronounce by the rules, I'd know to say /hechaver/ and not /hachaver/ but wouldn't know or forget to say /cherek/, and wrongly say /charak/.


Your first sentence reminds me of a light moment in a group event when one of my fellow Americans, hearing a familiar tune (אנא בכוח), said during the instrumental intro, "that's Ana Bekoakh". The response from our Israeli leader was "that's Ana Bekhoakh; welcome to the Hebrew language."

b012 rich739183


This construction is weirdly similar to how you can say this in (some) Slavic languages, if my brain is figuring this right. I can't think of exact equivalents because it's late and my brain is fuzzy, but it seems like how you might say "kot to zwierzę" (a cat is an animal) in Polish (which in Polish means avoiding the instrumental case, which is nice ;)), or кошка это животный (same meaning) in Russian.

(I think Ukrainian has a similar construction, but I don't remember exactly, and I don't remember the word for animal!)

But the noun, demonstrative, noun thing seems very similar to the Hebrew construction, assuming I've understood correctly how the Hebrew version is built, of course ;) since I am not a native speaker in any of these languages, and rustily fluent only in one.

Any other Slavic language speakers notice this/think it feels familiar?


In Russian, one can say either «Муха — это насекомое.» (literally, ”.זבוב זה חרק„) or simply «Муха — насекомое.» (literally, ”.זבוב חרק„).


According to Olga Kagan, the Hebrew copular construction with ’זה‚ was likely borrowed from Slavic languages. See “Predicate Nominal Sentences with the Hebrew ze and Its Russian Counterpart eto”.


Yes, I knew it was optional in Russian :)

That's very interesting that it may have been a borrowing from Slavic languages - I checked, and Ukrainian does use a similar construction. I don't remember Croatian doing so, but I haven't studied it in fifteen years, and I haven't made it that far down the Czech reverse tree to find out... it'll be interesting to see if it pops up in either of those when I get far enough/do some revision.

Thanks for the info, off to read that page now!


Croatian and Serbian don't really use it like that... You could say "Muha, to je insekt" or "Muva, to je insekt" like you could say "A fly, that's an insect" in English, but you wouldn't say "Muha to insekt" or "Muva to insekt" ("Muva to insekt" could mean something like "An insect is hitting on that", since "muvati" is kind of like a slang for "to be hitting on", so it wouldn't make much sense)... Usually, people would say it as "Muha je insekt" or "Muva je insekt" and you can alternatively say it as "Muha insekt je" or "Muva insekt je" (the "je" is kind of like a short form of "jeste", which means "it is").


Thanks! I couldn't remember such a construction in Croatian, but it's been a reeeeally long time so I wasn't at all sure.

I was thinking that this was because Ukrainian and Russian don't have "to be" in the present tense, but then remembered that Polish does.

It occurs to me that, as far as I remember, Croatian doesn't use the instrumental in predicate(?) sentences in the present tense like Polish does? So that makes me wonder if it's because of that that Polish has ended up with a simpler construction to avoid always using the instrumental.

(With the disclaimer that I'm just dabbling in the reverse course, Czech doesn't appear to have this construction and also doesn't use the instrumental in those kinds of sentences, so that's my best guess why Polish has it. I am guessing, but it seems logical...)


As far as I know, "to" in Czech is only used for demonstrative (To je můj bratr, this is my brother). For "A fly is an insect", in Czech we would simply use the verb "to be" : Moucha je hmyz, as xerostomus said.


Well the Czech version is analogous to English one: Moucha je hmyz. Or Moucha patří mezi hmyz. As I know Slovak they have it the same. May be it is made according to German pattern. I am not familiar with ancient Czech.

[deactivated user]

    In Ukrainian: «Муха — це тварина». :)


    Hungarian is not Slavic, but we have a similar construction. A légy az rovar . Az is זה


    That came to mind for me as well!


    So why is this "zvuv zeh..." and not "zvuv hu..."?


    I love the word זבוב, even though I don't like the זבוב, but this word seems best to describe the sound a fly makes. Haha, hilarious. I will probably ever rememer this word.


    Yeah :) I'm not sure if some other languages have a word for a fly that sounds like that sound flies make, but there is a word "zunzara" in Serbian for a specific kind of flies (not all flies) that buzz more noticeably than usual flies.


    Many words in Hebrew sound as they describe the sound. Like bottle בקבוק sounds like when you drink water. Or cold and hot. I noticed


    How do חם and קר (if that's what you meant) describe the sound?

    The phenomenon is called "Onomatopoeia", and I don't think it's more common in Hebrew than in English.


    zvuv ze charák.


    Zvoov = fly Charak = insect


    Will it be ok if "ze" is omitted?


    no. "ze" is "it" , or "it is" so zvuv ze harak = a fly it is an insect

    without ze, it would just be "fly insect", two words together, and not a sentence


    Are you native? I think "is" and "a" are not in Hebrew...so without "ze"...wouldn't it be "(a) fly (is an) insect"


    i am a native hebrew speaker. ze = this, that, it. zvuv ze harak literally means a fly it insect.

    if it was an adjective, you should omit the ze. e.g - a fast fly = זבוב מהיר = zvuv maheer. but if you talk about flies in general, zvuv ze maheer = a fly is (a) fast (thing)


    Yeah, I've noticed it! Thank you very much! Toda raba!


    wrong. Two words together can make a perfect sentence in Hebrew.


    I agree with you that nirc2's explanation was not precise, but his bottom line WRT this sentence is correct: you can't say זבוב חרק.


    Notes from first lesson: In Hebrew the verb "to be" doesn't exist in the present tense - meaning that there is no "am" , "is" or "are" in Hebrew .

    So, is it wrong to say: זבוב חרק if you want to say, "A fly is an insect."? Or is the use of "zeh" just another way to say “(this) IS (that).”? Thanks so much for your help! :)


    It's wrong, because "to be" is omitted before adjectives, but when you're describing a general type and have the indefinite article, זה/הוא/היא is compulsory.


    Define " OK " -- all your younger Israeli speakers will say 'no', but classical (Biblical and rabbinc[medieval])Hebrew, until 1947 didn't use that construction. As pointed out above it's an import brought by Polish and Russian Jews immigrating to Israel in the last 30 years. In the Tanakh it is WRONG to use it as a copula. Israeli is one of the fastest changing languages in the world. (and a lot of hubris about speaking the latest slang).


    זבוב First time l heard this was in the name Beelzebub


    The same to me: William Golding: The Lord of flies. :-)


    Why does the voice here say [xarak], while on wikipedia it says the pronunciation is [xerek] and so does forvo? Is this a matter of dialect?


    See daswasserfrau's comment above


    How would I negate such a sentence? .חתול לא זה חרק (A cat is not an insect.) Is this right?


    חתול זה לא חרק, not חתול לא זה חרק


    That is great.

    Another way, less used, is "חתול אינו חרק"


    תודה רבה נפתלי.


    Yes. The same to me. William Golding: The Lord of Flies.


    Why did it accept my הרק without indicating a typo? Is it a legitimate alternative for insect?


    Birds fly in the sky Let s go to fly the kites this afternoon I m flying to paris next week There is a fly in the soup


    So, I read EVERYTHING above & still find myself confused as to why זה instead of הוא. Is there any definite, concise info on this? Thanks in advance!


    Haven't re-read everything carefully, but note that both are equally OK. Why both are OK, I cannot say...


    Why do we use זה when it's a fly being talked about, but הוא for a dog? I dont understand what dictates which to use.


    Did you read the other thread about זה versus הוא?
    Since context matters, what is the other sentence you're referring to?

    b110 rich739183

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