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  5. "מאיפה הוא בא?"

"מאיפה הוא בא?"

Translation:Where is he from?

June 27, 2016



If not for him, i would've been married...


Would this be the appropriate way to ask "Where does he come from?" in the sense of "What country is he from?"


Yes, but context is important since it usually means "Where was he before being here"


Ahhh right, thank you :D


Why is it מאיפה and not מאין?


מאין is considered archaic. Modern Hebrew uses איפה for where.


The teach מאין in Ulpanim nowadays...


Well, the prescriptive argument is that אֵיפֹה is composed of אֵי פֹּה where + here and that אֵי does not work well with the one-syllabic prepositions בכל"ם. This is a blatant example of the deep difference between a puristic rule and actual usage. In the Bible the form אֵיּ־מִזֶּה was used, i.e. you could only add the direction after this adverb of place, like אי מזה באת ואנה תלכי Gen 16.8 where did you come from and where are you going to?


agreed--when I was in Israel the question was always, "מאון אתה" granted this was either in a professional setting, or most often in temple where I was something of a Christian oddity. Also it was in "archaic" Jerusalem and they may have been using their best Hebrew on me. In my "modern" Hebrew course from Brandeis University--they would not have accepted מאיפה for national origin, but would if you were coming from someplace local.


In my Ulpan course they taught us מאיפה not מאין. I guess that is because people do not use מאין in everyday speech.


I think that מאיפה is a colloquial form of מאין.


I have a good Israeli 2-year-old friend whose favorite sentence right now is "לא בא לי" (I don't want to/it).


Where does he come from is more precise


What does the בא serve here? The translation given is "where is he from" and not coming from?


Well, literally מאיפה הוא בא means "where does he come from?", which can also be said as "where is he from?" As far as I know, both versions are accepted.


Seems like this literally means, "From where is he coming?"... and put into English-talk would be something like, "Where is he from?" or "Where is he coming from?" or "Where does he come from?".


Correct, but hardly used today.


this one is correct Hebrew, the other one IS STREET HEBREW. I thought we were learning correct Hebrew?


No. You're learning Hebrew that you'll can speak in Israel and in Israel nobody says מאין


I've heard it in song lyrics.


Most people don't talk in song lyrics


That's true. Unfortunate but true.

[deactivated user]

    Where is he going?


    No - the verb is come, not go, and מאיפה is literally "from where" and makes no sense as "to where."

    With the not-a-native disclaimer in place, I believe "Where is he going?" would be expressed לאן הוא הולך, so it's quite different.


    I was wondering why it was asking ba.. is this slang? Ba seems to be used as a catch all, do you think? I've seen ba li too for I feel or I want...


    You're right that בא is used in way more contexts today than it did 40 years ago. But whatever grounds it gains in various metaphorical senses, it loses to מגיע in the simple sense of "come". Classically בא=come and מגיע=arrive, but recently everybody say מגיע regardless.


    "בא" is come or coming, i.e. "אני בא מקליפורניה" and is not slang. I suspect that " בא לי" is slang, being used for "I want" and likely derived from something like "it comes to me".


    Yes, בא לי is slang, very very common for decades, especially dominant with little children. It means "I want", but hints at a whim rather than a well-grounded or deep wish. It's origin is an amazing coincidence: as you say, it literally means "it comes to me", which fits the idea of a whim that "came to me out of the blue". But it actually came from the Arabic expression "jai 'ala bali", which means exactly the same ("I want", suggesting whim) - but the Arabic expression literally means "comes to my mind", and the "bali" is actually the "my mind" part.


    Thank you for this delicious example of phono-semantic matching in a loan translation! By the way, the Arabic word بَال appears as בָּל already in the Aramaic part of the Bible: ‏ועל דניאל שם בל לשיזבותה (Dan 6.15) and he set his mind on Daniel to deliver him!


    Why are some spelling mistakes "acceptable" with just a correction and a notice that you've made a spelling mistake and other times you're marked wrong? I find this very frustrating! A simple spelling error from listening to the speaker shouldn't be marked wrong necessarily.


    May-AY-foh hoo ba?

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