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  5. "למה את רוצָה לגור בעיר הבירה…

"למה את רוצָה לגור בעיר הבירה?"

Translation:Why do you want to live in the capital?

July 16, 2016



What's the etymology behind עיר בירה? While being a city of beer is enough to be a capital in most countries, it probably isn't related.


The origin is probably from the bible, in which "בירה" meant a big fortress. I am not sure however (I wish Jerusalem had that many beers though!).


@Leshonim What is the relationship between "citadel" and "beer"? Both are בירה in Hebrew, and isn't a citadel defined as something stout? And stout is a beer.


All right now I am confused. A few screens ago you had "ir birTAh" which is it?


Literally, עיר בירתה means "the capital city of". It must be followed by a country's name, for example: עיר בירתה של יפן היא טוקיו => The capital city of Japan is Tokyo. Without a connection to another noun, the correct spelling is עיר בירה.


Doesn't עיר בירתה translate more specifically to : " city of its capital" ,

thus now requiring the noun (Japan) that it is talking about?


They're both correct.


Nowadays there is surely an app to protest, you don't need to move to the capital for that.


Why do you want to live in the capital city? (Is it not a correct answer? If not, why?)


Well, seems like a legit translation to me. Only note that the original Hebrew is a construct chain בְּעִיר־הַבִּירָה, i.e. in the city of the capital.


Duolingo accepted “Why do you want to live in the capital city?” in October 2020. Even though the original Hebrew is “in the city of the capital”, in English that changes to “in the capital city”.

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