"שפת האם שלנו היא עברית."

Translation:Our mother tongue is Hebrew.

August 3, 2016

17 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessicaDellEra

Although really, in my mind it's always gonna be the mama loshen :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerardd88

Where does האם in this expression come from?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

The word for "mother" in Hebrew is originally אם (em). As a result of influence from Aramaic, the more used form now is אמא (ima), but אם is still used in formal speech and in constructs and expressions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Ahhh, that's interesting! That will help me remember this construction, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerardd88

תודה רבה :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dorkami

Is that spelled the same way as the word at the beginning of a (formal) question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

Yes, but pronounced differently. (ha'em vs. ha'im).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menasheh

I thought it was their mother's language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Their mother's language would be השפה של אמא I believe, but that's a different thing from "mother tongue". Usually, one would share a mother tongue with one's parents, but not necessarily. שפת אם is specific to one's mother or native tongue, it doesn't (necessarily) mean the language one's mother speaks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

What's the question? A mother's language is the language of the mother. A mother tongue is a native language. Example: my mother's languages are Yiddish and English. My mother tongue is English. (Personally I think tongue sounds weird, and instead just say native language: my native language is American English).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Without the definite article, the smichut שפת אם translates to "mother tongue" ("mother language"). With the definite article, שפת האם translates to "the mother tongue" ("the mother language").

b007 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Retedruk

that's the literal translation! But in English you should use tongue


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yes, but it's much more important to avoid the apostrophe-s and say "mother" rather than "mother's". That distinction is explained above by flootzavut and TeribleT.

b112 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eli158063

... a sentance no one taking this course will ever need to say...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Well Eli, I know that some native Hebrew speakers are taking this course to improve their English.

By the way, I’ve heard that Hebrew ceased to be used as an everyday spoken language after the Babylonian exile, and was resurrected in the 20th century with the rebirth of Israel. If that’s so, then a language became alive after about 2500 years of only surviving in the liturgical world and such. Unless I’m mistaken, there’s never been such a thing on this planet Earth!

I’ve heard scholars argue about what language was spoken in what biblical era, so this is probably a matter of scholarly dispute.

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