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"How do you speak Hebrew?"

Translation:איך מדברים עברית?

September 6, 2016

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dov360473

There is no "you" among the Hebrew words listed in the translation. So, my guess is that the developers meant to say "How does ONE speak Hebrew?" This refers to the knowledge of Hebrew. The question as currently phrased in English "How do you speak Hebrew?" could mean "How is it that you speak Hebrew?" referring to parentage or education. Or, it could mean, more literally, "Are you using an interpretation device to speak Hebrew?" (Star Trek universal translator?) The English should be fixed to reflect the actual Hebrew translation.


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

Your guess is correct, the given translation selects the meaning "How does one speak Hebrew" out of the possible meanings of this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Viviane272572

That's a general problem how to translate Impersonal Plural. The text for the skill Determiners explains the different ways to translate אוכלים תפוחים

" There are several options that can be considered: One eats apples. (Can sound a bit old-fashioned nowadays.) You eat apples. (You as in "anybody" - can be confused for actual "you") We/They eat apples. (You have to know who is being spoken about, to know whether the speaker is including or excluding him/herself from the group) Apples are eaten. (At times using the passive can be the most elegant solution, but is not always an option)"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zion11dotcom

eikh medabrim ivrit


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

?"למה לא "איך מדברת עברית


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

it is grammatically incorrect, you missed the "את" before the "מדברת". how do you speak Hebrew- איך את מדברת עברית, how speak Hebrew-איך מדברת עברית.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim5602

How would one say "How did one speak Hebrew?"?


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

if you mean the quality of the Habrew one speak (knowledge of language, accent, vocabulary, etc.) than you can ask "איך הוא/היא מדבר/ת עברית?" or "איך העברית שלו/שלה?" (literal: "how is his\hers Hebrew), both common though the last one is slightly inccorect. other way (but much more formal) to ask it is "איך העברית שבפיו/שבפיה" (literal "how is the Hebrew in his\hers mouth").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim5602

Very interesting, but my question was about the impersonal Plural. How to say 'how did one speak hebrew'. Like in french 'on' and german 'man'. English doesn't really have this word.


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

The "hidden" pronoun is third person plural masculine (הם), so in past tense you'd say "איך דיברו עברית" and in future "איך ידברו עברית".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim5602

Oh, thank you very much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emaad97

I dont get it! Is there anyone help me? "Impersonal plural"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnM.Jones

In English we use "you" impersonally often. It means we're not asking you specifically, but generally. Also, we don't clarify if "you" is singular or plural, but other languages require it. In this case, the "you" is implied and not even included in the Hebrew sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shiv294382

. "איך מדברות עברית" why does the feminine form show up as incorrect ? Could someone please explain. Thanks .


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

The sentence uses an impersonal pronoun (similar to "how does one speak Hebrew?"). In such a case, you use plural masculine in Hebrew, without a pronoun.


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

Radagast is correct, but a comment to the curious: in recent years there are a few feminist writers (newspaper columns, social media) who strive to fix the (alleged) male preference of Hebrew; and they would make it a point to write sentences like איך מדברות עברית. Most Hebrew readers would come to a screeching halt when encountering such a sentence. Maybe that's the point.


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

It is not possible to know whether "you speak" in the sentence "How do you speak Hebrew?" represents an impersonal verb, or the "you" is an actual person. Therefore the only logical thing for the Hebrew team to do is accept both answers.

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