"בלי מכשפות העולם היה טוב יותר."
Translation:Without witches the world would have been better.
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Well, both translations are possible, as the irrealis mood is formed with the perfect of to be plus the participle of the verb, like אֲנִי הָיִ֫יתִי עוֹשֶׂה I would have done, but you do not say something like אֲנִי הָיִ֫יתִי הוֹוֶה I would have been, but simplify it to אֲנִי הָיִ֫יתִי.
Well, Hebrew has no formal ways to make the difference between a hypothetical condition of the present or the past, so its translation depends entirely on context. If the antecedent is יֵשׁ מְכַשְּׁפוֹת there are witches, you understand without them the world would be better, if it is הָיוּ מְכַשְּׁפוֹת there were witches, it is rather without them the world would have been better.
Actually there are 2 different words with 2 different meanings, one with a vowel after sh and one without. The plural of מכשפה has a vowel. Without the vowel it's the verb "bewitch" present tense plural feminine.
הַמְּכַשֵּׁפוֹת מְכַשְּׁפוֹת = Hamekhashefót mekhashfót = The witches bewitch.
You are right about the thermometers.
i’m very grateful for the Latin transliterations you provided. Niqud are not so good as transliterations because the rules governing whether or not a shva is voiced are complicated.
I especially appreciate the picture you included, because that writing on it gives weight to your assertion that the ש has an eh sound rather than no vowel.