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Hebrew Time #1: Helpful phrases for daily talking

Hello everyone !

! שלום לכולם

Shalom lekulam !

As I said last week, I will publish every week a post(or even more) about the Hebrew language, Israel, and the Jewish people (;

So this is the first post (Yayy !! ) and today we'll talk about some basic and helpful phrases in Hebrew (:

Let's begin !

The first word in Hebrew that maybe many of you are familiar with and I've used it in this already post and the previous one is :


Shalom = Hello

The most common question to come after "Hello" will be :

? מה קורה ? / מה נשמע

Ma kore ? / Ma nishma ? = What's up ?

You'll be probably answered by :


Beseder = Fine

Or if this guy doesn't feel that good, he will tell you :

לא טוב

Lo tov = Not good

And he will ask you back :

ואתה ?(for male) / ואת ? (for female)

Ve'ata ?(for male)/ Ve'at ?(for female) = And you ?

Ok, now it's morning, you meet people, the first thing you say is :

! בוקר טוב

Boker tov ! = Good morning !

If it's afternoon you'll say :

! צהריים טובים

Tzohorahim Tovim ! = Good afternoon !

And if it's evening :

! ערב טוב

Erev Tov ! = Good evening !

Or night :

! לילה טוב

Laila Tov ! = Good night !

Someone asks you a question and you've answered positively - you probably said :


Ken = Yes

Or if you've answered negatively :


Lo = No

If someone has helped you, the reaction will be :

! תודה Toda ! = Thank you !

If you helped someone and he thanked you, you'll say :

! אין בעד מה ! / בבקשה

Ein be'ad ma ! / Bevakasha ! = You're welcome ! / Please !

And if you did something that insulted someone, or you want to get someone's attention :


Slicha = Sorry/ Excuse me

You are in a restaurant in Israel and you want to tell the waiter what you want, you'll have to say :

... אני רוצה

Ani rotse(for male) / Ani rotsa(for female) = I want ...

So what do you want to drink or eat ?

תפוח - Tapuach = Apple

תפוז - Tapuz = Orange

מים - Maim = Water

קפה - Kafe = Coffee

תה - Te = Tea

שוקו - Shoko = Chocolate (the drink)

מיץ - Mits = Juice

בשר - Basar = Meat

סלט - Salat = Salad

ספגטי - Spageti = Spaghetti

שוקולד - Shokolad = Chocolate

Note : Meat and cheese together aren't kosher ! :D

You want to call the waiter because he/she looks good (Israeli people are handsome :D ), you'll call :

! מלצר

Meltsar ! = Waiter !

And when you finish the meal, you'll want to pay:

חשבון בבקשה

Heshbon bevakasha = Bill please

If you are standing in a store and want to know how much something costs, you'll need to ask :

? כמה זה עולה

Kama ze ole ? = How much is it ?

You are looking for a hotel in Israel, so the question will be :

? איפה יש בית מלון

Eifo yesh beit malon ? = Where is there a hotel ?

You want to travel in Israel - you'll need trafic :


Monit = Taxi

Or :


Otobus = Bus

Or you'll prefer :


Rakevet = Train

You want to get to the airport and also meet some Israeli pilots (the best of the best ;)) :

שדה תעופה

Sde tehufa = Airport

Israel is a hot country, in the summer it can even be 40 degrees C and more ... so you'll might want to go to :


Yam = Sea

And to the :


Chof = Beach

Or you want to go and watch some movies :


Kolnoa = Cinema

Or you'll prefer some :


Te'atron = Theatre

Ok, we are about to finish, but I can't just end this first Hebrew Time without telling you :

! להתראות

Le'itraot ! = See you later !

This was the first Hebrew Time, next week we'll have another one, I hope you enjoyed and learned a lot !

Support the future Hebrew for English speakers course so we(the future Hebrew team) will work on it !

If you are a Hebrew speaker - contribute to the Hebrew for English speakers course in the Incubator and help us (:


That's it ! Good Night !

! לילה טוב

Laila tov !

For the next post: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6413112

January 6, 2015



Hey! This is pretty cool! :)

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!


I studied Hebrew for a few years when I was very young. I really appreciate the refresher and I hope you make more! Thank you and todah rabah! :D


Fantastic post. Looking forward to more :)


I can actually phonetically read Hebrew with vowels (for prayers, Torah, etc) and I would appreciate it if you included vowels in the Hebrew because I always misread transliterations.


Unfortunately, vowels are a bugger on the computer:) I agree about the transliterations though. Hebrew does actually follow similar kinds of vowel/consonant patterns, its worth trying to learn to read minus the vowels if you can!


Hey there !

I am intended to write a post about the Hebrew vowels.

It is a little bit complicated writing it in the computer but it is possible ...

There are also some guidelines to read without the vowels - these are saved for the actual course (:


It's my understanding and experience that except for prayers and scripture, Hebrew is typically written without the vowel pointing. It is a bit more difficult but much more useful to learn not to depend on them, and instead learn how to infer vowels from context :)


This is awesome thanks!


Laíla tov ! "and" Todá Rabá

Thank you by the vocabulary... I know some Hebrew (just a little). But, I love a lot the language and culture Hebrew !


this is really good (not for me personally-I am already learning Hebrew) I think this will be really useful to people.
(where it gives the pronunciation for bus: 'otobus', because I was reading it quickly I thought it said octopus... )


Haha nice ! (: And thanks for your support !


Haha I did that too!


Thanks for this! Can't wait for an actual course.

Just want to point out that given your context ים must be sea, not see.

I had thought the second person was gendered in Hebrew. Am I wrong, or does ואתה change depending on if you're talking with a man or a woman?


You are right haha It was the tiredness of the night (: Yes, the female form of "and you" it's "ואת" (ve'at).


Ooooooooh! This is SO cool! I'm so eager for the Hebrew for English speakers course to be out! Shalom! Le'itraot ! And, sorry, but as an aside, is it like a rule to give one space before exclamation mark? Just curious. :)


I'm happy that you are eager for the course !

And no .. haha it's just more aesthetic :D


LOL! Aiite then! :D


I ALWAYS WONDER THIS. Because I never do that, ever. But a bunch of Israelis have been doing that and I was wondering, am I doing the punctuation all wrong... ???


thanks this is awesome. i have been trying to learn hebrew but they do not have a course yet. have you considered putting vowels for beginners trying to read.


Yes, I will talk about it in further posts.


anything about bar mitzvahs. that is really hard


I did not see in the weekly incubator update that there is a Hebrew course being made. Is there?


No, there isn't.. That's why I said the future Hebrew team (:


אחלה יוזמה! כדאי אבל שתעשה היכרות עם האלפבית גם כן, לא?


ברור ... זה יהיה בפוסטים בהמשך (:


אם אתה רוצה עזרה או לשתף פעולה בפוסטים האלו (במיוחד עם החלקים באנגלית:) אני מוכנה לעזור!


נהיה בקשר ! (:


Go potential future Team Hebrew:):):)


Awesome post :) Looking forward to seeing more coming :) Thanks!


Thanks for your support !


Is there a difference between 'ma kore?' and 'ma nishma?' ? Also, how is 'r' pronounced? Is it rolled or a tap? Toda :)


Yes - "ma kore" is literally "what's happening?" and ma nishma is literally "what is being heard?". The first one is more informal - like "what's up?" vs. "How are you?" The "r" is right at the back of the throat, not rolled with the tongue. Kind of like you'd make a "ch" sound (in Bach) but more....vocal (difficult to explain as it's my first language and I just do it naturally...:)


You're mainly right, but there is no significant formality difference between the two. The formal way to ask it is probably "Ma slhomcha/shlomech?" (מה שלומך?). And about the /r/ sound, it's similar to German. (Would you like to hear some more about the history of Hebrew /r/?)


I really like מה שלומך because I realised it literally means "how is your peace?" I just think that's a really lovely way to ask how somebody is.

Can anyone tell me the literal meaning of להיתראות (which I hope between memory and autocorrect I spelled correctly): I understand it is a little like au revoir, auf Wiedersehen or до свидания, and ל is like "to" I think? But I've yet to find out what the hitraot bit means literally...

תודה רבה ,להיתראות !


The root word is ראה which means "to see". The ה and ת turn it into לשון התפעל, that is, it is done from an outside force. So, התראות would mean, "be seen". The ל, means "to" (it can also mean "for") making it "to be seen." Which would be equivalent to the English "I'll be seeing you."

I don't know Ivrit that well, but in Hebrew, the י should not be there.


Whoops! Yes, stray yod, thank you for correcting me.

Thank you! I find Hebrew equally mind ending and fascinating, it's really helpful to have it taken apart like this. תודה רבה :D


להתראות is exactly like "au revoir", but in Hebrew of course... The "infinitive" form of most verbs starts with ל such as לראות (to see), לאכול (to eat) etc. להתראות means "to see each other". You can also play with it a little bit and say נתראה - "We will see each other" (it can also be a question). Hope I helped you with that :)


Yes, sure, I would like to hear about the history of the Hebrew /r/.

I heard the Hebrew 'r' sound was rolled before Jews from the diaspora moved to Israel, then different accents merged to make a more German like 'r' sound. Is that correct?


That's what I thought. AmirLFC, I'd love to learn!


You're mainly right. 2000 years ago Hebrew used to be pronounced very similarly to modern Arabic (the /r/ sound was a "tap", there was no /v/ sound etc.). Throughout the years, Jews in the diaspora didn't speak any Hebrew as their first language (most of them spoke no Hebrew whatsoever). When Jews started to move back to Israel and the language was revived, most of them were from European origin and spoke Yiddish. Therefore the Yiddish /r/ is used in modern pronunciation. I'm quite certain there is much information about that topic for further reading :)


2000 years ago there was more than one dialect. People lived in different countries, and even in certain parts of Israel, some made no difference between the ayin (guttural) and aleph (no sound of its own.) The idea of there not being a 'v' sound is absurd, as the veith is listed as a letter made with the teeth.

Jews have always spoken Hebrew, but either limited it to prayers, or mixed in it with other languages. However, these conversations were rarely written, and as such, we have basically none verbatim.

Today, Ivrit is a revision of Hebrew (officially, it is Ivri Chodosh, New Hebrew, though generally called Modern Hebrew.) The rules were changed in this new version, and classic Hebrew sounds archaic to an native Israeli. The pronunciation of the letters in Ivrit follows Sephardic rules, which differs from Ashkenazi pronunciation, which is more prevalent in the US.


Toda , I love them , I hoping to hear in duo two voices . As I can learn to speak . Toda

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