Hebrew Time #15 - Birds
Welcome to Hebrew Time #15! For those of us who are joining now – Hebrew Time is a series of weekly posts about the Hebrew language, Israel, and the Jewish people.
You can see the previous post here.
On a quick, serious note - this Thursday is Holocaust Memorial day. Please do take a few minutes to remember everyone who lost their lives during this sad time.
Today we’re going to do something fun - we’re going to learn bird names! As well as you, our loyal followers, this will hopefully satisfy bird enthusiasts, and possibly even native speakers might learn something new:) All of these birds can be found in Israel. Some are native species, some migrate, and some might have wandered in by accident:) The word for bird is ציפור, plural ציפורים (Tsiporim).
No audio today because it’s not really worth it...some of the more common bird names can be looked up on forvo.
Got your binoculars? Then let’s set out on Mae’s Birdwatching Trip...
אווז - avaz - goose
ברבור - barboor - swan
ברוז - barvaz - duck
תרנגול/ת - tarnegol/et - rooster/chicken. The word for the chicken that you eat is עוף (off). If you say אני אוכל/ת תרנגולת that means you are eating a live chicken. So don’t say that, unless you are really eating a live chicken and felt the urge to tell someone about it in Hebrew.
תרנגול הודו - tarnegol hodoo - turkey. Literally “india rooster”.
Birds of Prey
עקב - akav - buzzard
בז - baz - falcon
דיה - daya - kite
ינשוף - yanshoof - owl
נשר - nesher - vulture
עיט - ayit - eagle
דרור - dror - sparrow
זמיר - zameer - nightingale. This means “a singer” from the word זמר - zemer - tune.
חצוצרן - chatsotsran - finch. This literally means “trumpeter” haha.
נחליאלי - nachlieli - wagtail. This is an unbearably cute name for a very sweet bird. I quite often see a pied wagtail bobbing around my garden, wiggling its tail. You don’t get the pied wagtail in Israel, but you do get some other flavours, like the grey, yellow, white and citrine wagtails.
סלעית - sla’eet - wheatear. From the word סלע - sela - boulder
שלדג - shaldag - kingfisher
בולבול - boolbool - bulbul. Yes, this bird is really called that. I always thought that it was called so because it makes a really unattractive noise, but apparently it comes from the Persian for nightingale, even though it’s not actually related.
דוכיפת - doocheefat - hoopoe. This is a hilarious-looking bird that looks like a piano fell on its head. It also happens to be the national bird of Israel.
יונה - yona - pigeon/dove. This is the bird that brought Noah the olive branch after the flood and is the symbol of peace and stuff. I was very disappointed to learn that the beautiful dove everyone always talked about was the same as the irritating birds that sat outside my window and hooted at me every day at 4 in the morning.
עורב - orev - crow/raven
פיפיון - peepeeyon - pipet. I included this one because it has a funny name:D
קוקיה - kookeeya - cuckoo
שחף - shachaf - gull
אנפה - anafa - heron
חסידה - chasida - stork
And a special mention to…
בז נודד - baz noded - peregrine falcon (literally “migrating falcon”). This is my most favourite bird ever. It’s small (like me!) but it looks super-suave and can reach the highest speed of any creature on earth when diving. So. Cool.
אנפית בקר anafeet bakar - cattle egret. This is my second-favourite bird, only because it looks so stupid:D It’s white and extremely fluffy, looking like it flew straight out of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and spends its time hitchhiking on cows. I can’t help giggling every time I think of or see one.
פשוש - pashosh - graceful prinia. This bird would be referred to in the bird world as an LBJ (Little Brown Job) but I’m especially fond of it because it was my dad’s nickname for me when I was younger, and is often used as a sweet nickname for little kids.
קיכלי סהרון - ring ouzel. I saw one of these once and apparently that’s a big deal or something because they are quite rare and don’t like people.
טווס - tavas - peacock. You don’t get these in Israel at all, I only mention it because when trying to create the alphabet skill for the He/En course, it was the first word we both came up with that started with ט. Needless to say, it was not included:D
Finally, to finish, a childrens’ song about birds in Hebrew:) It’s about all the birds in a town meeting up to form a choir and basically, the bulbuls mess it all up:D See if you can spot the names of some of the birds we’ve learned in the song!
We can't finish without telling you: להתראות! See you later!
That was Hebrew Time #15, thanks for joining us! Hooray!
Be up-to-date with our progress on the Hebrew for English speakers course by checking up our incubator page here!
Until next week!
תודה! What a great idea for a Hebrew Time. With the weather getting better in the UK at the moment I might have to see how many of these I can spot in my own garden :)
Also, to add to your mention of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) I'll just say that tomorrow, Weds 15th, is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen camp. Occasions that put life into perspective.