How’s your Hebrew?
Well, mine isn’t. Mine’s still at the kindergarten-baby level.
Every Shabbos, I challenge myself to plow through the free Hebrew newspaper (my husband sticks with the Jerusalem Post in English).
Before you ask, I don’t know or care what the ideological slant of the paper is. Being politically dumb, I can barely figure this out with newspapers in English, let alone in a foreign language.
I also – in case you care - allow myself to skip the Sports section, just as I would in English. To make up for it, I double up on the “Trivia,” torturing my husband with such translated doozies as, “who captains Manchester United?” “who discovered Australia?” “which actor was in… something something Cats?” (Samuel L. Jackson, in case you’re wondering) and “who… somethinged the… something?”
But it turns out Hebrew is not entirely foreign. The article above is a pretty typical example (if only I had taken a better picture and you could actually see it). In the first paragraph alone, the writer has used the following “Hebrew” words:
- ריסטארט / restart
- אנרגיה / energia (energy)
- טריגר / trigger
- דיאטה / dieta (diet)
These English / Latinate intrusions probably make it harder to learn Hebrew if your first language is something like Amharic, but for me, if I can make the word out, it’s a nice familiar “twinkle” in the middle of a tough paragraph.
That said, it’s all well and good when the English words you’re bringing into the language are nouns,