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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Learn more Hebrew… with Morfix’s “English Sentence of the Day?”

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Want to improve your Hebrew?

Morfix (my favourite Hebrew dictionary) has this cool feature I noticed not long ago:  English Sentence of the Day.

It’s meant for Israelis learning English, and it teaches one new English sentence every single day.

But!  Since you and I already know English, the site can help us, instead, figure out how to say some of our favourite English things in genuine Hebrew words.

Today’s expression, for example, is “without further ado.”  A very handy thing in either language.

In Hebrew, the site says, this means “ללא דיחוי, מִיָּדִית” (lelo dichui; miyadeet).  The first means “without delay” and the second means “immediately.”  This also tells me, then, that there’s no exact translation.

A few days ago, the expression was “to get under one’s skin.”

This, too, has no exact translation.  Instead, you’d have to say, “לעצבן מישהו, להטריד, להציק” (le’atzbein mishehu, plus a couple of others).  It does also give a literal translation “להיכנס מתחת לעור של מישהו” – “to enter beneath the skin of somebody.” 

Funny how inelegant this sounds, for an expression you might use your whole life in English.

One last example underscores how silly we are in English sometimes, and how wordy we get compared to Israelis.  The expression “bear in mind,” it turns out, translates very simply as “לזכור” (lizkor) – to remember.

An important tip to bear in mind I mean, remember, when striving to avoid verbosity in any language. 

Of course, you can suit yourself, but as a person of my word, sometimes when you’ve got your heart set on something important, like learning Hebrew, the solution, over at Morfix’s English Sentence of the Day, is right under your nosewithout further ado.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


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