Difference between revisions of "Hebrew phrasebook"
Revision as of 09:17, 29 January 2013
Modern Hebrew is spoken as a daily language in Israel and in parts of the Palestinian Territories. Biblical Hebrew is used as a religious language by Jews worldwide. It is written with a different alphabet than European languages, and is written from right to left.
The Hebrew alphabet consists entirely of consonants (an abjad), though some can function as vowels. Vowels are indicated with a system of dots and dashes next to the letters, but these are normally omitted except in Bibles and children's books. It is common for words, especially foreign words, to be spelled in more than one way; the Abu-l`afia Synagogue has five different spellings of its name on its signs.
The stress is usually on the last syllable; most of the exceptions are segol-ates (words in which segol, the /e/-sound), such as elef "thousand". Some words have a diphthong "ua" or "ia" which is one syllable but sounds like two, like English "oil". This is called patah gnuva "stolen /a/-sound" and occurs in שבוע shavua[`] "week", which is stressed on the -u-.
In conversational Hebrew, only three letters (בכפ) are pronounced differently when they contain a dot in the center called a dagesh.
Five letters (מנצפכ) have a different form at the end of a word (םןץףך, respectively). These are named by adding סופית (sofit - so-FEET) "final" to the name of the letter, e.g. נון סופית (nun sofit - noon so-feet)
or silent (sometimes used as the letter a when rendering English in Hebrew)
. Some people pronounce it as the Arabic ح (IPA: /ħ/)
and sometimes silent. Some people pronounce it as a constriction of the throat as in the Arabic ع (IPA: /ʕ/)
. Some pronounce it rolled as in Spanish burro (IPA: [r])
, or with a left-hand dot like see
Adding an apostrophe (geresh) to some letters may change their sounds.
Hebrew verbs conjugate according to the gender of the sentence's subject: different verb forms must thus be used when referring to men and women. These have been noted below when appropriate.
Pronouns (כינויי גוף kinuye guf)
Asking Questions (שאלות she'elot)
Nominal Numbers (מספרים misparim)
Hebrew has no true neuter. As such, numbers must agree with the subject in gender. When not describing a subject, the feminine is used (מספר סתמי).
Time (זמן zman)
Days of the week (ימי השבוע yame hashavua[`])
Except for Shabbat, these are ordinal numbers. But both these and the names of the first 6 letters in the Hebrew Alfa-Beit are used.
Months (חודשים hodashim)
In everyday life, most Israelis use the Gregorian Calendar. The month names pronunciation resembles Central-European (e.g. German) pronunciation.
For holidays and events, Israeli Jews and Jews worldwide use a lunisolar calendar, in which the month begins at the new moon and a thirteenth month is added every few years. The months start with Tishrei (Sept.-Oct.) and run through Elul (August-September); thus Elul 5760 is followed by Tishrei 5761. "Aviv," the word for "spring," is sometimes substituted for "Nisan" and is also the name of a stage that the growth of barley reaches at that time.
Duration (משך meshekh)
Seasons (עונות `onot)
Colors (צבעים tsva`im)
Transportation (תחבורה tahburah)
Bus and train (אוטובוס ורכבת otobus verakevet)
Directions (כיוונים kivunim)
Taxi (מונית monit)
In Israel, many restaurants and eating places are kosher meaning that they observe the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut. For a restaurant to be officially kosher and have a Kosher Certificate, in addition to serving only correctly prepared kosher food, it must also not open on the Shabbat - from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday.
In many places in Israel such as Tel Aviv, there are non-kosher restaurants that will open on Shabbat and will serve non-kosher food (e.g. the restaurant serves both meat and milk dishes). Comparatively few places serve non-kosher food items like pork.
In some religious villages and small towns there are very few if any places that open on Shabbat.