Whenever you visit another country where the spoken language is not the same as yours, it is always handy to know a few phrases in advance. Not only can it make the visit more enjoyable, it can also make all the difference to yourself and others in emergency situations.
If you visit Israel and stay in one of the major cities (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv), you will likely be able to find someone who can speak English on some level. Nevertheless, relying on this alone and not leaving ‘tourist’ zones means you would be missing out on experiencing the full cultural and historical experience this ancient land has to offer.
Just a few handy Hebrew phrases would allow you to easily order a meal, for example, rather than the frantic hand-pointing, exaggerated-gesturing and obligatory-raising-and-slowing-of-your-speech – the universal custom of trying to converse in a language you don’t know..
You also have to be aware that there are 2 ways of reading Hebrew. There’s Hebrew in its original form (written in Ashuri alphabet script form) and the Anglicized version (where the words are written with the Latin alphabet and sometimes referred to as Heblish). It is a good idea to learn important Hebrew phrases in both forms, as signs will be posted in original Hebrew, but the Heblish Hebrew makes pronouncing the words easier (as you can ‘sound’ the words out).
Being able to greet someone or say “please” and “thank you” can have a significant impact on how people interact and react to you:
|How are you? (when asking a male)||Ma shlomcha||מה שלומך?|
|How are you? (when asking a female)||Ma shlomech||מה שלומך?|
|Fine thanks and you?||Tov, toda. veata? / atem?||טוב, תודה. ואתה / אתם?|
|What is your name?||Ma shimkha||מה שמך?|
|My name is……..||Shmi ……||שמי……|
|Where are you from? (when asking a male)||Meayfo ata?||מאיפה אתה?|
|Where are you from? (when asking a female)||Meayfo at?||מאיפה את?|
|Good morning||Boker tov||בוקר טוב|
|Good night||Laila tov||לילה טוב|
Being able to ask basic questions or explain to someone that you don’t understand him could prevent problems and awkward situations:
|I don’t understand (to a male)||Ani loh mevin||אני לא מבין|
|I don’t understand (to a female)||Ani loh mevinah||אני לא מבינה|
|Please speak more slowly||Efshar ledaber yoter le-at?||אפשׁר לדבּר יותר לאט?|
|Please write it down for me||Efshar likhtov li et ze?||אפשר לכתוב לי את זה?|
|Do you speak Hebrew? (to a male)||Atah medaber ivrit?)||אתה מדבר עברית?|
|Do you speak Hebrew? (to a female)||At medaberet ivrit?||את מדברת עברית?|
|How do you say in Hebrew?||Eych omrim be ivrit ?||איך אומרים בעברית?|
|How much is this?||Kama ze ole?||כמה זה עולה?|
|Where is the toilet?||Eifo ha’sheirutim?||איפה השרותים?|
|Can I have….?||Afshar lekabel…?||אפשר לקבל…?|
|Where is the….?||Eifo ha…?||איפה ה…?|
Being in a place where you don’t speak the native language when something goes wrong can be a scary experience. Just knowing a few helpful phrases could be extremely helpful and even save a life!
|Call the police!||Haz-iku mishtarah!||הזעיקו משטרה!|
|Call an ambulance!||Haz-iku ambulans||תתקשר לאמבולנס !|
|I need a doctor||Ani tzarich rofe||אני צריך רופא|
|I need to go to hospital||Any tzarich lalechet le beit haholim||אני צריך ללכת לבית החולים|
|I have lost……||Ibadeti et…||איבדתי את..|
We hope you enjoyed our Hebrew Phrases article!
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