Let's take look of a simple dialog: visitors from America arrives to their
relatives' house in Israel. This conversation is full of little words you might
hear all around you among Israelis:
||- Shalom, shalom!
- שלום, שלום!
|Shalom, how are you
||- Shalom, ma shlomkhem?
- שלום! מַה שלוֹמכֶם?
|(We are) Ok.
Eikh hayta ha tisa?
אֵיך הַיתָה הַטִיסָה?
|(It was) totally Ok.
- בסדר גָמוּר.
|Did you fly El-Al?
- טַסְתֶּם אֶל־עַל?
|No, El-Al are too
We flied with American (Airlines) to London,
(Airways) from there.
|- Lo, El-Al hem yekarim
Tasnu American (Airlines) le-London,
u-mi-sham British (Airways).
- לֹא, אל־על הֵם יְקָרִים מִדַּי. טַסנוּ
אַמֵרִיקָן לְלוֹנדוֹן, וּמִשָם בּריטיש.
|Did you take a cab from
||- Lakachtem monit
- לָקַחְתֶּם מוֹנִית מִנַתְבָּ"ג?
|No, Yoni picked us from
the airport and took to his house.
||- Lo, Yoni lakax otanu mi
- לא, יוֹני לָקַח אוֹתָנוּ מנתב"ג אֵלָיו
|That's great. When did
you arrive then? Yesterday?
||- Yofi, yofi. Az matay
- יוֹפי, יוֹפי. אַז מַתַּי הִגַעתֶּם?
|We're already three days
here in Israel.
||- Anaxnu kvar shlosha
yamim ba Aretz.
- אֲנַחְנוּ כּבָר שלוֹשָה יָמִים בָּאָרֶץ.
|Nu, then you are real
||- Nu, az atem kvar
- נוּ, אַז אַתֶּם כְּבָר וַתִּיקִים פֹּה!
is a commonly used abbreviation for the Ben-Gurion Airport, or Nemal
Te`ufa Ben-Gurion: N.T.B.G.
Expressions "בסדר גמור" ,"מה שלומכם"
are very common; you'd better memorize them טוב-טוב :)
?איך היתה הטיסה - In English (at least in
American English) we would probably say "How was your flight?"
In Hebrew it's usually enough to specify the subject, so it's more like "How was
As we already know, Israelis "take" taxi, exactly like Americans. (If you
think about it, you're riding а taxi; "taking" is just an idiomatic
expression, and such expressions don't have to be the same in all languages. In
this case it's the same, which means we're lucky: it's easier for us to learn.
Don't expect it always to be the same though.)
אל-על means "Skywards" or "To the Heights". You have
probably heard of El-Al - Israeli national airlines company, but if you have
not, take a look at Wikipedia.
אותנו, אליו - otanu,
-- For some reason, many textbooks for beginners either ignore proposition
conjugation, or give them in "advanced" lessons. I don't think it's a good
approach. Propositions with suffixes are the very essence of Hebrew, and
avoiding them for a while only means you're postponing your ability to
communicate. You'd better start learning this construct as soon as possible.
אל means to, towards, into.
אליו הביתה means "to his house" or more literally "to his
Conjugation of אֶל
||to you (m. sing.)
||to you (m. pl.)
||to you (f. sing.)
||to you (m. pl.)*
||to them (m. pl.)**
||to them (f. pl.)*,**
*) these forms (feminine plural) are used more and more rarely.
**) classical vocalization is slightly different (אֲלֵיכֶן),
however the vocalization present here reflects the modern pronunciation, which
makes a better difference between
and also makes it easier to remember.
This short dialogue is actually giving us lots of material to discuss.
What about אותנו, and all those verbs like
טסנו, לקחנו... Too much for a single lesson though. I need
a break for today, but I promise: the saga will continue.