Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew

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tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Language skills

Since getting off the plane in Tel Aviv, I’ve been trying to write down every new Hebrew word that I learn. The first few were easy; I suspect I had learned them previously. Friday’s words were mostly grocery and housing related. (The main apartment hunting website is unilingual, so I’m translating the heck out of it.)

After Shabbat, I took out my notebook and tried to remember the words I’d learned over the previous 28 hours. I think I remembered most, but maybe not. (Highlights included “breasts,” “penis,” and “oil,” which I think all came up in a proper context… or possibly in the context of Dorff’s teshuvah [pdf].)

I’ve been averaging about 25 words per day, most of which are quite practical and I think are a good foundation. But today’s words? “Shake,” “spray,” “poisonous,” “warning,” “swallowing”… Yes, many I can, and will, use in other contexts. But, wow, it took quite a long time to read through the instructions and warnings on the can on insect spray. Read a word, look it up, write it down, read a word, look it up, write it down… I was really pleased that I recognized the shoresh, root, of some words and could guess their meaning given the context. And I really like the onomatopoeia quality of the word פיצוץ which means explosion (or possibly exploding – I’m not sure of the conjugation, or even the noun versus verb issue).

So until I start a proper ulpan (Hebrew immersion program), I will continue writing down new words, reading over the accumulating list each day for review. I’m also listening to Hebrew lessons on my iPod, though, wow, my accent sucks.

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Filed under: hebrew, israel, travels

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