Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


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.


Filed under: hebrew, israel, travels

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