Hebrew For Dummies
The ancient language of Hebrew is still spoken today and if you want to speak it, you need to know common greetings, basic questions, and the Hebrew alphabet. A Jewish blessing in Hebrew shows the language in action.
How to Ask Questions in Hebrew
To master Hebrew — or any language — you need to be able to ask questions. The following table lists the common question words and a few common questions that can come in useful if you’re in a Hebrew-speaking community:
|Question||Hebrew (pronunciation)||Question||Hebrew (pronunciation)|
|Who||Mi (mee)||How||Eich (ech)|
|What||Mah (mah)||How much does it cost?||Kamah Zeh Oleh? (kah-mah zeh oh-leh)|
|When||Matai (mah-tye)||Where are the restrooms?||Eifo HaSherutim? (ay-foh hah-sheh-roo-teem)|
|Where||Eifo (ay-foh)||What's the time?||Mah HaSha’ah? (mah hah-shah-ah)|
|Why||Lamah (lah-mah)||What happened?||Mah Karah? (mah kah-rah)|
Common Greetings and Phrases in Hebrew
Being able to greet people in Hebrew and say simple phrases helps you feel comfortable in the language and leads to conversations through which you can further expand your Hebrew proficiency. The following table offers basic words and phrases used when meeting and greeting people:
|Word/Phrase||Hebrew (pronunciation)||Word/Phrase||Hebrew (pronunciation)||Word/Phrase||Hebrew (pronunciation)|
|good morning||Boker Tov (boh-kehr tohv)||hello, good-bye, peace||Shalom (shah-lohm)||What’s your name? (MS)||Eich Korim Lecha? (eich koh-reem leh-chah)|
|good afternoon)||Tzohorayim Tovim (tzoh-hoh-rah-yeem toh-veem)||please and you’re welcome||Bevakasha (beh-vah-kah-shah)||What’s your name? (FS)||Eich Korim Lach? (eich koh-reem lach)|
|good night||Lilah Tov (lye-lah tohv)||excuse me||Slicha (slee-chah)||How are you? (MS)||Mah Shlomcha? (mah shlohm-chah)|
|good Sabbath||Shabbat Shalom (shah-baht shah-lohm)||thanks||Todah (toh-dah)||How are you? (FS)||Mah Shlomech?(mah shloh-mech)|
|a good week||Shavua Tov (shah-voo-ah tohv)||see you soon||Lehitraot (leh-heet-rah-oht)|
The Hebrew Alphabet
The Hebrew alphabet is comprised of 24 letters and a point system that denotes vowel sounds because the alphabet itself has no vowels. The following table lists the letters and their sounds followed by the points and which vowel sound each represents.
A Basic Blessing in Hebrew
You can use this great all-purpose Jewish blessing in Hebrew any time you experience something new (such as eating the first fruit of the season), or experience something wonderful — a wedding, a new job, a new contract, or whatever).
Hebrew: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam, Sh’hecheyanu, V’Kiyemanu, V’Higianu LaZman HaZeh.
Pronunciation: bah-rooch ah-tah ah-doh-noye eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lehch hah-oh-lahm, sheh-cheh-hee-yah-noo veh-kee-yah-mah-noo veh-hee-gee-ah-noo lahz-mahn hah-zeh.
Translation: Praised are You, the Eternal One our God, Ruler of the Cosmos, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this moment.