Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dikduk Lessons

I LOVE ISRAEL! I just can't say that enough. Sorry.

I will be the first to admit- the language of Ivrit is hard. I know, English is worse, with all it's "Yotzei Min HaKlall"'s (exceptions to the rule), but even after years of schooling with excellent teachers, and time spent in the Holy Land being spoken to, and speaking back, in Ivrit- my own personal Ivrit is semi-fluent, but riddled with Dikduk mistakes (grammatical).

I understand Ivrit almost perfectly- oftentimes that gets the person I'm talking to confused, as I understand what they are saying, but have a hard time communicating back to them.

But- the Israelis, contrary to popular belief, are teaching me.

A sweet lady in the neighborhood corrects all my dikduk, and teaches me new words- like Smartut, (rag/towel), Economica (the stuff used to clean floors), and other such ideas.

Every cab driver encourages me to speak in my less than excellent Ivrit, and they correct me, and speak back to me, not like I'm hard of hearing, or in a slower tone, since they realize I understand them.

One time- I went to get a copy of a key made- and I forgot the word for copy- l'shachfel (thanks, Jameel :) )- to make a copy....from the word- Kaful- double.

The two men there figured out what I meant- and one went to do it. The other remarked to the first (in Ivrit) that it seems I don't understand Ivrit so well. My shocked look must have done it, because the first said- nope- she understands everything we're saying. And not only that- her spoken Ivrit is probably better than our spoken English!
I was so impressed, and told them so- that yes, I did understand, and no, I'm not an idiot just because I'm not totally fluent in Ivrit.

But, at least they're being patient, and not looking down their noses at me due to the language barrier.

Thank you, kind Israelis. I hope that one day, I'll be able to talk as fast as you!


Jameel @ The Muqata said...


The right word for copy is "לשכפל" (lishachpel).

The word "להחליף" is to exchange.

Don't worry - you're getting there; just don't give up. A great way to help with your Hebrew is to listen to the radio news every hour.


nmf #7 said...

OOPS! Thanks- didn't even catch my own mistake.

Although- I understand Ivrit- so listening to the radio wouldn't help me speak it better- maybe it might teach me more words...

Thanks for the encouragement- and another example of how Israelis are kind enough to correct my language mistakes!

The Babysitter said...

My grandparents have been taking Ivrit lessons here in America for as long as I can remember. In their classes they would have to write stories in Hebrew, and they always used us, their grandchildren as subject matters, and they would pratice their story with us, and I always remember feelingg so special from it. Now that they've made alyah I'm sure those lessons were helpful, for some reason though they continue with it there, it's called ulpan.

It's actually funny a non Jewish guy in my class has to take a hebrew class and he said he needs help with dikduk, I said I would be willing to try to help him if he showed me an example of what type of help he needs, he never got back to me though.

Anyways, it's very nice that their all helping you learn. I'm sure in no time at all your going to be fluent!

When I was in Israel, for some reason I didn't even try to speak hebrew, I made believe I didn't know it so that everyone spoke in English with me. My aunt had made sure her children spoke English in the house, so I had no problem communicating with my cousins there.

nmf #7 said...

Ulpan is excellent- I haven't taken it yet, but I know people who have.
It's funny though, I try to speak in Ivrit almost all the time, but there will be the rare Israeli who wants to practice English on me- so they'll talk in English, and I'll talk in Ivrit.
More you practice actually speaking, the better you get.

The Babysitter said...

yea, I've heard that's what happens, where the Israeli's want to practice their English while the Americans want to practice their Hebrew.

yea, practice makes progress after all!