Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Post: Stop and go

Hey, kids!

Listen up.

If you stay in school and practice your Heblish, you, too, can end up working for the Israel Railway Authority.

Guest blogger Malke has the scoop:

Heblish - Israel Railway Authority Style

A Guest Post by Malke

Usually, I take the 7:43 AM train to Tel Aviv, which is an express, or as the intercom proclaims in both Hebrew and English:

"Harakevet hina rakevet mehira l'Tel Aviv - This train is an express train to Tel Aviv."

Yesterday, though, I took the local, or as Rakevet Yisrael (Israel Railways) informed me:

"Harakevet hina rakevet parvarit l'Kfar Saba - This train is a stopping train to Kfar Saba."

Now mind you, this wasn't some young Israeli guy picking up the mike and talking. This was the official, pre-recorded announcement of the Rail Authority…

Thanks, Malke, and I’m glad to hear that yesterday’s commute was less stressful than usual. I mean, it must have been nice not to have to jump out of a moving train, for a change…



  1. well you can't really say it's a suburban train... which is the closest translation...

  2. I'm confused. Are you saying his Hebrew is incorrect?

    Parvarit does mean suburban- meaning, it makes stops in the suburbs of Tel Aviv (like Kfar Saba). It doesn't mean "stopping".

  3. The Hebrew was fine, it was the English that was the problem. It is true that "parvarit" literally means "suburban" but in this context, it simply means "local" as opposed to "express", i.e. it stops at the various suburban stations.

  4. Ok, it wasn't clear that the announcer speaks in Hebrew and English. I thought you were translating for us.

    Got it now. Yes, that is an odd translation.

  5. As the self-proclaimed head of the Academia LaLashon HaHeblish, I'm going to have to weigh in here.

    You see, I'm not really sure that "stopping" qualifies as Heblish. I mean, if they had used LeahGG's suggestion ("suburban train") THAT would definitely be Heblish. After all, it's a literal - albeit incorrect - translation of parvarit. But one has to wonder: How in the world did they get to "stopping"?!

    Your thoughts?

  6. Interesting; I would never think that the Hebrew of "local" is parvarit, but I can understand the thinking behind it. Since they call the express 'mehira,' in that vein they would have to call the local 'itit,' or 'slow!'

    You should offer to correct their vernacular English to say "local" instead of "stopping."

    Think they'd listen?

    (btw, would you blogroll me? I will reciprocate, of course.)

  7. Lady-Light - Think they'd listen?
    ROTFL! :-)

    I'm hoping they'll change the announcement to: "As featured on the Our Shiputzim blog, this is a stopping train..."


Feel free to leave a comment.