Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Come back to me

Veteran olim are aware that with a little bit of luck, you can find Heblish wherever you look.

For instance, not too long ago, I called a certain office - only to discover that they were closed.

But not to worry.

They had voice mail.

With a message in two (2) languages, no less.

And that’s not all.

Because to my delight – but to the detriment of the office’s professional reputation – the employee who recorded the message was not QUITE as proficient in English as s/he may have thought.

In fact, I would classify him/her as one of those Israelis who mistakenly believe that they’re speaking English when they’re actually speaking Heblish instead.

Here’s why:

The Hebrew part of the message came first, and then the English instructed:

“Please leave a message, and we will come back to you.”

And, thus, the nameless employee behind the voice earned his/her 15 minutes of fame as the unwitting neologist who coined the newest Our Shiputzim Heblish-English Dictionary entry:

Come back to you: Hebrew source נחזור אליך. English definition – Get back to you. Sample usage – See above.

Well done, Nameless Employee!



  1. Yaakov once had someone he worked with whose voice mail message in English was "You have reached to Shmulik's phone..." ("latelefon shel...")

  2. Malke - LOL! :-)

    Toby - Thanks!

    Chag samei'ach!

  3. I called an Israeli cousin who told me to leave a message "after the honking." Took me a minute to figure out he mean tziftzuf.

  4. Miriyummy - Awesome! It gives a whole new meaning to "talking on the phone while driving"... :-)

  5. I enjoy your "heblish" posts--have a new one for you. "at so-and-so", e.g., "the book is at me". Translation, I have the book. My girls say this all the time.

  6. Sarah - הספר אצלי - Excellent! :-)
    Shabbat Shalom and choref tov!


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