According to the bylaws of the powerful (yet, admittedly, nonexistent) National Anglo Bloggers Union (slogan: “taking over the country, one Heblish blog post at a time”), Anglo bloggers must - at least once during their blogging careers – write about English words that have crept into Hebrew and are now among the hardest words for non-native Hebrew speakers to understand.
Personally, I fulfilled my blogging contractual obligations over three and a half years ago with my magical post.
Nevertheless, with your indulgence, I’d like to revisit this topic and examine the specific issue of formerly-English words that seem to have acquired a slightly different meaning or connotation when they migrated over to Hebrew.
Of course, in and of itself, this isn’t really a big deal.
That is, except when Israelis try to speak English and insist on using one of the aforementioned, er, evolved words… but with its new, Hebrew connotation.
Which, needless to say, can – and often does! – lead to
some a great deal of confusion.
I mean, consider the following examples:
1) סימפטי/סימפתי (sim-PA-ti) (both spellings are used) – According to some of my favorite translation software, this word is the Hebrew equivalent of “sympathetic.” However, any good dictionary will tell you that the actual definition is “pleasant or likeable”…
2) מייל (mail) – Oddly enough, in Hebrew, mail refers only to email. (The non-electronic variety is דואר – do’ar.)
3) קליפ (cleep) – It may look like “clip.” It may sound like “clip.” But, as it turns out, it isn’t [necessarily] “clip.” For instance, the video in this post is referred to as a “cleep,” even though it’s a complete video…
4) מורל (moh-RRRAHL) – This word obviously comes from the English word “morale.” But in Hebrew, it means a cheer or cheering – as in the loud shrieks and shrill cries that characterize the annual Chodesh Irgun performances and are the bane of Israeli parents’ existence…
Can you think of any other examples?