Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Israeli Use of English Expressions (Part 2)

I find myself talking a lot about the things that Israelis do that kinda drive me nuts. I talk about them yelling all the time. I talk about them being too proud to get things spell-checked. I talk about them having ridiculous signs and not thinking twice about it. Many things really catch my eyes and ears here.

I don't think I've really written about it before, but here's another little factoid about Israelis and the Hebrew language that might fit into the whole original premise of this blog - having an audience to bug about the things I find so odd in this country. If you know me in person, you know I like to go on and on about these little things.

OK, so here's another little oddity that caught my ear a few nights ago when I was running. Quite a few times now I've been out in the city, minding my own business, probably looking through my phonebook on who to text message, pretty much letting the Hebrew all around me whiz by. Every once in a while, though, my ears will perk up to something I find so out of place. Here's what I heard the other night:

דגכח דגכל זדטאנ נסמבצ לוטאזח נניעאך צל סארקש הערי לפבירף העחלצתץ תכרקזס יכאטון כספומט לדגקגדכלחיד דגכלח. Nevertheless, סתצמבה סבמתס דוטרדגכ דגכדגכ שלח לם יזנססנ דגשדוטק סנדלח זבב'לחיג דחרו'לדלח בהמ רטורח דחידחי יבצמה דגידו דלחעש דח

I think the Israelis that will throw in gratuitous English expressions tend to be younger, more Western-attuned types, but all the same it gives me a big smile each time I hear it. And, if you were wondering, I do hear this all the time. I was just on the bus a few weeks ago when I heard it twice from two different people - within minutes of each other.

דגכח דגכל זדטאנ נסמבצ לוטאזח נניעאך צל סארקש הערי לפבירף העחלצתץ תכרקזס יכאטון כספומט לדגקגדכלחיד דגכלח. What will be will be, סתצמבה הנהבנה מנמג צמננצד דצמנדגנמנסבמתס דוטר סנדלח זבב'לחיג דחרו'לדלח בהמ רטורח דחידחי יבצמה דגידו דלחעש דח

and

דגכח דגכל זדטאנ נסמבצ לוטאזח נניעאך צל סארקש הערי לפבירף העחלצתץ תכרקזס יכאטון כספומט לדגקגדכלחיד דגכלח. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be, סתצמבה סבמתס דוטר סנדלח זבב'לחיג דחרו'לדלח בהמ רטורח דחידחי יבצמה דגידו דלחעש דחכעעינה מניעכיה מהמחיעג אטראטר יכעיע

I suppose it's not so different from an American using the Israeli word aval instead of but, which you will hear a lot in Israeli-American yeshivas, or even the ubiquitous Arabic slang like sababa or yalla. I suppose it's similar, but they're tossing in entire expressions, not just words!

Maybe I should start using some Hebrew expressions in my daily English. My friend Kipp, who just joined the army, said that his commander yelled to the group, "quit throwing [certain male body parts] at me!"  Now that's an expression to use in any language.

9 comments:

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H

I hate it when English is used in Hebrew. I think it's for purposes of showing off, and being "cool."

On the leftist radio, it's a sign of the elitist "maskilim," saying something like:

"I speak the language of Edom in which I believe Israel needs to assimilate. Can you?"

The other expression to look for is "Stop breaking my 'certain male body part.'"

It means, you're really aggravating me.

Benji Lovitt said...

I'd love to write more but yesh li peepee. That one takes the cake.

Danny Brothers said...

I guess I really just get a kick out of any expression using crude words for body parts. I think it's the age.

Danny Brothers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisha said...

My 16yo daughter was here this past year. By the time she was here 3 months she was using a few Hebrew words in her speech no matter what language she was speaking. (We usually speak Spanish at home. We're Californianas.) By the time she was here for 6 months there were just certain phrases that were always in Hebrew. So it started with "sababa" and "beseder" popping up in English and Spanish and moved on to "Ma nishma? Que bien. I'm good, too." or "Es col cach cham today, I think I'm gonna DIE!!"

Oy v'avoy!

melissa qubti said...

hi danny ,shabbat shalom..so listen I discovered your blog a few days ago and I have just been enjoying it sooo much!! Especially that post about the Jazz Flutist!!! and those HILARIOUS badly translated signs!!! I seriously rolled off my chair laughing....I must be ever vigilant now for more signs especially as i live in Nazareth!!!

Danny Brothers said...

I wanted to take pictures of terrible english translations from Arabic that I saw in the Old City the other day... you know, even up the criticism!

QuietusLeo said...

The phenomenon that you are highlighting is called by linguists as "code mixing" i.e. the use of two or more languages in one sentence. It is actually quite common, especially among bi- and multi-linguals.
My aunt's father spoke some 5 languages and would often use all five in one sentence!

Freidenker85 said...

I wonder if anybody noticed the fact that the word "ATM" was somehow injected into the proverbial Hebrew "blah-blah-blah" you used. :->

I'm glad to see there's more Israeli (or native Hebrew) bloggers who blog in English.

Cheers,
Freidenker.