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Lesson 4 A

Nationality and Language


Jonathan: shalom uvruchim haba-im- Hello and welcome to www.LearnHebrewPod.com

Welcome to lesson four of the first conversational Hebrew course by podcasts. My name
is Jonathan and I am your host for this program. For the last three years I have been
teaching Hebrew in New York and New Jersey and I am excited to share my knowledge
and technique with you, on this podcast program. As always, I would like to mention that
aside from the use of the Podcasts we have other interactive & beneficial techniques
provided on our web site. Please check them at www.LearnHebrewPod.com and don’t
forget to write us with some feedback, opinions stories of your personal experience and
suggestions you may have for future lessons.

We welcome you to join us through the journey of acquiring this amazing and special
language.

Let us start our fourth lesson. As on the previous ones, I will be assisted by my friends and
colleagues Liat and Eran. shalom Eran, ma shlomcha?

Eran: me-zzu-yan! mezzu-yan meaning excellent, remember?


ma shlomcha, Yonatan?

Jonathan: nehedar, toda! Liat, ma shlomech?

Liat: lo ra bich-lal, meaning… not bad at all! And very happy to be here again!

Jonathan: toda Liat ve Eran. Today we will have a very rich, interesting and important
dialogue. We will learn the Hebrew words for different nationalities and languages. And
also how to ask a question in Hebrew.

Eran: nachon, Yonatan. na-chon - that’s right - nachon.

Jonathan: Okay. So let’s start as usual by listening to the dialogue twice. The first time,
just in Hebrew:

Liat: Eran, a-ta is-ra-e-li? ?‫ אתה ישראלי‬,‫ערן‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: ken, a-ni is-ra-e-li. .‫ אני ישראלי‬,‫כן‬ :‫ערן‬


at is-ra-e-lit? ?‫את ישראלית‬

Liat: lo. a-ni zzar-fa-ti-ya. .‫ אני צרפתיה‬.‫לא‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: at me-da-be-ret zzar-fa-tit? ?‫את מדברת צרפתית‬ :‫ערן‬

Liat: ken. .‫כן‬ :‫ליאת‬


a-ni me-da-be-ret zzar-fa-tit ve-iv-rit. .‫אני מדברת צרפתית ועברית‬
ve-a-ta? ?‫ואתה‬

Eran: a-ni me-da-ber iv-rit ve-ang-lit. .‫אני מדבר עברית ואנגלית‬ :‫ערן‬
Jonathan: toda Liat ve Eran. Let us listen to the dialogue once more with the English
translation of the sentences:

Liat: Eran, a-ta is-ra-e-li? Eran, are you Israeli? ?‫ אתה ישראלי‬,‫ערן‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: Ken, a-ni is-ra-e-li. Yes, I am Israeli. .‫ אני ישראלי‬,‫כן‬ :‫ערן‬


at is-ra-e-lit? Are you Israeli? ?‫את ישראלית‬

Liat: lo. a-ni zzar-fa-ti-ya. No. I am French. .‫ אני צרפתיה‬.‫לא‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: at me-da-be-ret Do you speak ‫את מדברת‬ :‫ערן‬


zza-rfa-tit? French? ?‫צרפתית‬

Liat: ken. a-ni me-da-be-ret Yes. I speak French ‫ אני מדברת‬.‫כן‬ :‫ליאת‬
zzar-fa-tit ve-iv-rit. and Hebrew. .‫צרפתית ועברית‬
ve-a-ta? And you? ?‫ואתה‬

Eran: a-ni me-da-ber iv-rit I speak Hebrew ‫אני מדבר עברית‬ :‫ערן‬
ve-ang-lit. and English. .‫ואנגלית‬

Jonathan: Let’s listen to the dialogue once more, at a slower pace:

Liat: Eran, ata isra-eli? Eran, are you Israeli? ?‫ אתה ישראלי‬,‫ערן‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: Ken, ani isra-eli. Yes, I am Israeli. Are you ‫ את‬.‫ אני ישראלי‬,‫כן‬ :‫ערן‬
at isra-elit? Israeli? ?‫ישראלית‬

Liat: lo. ani zzarfati-ya No. I am French. .‫ אני צרפתיה‬.‫לא‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: at medaberet Do you speak French? ‫את מדברת‬ :‫ערן‬


zzarfatit? ?‫צרפתית‬

Liat: ken. ani medaberet Yes. I speak ‫ אני מדברת‬.‫כן‬ :‫ליאת‬


zzarfatit ve-ivrit. French and Hebrew. .‫צרפתית ועברית‬
ve-ata? And you? ?‫ואתה‬

Eran: ani medaber ivrit I speak Hebrew ‫אני מדבר עברית‬ :‫ערן‬
ve-anglit. and English. .‫ואנגלית‬
Jonathan: toda Liat ve Eran. Conversations such as this is are handy, as Israel has many
visitors from around the world. Now let’s review the new words individually:

a-ni I / I am

a-ta You / You are (When talking to a male)

at You / You are (When talking to a female)

me-da-ber Speak (When referring to a male)

me-da-be-ret Speak (When referring to a female)

ken Yes

lo No

is-ra-e-li Israeli (When referring to a male)

is-ra-e-lit Israeli (When referring to a female)

zzar-fa-ti French, as in He is French (When referring to a male)

zzar-fa-ti-ya French, as in She is French (When referring to a female)

iv-rit The Hebrew language

zzar-fa-tit The French language

an-glit The English language

Jonathan: Let’s go back for a second to review things we studied in lesson #3.
As we have learned on that lesson, in Modern Hebrew we do not use the to be verb.
Instead of saying I am a student we literally just say I a student.
The proper translation ani student into English, uses of course the to be verb, so it is
I am a student.
In today’s dialogue we have the same thing!
When saying ani isra-eli Eran is saying I am Israeli.
Liat says ani zzarfati-ya meaning I am French.
The same goes for other pronouns:
When talking to a male, ata is you or you are – ata isra-eli - you are Israeli.
When talking to a female, at is you or you are – at isra-elit - you are Israeli.
Eran, would you please repeat the masculine form?
Eran: ani isra-eli - I am Israeli.
ata isra-eli – You are Israeli.

Jonathan: And Liat, would you please repeat the feminine form?

Liat: ani isra-elit – I am Israeli.


at isra-elit – You are Israeli.

Jonathan: The fact that we don’t use the to be verb in Hebrew, will also affect the way we
ask a question in Hebrew.
In English, we say:
You are Israeli or you are French.

When asking a question, we just replace the order of the to be verb with the pronoun:

Are you Israeli?, Are you French?

Listen to the way Liat tells Eran you are Israeli, and then, how would she ask him are you
Israeli?

Liat: ata isra-eli!


ata isra-eli?

Jonathan: Exactly! They are the same! The only difference is the intonation of the voice
which is used when asking a question.

ata isra-eli!
ata isra-eli?
Now Eran, please tell Liat you are Israeli, then please ask her are you Israeli?

Eran: at isra-elit!
at isra-elit?

Jonathan: Let’s do the same by using another nationality. Let’s say French. French in
Hebrew is zzarfati when talking to a male and zzarfati-ya when talking to a female.

Liat: ata zzarfati!


ata zzarfati ?

Eran: at zzarfati-ya!
at zzarfati-ya?
Jonathan: Good! Now let’s use another word from the dialogue, and combine it with what
we’ve just learned. When we went through our new vocabulary, we learned that

medaber is speak for a male.


medaberet is speak for a female.
Let’s use this verb for making a statement or asking a question:

Eran: Liat, you speak Hebrew! - Liat, at medaberet ivrit!

Liat, do you speak Hebrew? - Liat, at medaberet ivrit?


at medaberet ivrit! , at medaberet ivrit?

Liat:Eran, you speak English! Eran, ata medaber anglit!

Eran, do you speak English? Eran, ata medaber anglit?


ata medaber anglit! , ata medaber anglit?

Jonathan: toda Eran ve Liat. That was very useful because I just learned something new!
Not just that in Hebrew we don’t use the to be verb, we actually don’t use the to do verb
as well. That is to say: no helping verbs at all!

Do you speak Hebrew? will be said exactly like in English, we just need to remember to
remove the word do, and translating it literally as you speak Hebrew? - ata medaber ivrit?
or when asking a woman, you speak French? - at medaberet zzarfatit?

Let’s go back to our dialogue and listen to it once more, with the translation:

Liat: Eran, ata isra-eli? Eran, are you Israeli? ?‫ אתה ישראלי‬,‫ערן‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: ken, ani isra-eli. Yes, I am Israeli. .‫ אני ישראלי‬,‫כן‬ :‫ערן‬


at israelit? Are you Israeli? ?‫את ישראלית‬

Liat: lo. ani zzarfati-ya. No. I am French. .‫ אני צרפתיה‬.‫לא‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: at medaberet Do you speak ‫את מדברת‬ :‫ערן‬


zzarfatit? French? ?‫צרפתית‬

Liat: ken. ani medaberet Yes. I speak ‫ אני מדברת‬.‫כן‬ :‫ליאת‬


zzarfatit ve-ivrit. French and Hebrew. .‫צרפתית ועברית‬
ve-ata? And you? ?‫ואתה‬

Eran: ani medaber ivrit I speak Hebrew ‫אני מדבר עברית‬ :‫ערן‬
ve-anglit. and English. .‫ואנגלית‬
Jonathan: And now, let’s go back to our routine training with Eran and Liat. They will read
each sentence of the dialogue twice, giving you enough time to repeat it:

Liat: Eran, ata isra-eli? Eran, are you Israeli? ?‫ אתה ישראלי‬,‫ערן‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: ken, ani isra-eli. Yes. I am Israeli. .‫ אני ישראלי‬.‫כן‬ :‫ערן‬


at isra-elit? Are you Israeli? ?‫את ישראלית‬

Liat: lo. ani zzarfatiya. No. I am French. .‫ אני צרפתיה‬.‫לא‬ :‫ליאת‬

Eran: at medaberet Do you speak ‫את מדברת‬ :‫ערן‬


zzarfatit? French? ?‫צרפתית‬

Liat: ken. ani medaberet Yes. I speak ‫ אני מדברת‬.‫כן‬ :‫ליאת‬


zzarfatit ve-ivrit. French and Hebrew. .‫צרפתית ועברית‬
ve-ata? And you? ?‫ואתה‬

Eran: ani medaber ivrit I speak Hebrew ‫אני מדבר עברית‬ :‫ערן‬
ve-anglit. and English. .‫ואנגלית‬

Jonathan: toda Liat ve Eran, ve… toda la-chem studentim ye-ka-rim! - thank you dear
students! When you feel you are familiar with the vocabulary and grammar taught on
this lesson, please listen to audio lesson 4-B. There you will find more nationality and
language vocabulary as well as additional & useful grammar. All of that on our website:
www.LearnHebrewPod.com

le-hitra-ot. yom nifla!

Eran and Liat: shalom, le-hitra-ot!!