Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Swirling Thoughts #190 - who needs Hebrew when there are English names and descriptive pictures?

So we’ve begun the second round of ulpan. I’ve been promoted to Level Four where, to my surprise, we have left behind the soap opera of Motti, Haggai, and Yifat (*SPOILER ALERT* Haggai and Yifat are to be married after just two months of dating and with no plans for supporting themselves although Haggai has landed a job as a waiter in Motti’s brother’s new restaurant and Yifat is still deciding between a course of study in environmentalism and music…)

Apparently, Level Four is sophisticated ulpan. We discuss values such as freedom and social responsibility. We discuss recycling and do-not-resuscitate orders. And we discuss it all really fast, in Hebrew!

What I’ve learned so far, aside from how to pontificate in Hebrew, is what I’ve always known – the Hebrew language mirrors the Israeli people. It is direct.
When there is a choice to be made, you will always be notified.

There’s no such thing as someone offering you a new car and you accepting the new car because you didn’t realize that after the new car offer, they were planning to offer you a trip around the world as a second choice. In the Hebrew it is presented as follows:

Would you like OR a new car (oooh! Something else is coming!) OR a trip around the world?

Then there’s the YES/NO question. Never, in Hebrew, will you be asked a YES/NO question and mistake it for anything deeper since the question is phrased basically as such:

Yes/No do you think the thief was justified?

Finally there’s the absence of ‘would’. In Hebrew, if you ‘would’ do something, then you will just do it. It doesn’t get more direct than that.

How a 5 year old processes the world – a peek inside:
I told Rosie she gives me so much joy.
What is joy?
Joy is when your heart is filled with happiness!
What is it called again?

Last night we had the excitement of a broken down car (insert saga of car breaking down with husband in America and 5 children in tow *here*).

I mentioned to the kids that I would tremp to Elad (our mechanic) to pick up the car after ulpan this morning.

By 11:30 I was back in the car, driving Rosie to a doctor’s appointment. She looked at me and casually asked,
Did you walk all the way to Eilat?
For the car.
To Elad! The car was by Elad! The man that fixes the car!
Then she shifted gears.
Is it fun being a mommy?
So much fun!
Because of the…joy?
Yes! Because of the joy!

Some other things that gave me joy and raised the sophistication level of my Hebrew these last couple of days:

I wasn't sure what this was. Then I turned the package over.

This next product was exactly next to the SmellX. If you had to guess, wouldn't you think it was another bad-breath-fighter?

Not even close. But can u find the little snail?
Somebody will have to please explain this one to me. Yes, we have a significant amount of Sri Lankans in Israel on work visas. But are we marketing a flavor of Nestea to them? No, it cannot be that. Does this Nestea TASTE like Sri Lanka? WHAT is Sri Lanka supposed to taste like? I suppose, if all goes well in ulpan, I'll be able to explain it myself. Some day.

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