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49 (Ulpan Diaries | ウルパン日記)

September 15, 2010

My Hebrew verb notebook | ヘブライ語動詞のノート

It’s been a little over two months since I started studying Hebrew at the Ulpan. Now we have reached the level where words sometimes have more than one meaning. Or where there is no exact translation because a word or expression simply does not exist in English or Japanese. Yes, it’s getting a bit complicated around here.

I had to laugh when filling out the translation for the verb kovea (pictured above). First because it just looked funny, my handwriting desperately trying to fit in to the small margin. Second, because a word means both “to fix something on to a wall” and “to make an appointment”? But such is language, it may make no sense whatsoever, but we have to accept it for what it is, don’t we?

I heard a nice story from a friend today. (Miko and Shimi, if you read this, it was so nice to have you two here!) When talking to me about her 9-month old son, she said it usually takes an average of a year and a half to two years before a child can start to speak, and she read somewhere that supposedly during that time they hear a word about 80,000 times before it actually makes it out of their mouth. (She wasn’t too sure about that number but you get the idea.)

That was very inspiring and encouraging to me. It made sense to me too. Certain words simply don’t register in my brain while others stick on the first hearing. But as words get repeated over and over again in class each day, some of the ones I struggled to remember eventually stay. A few people have said to me, “One day you’ll suddenly find yourself able to speak Hebrew.” As discouraged I am now, a little part of me believes in that theory too. New words enter my brain daily whether they stay or not, and hopefully one day all that had accumulated will somehow disentangle themselves and fall in to place and start to move in smooth choreography. (At least that’s how I like to picture how it would be like.)

For now, when I come across a difficult word in class, I’ll encourage myself by thinking about cute babies.



(Miko と Shimi、もしこれを読んでいたら遊びに来てくれてありがとう!)



Much love,

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Saminko permalink
    September 16, 2010 7:07 am

    Hi Sis, ヘブライ語、頑張ってるね〜!(そして小さなスペースにギュウギュウの文字、確かにちょっと笑えたよ 😀 ) 言葉は生活の一部とはいえ、自分自身の一部になるのはそう簡単ではないよね。大昔、私も英語以外を勉強しようと思った時、メロディー付きフレーズを何度も口ずさんで暗記したら Belive it or not, 今でもそれだけは覚えてるよ!意味はちょっとあやふやな記憶だけどね(笑)カオリンも得意のギターを奏でながらヘブライ語の歌、作っちゃえば?! Enjoy!

    • September 16, 2010 7:01 pm

      素晴らしい文章だわ、サミンコ☆ ありがと!
      いまだにアルファベットの名前と順番がいまいちわからないので(文字はとっくの昔に覚えたのだけど)アルファベットの歌から始めようと思います :)

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