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Lesson Transcript


Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com, Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 1 - Saying Hello in Hebrew. I'm your host, Shira.
Amir: Shalom, Ani Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to greet people in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at the office.
Shira: It’s between two colleagues who work together daily.
Amir: Although this is an informal conversation, the same conversation could be used in a formal setting as well.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Female: שלום.
Male: שלום.
Female: מה שלומך?
(Ma Shlom’ħa?)
Male: בסדר, תודה.
(Beseder, todah.)
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation one more time slowly.
Female: שלום.
Male: שלום.
Female: מה שלומך?
(Ma Shlom’ħa?)
Male: בסדר, תודה.
(Beseder, todah.)
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Female: שלום.
Shira: Hello.
Male: שלום.
Shira: Hello.
Female: מה שלומך?
(Ma Shlom’ħa?)
Shira: How are you?
Male: בסדר, תודה.
(Beseder, todah.)
Shira: Fine, thanks.
Amir: So, what cultural gem are we sharing with our listeners in this lesson?
Shira: I was thinking about office friendships.
Amir: The office can be a great place to make friends in Israel.
Shira: There is much less separation between your personal life and professional life like there is in other countries.
Amir: Work in Israel is very relationship oriented.
Shira: That means that although you are there to work, your relationship with your colleagues goes before work issues.
Amir: That’s right. Israelis value a warm and open workplace, more than they do efficiency or rules of the work place. Many colleagues share their break time together with a cup of coffee and conversation about their personal lives.
Shira: Others may meet up after work for a drink or dinner with the rest of their families.
Amir: Israelis are curious about each other and their families, so conversation in the work place may extend to discussions about home life or raising children.
Shira: That’s right! They are also curious about how much money you pay for rent or how much debt you have.
Amir: Yes, those are topics that are not considered off limits in Israel.
Shira: Actually, you may find it difficult to keep your private life to yourself sometimes!
Amir: That’s true, if you find yourself in an Israeli work environment, make sure that you take some time to get to know your colleagues, even if it’s a little outside your comfort zone.
Shira: They will appreciate that and they will hold you in higher esteem for it. Okay, now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson.
Shira: First we have:
Amir: שלום (shalom)[natural native speed]
Shira: Hello, goodbye or peace
Amir: שלום (shalom)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: שלום (shalom)[natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: מה (ma)[natural native speed]
Shira : What
Amir: מה (ma)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: מה (ma)[natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: שלומך (shlom’ħa)[natural native speed]
Shira: Your peace or your condition
Amir: שלומך (shlom’ħa)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: שלומך (shlom’ħa)[natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: בסדר (beseder)[natural native speed]
Shira: Fine or in order
Amir: בסדר (beseder)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: בסדר (beseder)[natural native speed]
Shira: And finally:
Amir: תודה (todah)[natural native speed]
Shira: Thanks
Amir: תודה (todah)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: תודה (todah)[natural native speed]
Shira: Now let's take a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases from this lesson.
Amir: Let's start with the word שלום (shalom).
Shira: Shalom is a word that can have several meanings. The main meaning for Shalom is “peace,” but we also use it for both “hello” and “goodbye”.
Amir: You heard it used as “hello” in the lesson’s conversation. It can be used as “goodbye” in the same way.
Shira: Let’s give an example of the word shalom as “peace”.
Amir: Okay, what about כאשר יהיה שלום (ka`a`sher yih'ye shalom)?
Shira: Great! That means "when will there be peace?"
Amir: The next word is בסדר (beseder).
Shira: בסדר (beseder) is actually made up of two words, be- and seder.
Amir: Some words in Hebrew are attached to other words as prefixes. The be- in beseder is one of these.
Shira: Be- means “in” in this situation, but it can also mean “at” or “by”.
Amir: The rest of the phrase seder means order.
Shira: When you put these two words together, they mean, “in order”.
Amir: Be-seder is used to express the English words “fine” or “okay”.
Shira: You will use it and hear it used a lot in everyday conversation.
Amir: One of the most common phrases using this word is הכל בסדר! (Hakol beseder!) or “Everything is fine!”
Shira: Right, you can use this word when somebody asks you how you are. Or you can use it if you fall down and someone asks you if you're okay. Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to greet someone in Hebrew.
Amir: Alright, so for that, you can say Ma shlom’kha?
Shira: Exactly. This phrase is a little bit complicated for our first lesson in this series, and it is one that you'll use when you're talking to a single male, whether young or old. But bear with us, listeners, and we will break it down for you so you'll understand it really well!
Amir: What you are saying when you say ma shlom’kha is essentially, “how are you?”
Shira: But what you are literally saying is, “what is your peace?” or “what is your condition?”
Amir: The first word in the phrase is simple. Mah means “what.”
Shira: The second word in the phrase is where it starts to get a little more complicated. But you guys can handle it, right?
Amir: Of course they can!
Shira: So shlom’kha is broken down into two parts. The first part you already know, although you may not recognize it.
Amir: The first part is shalom, but you say it a little differently, shlom. I am sure that you remember from the beginning of the lesson that this means “peace”, as well as “hello" and “goodbye”.
Shira: In this context, it means “peace.” The second part of the word kha is a possessive suffix, which means “your”.
Amir: When you put it all together, it’s mah shlom’kha or “what’s your peace?”
Shira: Better yet, “what’s your condition?”
Amir: But don’t worry about the literal translation, it simply means, “how are you?”
Shira: Like we said, all of that is fine if you are talking to one man or a boy, but what happens when you need to ask a girl how she is?
Amir: Then you would just need to change the ending of the second word, mah shlom’kha becomes mah shlomekh when you are talking to one girl.
Shira: And what happens when you want to ask more than one person how they are?
Amir: You change the ending again, but the ending depends on whether you are talking to all girls or guys and a mixed bunch of people.
Shira: When you are talking to guys or a mixed bunch of people, you would say, mah shlom’khem, changing the suffix of the word because of who you are talking to.
Amir: You would use this even if you are talking to a group of mostly girls and there is only one guy in the crowd.
Shira: And if you are talking to a group of all girls, you would say, mah shlom’chen.
Amir: But keep in mind that the feminine plural form is used much less often these days.
Shira: True, many people don’t bother to use this form. Instead, they will use the masculine plural form for all groups of people instead of bothering to think whether they are just talking to girls.
Amir: But you should learn this form anyway, because you will find these endings in other places in Hebrew, and you will need to know all four of these.
Shira: That’s right. So, let’s demonstrate how to use these endings for other words.
Amir: We’ll use the word, דוד (dod), which is the word for “uncle.”
Shira: When you want to say “your uncle”, you add the same endings depending on who you are talking to, as demonstrated with shalom.
Amir: Masculine singular is דודך (dod'kha). Feminine singular is דודך (dodekh).
Shira: Masculine plural is , דודכם (dod'khem) and Feminine plural is דודכן (dodken). Okay, before we go, we want to make sure that you get a chance to practice our main phrase in all the forms we taught you.
Amir: So listen and repeat after me as I go through the four forms of how to say, “how are you” in Hebrew.
Shira: First is masculine singular, please listen and repeat after Amir.
Amir: מה שלומך? (Mah shlom'kha?)
Shira: Feminine singular
Amir: מה שלומך? (Mah shlomekh?)
Shira: Masculine plural
Amir: מה שלומכם? (Mah shlom'chem?)
Shira: Feminine plural
Amir: מה שלומכן? (Mah shlom'chen?)


Shira: Okay, so that’s it for this lesson. Thanks everyone!
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Amir: Shalom!