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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 12 - Can you Eat This Israeli Meatball? I’m your host, Shira.
Amir: And I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask if someone can do something in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at David and Sarah’s house.
Shira: And again, it’s between Peter, David and Sarah.
Amir: And it’s informal.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Peter: מה זה?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Peter: קציצה?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation one more time slowly.
Peter: מה זה?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Peter: קציצה?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation with English translation.
Peter: מה זה?
Shira: What is this?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Shira: This is a meatball.
Peter: קציצה?
Shira: Meatball?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: Yes, it’s meat. Can you eat meat?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
Shira: Yes. Mmm, it’s delicious!
Amir: So I’m guessing that you want to talk about meat in this lesson!
Shira: (laughs) You know me!
Amir: Well, there’s probably one thing that is fairly obvious to our listeners and that is that pork is hard to find in Israel.
Shira: It is. You won’t find it in the major supermarkets in Israel, only in the smaller non-kosher markets.
Amir: In fact, all the meat sold in the major supermarkets must be certified as kosher, which means that it must meet all the guidelines for kosher butchering.
Shira: That’s right. Both Jews and Muslims abstain from pork and have special laws regarding their meat, so it is strictly enforced in Israel.
Amir: It also means that the dairy and meat sections are not near to one another in the supermarket. You wouldn’t want those two to mix so you would have a huge problem on your hands.
Shira: Right! So when it comes to meat, Israelis eat mostly beef and poultry with a little lamb as well.
Amir: Usually, you can find all these things, except lamb, in the major supermarkets and there will be a butcher present as well if you need special cuts.
Shira: You can even pick which cut you want for ground beef and they’ll grind it for you on the spot.
Amir: There are also independent butcher shops where you can go and find other kinds of meat like lamb, or if you need a big turkey for Thanksgiving, they’ll order it for you.
Shira: When it comes to meat in restaurants, there are few new things to try.
Amir: My personal recommendation will be to try the grilled meat on skewers, or k’tzitzot, like we had in our dialogue.
Shira: There’s also Shwarma, which you can get from street vendors and it’s usually made from turkey or..
Amir: Or even better, humus with seasoned ground beef in it! Yum.
Shira: That’s a definite must!
Shira: Now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have:
Amir: קציצה [natural native speed]
Shira: Meatball
Amir: קציצה [slowly - broken down by syllable]. קציצה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: בשר [natural native speed]
Shira: Meat
Amir: בשר [slowly - broken down by syllable]. בשר [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: אתה [natural native speed]
Shira: You (masculine)
Amir: אתה [slowly - broken down by syllable]. אתה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: יכול [natural native speed]
Shira: Can or be able to
Amir: יכול [slowly - broken down by syllable]. יכול [natural native speed]
Shira: And last:
Amir: לאכול [natural native speed]
Shira: To eat
Amir: לאכול [slowly - broken down by syllable]. לאכול [natural native speed]
Shira: Let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is קציצה.
Amir: A קציצהis the Israeli version of a meatball. They usually are made of meat, breadcrumbs, onion and cumin as well as other spices, depending on who makes them.
Shira: They’re very tasty and they’re usually flatter than traditional meatballs.
Amir: The next word is בשר which means “meat” in Hebrew. Most often this refers to red meat, but it can also mean poultry depending on the context.
Shira: If it’s used in a biblical context it means “flesh”.
Amir: Our next vocabulary word is יכול or “can”.
Shira: This word is a bit irregular and that it doesn’t have an infinitive form and it changes a bit in the future.
Amir: We don’t need to learn about that at this point though, so just know that the dictionary form is also יכל.
Shira: This is a verb that we will be talking about more in our grammar section in a few minutes.
Amir: Our last word is, לאכול or “to eat”.
Shira: Okay, let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask if someone can do something in Hebrew.
Amir: For this, we need our vocabulary word for “can”, יכול.
Shira: This is the conjugation for “you” masculine in the singular, you would say אתה יכול.
Amir: If you’re speaking to a woman, you would say את יכולה.
Shira: After these two words, you add the verb that you want to ask about, “to swim” or “to cook” or “to speak” et cetera.
Amir: In the dialogue, we used לאכול or “to eat”.
Shira: And of course, everyone can eat, so David needed to ask Peter about something specific he could eat, like בשר or meat.
Amir: So the full sentence was אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: “Can you eat meat?”
Amir: To ask this question, we used voice inflection, but you can use the other ways that we’ve learned already to ask a question.
Shira: Right, like with נכון.
Amir: אתה יכול לאכול בשר, נכון?
Shira: Or with האם…
Amir: האם אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: Okay, now that we have that down, we need to give you the other options.
Amir: Right, you can’t just talk to men all the time. There will be other people you want to talk to like women or groups of people.
Shira: So we’ve worked up some examples for these other groups. First up, let’s ask a woman something using את יכולה.
Amir: את יכולה לשיר?
Shira: ודאי! Amir just asked if I can sing. את יכולה לשיר? So now what about when we need to talk to more than one person? We need the masculine plural for that.
Amir: We start that sentence with אתם יכולים. אתם יכולים לבוא מחר?
Shira: “Can you (plural) come tomorrow?” And now for the last one, what if you want to talk to a group of girls.
Amir: What guy doesn’t want to talk to a group of girls, right?
Shira: (laughs) For this you need אתן יכולות.
Amir: Right. אתן יכולות לדבר בעברית?
Shira: “Can you speak in Hebrew?”
Amir: That’s useful if you want to find someone to practice your Hebrew with.
Shira: Yes, it sure is.


Shira: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Amir: After listening to this lesson, come and visit HebrewPod101.com and say hello to us in Hebrew.
Shira: See you next time!
Amir: Le-hit’ra’ot!