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Lesson Transcript

F1: Hello everyone. Welcome back to HebrewPod101.com, All About Lesson 13. I’m Shira.
M1: [שלום, אני אמיר] In this lesson, you’ll learn five phrases your Hebrew teacher might never teach you.
F1: No, no, don’t get the wrong idea. We’re not going to teach you any swear words or anything, just some real gritty Hebrew.
M1: I can guarantee that you can use each of these phrases every single day if you’re in Israel.
F1: Yes, they’re very frequently used phrases. We’ve included everything from how to have road rage in Hebrew to how to shout and glee.
M1: Ok, so I'm sure you’re all dying to pick up this new lingo. Let’s get started, Shira.
F1: Ok. The top five phrases your teacher might never teach you are.
M1: [חבל על הזמן]
F1: “Fantastic” or “a waste of time”.
M1: [אתה דפוק]
F1: You’re crazy.
M1: [בלאגן]
F1: Miss.
M1: [סוף הדרך]
F1: Excellent.
M1: [על הפנים]
F1: “Horrible”. If you don’t know them yet, you’re going to be hearing them everywhere now. Let’s hear them again, slowly.
M1: [חבל על הזמן, אתה דפוק, בלאגן, סוף הדרך, על הפנים]
F1: Ok, so we’re starting with a phrase I still can’t stop using. In fact, I’ve noticed that everyone who’s lived in Israel for some period of time can’t stop saying this.
M1: Oh, really?
F1: It’s so versatile that you can use it in good situations and bad situations. It’s [חבל על הזמן].
M1: Ah, [חבל על הזמן], yes.
F1: It can be [חבל על הזמן], which is “Fantastic” or [חבל על הזמן], which is “a waste of time”.
M1: Now how can we translate something like [חבל על הזמן].
F1: It’s like saying something is a waste of time, as I said, but this phrase can have many good meanings, such as “great” or “fantastic”.
M1: You can use this expression in so many ways. You’ll hear it all the time.
F1: You can use it to describe your last date, a trip overseas or even food.
M1: And what is cool is that you can use it both in a good way or a bad way.
F1: Like, my date with Amir was [חבל על הזמן]. I think I’m in love. Or “My date with Amir was [חבל על הזמן]. He didn’t even pay for the meal.”
M1: Sorry. But unfortunately, sometimes you feel the need to tell someone what you really think of him or her, and then this phrase just won’t do.
F1: So Amir, what do we say when we want to tell someone he’s an idiot, out of his mind or something to that effect?
M1: Ah, we have the perfect phrase. [אתה דפוק]
F1: [אתה דפוק]. Oh, yes. I’ve heard this while driving or even in the streets.
M1: Basically it means “you’re knocked”, so you’re calling someone crazy.
F1: You’re kind of saying that someone is messed up.
M1: Yes and it’s very effective. But if you use it, you better be able to back it up, because you’re likely to get into a very heated conversation.
F1: Yeah. Israelis like to stand their ground. So now we’re going to turn from rage to disorder.
M1: Hebrew has a great word to describe disorder.
F1: Yes, even my American family has picked this one up.
M1: [בלאגן]
F1: [בלאגן]
M1: [בלאגן] is also a very versatile word. You can use it when you’re talking about the state of your room, the current political situation or your relationship with your in-laws.
F1: It literally means “a mess”.
M1: So how about something positive?
F1: Ok. Here’s a positive phrase that you can use when you want to describe something that’s out of this world.
M1: Ah, yes. That would be the English equivalent. The Hebrew for this is [סוף הדרך].
F1: Literally it means “end of the road”, and it’s used in special occasions to describe something excellent.
M1: You only use it to describe the experience of a lifetime.
F1: So now let’s move to the polar opposite of סוף הדרך על הפנים
M1: This is a funny expression. And it always cracks me up when I hear it translated literally and used in a sentence in English.
F1: Like, “Oh, Amir, I’m feeling so on the face today!”
M1: Exactly.
F1: English speakers have a tendency to do that because it’s such a unique phrase. The meaning of the phrase is “terrible”, but as I demonstrated, the literal translation is “on the face”.
M1: And you use it when you’re not feeling well. Or you can use it to describe anything from last night’s party to the restaurant service.
F1: Like, “The service in this restaurant is [על הפנים].”
M1: Or “She’s singing [על הפנים].” See? It can be used for so many occasions.
F1: Yes. I would say this is all really handy Hebrew to know. Sometimes I think text books are too formal, so you don’t start learning things until you really start hanging out with Israelis.
M1: You could probably use each of these phrases every day if you liked.
F1: Yeah? Ok, let me try. So, let’s see. Amir, let’s say you’re hanging out with your friends, and a friend of yours tells you about her favorite singer. You say, “Oh, I went to her concert. It was [סוף הדרך].” Then she says, “[מה, אתה דפוק] You didn’t take me with you to the concert?” You say, “Oh, I’m sorry. It was a [בלאגן] and I couldn’t find you.” Then she says, “[חבל על הזמן], Amir. I’ll never forget that you didn’t take me.” Then you tell her, “Stop. I’m joking. The concert was [על הפנים]. She was so sick and she couldn’t sing very well.” So how was that?
M1: Very, very good. I noticed that you threw in a bonus word for us too. [סתם]
F1: I did. It is one of those words that’s impossible to translate literally.
M1: It’s pretty much like saying “just kidding” in this context. But there are many more meanings for [סתם] and the best way to learn them is to spend time with Hebrew speakers.


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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hi HebrewPod101.com listeners!

Which Hebrew expression in this lesson do you think is the most useful?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:40 PM
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Dear John,

Thank you for commenting and sharing your performance on the quiz!

Please let us know if you have any questions 👍👍



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Monday at 07:05 AM
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Little better

Monday at 02:22 AM
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Thank you very much for posting and for the great feedback! 😄😄😄

We're very happy to hear that you enjoy our lessons and to have you as a student 😄😄

Please make sure to let us know in case you have any questions about Hebrew or about the website - we're here to help 👍👍

Happy learning,


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Tuesday at 02:02 PM
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I stumbled across this lesson while working on my iPad with the innovative app. But after leaving the lesson, I was not able to find it again on my iPad or iPhone. I can only find it when searching for an exact Hebrew phrase that appears in the transcript. I have found that attempting to finding lessons that I have already started on is sometimes a challenging.

I am really excited about learning with hebrewpod101 and look forward to each time I am able to study.

Thank you for your great work,


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Monday at 07:04 PM
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Hi Anny,

Thank you for posting.

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Anny Loera
Monday at 01:16 AM
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Just great, as anyone of them ? ❤️️

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Sunday at 12:09 AM
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Hi Price,

Thanks for commenting!

We appreciate you feedback and hope you'd continue to enjoy learning with us ??



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Sunday at 10:11 AM
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this lesson is awesome! ?

hebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:12 PM
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Shalom Krzysztof,

Thank you for your comment.

Wonderful having you here!:smile:

Oh! is that right? what does it mean?

Happy Hebrew learning,


Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 11:25 PM
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Thanks for the lesson!

We have the same word in Polish for mess: "bałagan".

תודה רבה