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Lesson Transcript

Shira: All About Hebrew Lesson Number 5 – Top Five Must Know Hebrew Phrases. Welcome back to HebrewPod101.com, the place to learn and to love Hebrew. In this lesson, we’re taking years of experience in Israel and boiling it down to a few essential phrases that are a great place to start.
Amir: These are real life Hebrew words that’ll help you every day.
Shira: They are guaranteed to be the best things you ever learn in Hebrew. Amir, where should we begin?
Amir: Well, we want to make a good impression from the very beginning, so I think the place to start is with a simple greeting. [שלום].
Shira: And if you don’t know [שלום] yet, we don’t know where you’ve been. We would be remiss if we didn’t teach you “hello”.
Amir: Remember, [שלום].
Shira: And to be even more polite and friendly, just add [?מה שלומך].
Amir: [?שלום, מה שלומך]. It means “Hello. How are you?”
Shira: I don’t know whether you noticed, but the way I asked “How are you?”, [?מה שלומך], and the way Amir asked it, [?מה שלומך], was different. Maybe you should explain that, Amir.
Amir: Well, in Hebrew there’s a masculine and feminine form of “you”. So when I asked you, Shira, how you were, I used the feminine form. And when you asked me, you used the masculine form.
Shira: Wow. I bet our listeners are thinking that sounds kind of complicated.
Amir: It’s not so bad. You’ll get used to it the more you hear it.
Shira: That’s true. For me, it was a little unusual in the beginning, but after a while I did get used to it. [שלום] has other meanings as well, doesn’t it?
Amir: It sure does. It’s one of those useful phrases you can use. It not only means “hello” and “goodbye”, but even “peace”.
Shira: That’s so cool. So while you’re greeting people, you are actually wishing them peace at the same time. So you really just need to learn one phrase for a greeting, and you’ll get along just fine.
Amir: Next, I think we need to mention [תודה], which is the Hebrew for “thank you”.
Shira: Showing good manners is very important. And a simple “thank you”, [תודה], will do the job.
Amir: Indeed. This phrase can be used at any time just to show manners and appreciation.
Shira: And if you want to show that you really appreciate something, you can stick a [רבה] on the end.
Amir: That means “many thanks” or “great thanks”.
Shira: [תודה רבה] While we’re on the topic of politeness, a “please” will really come in handy.
Amir: Well, in that case, you can just say [בבקשה].
Shira: [בבקשה] is used for both “please” and “you’re welcome”, right?
Amir: Correct, it is. And here’s another phrase for when you’re in doubt. [אני לא מבין].
Shira: Now that’s one that I would say differently because I use the feminine form. I would say [אני לא מבינה], which means “I don’t understand”.
Amir: Native Israelis don’t like to say this phrase too often. They like to make you think that they know everything and understand everything. But it’s very useful for when you’re learning Hebrew because in the beginning there are going to be a lot of things you don’t understand.
Shira: It’s also perfect when you want help reading Hebrew.
Amir: That’s right. Israelis always appreciate enthusiasm and will be more than willing to help you out.
Shira: Here’s another phrase that can come in handy - apologizing.
Amir: You mean [סליחה]. Literally it means “forgiveness” but it’s used for sorry or even “excuse me”.
Shira: Yes, this is also used when you need to get someone’s attention, right?
Amir: Right. You can use it when someone gets in your way and you need him or her to move, or when you’re looking for someone to help you in a shop.
Shira: You’re likely going to need to use [סליחה] a lot in your travels in Israel when asking the locals for directions and advice.
Amir: You’ll use it a lot, but you’ll also hear it a lot.
Shira: It may be good to use it often just to be on the safe side of etiquette. What are some other occasions when [סליחה] will come in handy?
Amir: Maybe when you accidentally bump into someone?
Shira: Yeah, that’s good. Or when you need to interrupt someone. Ok, we know that’s five already but hey, some of them were pretty sort. So we’re including a bonus phrase just because we want to give you one more tool when speaking Hebrew. So you’ll be off to a good start.
Amir: So the bonus phrase is [שמי], meaning “My name is”. [שמי] Amir.
Shira: [שמי] Shira. Being able to present your name will be highly appreciated and help you on your way.
Amir: I think those are all great phrase, Shira. We’ve really given you a good head start.
Shira: I agree.
Shira: So everyone, get started with these and keep coming back for more essential and fun Hebrew here at HebrewPod101.com.


Please to leave a comment.
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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Get familiar with these phrases because you'll use them at least once a day, every day you are in Israel.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:44 PM
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Hi Lily,

Thank you for posting 👍

We hope you enjoyed the lesson! Please let us know in case you have any questions 👍



Team HebrewPod101.com

Monday at 05:13 AM
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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 02:11 AM
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Shalom Ruth,

Toda raba for taking the time to leave us your comment! 😇

If you have any questions, let us know. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Ruth Ann
Friday at 02:24 AM
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Just as we teach children their ABC's using a song, I learned the

Hebrew aleph bet via a Hebrew song as well. You can youtube it!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 10:07 PM
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Shalom Karen,

Thank you for your comment and and feedback and welcome to hebrewPod101.com.

We are very happy to have you here and hear about your interest in studying the Hebrew language.

I think staring with learning the alphabet is a very good idea and makes sense.

Good luck and please let us know if you have any questions, we are glad to help.

Happy Hebrew learning,:smile:


Team HebrewPod101.com

Karen TM
Wednesday at 02:13 AM
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I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and enrolled with hebrewpod101.com as an absolute beginner. I have worked my way through most of the All About lessons, that is except the ones that teach you phrases etc. as I figured there was little point in doing those until I at least know the aleph bet. Maybe not logical but I am now in the process of learning the aleph bet, including the different scripts. Am I doing the right thing or should I just work my way through all the All About lessons before tackling the Absolute Beginner lessons? The choice of materials and tools is extensive and I feel pulled in different directions at this stage (a bit like a kid in a candy shop:smile:).

I think the structure of the lessons makes for lively learning and I am immensely enjoying myself. Just wonder why I didn't enrol sooner... :smile:


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Sunday at 01:04 PM
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Shalom Dianna,

Thank you so much for posting.

We are very pleased to hear that you are enjoying the lessons and find them helpful.:smile:

To your question, the answer is yes, when speaking to someone in Hebrew you have to consider THEIR gender. So if you say this phrase to a male you would say mah schlomcha, and if to a female - ma schlomech.

(Your own gender doesn't matter in this case)

Happy Hebrew learning,


Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 01:47 AM
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Thank you! These are very helpful phrases! I'm really enjoying the lessons so far. I had a question though... When saying "mah shlomech or mah shlomcha, do you choose masculine or feminine depending on who you are asking, a male or female? Or is it based on who is asking, a male or female. So if I, a female, said this phrase to a male would I say mah schlomcha? Shalom, Dianna

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:14 PM
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Shalom MYRNA

Thank you so much for your comment and positive feedback,

We are very happy to have you here and glad that you are enjoying the lessons. :smile:

Good luck with your studies and please let us know if you have any questions,

Happy Hebrew learning,


Team HebrewPod101.com

Sunday at 05:41 AM
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