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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hi, everyone, Shira here, and welcome back to Basic Bootcamp Lesson 2, Talking Nationality in Hebrew. This is the second in a five-part series that will help you ease your way into Hebrew.
Amir: שלום. It’s Amir again!
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to introduce yourself and tell people where you are from.
Amir: Which is essential while traveling to Israel, because that will be the first question people will probably want to ask you.
Shira: Whether you're in a language class, in a new country, or in your own city, in this small world, you can always find someone from somewhere else.
Amir: And in this boot camp, we'll be talking about ethnicity.
Shira: We'll also go over one of the easy building blocks of learning Hebrew...gender.
Amir: So listen to these Hebrew students talking about where they are from. And while you're listening, try to guess their ethnic background.
Shira: And I'll give you a hint. The first part of the words for nationalities are transliterations.
Amir: So if you do some mental gymnastics, you might be able to guess their nationalities.
Amir: שלום. שמי אמיר. אני ישראלי.
Shira: שלום. אני קורטני. אני אמריקאית.
Shira: Let's hear it slowly now.
Amir: בואו נשמע את זה לאת יותר.
[Slow version]
Amir: שלום. שמי אמיר. אני ישראלי.
Shira: שלום. אני קורטני. אני אמריקאית.
Shira: And now with the translation.
Amir: ועכשיו עם תרגום.
[With English translation]
Amir: שלום. שמי אמיר. אני ישראלי.
Amir: "Hello. My name is Amir. I'm Israeli."
Shira: שלום. אני קורטני. אני אמריקאית.
Shira: "Hello, I'm Courtney. I'm American."
Post-dialogue Banter
Shira: Since our lesson is about nationalities, I was hoping we could talk about the foundation of Israel, "aliyah."
Amir: This is an extremely important aspect of who we are.
Shira: The word "aliyah" means "going up," and it is used to talk about the immigration of Jewish people to Israel.
Amir: Many years ago, the Jews were exiled from the land of Israel. They ended up all over the world because they were driven here and there by historical events.
Shira: In 1882, Jewish people started to return to the land of Israel from Russia. At that time, it was a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Amir: After this first "aliyah," more Jews followed from all over the world. The latest "aliyahs" have come from South America, Ethiopia, and Russia.
Shira: So now there are many different cultures represented in Israel.
Amir: Some of these cultural influences will be blatantly obvious because they are newer immigrants. Others have been there for generations, so you will see their culture in the traditions that have passed down in their family.
Shira: This is why there is so much depth to Israeli society.
Amir: We could go on and on about this. This topic of "aliyah" has influenced so many aspects of Israeli society.
Shira: So not only will people you meet say that they are Israelis, but they will also say where they came from, where their parents come from, or where their grandparents came from.
Amir: So this will be useful when traveling through our tiny country and interacting with the people who live there.
Shira: Now let's take a look at the words we used in our dialogue so all our learners will be able to share where they are from too.
Vocab list
Shira: The first word we shall see is…
Amir: ישראלי
Shira: "Israeli," masculine
Amir: ישראלי (slowly)
Amir: ישראלי
Shira: The next word is…
Amir: אני
Shira: "I" or "I am"
Amir: אני (slowly)
Amir: אני
Shira: Next we have…
Amir: אמריקאית
Shira: "American," feminine
Amir: אמריקאית (slowly)
Amir: אמריקאית
Shira: And finally we have…
Amir: שמי
Shira: "my name"
Amir: שמי (slowly)
Shira: שמי
Vocabulary Usage
Shira: Cool, we already learned the greeting שלום in Basic Bootcamp Lesson One.
Amir: And the שמי.
Shira: Right, "My name is…" שמי.
Amir: Now before you say your nationality, you need one word. It is extremely important, and you will use it all the time. אני
Shira: That's right. This word means "I" or "I am" in English. We won't go into all the grammar of it right now, but that one word contains both the idea of "I" and the idea of "am." Can you say it one more time slowly?
Amir: אני
Shira: And one more time fast?
Amir: אני
Shira: So in the dialogue, we heard the speaker say אני and then the word…
Amir: ישראלי
Shira: Which is the way a man would say "I am Israeli."
Amir: That's right.
Shira: So all together, that's…
Amir: אני ישראלי.
Shira: Listeners, listen and repeat.
Amir: אני ישראלי.
Shira: So what was the other nationality we heard in the dialogue?
Amir: אמריקאית
Shira: That sounds a lot like "America."
Amir: That's right, Shira. It comes directly from the English word for…"America!"
Shira: That should be easy to remember! Listeners, listen and repeat this phrase.
Amir: אני אמריקאית
Shira: Notice the אני didn't change. Just the word for "American," in this case an American woman.
Amir: Sounds easy enough, but let's move on to the grammar section.
Shira: Yes, we'll have to tackle a more tricky subject there.
Amir: But don't worry, we'll make it as easy as possible.
Shira: Good idea!

Lesson focus

Shira: The focus of this lesson is gender when expressing nationality in Hebrew.
Amir: So, we've learned how to say "I am Israeli" or "I am American," but one of these is the way a man would say it, and the other is the way a woman would say it.
Shira: That's right. A man would say "I'm Israeli" just the way you did.
Amir: אני ישראלי.
Shira: Now let's hear the feminine version.
Amir: אני ישראלית.
Shira: Notice the ending. In the feminine version there is a "-t" sound at the end. Listeners, repeat the feminine version after Amir.
Amir: .אני ישראלית
Shira: And now repeat the masculine version.
Amir: אני ישראלי.
Shira: So let's take this word and boot camp it up a little…what do you say?
Amir: I'm not sure what "boot camp it up" really means, but I guess we're going to find out.
Shira: We're going to list a number of nationalities, first in the masculine and then in the feminine. Listeners, try to follow along and catch the subtle difference between the two! Okay, let's start with "Israeli." Again, the male version will come first.
Amir: ישראלי
Amir: ישראלית
Shira: Now "Russian"
Amir: רוסי
Amir: רוסיה
Shira: "American"
Amir: אמריקאי
Amir: אמריקאית
Shira: "British"
Amir: בריטי
Amir: בריטית
Shira: "Japanese"
Amir: יפני
Amir: יפנית
Shira: "Chinese"
Amir: סיני
Amir: סינית
Shira: "French"
Amir: צרפתי
Amir: צרפתיה
Shira: And lastly, "Italian"
Amir: איטלקי
Amir: איטלקיה
Shira: Listeners, did you catch the difference? The feminine version has an added “-t” or “yah” at the end.
Amir: At first, this might seem overwhelming, but with practice, it will become like second nature.
Shira: Yes, and all you have to do is add that little word at the beginning.
Amir: אני
Shira: Add it to any of these nationalities to say where you're from.
Amir: And the feminine version can also be used in some cases to name the language of that nationality.
Shira: Okay, let's recap. Listeners, how do you say "I'm Israeli" if you're a woman?
Amir: {Pause} אני ישראלית
Shira: Good! And what about if you're a man?
Amir: (Pause) אני ישראלי.
Shira: Okay. Now, listeners, try to make some simple sentences with your own nationality.
Amir: Try to have some fun! You'll find more of these sentences in the PDF that accompanies this lesson.
Shira: So we hope everybody isn't too tired after our boot camp!
Amir: Yeah! I think we were pretty nice boot camp instructors.
Shira: I think so!
Amir: We didn’t yell at you or anything like that.
Shira: So keep practicing, and you'll have these down pat in no time.


Shira: That's it for this lesson.
Amir: Thanks for listening. שלום!
Shira: See you!