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Lesson Transcript

Shalom, ani Yana. Hi everybody! I’m Yana.
Welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s “Ivrit be-shalosh dakot”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Hebrew.
In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Hebrew. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Hebrew, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
As already mentioned in previous classes, in Hebrew there is difference between male and female speech. So if you want to ask a woman, say;
At medaberet Anglit?
[slowly] At medaberet Anglit?
In Hebrew, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used according to the gender of both the speaker and the addressee.
At in this case is the female pronoun for “you”, so the verb medaberet which means “speak”- refers to a female.
For example; if I said “I speak English”, it will be - ani medaberet Anglit
Ani, as we learned already, means “I am” .
Ani is the only way you can say “I am” in Hebrew, regardless of ones gender. then, medaberet is the female conjugation for “speak/speaking”.
So, Ani medaberet Anglit will be used only by a female speaker.
On the other hand, if you are asking a man if he speaks English, you say;
Ata medaber Anglit?
[slowly] Ata medaber Anglit?
Ata, in this case is male pronoun for “you”, so the verb medaber, which means “speak”, refers to a man only.
So if you are a man and would say “I speak English”, it will be Ani medaber Anglit.
It is important to notice that in Hebrew the pronoun and the verb change according to female, male and also to singular and plural of the same sentence. So basically, there are 4 ways to say each phrase.
But don’t worry! We will talk more about that later. For now, please only remember that you can use both- At medaberet Anglit? and Ata medaber Anglit?- only if you are addressing one person.
So lets review them once again;
At medaberet Anglit?
If you are asking a woman.
and Ata medaber Anglit?
If you are asking a man.
Adding Sliha , "excuse-me", the sentence becomes even more polite:
Sliha, at medaberet Anglit?
[slowly] Sliha, at medaberet Anglit?
or, Sliha, ata medaber Anglit?
[slowly] Sliha, ata medaber Anglit?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Ken. "Yes."
[slowly] Ken.
Ketsat. "A little."
[slowly] Ketsat.
Lo. Ani lo medaber Anglit. or, Lo. Ani lo medaberet Anglit. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Lo. Ani lo medaber Anglit.
[slowly] Lo. Ani lo medaberet Anglit.
To make every sentence negative in Hebrew, you only have to add Lo before the verb, which simply means “no”.
Its easy, isn’t it?
Now it’s time for Yana’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. Israeli people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute Anglit with…
Rusit for Russian.
Italkit for Italian.
Sfaradit for Spanish.
Germanit for German.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression Sliha. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Hebrew. It’s never too late to show your good manners with Israeli people!
I'll see you in our next Ivrit be-shalosh dakot lesson.