Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Sherah: Hello and welcome to hebrewpod101.com. This is Lower Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 8 - What Can You Do in Hebrew? I’m your host, Sherah!
Amir: And I’m your host Amir.
Sherah: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about what you can and cannot do.
Amir: The conversation takes place in the dining hall of the kibbutz
Sherah: It’s between Anna and her new friend Ofir.
Amir: The speakers are acquaintances, and they’ll be using informal Hebrew.
Sherah: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
אופיר: את יכולה לדבר טוב מאוד בעברית.
Ofir: At yekholah le-daber tov me'od be-ivrit.
אנה: אני מסוגלת, אבל עדיין קשה לי.
Anna: Ani mesugelet, aval ada'in kasheh li.
אופיר: לא נורא! זה יהיה קל יותר עם הזמן.
Ofir: Lo nora! Zeh yiheyeh kal yoter im ha-z'man.
אנה: מה אתה יכול לעשות? יש לך תחביבים?
Anna: Mah atah yakhol la'asot? Yesh lekha taħ'bivim?
אופיר: אני יכול לצלול.
Ofir: Ani yakhol litz'lol.
אנה: יפה! אני לא מסוגלת לצלול. אני בכלל לא יודעת לשחות.
Anna: Yafeh! Ani lo mesugelet litz'lol. Ani bikh'lal lo yoda'at lis'ħot.
אופיר: חבל, זה נורא כיף.
Ofir: ħaval, zeh nora ke'if.
Sherah: Let’s listen to the conversation one more time, slowly.
אופיר: את יכולה לדבר טוב מאוד בעברית.
Ofir: At yekholah le-daber tov me'od be-ivrit.
אנה: אני מסוגלת, אבל עדיין קשה לי.
Anna: Ani mesugelet, aval ada'in kasheh li.
אופיר: לא נורא! זה יהיה קל יותר עם הזמן.
Ofir: Lo nora! Zeh yiheyeh kal yoter im ha-z'man.
אנה: מה אתה יכול לעשות? יש לך תחביבים?
Anna: Mah atah yakhol la'asot? Yesh lekha taħ'bivim?
אופיר: אני יכול לצלול.
Ofir: Ani yakhol litz'lol.
אנה: יפה! אני לא מסוגלת לצלול. אני בכלל לא יודעת לשחות.
Anna: Yafeh! Ani lo mesugelet litz'lol. Ani bikh'lal lo yoda'at lis'ħot.
אופיר: חבל, זה נורא כיף.
Ofir: ħaval, zeh nora ke'if.
Sherah: Now, let’s hear it with the English translation.
אופיר: את יכולה לדבר טוב מאוד בעברית.
Ofir: At yekholah le-daber tov me'od be-ivrit.
Ofir: You can speak really well in Hebrew.
אנה: אני מסוגלת, אבל עדיין קשה לי.
Anna: Ani mesugelet, aval ada'in kasheh li.
Anna: I am able to, but it's still hard for me.
אופיר: לא נורא! זה יהיה קל יותר עם הזמן.
Ofir: Lo nora! Zeh yiheyeh kal yoter im ha-z'man.
Ofir: It doesn't matter! It will be easier with time.
אנה: מה אתה יכול לעשות? יש לך תחביבים?
Anna: Mah atah yakhol la'asot? Yesh lekha taħ'bivim?
Anna: What can you do? Do you have hobbies?
אופיר: אני יכול לצלול.
Ofir: Ani yakhol litz'lol.
Ofir: I can scuba dive.
אנה: יפה! אני לא מסוגלת לצלול. אני בכלל לא יודעת לשחות.
Anna: Yafeh! Ani lo mesugelet litz'lol. Ani bikh'lal lo yoda'at lis'ħot.
Anna: Nice! I'm not able to scuba dive. I don't know how to swim.
אופיר: חבל, זה נורא כיף.
Ofir: ħaval, zeh nora ke'if.
Ofir: Pity! It's really fun.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Sherah: I found that Israelis were really easy to talk to when I first started learning Hebrew.
Amir: You did?
Sherah: Yes, they were usually pretty understanding about the fact that I couldn’t speak perfectly. But I did find that there are two different kinds of Israelis.
Amir: Really? How’s that?
Sherah: Well, there are the Israelis who are really understanding, and then there are the those who think that it’s their opportunity to practice English.
Amir: Oh yes! I know those types. Once they find out that you speak English, there is no way to get them to speak Hebrew with you.
Sherah: Exactly! This was really frustrating at times because I really wanted to speak Hebrew with them, and they insisted on English.
Amir: So what do you do in those situations?
Sherah: Usually, I just keep speaking Hebrew. This probably annoys them too because I’m sure they want me to speak English just as much as I want to speak Hebrew.
Amir: Well, I think you can probably just ask them to speak Hebrew because you want to practice.
Sherah: You definitely can. They won’t be offended at all. That’s the thing about Israelis - when it comes down to it, they are really understanding.
Amir: I think we have a lot of patience for new Hebrew speakers too.
Sherah: You do. I rarely felt like someone was looking down on me for not speaking perfectly, and most of the time people were really patient as I was learning.
Amir: That’s funny because we’re not so patient in other areas of our lives. Take traffic for example.
Sherah: That’s for sure! Okay, now let’s move on to the vocabulary.
VOCAB LIST
Sherah: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Sherah: The first word we shall see is...
Amir: יכול [natural native speed]
Sherah: can
Amir: יכול [slowly - broken down by syllable] יכול [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: לשחות [natural native speed]
Sherah: to swim
Amir: לשחות [slowly - broken down by syllable] לשחות [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: מסוגל [natural native speed]
Sherah: to be able
Amir: מסוגל [slowly - broken down by syllable] מסוגל [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: עדיין [natural native speed]
Sherah: still
Amir: עדיין [slowly - broken down by syllable] עדיין [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: קשה [natural native speed]
Sherah: difficult
Amir: קשה [slowly - broken down by syllable] קשה [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: קל [natural native speed]
Sherah: easy
Amir: קל [slowly - broken down by syllable] קל [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: לצלול/צלל [natural native speed]
Sherah: to scuba dive
Amir: לצלול/צלל [slowly - broken down by syllable] לצלול/צלל [natural native speed]
Sherah: Next
Amir: כיף [natural native speed]
Sherah: fun
Amir: כיף [slowly - broken down by syllable] כיף [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Sherah: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Amir: The first word is לצלול לצול is one of my favorite things to do and that is “to dive”.
Sherah: It also means “to sink”... do you like to do that too?
Amir: Actually yes. I like to sink down to the bottom of the swimming pool and just hang out there for a while.
Sherah: There is an expression attached to this very idea, לצלול כעופרת
Amir: Right, it means “to sink like lead”. Some words that are close to this verb are ,צולל which means “diver” and צוללת which means“submarine”.
Sherah: All things that dive. The next word that we want to cover is קשה.
Amir: קשה covers many different words from English.
Sherah: Oh wow! It really does. It means “difficult”, “heavy”, “stiff..”.
Amir: “solid”, “severe” and even “strict”.
Sherah: You really have to listen to the context to understand what the speaker means when they use it, because it has so many meanings.
Amir: For example, a couple of expressions that use קשה are קשה לכעוס.
Sherah: I’m guessing that means “difficult to anger”.
Amir: Right, “slow to anger.” The other one is קשה הבנה, and that means “dull-witted”.
Sherah: The next word is the exact opposite of קשה, it’s קל. It is the exact opposite in many of these same meanings too.
Amir: yes, קל means “light”, “simple”, “soft” and “easy-going”.
Sherah: Right, if someone has a flexible personality, you would call them ‘kal’.
Amir: And someone who is fickle, you can call קל דעת.
Sherah: There is one expression that I like with this word, and that is קלי קלות. It means “piece of cake”.
Amir: You like all the double word expressions like that!
Sherah: I do! Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Sherah: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the modal verbs יכול and מסוגל.
Amir: Just like the previous modal verbs, they appear in sentences in the form of the present participle and they are followed by the infinitive form of a verb.
Sherah: And they both also have four forms, just like the others we learned about.
Amir: In our first sample sentence, Ofir says את יכולה לדבר בעברית טוב מאוד.
Sherah: He uses the modal verb יכול which means “can”, “may, or “to be permitted”.
Amir: Here it means “can”, so Ofir says to Anna “you can speak Hebrew really well.
Sherah: If you notice in English, the second verb is also conjugated. Remember that this is not the way it is in Hebrew.
Amir: Right, in Hebrew the second verb is in the infinitive form יכול לדבר in this sentence.
Sherah: So what are all four forms of יכול?
Amir: Masculine singular is יכול, feminine singular is יכולה, masculine plural is יכולים and feminine plural is יכולות.
Sherah: There are two other sentences in the dialogue that use the verb יכול. Anna asks Ofir, “what can you do?” or מה אתה יכול לעשות?
Amir: And Ofir answers אני יכול לצלול.
Sherah: As you can see, all of these sentences use the same form. The modal verb agrees with the subject and the verb that follows is in the infinitive form.
Amir: All of these sentences cover the same thing - the concept of being able to do something. יכול has other meanings as well.
Sherah: Right, it can also show a possibility like אני יכולה לשיר ביום שני בטקס. “I can sing on Monday at the ceremony.”
Amir: ...or it can be used to request something - אני יכול לשיר משהו בשבילכם? “Can I sing something for you?”
Sherah: There is one more modal verb in the dialogue that we want to cover and that is מסוגל.
Amir: מסוגל only has one meaning and that is “to be able to do (something)”.
Sherah: The four forms are: מסוגל for masculine singular and מסוגלת for feminine singular.
Amir: מסוגלים for masculine plural and מסוגלות for feminine plural.
Sherah: It’s found in two places in the dialogue. First, Anna says אני מסוגלת אבל עדיין קשה לי. “I’m able, but it’s still hard for me.”
Amir: And then later she says, אני לא מסוגלת לצלול. “I’m not able to scuba dive.”
Sherah: These two verbs, yakhol and mesugal, are very close in meaning when talking about ability.
Amir: Most of the time they can be interchangeable.

Outro

Sherah: Well, that’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and make sure to check the lesson notes.
Amir: And now that you’ve listened to this lesson, please visit HebrewPod101.com and tell us what you can do.
Sherah: Bye everyone!

51 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Can you swim? Try answering in Hebrew!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:26 AM
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Shalom Carol Mallison,


You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Carol Mallison
Monday at 05:40 AM
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My next question is how to say "It doesn't matter." The direct translation would be It's not terrible, but in common English usage, I suppose you mean, "It doesn't matter." Are there other ways to say, this as well?


Thanks,

Carol 😁

Carol Mallison
Monday at 05:21 AM
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Thank you Roi!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:47 PM
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Dear Carol,


Thank you for commenting and sharing your question!


The word "נורא" can probably be best translated as "terrible", where the meaning can be either negative ("the food was terrible" - "האוכל נורא") or positive - and this is the tricky part - for example: "the food is terribly good" - "האוכל טעים נורא".


In a religios context, נורא is also sometimes used to describe the mightiness of god, but this type of use is not common in modern Hebrew.


I hope that helps 😄 Please contact us if you have further questions 👍


Yours,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Carol
Saturday at 05:38 AM
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Hi! Please explain נורא. What does it mean? It seems to be used in different ways here.


Really fun in the last sentence and in the third sentence, it means it doesn't matter. I am a bit confused.


Thanks,

Carol

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:32 PM
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Hi Susan,


Thanks for commeniting and answering the question!


Well done - almost 100% correct :)


Note that "swim" is written in Hebrew "לשחות".


Keep up the great work 👍👍


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Susan
Friday at 01:12 AM
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כן אני מסוגלת לשוחה אבל אני לא אוהבת את זה.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 07:52 PM
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Shalom דני,


Thanks for commenting and sharing this!


We are happy to have you with us and hope you will enjoy learning Hebrew again with us :)


Please feel free to comment in case you have any questions - we're always happy to help 👍👍


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

דני
Monday at 10:13 AM
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אני שוב מתחיל שיעורים. למדתי באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים לפני 50 שנה. אני גם לומד את “המילה” כל יום. המילה של ימינו הייתה "ציפור" ... הדוגמה אמרה ״ ציפור הוא גדולה.,״ המילה הזאת ״זכר או נקבה״...תודה

HebrewPod101.com
Thursday at 03:32 AM
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Hi קמילה and Yitzchak,


Thanks for sharing your comments!


@Yitzchak - Great! glad I could help 👍


@Camilla - very good work! well done! Note that in Hebrew we phrase it "אני יודעת לשחות" rather than "can", and that "scuba diving" is "צלילה".


Best,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com