Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: The Four Most Basic Slang Expressions
John: Hi everyone, and welcome back to HebrewPod101.com. I'm John.
Katja: And I'm Katja!
John: This is Must-Know Hebrew Slang Words and Phrases, Season 1, Lesson 16. In this lesson, you'll learn the four most basic slang expressions.
John: These expressions are must-know, as they are the most basic. They are used often by everyone in Israel.
SLANG EXPRESSIONS
John: The expressions you will be learning in this lesson are:
Katja: אחלה (akh-lah)
Katja: סבבה (sababa)
Katja: באסה (ba-asa)
Katja: יאללה (yalla)
John: Katja, what's our first expression?
Katja: אחלה (akh-lah)
John: The word is originally Arabic. In Arabic, it means "the sweetest" and in Hebrew, it is used as "great, good, or OK." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "good or great."
Katja: [SLOW] אחלה [NORMAL] אחלה
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Katja: אחלה
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you would like to express your satisfaction with something, or when you understand and accept something you've been told to do.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Katja: [NORMAL] המלון שהיינו בו היה אחלה.נקי, חדש ובאמצע העיר. [SLOW] המלון שהיינו בו היה אחלה.נקי, חדש ובאמצע העיר.
John: "The hotel we were in was great. Clean, new, and located in the center of the city."
Katja: [NORMAL] המלון שהיינו בו היה אחלה.נקי, חדש ובאמצע העיר.
John: Okay, what's the next expression?
Katja: סבבה (sababa)
John: This is also originally an Arabic word. In classical Arabic, it means "nostalgia" or "intense love." In Hebrew, this word has been in use since the 60's and means "very good, excellent, good, desirable, or right." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "yes, good, OK, or great."
Katja: [SLOW] סבבה [NORMAL] סבבה
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Katja: סבבה
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you wish to express your satisfaction with something, or you want to express your agreement to do something.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Katja: [NORMAL] היה מה זה סבבה באילת, כל היום היינו בים ובבריכה. [SLOW] היה מה זה סבבה באילת, כל היום היינו בים ובבריכה.
John: "It was great in Eilat, all day we were on the beach and in the pool."
Katja: [NORMAL] היה מה זה סבבה באילת, כל היום היינו בים ובבריכה.
John: Okay, what's our next expression?
Katja: באסה (ba-asa)
John: literally meaning
Katja: ba-asa
John: It is originally an Arabic word meaning "frustration, disappointment, or depression." In Hebrew as well, it is used to describe a bad feeling caused by "humiliation, mental anguish, or disappointment." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "What a bummer!"
Katja: [SLOW] באסה [NORMAL] באסה
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Katja: באסה
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you want to describe your own bad feeling, sorrow, or disappointment about something, or when you want to express your empathy for someone else's bad feeling, sorrow, or disappointment.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Katja: [NORMAL] למרות שרצתי את כל הדרך כדי להספיק, המוכר בדיוק נעל את החנות. איזה באסה! [SLOW] למרות שרצתי את כל הדרך כדי להספיק, המוכר בדיוק נעל את החנות. איזה באסה!
John: "Although I ran all the way there to make it, the seller just locked the store. What a drag!"
Katja: [NORMAL] למרות שרצתי את כל הדרך כדי להספיק, המוכר בדיוק נעל את החנות. איזה באסה!
John: Okay, what's the last expression?
Katja: יאללה (yalla)
John: This word is originally Arabic, where it is also used as a speeding word. So when it's used as a slang expression, it means "come on faster, hurry up."
Katja: [SLOW] יאללה [NORMAL] יאללה
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Katja: יאללה
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you want someone to do something faster.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Katja: [NORMAL] יאללה נו עזוב כבר את הבשמים אנחנו חייבים להגיע לשער הטיסה תכף יוצאת. [SLOW] יאללה נו עזוב כבר את הבשמים אנחנו חייבים להגיע לשער הטיסה תכף יוצאת.
John: "Come on, leave those perfumes. We must get to the gate, the flight is leaving in a few minutes."
Katja: [NORMAL] יאללה נו עזוב כבר את הבשמים אנחנו חייבים להגיע לשער הטיסה תכף יוצאת.
QUIZ
John: Okay listeners, are you ready to be quizzed on the expressions you just learned? I will describe four situations, and you will choose the right expression to use in your reply. Are you ready?
John: If you feel wonderful and someone is asking you "How are you?", you can say…
[pause - 5 sec.]
Katja: סבבה
John: "yes, good, OK, or great"
John: If your mother tells you: "I put your sandwich in your bag.", you can answer...
[pause - 5 sec.]
Katja: אחלה
John: "good or great"
John: If you are really in a hurry and your girlfriend is still at the entrance trying to decide which shoes to wear, you can tell her...
[pause - 5 sec.]
Katja: יאללה
John: "come on faster, hurry up"
John: If, although you ran really fast, you could not get on the bus before he drove off, you’d say...
[pause - 5 sec.]
Katja: באסה
John: "What a bummer!"

Outro

John: There you have it; you have mastered four Hebrew Slang Expressions! We have more vocab lists available at HebrewPod101.com so be sure to check them out. Thanks everyone, and see you next time!
Katja: lehitraot להתראות .

7 Comments

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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! Do you know any other related slang expression? Post them in the comments.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:41 PM
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Hi Yitzchak,


Thanks for posting your questions!


Haha no worries about the length - we're here to learn and it's good to clarify everything as much as possible.


The phrase "מה זה" (literally: "what is it") can be added in slang to a description in order to highlight it. When one says "היה מה זה סבבה באילת" it would imply that it wasn't just great, but that it was out-of-ordinarily great... this can be used for negative descriptions as well (i.e. "היה מה זה גרוע").


You're correct, "אחלה" and "סבבה" (both btw are Arabic words) are used very similarly, and in most cases will be seen as synonyms.


The use of "מפנק" is even newer, and it is better used when one got good service or to describe a vacation that was luxurious, for example. "חבל" in a positive way is used usually as part of the phrase "חבל על הזמן" (literally: "too bad on the time"), mostly to describe something very good as well. (example: "hu mevashel khaval al ha-zman" (he cooks great) - "הוא מבשל חבל על הזמן")


I hope I managed to answer all of your questions :)


Enjoy learning Hebrew 😄


Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

Yitzchak
Thursday at 04:15 AM
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. גם שמעתי אנשים אומרים 'חבל' במצבים ש'בססה' משמשים

Yitzchak
Thursday at 04:15 AM
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נראה ש'אחלה' ו'סבבה' הם מילים נרדפים. ונראה לי גם שיוכל להשתמש ב'מפנק' במצבים ש'אחלה' ו'סבבה' היו שימשו למעלה (לגבי המילון ואילת). אבל לא נראה לי שזה דומה בדיוק לאלה כי נראה ש'מפנק' מביע הנאה שיותר חזק מהם. ועוד, אולי יהיה מוזר להשתמש ב'מפנק' כדי להביע הסקמה לעשות משהו.


It seems that 'אחלה' and 'סבבה' are synonyms. I also think that you can you use 'מפנק' for the situations that 'אחלה' and 'סבבה' were used above in the sample sentences. But I don't think it's exactly like those because 'מפנק' seems to express a stronger sense of pleasure then them. And furthermore, perhaps it would be weird to use 'מפנק' to express agreement to do something.


I know this is a long one, but if can get feedback that would be סבבה! (not even sure that's a way how to use the word!)


Thanks,

Yitzchak

Yitzchak
Thursday at 02:22 AM
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Hello.


Why did she say 'היה מה זה סבבה באילת' in the example sentence, as opposed to היה סבבה באילת? what does מה זה supposed to mean in this context?


Thanks,

Yitzchak

HebrewPod101.com
Thursday at 02:37 AM
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Hi Darren,


Thanks for posting and the feedback! glad you liked it 😉😉


Yours,

Roi

Team HebrewPod101.com

sunil
Friday at 02:15 PM
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Gaddol