Mama Diaries

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hebrew for Dummies

"Mom, I want to learn Hebrew," my eleven-year-old daughter said.

"Why do you want to learn Hebrew?" I asked.

"I want to go to Israel  like you did , and ride camels."

I wasn't sure you needed to know Hebrew to ride camels, but I'm all for learning languages, so I agreed to help her learn.

 I used to know a little Hebrew, because I had taken some classes. But that was ten years ago and I was quite certain that I had forgotten everything I had learned, since my brain has atrophied into a gray blob of mush.  I figured I wouldn't be much help.  "Okay," I said.  "Let's go to Barnes and Noble and find some Hebrew books."

That's what we did.   On the way home, my daughter started reading Hebrew for Dummies . After about five minutes, the drama started.  "Mom, this doesn't make sense!"

"What doesn't make sense?"

"There are masculine words and feminine words.  Does that mean only girls can say the girl words, and the boys can say the boy words?"

"No," I said, and explained how in many languages, there are masculine and feminine nouns, and the articles and adjectives that preceed them have to reflect this.

She didn't get it.  "Mom, this is stupid," she said.  "This book is the dumbest  Hebrew for Dummies ever!"

 So now I'm thinking we should go back to the store and find   Hebrew for Really Dumb Dummies.  Or maybe we should just ride the camels and let them eat the book. 

13 comments:

  1. Oh, those gendered words. I recall how Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes wanted to introduce them into the English language.

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  2. Did your brain atrophy following childbirth? That's when my problems started. I've been exhausted and confused for 32 years.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yes. All of that sleep deprivation has caused permanent damage! LOL!

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  3. I'm sure Schultz will beat the camels to the eating of the book haha and I'd need the dumbest one of all to learn Hebrew.

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    1. I'm sure Schultz would love to eat that book!

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  4. LOL :)) If she wants to ride elephants, ask her to learn Malayalam. It is the regional language of Kerala, the southern most state of India. It is famous for elephants. :)

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    1. LOL! Okay. We'll get started on that right away!

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  5. Hahaha, I'll go for riding the camels. :) I really don't like the masculine and feminine articles and adjectives adjusting to the gender of nouns -- as they do in Spanish and French, they're always confusing.

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    1. German is the same way. It hurts my head trying to remember it all! LOL!

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  6. I took two years of german in high school and don't remember very much. : (

    I vote for riding the camels, but don't feed them the books. Don't want them getting tummy aches. : )

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  7. Heh, heh. I remember when I started taking Spanish, the whole masculine and feminine noun thing threw me for a loop. Then when I thought I had it down, they told me "el mapa" and "la mano" were correct. Gah!

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  8. Haha.. Omg, she's very cute :)

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