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Learn, Practice, and Perfect Your Hebrew: Casting a Vote

The StreetWise podcast from TLV1 in Israel can help you use Hebrew to vote with your finger

Rose Kaplan
April 19, 2016

The New York primaties are today, so celebrate with an exploration of the Hebrew election lexicon (for when you’ve finished perusing Yiddish Bernie Sanders ads, that is).

This week’s StreetWise Hebrew podcast shows how lehatsbia, or “to point,” took on a secondary meaning in Modern Hebrew—”to vote.” In this episode, “Election finger pointing,” host Guy Sharrett provides you with the perfect fodder for all your snarky comments about how politics just comes down to finger-pointing anyway.

If you’re under 18, you might not have zchut hatsba’a (“the right to vote”) but you’ve still got zchut hashpa’a (“the right to influence”). And while you can always ask your friends le-mi at matsbi’ah (“who are you voting for?”) it’s often considered impolite, and you might not get an answer. And, for people who have not yet celebrated their eighteenth birthdays, it’s worth noting that a variation on the word for “vote” has yet another meaning: be-hatsba-a, or “raise your hand.”

Listen to the episode below, and as always, follow along with the words and phrases as you listen.

Etsba, Etsba’ot – אֶצְבָּע, אֶצְבָּעוֹת

Etsbaot li eser yesh, kol davar bonot hen – אֶצְבָּעוֹת לִי עֶשֶׂר יֵשׁ, כֹּל דָּבָר בּוֹנוֹת הֵן

Lehatsbia, lehatsbia al mashehu – לְהַצְבִּיעַ, לְהַצְבִּיעַ עַל מַשֶּׁהוּ

Zchut hatsba’a – זְכוּת הַצְבָּעָה

Ein lachem adayin zchut hatsba’a – אֵין לָכֶם עֲדַיִין זְכוּת הַצְבָּעָה

Aval yesh lachem zchut hashpaa – אָבָל יֵשׁ לָכֶם זְכוּת הַשְׁפָּעָה

Hatsbaa le – הַצְבָּעָה לְ

Lehatsbia le/avur – לְהַצְבִּיעַ לְ-/עָבוּר

Avoor mi ata matsbi’a – עָבוּר מִי אָתָּה מַצְבִּיעַ

Le-mi at matsbi’ah – לְמִי אַת מַצְבִּיעָה

Hatsba’a ba-bchirot – הַצְבָּעָה בַּבְּחִירוֹת

Hatsba’a al ha-hachlata – הַצְבָּעָה עַל הָהַחְלָטָה

Lehatsbia al mashehu – לְהַצְבִּיעַ עַל מַשֶּׁהוּ

Ani rotse lehatsbia al ha-gormim – אֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְהַצְבִּיעַ עַל הַגּוֹרְמִים

Hatsba’a chasha’it – הַצְבָּעָה חֲשָאִית

Hatsba’a be’ad/neged – הַצְבָּעָה בְּעַד/נֶגֶד

Aval be-hatsba’a! – !אָבָל בְּהַצְבָּעָה

Matsbi’a, matsbi’ah, matsbi’im, matsbi’ot – מַצְבִּיעַ, מַצְבִּיעָה, מַצְבִּיעִים, מַצְבִּיעוֹת

Sovev oto al ha-etsba ha-ktana shelo – סוֹבֵב אוֹתוֹ עַל הָאֶצְבָּע הַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁלּוֹ

Be-eser etsba’ot – בְּעֶשֶׂר אֶצְבָּעוֹת

Notnim lo etsba, hu rotse et kol ha-yad – נוֹתְנִים לוֹ אֶצְבָּע, הוּא רוֹצֶה אֶת כֹּל הַיָּד

Itsboo’a – אִיצְבּוּעַ

Rose Kaplan is an intern at Tablet.