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Learn, Practice, and Perfect Your Hebrew: To Die For

The StreetWise podcast from TLV1 in Israel can help you use Hebrew to properly talk about happiness with death-related terms

Rose Kaplan
April 05, 2016

Here’s a Hebrew lesson to die for. Er, I mean, to die on, as the Hebrew translation goes. But don’t lose your head. I don’t literally mean you should lay down and die on your next batch of scrumptious matzo crunch.

In Hebrew, “dying on” something is typically equivalent to saying it’s “to die for” in English, as host Guy Sharett explains in this week’s selected episode of the StreetWise Hebrew podcast.

In the audio below, Sharrett offers a number of other examples of ways that words associated with death in Hebrew are used, via the addition of prepositions (phrasal verbs), to talk about a wide range of emotions. For example, in “Chayav Lamoot Alay,” an upbeat track by pop group Chamsa, we learn that ata chayav lamoot alay (“you must die on me”) is a way to talk about love and crushes. Or, as in “Etsli Ha-Kol Beseder,” Boaz Shar’abi’s impassioned torch song, we get ha-yom kvar lo metim me-ahava, or “today people don’t just die from love”—that is, nowadays, people don’t seem to go quite as crazy over love as they used to.

Here are a few other examples: Lamoot mi-tschok, or “dying from laughter” (it’s really funny); met mi-shi-amoom, “dying from boredom” (it’s really boring), met mi-pachad, “dying from fear” (it’s really scary), and ani met me-raav, “I’m dying from hunger” (I’m really hungry). And I’ll leave you with that, because right now, ani meta le-matzo crunch, I’m dying for some of that matzo crunch.

You can listen to the episode, titled “Hebrew Is To Die For,” below, and as always, follow along with the words and phrases below as you listen.

Ata chayav lamoot alay – אַתָּה חַיָּיב לָמוּת עָלַיי

Ani meta aleyhem – אֲנִי מֵתָה עֲלִיהֶם

Na’alayim yafot – נַעֲלַיִים יָפוֹת

Ani meta al shokolad – אֲנִי מֵתָה עַל שוֹקוֹלָד

Lamoot mi – -לָמוּת מִ

Met mi-sartan – מֵת מִסַּרְטָן

Ha-yom kvar lo metim me-ahava – הַיּוֹם כְּבָר לֹא מֵתִים מֵאֲהָבָה

Lamoot mi-tschok – לָמוּת מִצְּחוֹק laughing

Met mi-shi’amoom – מֵת מִשִּׁעֲמוּם boredom

Met mi-pachad – מֵת מִפַּחַד fear

Ani met me-raav – אֲנִי מֵת מֵרָעָב hunger

Ani ra-ev met – אֲנִי רָעֵב מֵת

Ani ayef met – אֲנִי עָיֵיף מֵת

Ani chole met – אֲנִי חוֹלֶה מֵת

Ani meta mi-ze – אֲנִי מֵתָה מִזֶּה

Ani meta le-croissant – אֲנִי מֵתָה לְקְרוּאָסוֹן dying for a croissant

Ani meta le’echol croissant – אֲנִי מֵתָה לֶאֱכוֹל קְרוּאָסוֹן

Ani met lir’ot ota ha-layla – אֲנִי מֵת לִרְאוֹת אוֹתָה הַלַּילָה

Hi meta al shokolad – הִיא מֵתָה עַל שֹׁוקוֹלָד

Hi meta mi-shokolad – הִיא מֵתָה מִשּׁוֹקוֹלָד

Hi meta le-shokolad – הִיא מֵתָה לְשוֹקוֹלָד

Hi meta le’echol shokolad –הִיא מֵתָה לֶאֱכוֹל שׁוֹקוֹלָד

Ani met, ani meta, anachnu metim, aten metot – אֲנִי מֵת, אני מֵתָה, אֲנָחְנוּ מֵתִים, אָתֶן מֵתוֹת

Mateti le-shokolad – מַתְתִי לְשוֹקוֹלָד

Hayita met – הָיִיתָ מֵת

Mavet – מַוֶות

Ta’im mavetv – טָעִים מַוֶות

Yafe mavet –יָפֶה מַוֶות

Rose Kaplan is an intern at Tablet.