Language Challenged

What can I say other than I am language challenged. For me languages do not come easily and Hebrew is no exception. I tried learning German in high school and some success with that, especially when I actually got to go over to Germany and use it. However, with Hebrew I cannot readily go find someone who speaks it…not even my husband. (I will say Ian had a slight unfair advantage, though it has come in handy for me with learning the alphabet…cause if it was good enough for his class than it is good enough for me when it comes to writing the letters.)

While I was reading over all the different information and basic structure of Hebrew, I solidified my conclusion that the English language is insane. (there is a reason people have trouble learning it.) The fact that Hebrew words, i.e. nouns and verbs, are built around triliteral roots is so cool. Three basic consonants that one adds vowels to, or in this case vowel points, to make up one whole word. Compared to German this is a walk in the park when it comes to making words and even spelling them.

Having listened as my husband took Hebrew, I have picked up on at least one thing that was pretty neat to me, and that was the idea of repetition. There were instances like in Genesis where the Hebrew says that they “died dying,” or in Exodus where they describe God as “triumphing triumphantly.” The additional use of the word adds an emphasis that I think is sorely missed in the English translation of the Bible. It also adds intensity to what they are saying. For instance, the “died dying” statement helps to capture the idea of spiritual and physical death at the same time, while the English translations have to infer such thought.

All of this is still pretty new to me and I am just hoping that I am learning it correctly.

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5 Responses

  1. I like your term – Language Challenged! I suffer from the same problem! Tried French in high school, German in college. I can (somewhat) count to ten in French, and say “Are you sick? I have a pen” (extremely useful phrases) in German.

    Numbers make sense to me – languages not so much. But . . .I am plugging away at the Hebrew alphabet, and recognize the benefits in learning it. Like you, I just hope I am learning it correctly!

  2. Guess I am also Blog Challenged! I thought I left this comment earlier – it may be wandering somewhere in cyberspace, but apparently did not wind up as a comment to your original post. I have a LOT to learn in my return to school . . .

    I like your term – Language Challenged! I suffer from the same problem! Tried French in high school, German in college. I can (somewhat) count to ten in French, and say “Are you sick? I have a pen” (extremely useful phrases) in German.

    Numbers make sense to me – languages not so much. But . . .I am plugging away at the Hebrew alphabet, and recognize the benefits in learning it. Like you, I just hope I am learning it correctly!

  3. I second the language trouble…However, I am doing all right with the alphabet. One thing I do like about the Hebrew alphabet is I have seen like 50 different ways to spell each letter when learning the name, which means I possibly can’ spell it wrong 🙂

    I share your worry that I am learning the correct thing. See you all monday.

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