The best way to learn Hebrew is by speaking with people on the street in Hebrew. Here’s a list of a few fun words that they haven’t taught you in the traditional Ulpans, but are essential to understand what’s going on around you. We’ve also got a couple of celebrity videos at the bottom, and some clinks to cool Israeli TV shows and other resources. Thanks to Citizen Cafe OOlpan for co-writing this post – Citizen Cafe OOlpan are Secret Tel Aviv’s number 1 place to learn Hebrew in Tel Aviv.
Street Slang Word of the Week with Citizen Cafe OOlpan
A new weekly collaboration between Secret Tel Aviv and Citizen Cafe OOlpan.
Street Slang Word of the Week #6: Sachten / סָחתֵיין
Originally from Arabic, used to applaud someone for their accomplishments. An Israeli’s instinctive reaction when you score weed for the whole group.
Street Slang Word of the Week #6: Ein Matzav / אֵין מָצָב
Translating this literally would only be confusing, since this is one of the most common street phrases to mean “No Way!” used in both its negative reply form or an astounded reaction to something amazing.
I say Angelina Jolie eating falafel in Dizengof center yesterday!
Street Slang Word of the Week #5: Sachi / סָחי
If Oxford dictionary gave prizes for the Hebrew word of the year, this would be it.
The opposite state of being stoned, someone who is never stoned or just a nerdy, normal person. The audience at a Shlomo Artzi concert.
Street Slang Word of the Week #4: Satlan / סטלן
A Satlan is a stoner.
However, the term is used more widely to describe someone who is lazy, particularly chilled, or just has that Bob Marley air about them. The friend who’s always late, who will forget you had plans, but at the end of the day is always there for you with a smile on their face.
Now say it a few times before you smoke your next joint, or you will just forget!
Street Slang Word of the Week #3: Dafuk / דָפוּק
Used to describe a person who is screwed-up/ weird/ off the chart.
You might use it to describe a first date who said something wildly inappropriate or about someone who drinks piping hot soup on the beach. “He is totally dafuk”.
Street Slang Word of the Week #2: Maniak / מָניאק
As opposed to what may be your first assumption, maniak is not the the Hebrew translation of maniac but rather, the typical Israeli way of calling someone an asshole.
Warning: use with caution! Only call someone a maniak if you really mean it! Particularly useful on Israeli roads.
Street Slang Word of the Week #1: Fadicha / פאדיחה
An awkward mistake with embarrassing consequences. When you send that sext text message to your boss instead of your boyfriend. You would certainly call this a serious fadicha.
Citizen Cafe OOlpan is Tel Aviv’s best ulpan. It is designed for the new growing community of busy international professionals, helping them to adapt fast in their work and social environments, by offering a conversational focused Hebrew course that makes them feel local and connected. Get 120 NIS discount off their course and a free assessment session when you sign up for more info with Secret Tel Aviv. Read more.
Celebrity Hebrew Classes
Not that much into self learning? Let the professionals teach you!
Celebrity Hebrew Classes #1: Renny Grinshpan of Hiyraeliyot:
Celebrity Hebrew Classes #2: Natalie Portman Teaches you Hebrew Slang:
Other Cool Links to learn some Hebrew
- Guy Sharrett from Streetwise Hebrew has a great list of Israeli songs and Hebrew lyrics on his website and classes on TLV1 radio
- Cool Buzzfeed link with some of the most popular Hebrew words
- Blogpost with five of the most important words
- By Word of Mouth – free audio course
- There are loads of awesome Israeli series which often have English and Hebrew subtitles – check out Ramzor, Hatufim, Asfur, and Red Band
- Daily Dose of Hebrew from Ulpan La-Inyan
- Teach Me Hebrew
- Hebrew Anki Decks
- WordReference Hebrew Forums
- Morfix Dictionary