Posted on Oct 31, 2018

Sicha Yomit Online

The advantage of the Israel of 45 years ago was that the entire world was an ulpan.

I remember one time while visiting Tel Aviv, as I walked down the street, I mentally reviewed all the Hebrew words for the various objects that I saw. Being a commercial street the various storefronts carried large very visible signs. For the life of me, I could not remember the Hebrew word for a sign. As everyone was generally so willing to help me learn the language, I politely stopped the first pedestrian that walked by. Pointing to the nearest sign I asked my question “?מה זה” [“What’s this?”] When my interlocutor didn't quite understand what it was I was asking I tried again. “?איך קוראים לזה” [“What do you call this?”]

As it became clear that my question was still not understood, I started pointing to various examples of commercial signs and each time repeated my question. Our interaction evidently attracted attention and various other passers-by stopped to listen to our exchange. Several even offered their opinion as to exactly what it was I wanted.

Finally, one very astute woman figured out that I was talking about signs. With great drama and clear enunciation, she pointed to one sign and slowly said “שלט”! She then pointed to multiple examples and said “שלטים”! I also pointed to one sign and repeated her example. A look of approval spread across the faces of my audience. The twenty or so people that had gathered around us spontaneously broke out into applause.

Contact Us
Message sent. We'll get back to you soon.