Symbols part 2

Part 1: here.

Well, here’s another little FB discussion that I thought I’d share. I realise both friends here have names that start with M. So, to help distinguish the difference, the friend who is familiar with Hebrew has a “profile picture” with the Hebrew letter mem, מ, the equivalent of the letter ‘M’. I was asking my friend מ about how to say that I’d had a “good day” since the term “יום טוב”, (yom tov), which literally means “good day”, has another meaning in Hebrew.

Works of art

It turns out that M didn’t fully understand until afterwards. In a later discussion, she said that the stuff I had been writing (Hebrew) were not letters, but “symbols”, “characters”, “works of art”.  I explained that the Latin-based letter system that way use in English is not the only letter system in the world, and that Hebrew has an alphabet (alephbet) of 22 letters. Of course these letters come together to make words.

I think she understands what I was saying now. Can you imagine a speaker of another language looking at what I’m typing here and saying, (in their language, of course) “Those are not words!”?

Something to think about, huh?

~Ken

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One Response to Symbols part 2

  1. Yaelle says:

    יום is male, so:
    איזה יום טוב היה לי היום
    היום היה יום טוב
    As long as you use past tense (היה) it’s clear that the meaning is not “יום טוב”

    Like

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