The First Hebrew Word I Ever Saw

If you’ve ever passed Kingston Harbour, or driven around Jamaica , you’ve likely seen it too. When I was younger, I was torn between whether it was supposed to be read “DIX” or “DIZ”. It turns out, it’s neither.

This Hebrew word, צים (tsim) is romanized below; Zim, the name of an Israeli shipping company. One or two summers ago, as I was relearning the Hebrew alphabet, I finally recognised this as Hebrew. Took this pic with my phone one day as I was walking home from work.

I used to wonder why the ‘ts’ sound is sometimes translated into English a ‘z’, but then, I thought of words like pizza, and realised that in early English (or, the languages that influenced English), ‘z’ probably sounded like ‘ts’. Weird.

Anyway, Zim gets free advertising because of my randomness. Heh. Go me.

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One Response to The First Hebrew Word I Ever Saw

  1. Yaelle says:

    Z in German is pronounced like the Hebrew צ and German was quite influential in the time when they were reviving the Hebrew language (late 19th-early 20th centuries). The name צבי, for instance, is romanizied Zvi, and many more examples….

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