In the tech space in most countries, the English language rules. However, my experiences at work in Israel have really brought to my attention how a language can change through common usage. The following English verbs have crept into the Hebrew lexicon and allow for the full conjugation according to the rules of the Hebrew language. And maybe this is what I find interesting, that not only is the English word used, but it is altered through conjugation. Using the ‘real’ Hebrew word instead of the English word will get you a puzzled look from your conversation partner. Most of these words I have learnt at work, in the hi-tech sector, but many of them are used every day by non-geeks as well…
|To configure (eg., a setting on a computer application)||L'kanfeg||לקנפג|
|To interact with someone on Facebook||L’fassbeck||לפסבק|
|To be purged (reflexive)||L’hitpargej||להתפרג’ג'|
|To be made active||L’actev||לאקטב|
Of course, many English nouns are used as well instead of their Hebrew counterparts. Nouns are a lot less exciting because it seems to be much more acceptable to use the ‘real’ Hebrew word rather than the English one. Additionally, the only ‘change’ they undergo is that they take on the Hebrew form of the plural rather than the English. The interesting part is guessing whether an English noun becomes masculine or feminine – and this pretty much goes by feel. For example:
And then there is my very favourite adjective, found a lot in apartment rental ads, the word is “בילדאין” (bildin), sometimes written as two words “בילד אין” (bild in”, the second word, in Hebrew, is a negation word. So after spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out what the word “bild” meant, I finally realised that just like the term used in English for parking brakes in a car (hand-brakes) has morphed into the amusing “ham-brakes” in Hebrew, “bildin” is basically the English term “built-in” – referring to an oven or something similar in the kitchen. Go figure!
Of course, this is just the tip of the ice-berg, I could go on forever…