Hello Israel

Did you know Israel is the only country in the world to revive an unspoken language? Hebrew, though still used to study ancient manuscripts, had all but “died” as a spoken language before the rebirth of the modern state of Israel. Today modern Hebrew is a living and vibrant language that continues to change and grow. It includes quite a bit of slang, much of which comes from other languages. The biggest contributors to Hebrew slang are English, Arabic and Yiddish.

One easy to remember slang word that’s used a lot is "ahla" (not to be confused with allah—the “h” in ahla is actually the way English transliterates the Hebrew letter chet, which is pronounced “kh”).  In the context of Hebrew slang, it’s an expressive way to say “good” (think of the English slang equivalents, “great,” “cool” or “sweet”).  The original Arabic word had a connotation of fervent love, and was more a literary term—not unlike the original meaning of the English word “awesome” and how it has made its way into slang.

If you go to Israel, be sure to practice pronouncing the “kh” sound from the letter “chet." You’ll fit right in by saying “akhla” whenever you want to express your enthusiastic affirmation.


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