Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

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Pere
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Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:31 pm

Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Pere »

Mistake number 2.
You write נוכלו as meaning "we will be able". It must be נוכל as it is found, for instance, in Gn 24:50.
Your word means nothing as you wrote it. 'They will be able' is יוכלו--- see 2Sa 17:17.

Friendly,
Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain)
kwrandolph
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by kwrandolph »

Pere wrote:Mistake number 2.
You write נוכלו as meaning "we will be able". It must be נוכל as it is found, for instance, in Gn 24:50.
Your word means nothing as you wrote it. 'They will be able' is יוכלו--- see 2Sa 17:17.
What is written there is “We are not able to do it” with the action indicated by the third person singular pronominal suffix. It’s not just “We are not able.”

Other verbs, most notably עשה, sometimes indicate an action through use of a third person singular pronominal suffix, so why not יכל?

Genesis 24:50 has the object spelled out, not a pronominal suffix. 2 Samuel 17:17 is a third person plural.

This is the danger I alluded to in a previous message — when we try to communicate outside of direct examples provided in Tanakh, it’s possible that we’ll end up using an incorrect form with no native speaker to correct us. Or we may try to say something with no native speaker to show us the way, so we don’t know if it’s correct or not. The Yiqtol first person plural of יכל is used only 12 times, not once with a pronominal suffix but most of the times with the action spelled out in full. Is it correct to use יכל with a pronominal suffix?

Karl W. Randolph.
Pere
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Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:31 pm

Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Pere »

In Ps 13:5 I find a case of יכל + pronominal suffix.
But maybe this is the only occurence within the whole Tanakh.

Greetings.
Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain)
Pere
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Pere »

Karl,

Your text כן ולא should it not be כן או לא?

Hearty,
Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain)
kwrandolph
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by kwrandolph »

Pere wrote:Your text כן ולא should it not be כן או לא?
Again I tried to say something for which I find no precedence in Tanakh, so both of these don’t feel right. I finally went with what felt less strange. Yes, it very well could be wrong.

The phrase אם כן is found.

The correct way of saying “if so or not” may actually be אם כן או אם לא כן but I don’t remember anywhere in the Bible where this idea is mentioned. Do you?

Karl W. Randolph.
Pere
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:31 pm

Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Pere »

Mistake number 3.
Your word נלמד should be למדנו (pattern of דברנו, look at 1Sa 20:23(.
Should it not?

Friendly,
Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain)
kwrandolph
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by kwrandolph »

Pere wrote:Mistake number 3.
Your word נלמד should be למדנו (pattern of דברנו, look at 1Sa 20:23(.
Should it not?
Why?

( 1 Samuel 20:23 has a different contextual structure than my sentence, therefore doesn’t give a counter example.)

Karl W. Randolph.
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Ben Putnam
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Ben Putnam »

I'm glad this is a friendly discussion. I think Karl's challenge is a good thing to consider, but perhaps discussion of this sort can be had in another thread. I believe, as well as I think most everybody does, that endeavoring to use biblical Hebrew for everyday communication does have major limitations; however, I do not see why this should impede a goal of fluency to as high a degree as is possible.

I'd like to focus on using the language to describe pictures here in this thread. One reason I chose the image I did was that it is a scene that doesn't contain cats, elephants, or computers, things foreign to the bH corpus we have. That's not to say that we can't be creative and discuss those kinds of things; one could still use generalities to comment on specifics (e.g. a cat is still 'a small animal', and an elephant is 'a large animal', etc.).

I also want to promote a low-stress environment for language practice. Mistakes are, of course, inevitable here and in any setting where real language internalization is taking place and a second language is being practiced. Recognizing that, let's continue to exercise grace in our interactions in the language and not be hypercritical. Even if we know that the other person is wrong, it's not absolutely necessary to correct them. And there are other ways of alerting others to more correct forms. Language is self-correcting, however, through continued use and exposure. As we continue our attempts at using bH and continue to listen to and/or read tana"x, our command of the language will become more nuanced. And in turn, the whole field can benefit.

חפצתי לדבר על התמונה. יש פרה לפני הבית. מה עוד
Ben Putnam
kwrandolph
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by kwrandolph »

Ben Putnam wrote:I'm glad this is a friendly discussion. I think Karl's challenge is a good thing to consider, but perhaps discussion of this sort can be had in another thread. I believe, as well as I think most everybody does, that endeavoring to use biblical Hebrew for everyday communication does have major limitations; however, I do not see why this should impede a goal of fluency to as high a degree as is possible.
Notice, even when questioning whether or not we should do this in practice has elicited a response going outside of any example that we can find actually used in Tanakh. See also below.
Ben Putnam wrote:חפצתי לדבר על התמונה. יש פרה לפני הבית. מה עוד
One of the difficulties I had when trying to make a Hebrew sentence, is that there’s no word that I could remember meaning “picture”. התמונה refers to a 3D form, not a picture Exodus 20:4, Deuteronomy 4:12, 15–6, 23, 25, 5:8 and Job 4:16.

The phrase לדבר על is found in Judges 19:3 meaning “to speak to” another person. To talk about another person or thing apparently is לדבר ב with the ב as a prefix to what is being talked about, Numbers 12:8, Deuteronomy 11:19.

My question was, are not the sentences as in your example too simple for us to learn anything?

Karl W. Randolph.
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Ben Putnam
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Re: Some Fun with Biblical Hebrew for Real Communication

Post by Ben Putnam »

Yes, תמונה in tana"x seems to be referring only to the form of someone or something or the way it looks, and there seems to be no better way to refer to a picture as such in bH. I guess I could have used English, "ba-PICTURE," or perhaps you can offer a better option?

For the record, Judges 19:3 has לדבר על־לבה 'to speak upon her heart'. I understand this as an idiomatic expression for speaking tenderly or kindly here, not a plain vanilla 'to speak to a person'. Do you see it differently?

Thanks for the tip about לדבר ב. Didn't realize that.
Karl Randolph wrote:My question was, are not the sentences as in your example too simple for us to learn anything?
One of the benefits of communicative exercises like this is that it is time spent within the language (with mistakes and all, as I already mentioned). If you find my sentences too basic, there is no need to feel limited; be creative. As far as the level of complexity goes, you are only limited by your creativity.

My question was מה עוד. Feel free to contribute if you'd like.
Ben Putnam
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