Hebrew with No Distance

1 min read
Daniella Tourgeman, Hebrew Teacher
Daniella Tourgeman, Hebrew Teacher

If you know an Israeli – you probably already heard the expression אחי, מה קורה? (ah-chee, mah koh-reh?), which means “My brother, what’s up?” before.

Modern Hebrew is filled with many phrases like that, that reflect the closeness and non-distant vibe in the Israeli street, home, and workplace.

Why is this intimate and distant-free approach so common in Israel? And how does it translate into everyday language?

First, Israel is a tiny country. This resolves to everyone knowing everyone – literally! The chances that your new boss is the brother-in-law of your friend from high school – are actually very high. Family and brotherhood are big-time values, and the feeling of interconnecting is real.

Also, if you’ve ever visited Israel between April and October, you know – it’s an incredibly hot place! The temperatures are high, and so is the temperament – making it impossible and unnecessary to waste time on distancing and saying the ‘correct’ things in ‘proper’ time. Making friends and connections is easy and fun with distance-free lingo, and it helps people feel at ease from the start.

So, here are three casual Hebrew expressions you can use in conversations to set the tone:

אחי and my sister אחותי (ah-choh-tee): start a chat with these words when you want to set the tone of family and inclusivity.

תגיד (tah-geed): this word means tell me (as in, right now). You can always use it to speed up conversations and make them more direct.

What’s up מה קורה? (Mah Koreh): A question you can ask anyone, whether you’re talking to your doctor or meeting a new friend for dinner, to dive into a conversation right away!

Get a FREE practice and find your Hebrew level!
join the fun and Get 20% Off
Digital Courses!
Signup to stay in the Loop with Tips, Tricks, and More for Learning Hebrew!

You’ve got options

Learn Hebrew online from anywhere in the world with live classes taught by our local teachers!

Learn Hebrew Online

Join us IRL at our Tel Aviv campus with intimate class sizes and our amazing community of locals.

Learn Hebrew in Person
Skip to main content

Get 20% off

you first Hebrew digital course

Signup to stay in the Loop with Tips, Tricks, and More for Learning Hebrew!