Language revelations over a Brooklyn breakfast

Blog | 3 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

I admit, I was always some kind of a language nerd. Words have always deeply moved me, and I believe that being multilingual is an actual superpower. Growing up in Israel with English around me (South African family), I always felt pretty comfortable with the language. I chatted with my grandma in English, easily understood all the shows and movies I was obsessed with, and always got advanced assignments from my English teacher in primary school. That’s probably when I realized how learning a new language can improve my skillshare.

Is expanding my skillshare that important?

Even if we are putting language skills aside- learning and improving new skills is the key to staying sharp! It could help you in various fields, not only for your brain, but also for your career. It’s always impressive to see on a resume some special skills. And even better- have you ever tried to impress your date by telling them you know some exotic language? Works like a charm.
Now let’s get back to talking about learning new languages. Research shows that people who are investing their time in learning new languages usually will have a better memory, and will be better at problem solving and decision making. Who wouldn’t want that, seriously?

How does learning a new language improve my skillshare?

I was 21 when I first came across English that I didn’t quite understand. I was on my first trip back to the states as an adult and I was sitting in a restaurant in Brooklyn. I was trying to order my breakfast when the waiter asked me, “Do you want your eggs scrambled or over-easy?” Woah. This was confusing. I knew what scrambled eggs were, but what the heck was “over-easy?” I suppose I could have simply asked him, but for some reason, I didn’t. The local lingo I wasn’t familiar with made me feel like an outsider and that feeling lingered as I sat there eating my scrambled eggs.
So yeah, maybe ordering breakfast isn’t the most desirable skill to have, but it only proves how learning a new language can help you with the little things in life. Overall, language learning lessons are a great way of sharpening your brain, and it’s also something that is really fun to learn!

How can a Hebrew teacher improve my Hebrew skillshare?

When I first encountered Citizen Café, I was immediately drawn to the concept of teaching Hebrew with a method that makes perfect sense to me; I love how the words, phrases, and slang we teach are ones I use every day with my friends. I love how we manage to bring complex grammatical structures home to our students. And I really love the flow of each class.
One of the most beautiful moments in class comes when students use local expressions spontaneously and correctly, without even thinking about it! To me, this is where the magic happens.
And this is why a Hebrew teacher is so important for your process. You will probably need some kind of guidance along the way, maybe even you’ll need some other, unconventional way to learn, just like I did. You could use the help of a teacher to expand your skillshare (or even just your knowledge in Hebrew words) in the way that is most suitable for you.

(Oh and by the way, eventually I did find out what an “over-easy egg” is – in Hebrew we call it ״עין הפוכה״ (ah-yeen Hah-fooh-chah) which means, well, an upside-down eye. Go figure
Want to sharpen up your Hebrew and learn local slang that will truly make a difference in your speaking confidence?
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