Hebrew Language Guide for Tourists In Israel

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Although most people in Israel can speak English, and a plethora of other languages, Hebrew is the national language. Modern Hebrew, which is spoken in Israel is an adapted version of the language which comes from Biblical Hebrew. Hebrew is also the only example of an extinct language which was successfully revived.

When traveling in Israel it can be helpful to understand a few simple words and phrases. Not only it is helpful in understanding, but speaking Hebrew with locals is a great way to make connections and gain a deeper understanding of the people and the culture in Israel.

As tourists in Israel, there is no expectation to speak Hebrew, however, it is almost always appreciated and shows that visitors are making an effort to speak or understand the language. It may feel silly to say words, even if mispronounced it shows a sign of trying to connect and understand and is most often positively received by locals. Here is a helpful Hebrew Language Guide for Tourists in Israel.

Hebrew basic words for tourists in Israel:

Hello – “Shalom” ( also saying “Hi” is understood)
Thank you – “To-dah”
Thank you very much – “To-dah Rabah”
Yes – “Ken”
No – “Loh”
Please – “Ba-vaka-shah”
Goodbye – “Shalom” (also saying “Bye” is understood)
Cheers – “Le-Chaim”

Hebrew basic phrases for Tourists in Israel:

Good Morning – “Boker Tov”
Good Night – “Layla Tov”
Good Evening – “Erev Tov”
I speak English – “Ani meda-ber Angleet” (m) / “Ani meda-beret Angleet” (f)
Where is the bathroom? – “Efo ha-sheruteem?”
How much is this? – “Cama Ze?”

Hebrew food words for Tourists in Israel:

Water – “Mayim”
Bread – “Lechem”
Menu – “Tafreet”
Can I have an English Menu? – “Efshar Tafreet ba’Angleet”?
Vegetarian – “Tzeem-chonee”
Vegan – “Tee-vonee”
Meat – “Basar”
Wine – “Yain”
Beer – “Beera”
Coffee – “Caffe”

Hebrew Slang words for Tourists in Israel

Sure or no problem – “ Sabbaba”
Come on, or Let’s Go – “Yalla”
Bro or Dude – “Achi” – (literally translates to my brother)
Cool – “Achla” or “Magneev”
End of the road (something good) – “Sof ha derech”
Awesome or great – “Esh” (literally translates to fire)

Want to learn more about the slang that is written all over Tel Aviv? Join this Tel Aviv Street Art Tour to understand the subculture and vibrantly diverse street art and graffiti scene in Tel Aviv. Or test out language skills in the market on this Market Food Tour. If you’d like to combine the two, you can also opt to join this Best of Tel Aviv and Jaffa Walking Tour. To fully prepare for your trip to Israel, check out this beginner’s guide to Israel and the 10 best tours in Israel.

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