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Monday, July 13, 2009

How Returning a Can of Tuna Made Me Realize I'm Rocking the Hebrew

Recently, I borrowed a can of tuna (fascinating, I know).

Because my neighbor is a native English-speaker, my request for tuna went something like this: "Hey - can I borrow a can of tuna?"

A couple days later, I went to the local grocery to buy a replacement. As I walked out with my can of tuna, I suddenly imagined myself borrowing a can of tuna from a Hebrew speaking neighbor, and wondered how to say it correctly.

Chavilat tuna? No, it's not really a package. Kufsah? Nope, that's more of a box. Bakbuk? No. Cancan - not exactly, that's more like a Diet Coke. Then I caught it - Pach. It's a pach of tuna!

After nailing the right word, I suddenly realized - look how many words I know for packaging! I AM THE BEST HEBREW SPEAKER IN THE WORLD!!!

Okay, maybe not. But little victories are what it's all about in the quest to Israelify. Feelin' good.

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  • At 1:54 PM , Blogger shilo said...

    Actually, KUFSA would be more appropriate, because for some reasons here in Israel the general name for (conserve) cans is KUFSAUT SHIMURIM. But, anyway your multi languages knowledge is really impressive.

  • At 12:25 PM , Anonymous Hebrew Student said...

    I really like this post about which Hebrew word to use. I lived in Israel for about 5 years and learned Hebrew there. I often did things similar to what you did, knowing several Hebrew words but not quite what the right one was. I used to ask for "pachit Kola" (a can of Coke) a lot. Or a carton of cigarettes (several packets wrapped together) would probably be chavila, rather than kufsa (a single box). Thanks!

  • At 11:51 AM , Blogger גיל רונן said...

    Pachit cola is the common usage actually. Carton sigaryot is also the common usage.


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