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!שלום עולם

September 26, 2011

If you’ve stumbled on this blog, then welcome.  Let me start off by giving you an idea of what is going on here.

My name is יונתן, but most folks in the English-speaking world know me as T.J..  I’m a 30-something software developer living in Baltimore, Maryland, US, and for years, I’ve made it a constant new year’s resolution to actually improve my Hebrew.  As you can imagine, juggling family, work, school and other extracurricular activities, I’ve not had much time to actually make a dent in this goal.

Until this year.

In the last few months, I’ve subscribed to שער למתחיל, a Hebrew newspaper for beginners.  I’ve gotten new dictionaries and verb books, and I’ve made an effort to start subscribing to Hebrew language tweets.  (Which is a nice way to say, if you’re also learning, follow my Hebrew tweet-feed at @YonatanMatanyah.)  But the problem is, I don’t have a great means to improve my vocabulary.  Like most Jews in the Diaspora, I learned mostly enough Hebrew to daven and read Torah – I didn’t learn enough conversational Hebrew beyond asking directions and basic verbal transactions.  When I go to Israel, folks switch to English on me.

So this is where the blog comes in.

Each month, I’m going to pick a theme that interests me.  (I promise, I’ll keep it interesting and not too esoteric.  AND, to make it easy, I’ll base my months on the solar calendar.)  I’ll highlight a word each day that has to do with the theme, all the way through the month, and I’ll make sure to use those words in my tweet feed.  Likewise, I encourage you to leave me notes – English or Hebrew – about the themes you’re seeing and would like to see.

So.  Let’s get into this thing together!  The first word will appear on October 1st.


And most importantly – thank you for reading.

  1. TCN permalink

    Hi TJ —

    Will your first theme have something to do with ice, by chance?

    Can you tell us what the “camp of Kring” is?



    • The fun of typing without vowels, sometimes. Alas. (I’ll be putting up how to pronounce things as well, since what is the fun of learning to read if you don’t know how to say it?)

      My first theme is going to be ‘sports’. As you may have already surmised from the conjecture about ‘ice’, קרלנג is curling, a sport. (I thought it appropriate for fall, given that we, in the United States, are just starting to get into the heart of sport season with football, hockey and (perhaps) basketball in full swing in the coming weeks.)

      I hope that clears up some of the confusion, and welcome aboard!

  2. Nick permalink

    Interesting approach with bitesize vocab and just improving it word by word. I can tell that you are really into the technical side too, with conjunctions, grammar tables and stuff like that. Good luck TJ!

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