with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Hebrew Words for the Tourist

We’ve put together some words and phrases to help you out if you are traveling to Israel.

NOTE: The pronounciations are based upon phonetic sounds. A=ah, E=eh, I=ee, O=oh, U=oo. K and C are interchangeable as a "k" as in "cat" and CH is pronounced as a gutteral "kh", a scraping sound in the throat.

Hebrew Word Guide

Greetings and Common Phrases
English Hebrew
Hello shaLOM
Good-bye shaLOM
Good night LIlah TOV
Good morning boKER TOV
Excuse me sliCHA
Please bevakaSHA
Thank you toDAH
You’re welcome bevakaSHA
How are you? MA nishMA?
Stop REgah
Just a moment REgah
Where is? EYfo?
What? MA?
Why? LAma?
How? EYCH?
When? maTAI?
How long? KAma zman?
yes KEN
no LO
correct naCHOHN
wrong lo naCHOHN
little me’AT/KTZAT
big gaDOL
much harBEY
very me’OD
good TOV
hot CHAM
cold KAR
Hotel and Emergency
hotel maLON
room CHEder
key mafTEach
manager minaHEL
accommodations maKOM
sick choLEH
doctor roFEY
help aZOR
How much? KAma?
How much is this? KAma ze oLEY?
store chaNOOT
expensive yaKAR
cheap zol
cheaper yoTER ZOL
mall caniYON
money KEsef
Eating Out
water MAim
restaurant misaDAH
food Ochel
toilet sheruTIM
menu tafRIT
waiter melTSAR
cafi BEit kaFE
salad saLAT
coffee kaFE
tea te
wine YAIN
fruit peROT
cheese givNA
bread LEchem
bill/ticket cheshBON
airport neMAL t’uFA
ticket carTIS
bus Otobus
taxi taxi/moNIT
car REchev, Oto
straight yaSHAR
to the right yeMIna
to the left SMOLah
north tsaFON
south daROM
east mizRACH
west ma’aRAV
far raCHOK
near kaROV
I ahNI
you aTAH/AT
he hoo
she hee
we aNACHnu
2 shtayim
3 shaLOSH
4 ARba
5 chaMESH
7 SHEva
8 SHMOne
9 TEsha
10 Eser
20 esRIM
30 shloSHIM
40 arbaIM
50 chameSHIM
100 ME’ah
1000 ELef
Sunday YOM riSHON
Monday YOM sheNI
Tuesday YOM shliSHI
Wednesday YOM revi’I
Thursday YOM chamiSHI
Friday YOM shiSHI
Saturday shaBAT
minute daKA
hour SHA’a
day YOM
week shaVU’a
month CHOdesh
today haYOM
tomorrow maCHAR
yesterday etMOL
What time is it? MA haSHA’a?

Tel Aviv, Israel


  • Mason Emerson
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 18:24 | Permalink

    Assuming this is a free service, please give me the Hebrew for:


    (to) understand


    (to) want (as in “need”, “desire” or “wish”)

  • Posted May 24, 2006 at 19:38 | Permalink

    This is not a service. It is a copy of the list of words we used to help get us around in Israel when we first arrived.

    Words like “understand”, “need”, “desire” or “want” have translations but it depends upon usage. The most simple way to let people know you “understand” is to say “yes” which is “ken”. To say “I want” as in “I want turkey” you would say “Ah-nee rot-sah hoh-du” or “Ah-nee rot-say hoh-du” depending if you are a man or a woman. It’s baby talk but it gets your point across. Often their words for such synonyms are based upon what you are wanting and what you are going to do with it.

    There are now some translation services around the net. I’m traveling right now with limited access to the net to dig them up, so just do a search and let me know if you come up with anything interesting.

  • Andie
    Posted June 30, 2006 at 19:51 | Permalink

    I don’t know the word for “already” but…

    If is EEM, rhyming with TEAM. It also means “with” but the words are spelled differently with the Hebrew alphabet, so when spoken it is only context which alerts the listener to the meaning.

  • melissa
    Posted July 4, 2006 at 23:03 | Permalink

    already is “kvar”, rhyming with “car”, and to understand is “lahavin”, pronoucned LAH-HAH-VEEN, if you need something – Ani Tzricha LECHEM – AH-NEE TZREE-CHA LE-CHEM – I need bread

  • Posted July 30, 2006 at 14:05 | Permalink

    If you want to say how is everything, and my name is Jack for instance, you would say: Shalom, Mah Nishmah or Mah Koreh, HaShem Sheli Yaacov.

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