Hebrew Phrases Every Tourist Should Know

Coming to visit Israel for the first time? Intimidated by the Hebrew language? No need to worry! We have some key phrases to teach you to help you get around.

Communicating in a new country requires knowledge of language, expressions and culture cues.

But don’t worry in Israel and especially in Jerusalem you can always find someone who speaks English. Download a trusted translation app to your phone and you will be all set. The days of walking around with a big tour book full of local expressions are long gone.

So what other tips can we give you for your first trip? When trying to use your familiar expressions to express yourself ,you also need to know that they don’t often translate. Just last night as I watch the popular Australian tv series “Place to Call Home” on YES cable. I laughed as I saw them translate the expression “You made your bed and now you need to sleep in it” into a more Israeli expression of “You made your oatmeal and now you have to eat it.”

Ever wonder why you get a funny response when you think you know that you have used the right hebrew word to express yourself? The Hebrew language is gender specific so you may be saying the right word but saying it in a feminine manner to a male or vice versa.

In honor of International Hebrew Language Day, here are some of our favorite expressions that will come in handy for tourists…

  1. “Sababa”Sure or no problem
  2. “Aifo HaSherutim”Where is the bathroom?
  3. “Efshar Et HaHeshbon”Can I have the bill?
  4. “Bevakasha”Please
  5. “Shalom” – Hello , goodbye, peace
  6. “Mayim” – Water
  7. “Ani lo medaber ivrit”I don’t speak Hebrew
  8. “Ani lo fryer”You cant take advantage of me or I am not gullible
  9. “Mone Bevakasha”Please put on the taxi meter
  10. “Kef Chaim”Tons of fun

That should get you started and you’ll be surprised how many phrases you will pick up on your stay here.

Comment below if you think of other phrases we should share with first time tourists. 


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