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מנזקי הגלות - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
October 12th, 2004
02:17 am


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מנזקי הגלות
יהונתן גפן שוהה בארה"ב מזה שנים אחדות, למיטב זכרוני. נתגלגל לידי גליון "סופשבוע", שבו יש לגפן טור שבועי, וגיליתי בו את השפעת האנגלית גם על גפן, אדם שלשונו היא מקור מחייתו. הוא רוצה להסתייג משמות המבצעים הצה"ליים, ומעיר משהו על ההקשר התנ"כי של ביטוי מסוים, באומרו: "...ואם אני יודע את התנ"ך שלי, ...". הניב האנגלי, כמובן, זועק כאן מבעד ללבוש העברי.


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(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2004 01:55 am (UTC)
שאני אהיה ארור! אולי זה נאמר על דרך הפרודיה?
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2004 02:33 am (UTC)
אולי. למיטב שיפוטי, לא כך הדבר.
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2004 06:05 pm (UTC)

Another vote for the tongue-in-cheek

...though I know YG only by reputation and his oeuvre not at all.
The implication with this particular pair (it's spozed to be מכיר, right? yes??) is that only someone who doesn't "know his TaNa"Kh" would mangle the language thus. So I'd argue (litely) for its being a deliberate tweak, rather than an instance of careless contamination. Fair call?

I so wish I knew Hebrew well enough to catch more of what I'm surely missing. What I do have at hand are (a) my instincts for reading comprehension -- a sense for knowing what I don't know and when to seek assistance -- and (b) the blessing of a day job in the company of a well-educated native speaker who's got a few supplementary languages under his belt (that somewhat overlap my own set), who fills in some of my gaps (in the workplace, especially so I can do a creditable job at translating from source text that deserves the best). A stretch like you've offered me here, helps. Thanks!
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC)
Two things:

First, he's been back in Israel for a year or so. It was actually quite fascinating to watch the progress of his pieces - from awe and admiration at the good order and good spirits in which things were accomplished in Boston to sputtering rage that *HE* was expected to fit in with the rules and actually live by them. I knew it was all over when he called someone who insisted that he live up to whatever rules there were, around him, an anti-Semite. (I'm not making this up. Specifically, I'm thinking of his building superintendent, whom he nicknamed Ivan. If I remember correctly, he was thrown out of his building for smoking - despite the fact that he was in a no-smoking building. He couldn't, apparently, conceive of a rule that wasn't bendable - and therefore, set off the fire alarms and/or sprinklers, causing mega-damage, and got kicked out. His take on that: anti-Semites were after the Jews.)

Second, Geffen uses what he understands of English to expand Hebrew's reach and spectrum. He's relying on a long tradition of innovators, there. Some of what he'll use will catch on as is; other bits will take on a new meaning ("by hook or by crook" was doing that about 4 years ago, as was "whatsoever", both of which were copied verbatim from English but changed to suit a lacuna of significane); and some will just sound ODD and not catch on at all. But whatever the fate of the borrowed neologism, it is not "chaval" that he uses it - that's what a lively language requires. He is an active part of the thriving of the language.

Just my two bits.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2004 12:48 am (UTC)
Modern colloquial Hebrew was born only a century ago, and it still needs all the help it can get - not least in useful idioms, of which it is quite lacking. As it now stands, Hebrew is rather deficient and poorly equipped; its vocabulary is particularly limited (at least as concerns words which you can use without sounding extremely pretentious). To build walls around this still developing language and set it in stone would be narrow minded and unnecessarily puristic. The time for purism may come in two or three centuries of usage, but for now it would be better to let the language simply live.
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