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A brief poem, perhaps by way of explanation. Apologies to my English… - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
May 28th, 2003
11:56 pm

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A brief poem, perhaps by way of explanation. Apologies to my English readers; I can't translate this.

סִיכּוּם בֵּינַיִם

שָׁאַפְתִּי עוֹלָם לְרַפֵּא
וְרִיפִּיתִי.
רָצִיתִי לַפִּיד לְשַׁמֵּשׁ
וְנִבְעַרְתִּי.

Current Mood: frank

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:yulbear
Date:May 28th, 2003 10:52 am (UTC)

wow

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You keep impressing me.
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From:ijon
Date:May 30th, 2003 02:44 am (UTC)

Re: wow

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Maybe I need to be less impressive and more impressionable.
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From:tnok
Date:May 28th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC)
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סמוי הוא כרפא
אבל מרפא.
חש הוא ארור
אך מאיר, והרבה.
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From:ijon
Date:May 30th, 2003 02:43 am (UTC)

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Um, thanks. But, no. I don't.
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From:ukelele
Date:May 28th, 2003 02:12 pm (UTC)
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Well, you *do* keep biasing the "should I learn Hebrew or Arabic" debate in favor of Hebrew.

(I could learn both, I guess. But I only feel the burning desire for one Semitic language. At the moment. Unfortunately, I'm not learning either of them by tomorrow. ;)
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From:ijon
Date:May 30th, 2003 02:41 am (UTC)

Oh, do!

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I do recommend Hebrew, oh so objectively...

Know that you have in me an eager collaborator who'd love to help, in any stage, with words, grammar, texts, and moose.

Oh, and poetry. As gaal's bio says, it's a good reason!
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From:ukelele
Date:May 30th, 2003 04:39 am (UTC)

Re: Oh, do!

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Do you know much about the similarities & differences between the two languages? (Aside from "I know a lot of people with some proficiency in Hebrew and about one with any proficiency in Arabic"...I know that difference already. ;)

Are there, uh, a great many moose majestically roaming the Negev?
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From:ijon
Date:June 1st, 2003 12:44 pm (UTC)

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I don't know Arabic, sadly. I've had a year of elementary Arabic back in elementary school, and that's next to no-good; my vocabulary does not exceed 200 words, and I have practically no grammar.

I do know a little abot phonetic effects common to Hebrew and Arabic, and I have some general ideas about categories of difference and similarity between the two languages -- but no, I can't propose myself as an authority on Hebrew vs. Arabic. I do plan to study Arabic seriously, in parallel to studying Hebrew linguistics some day. It's hard to be serious about Hebrew linguistics without Arabic.

But other languages are more pressing. I'm working on Greek and Latin, and as soon as I dare take another language, I simply must upgrade my intuitive German into fluency, shortly followed by French and Italian.

Most Israeli scientists are of the opinion that there are no moose in Israel. I happen to disagree, and I have reliable word that a certain top-secret unit in the IDF Intelligence Corps is occupied with mapping and researching the habitats of the Common Israeli Moose (aka Alces Alces Judaeae), so I'm optimistic...
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From:gaal
Date:June 8th, 2003 10:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, do!

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Arabic and Hebrew are both Semitic languages. They typically form words out of three-consonant roots, and share many such roots. (So {ktb} generates words for scribing and letters in both languages, for example.)

The generation is extremely productive. The verbs system has a set of forms -- seven in Hebrew and between ten and fifteen in Arabic -- that each denotes a set of aspects. So in Hebrew /katav/ [pa'al form] "wrote"; in Arabic /katab/ means the same. From the same root in Hebrew, you have /nixtav/ [nif'al form] "was written"; a similar passive form exists in Arabic. Also, /hitkatev/ [hitpa'el form] "corresponded [with]", the reflexive form. The greater variety of forms in Arabic makes it a little harder to learn at first (you have to memorize more paradigms -- and more exceptions!) but eventually makes for easier deciphering of words you don't know. Some Arabic forms are rare; for example there is one that's used almost exclusively for sickness. You hear all verb forms in use in Hebrew today, but not for all roots.

The noun systems also have a form meta-structure, and there too there are many substantive similarities. So from the root {drs} or {drsh} you have Arabic /madrase/ and Hebrew /midrasha/, "place of learning" (in Arabic this simply means school; in Hebrew today it has a more religious connotation.) Using {ktl} as a dummy root, the form in Hebrew that this word belongs to is /miktala/, and is used in other place names too, so you have {shtr} -> /mishtara/, "police station"; the same root generates /shoter/ "policeman". The same idea works in Arabic too, though obviously with different forms and vocabularies.

There are other similarities, and of course there are many differences as well.
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From:gaal
Date:June 8th, 2003 10:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, do!

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(That's /kataba/ in the Arabic counterpart to Hebrew /katav/.)

Here's a nice (and short) page about Arabic verbs:

http://www.cedarseed.com/air/arabicverb.html

The specifics are different in Hebrew, but many of the features are available there too.
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From:belvane
Date:May 28th, 2003 07:11 pm (UTC)
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I wish I had my tablet here, to paint what this makes me feel; as words, again, seem too pale. "Beautiful and swirling" just doesn't seem to be effective enough.
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From:khatul
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:06 am (UTC)
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Assaf, your "שָׁאַפְתִּי עוֹלָם לְרַפֵּא וְרִפִּיתִי" is brilliant. It has the watermarks of classical poetry, and is reminiscent of Prophet Isaiah's "וַיְקַו לְמִשְׁפָּט וְהִנֵּה מִשְׂפָּח לִצְדָקָה וְהִנֵּה צְעָקָה".
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From:ijon
Date:May 30th, 2003 02:25 am (UTC)

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Thank you for the compliment. I thought of that verse from Isaiah too, but only post scriptum; I may have subconsciously worked off it, though.
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From:ravell
Date:May 29th, 2003 04:56 am (UTC)

יפה ומדויק

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והלוואי והיה לי יותר לומר
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