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Hebrew is important and we have to connect with the Holy Land. However, more important than Hebrew is sounding Israeli. Otherwise, you will get ripped off. Here are some of the secrets I have learned over the many years, for how to sound like a native.
They're not angry. It's just how they sound. It's how you greet people. You want to sound and look angry. The angriest sounding person I ever heard was a father giving a speech at his daughter's wedding. He angrily said, 'My daughter just got married!!! Mazal Tov to me!!! I am very happinessie. I want to thank everybody for coming and sharing in our Simcha!!!' Such joy.
Note: And add letters to words. An 'ie' goes well at the end of every word.
Sounding angry also helps you when there's a long line. If you sound extremely angry and unstable, people will let you cut. I have also used this technique in American inner cities, and it has helped with my safety.
Say 'Ehhh' whenever there is a pause in what you want to say. Otherwise, the other person will have a chance to talk. You don't want that. That kind of give and take will kill a conversation.
To note, also touch the other person's arm in the middle of the conversation. It forces them to stay and listen to your other jokes.
Talk in a Voice Four Octaves Lower Than Your Natural Voice Allows
I don't know how these tiny men and women have such deep voices. However, they are extremely deep, and scary.
It might have something to do with the wars and all the enemies surrounding Israel. The Israelis talk in real low voices and the enemies think they are huge and angry. They run. It's like voice camouflage. And it gets you better deals at the shuk.
Welcome People with a Command
When you say 'Hello,' say it in command form. We are very connected to the Tzahal, the Israeli army, and we support it.
The first time an Israeli said hi to me, I got scared. They came over to me, 'Shalom!!!!' My response was, 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.' And then I started doing push-ups. Very scary.
Attack them with a 'Mah Shlomcha!!!!' You ask that question of greeting with a strong command of 'How are you?!!!!!' This way, you get an answer.
Hello is a Competition
Be ready for the greeting competition. If you apply yourself, you can win. There will be back and forths, even during the week. Don't back down. Give and takes: Be healthy. Be Mazal. Be strong. Enjoy your new shoes. Enjoy your new sandals. Blessed be God. Never use, 'Blessed be God' until it's over. It's too easy. Once you get them to go there, they've lost.
Shabbat is very hard to be prepared for. They will one-up you. You come at them 'Shabbat Shalom,' and they're going to top you with 'uMvorach!!!' And a blessed Shabbat to you!!! You've got to be ready. Holidays are much harder. You come to them with a 'Moadim LSimcha' and immediately they got you with 'Chagim uZmanim LSason!!!' To translate, 'Times of Happiness.' 'Holidays and times of rejoice to you!!!'
Command Your Kindness
This is how you welcome guests. The beautiful Mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim isn't a question. You ensure they are coming. Kindness is better when they have no way out. 'You come for dinner!!! I feed you!!!' Now there is no question if you're having guests. They are coming.
You command them, 'I pass you salt!!!' You now know they will respond, 'OK. I will have salt.' No need to worry if they're enjoying the dinner. You command them, 'You have a good time!!!' They will.They're too scared to not enjoy themselves.
Note: Leaving out words from your sentences scares them into enjoyment even more.
Leave Out the Last Letter When You Speak English
Monopol is Monopoly. Shop is the verb. Hence, 'We go shop.' Even better, leave out words. You don't say, 'We go to the Kotel.' Proper Israeli English is, 'We go Kotel.'
Pronounce Every Silent Letter That Not Supposed to Be There
This Knowledge. Pronounce the 'K.' Always pronounce it. Knife. Knowledge. Listen.
Add letters, if you like. Happinissie. Just remember to pronounce the letters you add yourself. Knowledge? No. 'Knowledgie' is the correct word. You added the 'ie.'
LincoLon. That was the presidentie.
Make People Feel Like They Did Something Wrong
Use your hand for this. You put your fingers together, with your fingers facing up. Then bring your hand out to chin level, with a slight bend in the arm. It is at that height that the other person will know they did something wrong.
Make a 'ti' sound with your tongue while holding your hand out with fingers together. This ensures that there is no mistake that they did something wrong. When you address them, it should feel like you're calling a dog. If you bring bend a little, they might even think you have food for them.
You can also bend your head, and then shake it. That's the topper. They will think they did something wrong.
Don't Sound American
Every other citizen from anywhere else in the world sounds closer to an Israeli than an American.
If you're American, chances are you will never fully master these techniques, without my coaching. I would suggest you just grunt and point a lot. Maybe do an 'ehhh' sound. Otherwise, you will get ripped off.
We'll work on Arabic names next time. Machmud, Achmad, Waleed. Just open your mouth, yawn and growel. That's the best I can do to help you pronounce Middle Eastern names properly.
Israelis are amazing people. Take their kindness and understanding of the true use of silent letters, and enjoy the beauty of their giving. Just make sure they don't use words like sheet, beach, or focus. It sounds wrong.
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The Falafel of Etan
Israelis are very possessive of their falafel. Even when they have a shop, they don't like to share it… That's Etan. Standing over them while they eat. Making sure they don't run away with his falafel.