It’s difficult to acquire and naturally use new vocabulary in Hebrew. Admit it- we usually use the same words over and over again… At Ulpan Integraliah, we discovered a disease called “Tov / Lo Tov” syndrome. Most Olim answer about 90% of the questions we ask them using “Tov” or “Lo Tov”. Some examples :
-How is the meal ? Tov
-How are you today ? Tov
-What do you think of this dress ? Ze Tov
Today, we suggest that instead of answering with the usual answer, you choose other words, slang, or expressions which will move you closer to speaking like an Israeli without changing the meaning of your answer ! Let’s go.
#1 – At a restaurant
If the service of the restaurant is nice, your waiter will ask you what you think of the meal and the dishes that were served.
Server asks: איך האוכל שלכם (ekh ha’okhel shelakhem)
Response to avoid: זה טוב
Response to adopt (option 1): זה טעים – ze taim (good – delicious)
Response to adopt (option 2): האוכל ממש אחלה (top)
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#2 – After a show
You went to a concert (הופעה) of Omer Adam or Idan Raichel and the following day, your friends ask you how it went.
Question: איך היה אתמול בהופעה? (ekh aya etmol ba’ofaa)
Answer to avoid: היה טוב
Response to adopt (option 1): היה מגניב!
Response to adopt (option 2): היה אחלה! (great)
3 # – After starting a new job
You have started a new job and find yourself at the family dinner for the first time since. Everyone asks you how your new job is going.
Question: איך הולך בעבודה? (ekh olekh ba’avoda)
Response to avoid: הולך טוב
Response to adopt (option 1): הולך מצויין
Response to adopt (option 2): חבל על הזמן! (great, exceptional)
#4 – Date!
You have met someone and your best friend wants to know what you think of that special person…
Question: איך הוא / היא? (ekh hou / hi)
Response to avoid: הוא טוב / היא טובה
Response to adopt: הוא מדהים! היא מדהימה! (great, wonderful)
#5 – If you want to say something was NOT GOOD AT ALL
Take an example- you spent a weekend in northern Israel and the hotel staff was rude and the rooms were dirty… At the end of your stay, the receptionist will ask you how you enjoyed the hotel.
Question: איך היה לכם במלון (ekh aya lahem ba’malon)
Answer to avoid: היה לא טוב
Response to adopt: היה על הפנים! (awful)