The word ‘shavé’ means ‘equal,’ but in slang it also means ‘worth it’, and sometimes ‘cool,’ ‘amazing,’ or ‘good looking.’ How do we ask, ‘Is it worth it?’ in Hebrew, and why is there a bleep censor in this episode?

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Words and expressions discussed:

Shavé, shava, shavim, shavot – Equal – שוֶוה, שוָוה, שווים, שוות

Shneinu shavim, pahot o yoter – We’re both equal, more or less – שנינו שווים, פחות או יותר

Hu lo shavé et ha-ke’ev – He’s not worth the pain – הוא לא שווה את הכאב

Az ma shavé kol sipur ha-ahava ha-ze? – So what does this love story worth? – אז מה שווה כל סיפור האהבה הזה?

Ma shava kazo ahava? – What is a love like this worth? – מה שווה כזו אהבה?

Shavé lenasot – It’s worth trying – שווה לנסות

Shavé bdika – Worth checking – שווה בדיקה

Shavé, shava (ziyun) – Great, good looking, cool – (שווה (זיון

Mesiba shava – Great party – מסיבה שווה

Mis’ada shava – Great restaurant – מסעדה שווה

Shavé – Equals (math) – שווה

Shivyon – Equality, tie score – שוויון

Shivyon bein ha-minim – Gender equality – שוויון בין המינים

Shivyon ba-netel – ‘Carrying the load equality’ – שוויון בנטל

Ee-shivyon – Inequality – אי-שוויון

Meha’at ha-frayerim – ‘The Suckers Protest’ – מחאת הפראיירים

Hashva’a – comparison – השוואה

Lehashvot – to compare – להשוות


Aviv Geffen – Shneinu Shavim (lyrics)
Rami Kleinstein – Tapuhim u-Tmarim (lyrics)
Ha-haverim shel Natasha – Shnei Sipurei Ahava Ktanim (lyrics)
Idan Yaniv & Dana International – Seret Hodi (lyrics)
Shavé lenasot
Shavé bdika – TV1
Lior Shlein – Ee-shivyon
Atseret Ha-freierim – TV2
Basketball shivyon (tie)

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4 comments on “All Things Being Equal

  1. Neely Bernstein says:

    What’s the difference in usage between
    שווה & כדי?
    Love your podcasts!

    1. Guy Sharett says:

      They are very close.
      Listen to the episode about kedai here:
      And kedai

  2. Ruth says:

    “So what does this love story worth?”
    is ungrammatical in English. It should be:
    “So what is this love story worth?”
    It’s funny that you’re explaining Hebrew grammar but getting your English grammar wrong (in both oral and written form)…

    I’d also like to suggest that you use KH to signify the [khet] or khaf] sound. it’s preferable to both CH and H since KH can’t be confused with anything else.

    In any case I think your podcasts are great: enjoyable, entertaining, informative and instructive. Kudos!

    1. TLV1 says:

      Hi Ruth. We often do direct translations of the Hebrew to English, which will result in English that is not grammatically correct. We are aware of this but believe the direct translation is better for the understanding of Hebrew-learning students.

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