How To Appropriately Stress Hebrew Words

Photo: Zipa Kempinsky

This episode is all about the location of the stress we place on spoken Hebrew words and names, and what happens when we shift that emphasis around. Guy explains why the way Israelis and Americans say “Mazal Tov” differs so greatly, and how these shifts in stress play out in the spoken language.

New Words and Expressions:

Ta’am – Word stress, emphasis – טעם

MoSHE – Stressed at the end of the word

MOshe – Stressed in the beginning of the word

Hat’ama – Accentuation – הטעמה

YAkov / ya-ah-KOV – Jacob – יעקב

BAruch / baRUCH – ברוך

YAniv / yaNIV – יניב

DAvid / daVID – דויד

Ashdod version of French names:

JACqueline, RObert, BAbette, MIchel, MOrris 

French version:


MAzel toff (Yiddish) – Congratulations – מזל טוב

maZAL tov (IL) – Congratulations – מזל טוב

shiv’AH (IL) – Shiva – שבעה

SHIva (US) – Shiva – שבעה

ooGA – Cake – עוגה

OOga (child language) – Cake – עוגה

MashkanTA (formal) – Mortgage – משכנתאMashKANta (colloquial) – Mortgage – משכנתא

Playlist and Clips:

Laladin – YAkov (lyrics)

Ya’aKOV Eilon

Julie Andrews – Jewish Wedding Song

Itzik Shamli – Mazal Tov (lyrics)

Uga, Uga (lyrics)

Mashkanta – Mortgage 1

Mashkanta – Mortgage 2

Mashkanta – Mortgage 3

Ep. #128

Ep. #130

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1 comment on “How To Appropriately Stress Hebrew Words

  1. Perele Shifer says:

    When we were watching Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Millie my grandson screamed in delight:Mary Poppins said Mazel Tov!!

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