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Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to tell if you are raising an Israeli

This morning over breakfast in the sukkah I casually mentioned to the kids that since their mom had some work to do today in her studio, maybe we could go into Jerusalem and do something that she wouldn't mind missing out on (code for something she despises).

The two kids knew immediately what I was talking about, but waited expectantly for me to say the word.

Yonah, on the other hand, is less schooled in his mother's likes and dislikes, so he asked, "What?... what are we doing today?!"

To which I answered, "We're going bowling!".

Ariella and Gilad both gave out a cheer (being lovers of The Big Lebowski and the occasional 'caucasian'). But Yonah didn't understand the word, and asked, "what's bowling?".

I was shocked that he didn't know what it was, but gave him the benefit of the doubt and performed an elaborate pantomime of picking up the heavy ball and rolling it towards some imaginary pins.

Suddenly a little light went on over his head and he shouted, "oh, you mean BOW-ling!" (with the first syllable pronounced like the formal act of bending at the waist).

Zahava and I just looked at one another and laughed. Try as we may to see that he grows up speaking English like an American, we have resigned ourselves to the fact that a few Israeli-isms will find their way through. BOW-ling apparently snuck in under the radar.

BTW, Yonah BOWled an excellent game.

Posted by David Bogner on September 26, 2010 | Permalink


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He was cute with that pronunciation wasn't he?! I know it drives you crazy, but I also secretly kind of love that he pronounces if as eeef. Guess it's not so secret any more....

Posted by: zahava | Sep 26, 2010 7:52:37 PM

Cute story. Hope you had a great time.

Posted by: Ilana-Davitata | Sep 26, 2010 8:11:34 PM

I always have to correct Israelis when they pronounce it "boweling". I remind them, ever so politely, that boweling refers to removal of the intestines.

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Sep 26, 2010 11:32:55 PM

Yes, many times my children have said something (murdering the English word's pronunciation), and I say "Oh, you mean 'XYZ'" And they say "NO", and repeat the mispronunciation. SIGH>>>>>

Posted by: rickismom | Sep 27, 2010 1:07:41 AM

I love that boy no matter his crazy accent!!!!

How did the big kids do?

Posted by: Val | Sep 27, 2010 2:32:22 AM

Were you able to use bumpers?

Posted by: Aharon | Sep 27, 2010 2:34:47 AM

Zahava... Yes he was quite cute. But what I didn't share was the five minutes it took to calm him down after he first encountered the noise and lights.

Ilana Divitata... Yes, a good time was had by all. Hope you are enjoying the holiday.

Dave... I thought for a moment about going with bowel to help with pronunciation, but I thought some people might be eating while reading this. Thanks for thinking outside the bowel, er, box though.

Rickismom... That kind of two dimensional thinking is another Israeli-ism I could live without.

Val... They aren't ready for league play, but they did just fine.

Aharon... Yes, we put up the bumpers. What kind of father sets up his kid to fail on the first try?

Posted by: Treppenwitz | Sep 27, 2010 6:55:41 AM

My great dream (back when I wanted to make aliyah when the boys were babes) was that they would have great Hebrew and terrible English. Now they speak English like inner-city blacks (thank you, 16 years in Baltimore), and say adorable things in Hebrew that make teenage Israeli girls giggle. (There is something endearing about a 6-foot 2-inch guy saying "Ani mitztaeret...") Sign. Mother plans, and G-d laughs. Yihiyeh beseder...

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Sep 27, 2010 7:00:42 AM

Boweling. Now, that's a sport I can relate to.

Chag sameach.

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 27, 2010 3:38:54 PM

Yeah, "boweling" always sounds like it's related to a colonoscopy. But that seems to be the word in Israeli Hebrew.

Posted by: Nurse Yachne | Sep 27, 2010 4:25:44 PM

When my Israeli grandchildren visited this summer, my 5 year old grandson was playing with his "aunt", Meira (who is two months YOUNGER than her nephew). They were playing dress up. She was bossing him around, telling him he she would be the kallah (bride) and he would be the CHAsan (groom). He had no idea what she was talking about and insisted that he would be the ChaTAN. She had no idea what HE was talking about and so commenced an argument over whether he would be the CHAsan or ChaTAN. It was hysterical and represented the moment I realized my son was raising Israelis.

Posted by: MoC | Sep 28, 2010 9:57:04 PM

Cute story. OK, I'll bite: Why does Z hate bowling?

Posted by: Ari | Sep 29, 2010 3:32:50 AM

Have you ever seen "Uncle Buck"?

Posted by: Nachum | Sep 29, 2010 9:01:06 AM

That is too cute!!!

Posted by: Yaeli | Oct 2, 2010 10:37:08 AM

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