amaebi (amaebi) wrote,

In which I reiterate...

the magicness of language learning, in that if you keep on going you find that you have learned it. Or learned more of it, anyway.

When I want to look at something in a narrative section of the Hebrew Bible, I will typically be able able to read a lot of it without lookups, now. Very magicky. I wanted the word for oven, and found that what I was remembering was the the word for ashes. The only word for oven that babylon gave me was, in Hebrew-Bible Hebrew, a word for a small portable oven, which I didn't want. So I looked in the lexicon around אפה, the root for "bake." And I decided to go with baker rather than oven (which sounds screwy but isn't in my context), and while the lexicon cited usage for the participle and assured me that it always means baker (as opposed to baked products or implements or something), it didn't give any specific form. Well, you can't trust any root with two gutturals in it, for sure*, so I decided to go to the Genesis passage that was cited for containing the word many, many times. I wasn't thinking about what the story was likely to be. But as I read, I not only could identify the participle I was looking for. I could just read the passage, which some of you will probably not be surprised was about Joseph's imprisonment and coming-out in Egypt as an interpreter of dreams.

Magic.

* Hebrew homy Maureen says, "Always blame the guttural." They shift and morph like nobody's business.


http://kukis.org/Languages/HebrewGrammarforDummies.htm
http://kukis.org/Languages/Hebrew4Dummies.pdf
Tags: hebrew
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