In Its Quest to Go Green, the Old Hebrew Language Seeks New Words

Ronit Gadish says that unlike the days of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, the academy is not trying to 'totally clean the language' of foreign terminology.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

The Hebrew Language Academy is looking for Hebrew words for terms like "compost" and "composter." Its committee on environmental terminology, which includes representatives from the Environmental Protection Ministry, has come up with a number of options, but is now asking for public input through the academy's Website.

So far, suggestions have included variations on the Hebrew root for decomposition - reish-kof-vet (rkv ), among them tirkovet or tarkiv. But according to the committee's scientific secretary, Ronit Gadish, the negative connotation of these words is very problematic.

Worker on Green Roof in JerusalemCredit: Yuval Tebol

"We have to persuade the public that compost is a good, positive and useful thing," she explains, "and I say this as a person who has been composting for a year already. It's like a bottomless pit!"

Gadish says that unlike the days of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, the academy is not trying to "totally clean the language" of foreign terminology. But, she adds, "there is an entire [group] of terms simply begging for a Hebrew alternative. It is inconceivable for Hebrew not to have solutions for these words."

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile