• Linguistics

63 Common Hebrew Words Every Traveler Should Know

October 20, 2022
Renán L. CuervoRenán L. Cuervo

Planning to visit Israel or developing an interest in Hebrew? Learn these 63 common Hebrew words and phrases to get a head start on the language and your travel plans!


Why learn Hebrew words and phrases?

Why wouldn’t you? Whether you’re planning a trip to Israel or simply want to learn the country’s language, picking up common Hebrew words can benefit you greatly. 

For starters, if you’re going to Israel, knowing some words will help you travel around more confidently. Think about it: you’ll rely less on phrasebooks, are less likely to get caught in miscommunication, and will understand more of the Hebrew you read and hear.

Second, knowing and using everyday phrases in a foreign language is an easy way to get brownie points with the locals. 

Lastly, frequently used Hebrew vocabulary will allow you to understand the culture surrounding the language much better. 

So, are you ready to learn some common Hebrew words and phrases? Jump to this list, or read along and learn more about this ancient language. If you’re interested in learning more Hebrew words, check out our frequency list of 625 Hebrew Words.

Lastly, if you want to learn Hebrew pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar all in one place, download and use the Fluent Forever app.


Where is Hebrew spoken?

Israel is the only country where Hebrew is the official language since 1948, in the aftermath of World War 2. Currently, around 8,300,000 people speak Hebrew in Israel as a first or second language. Other significant languages spoken by Israelites include Arabic and Russian.


How many people speak Hebrew? 

Hebrew is spoken by 9,387,050 people worldwide. As we already mentioned, more than 8 million of these are based in Israel. Outside of the Middle East, the largest population of speakers – 220,000 of them – is found in the United States.

The flag of Israel waving in the air

Israel holds the largest Hebrew-speaking population.
Photo by stinne24 from Pixabay 


History of the Hebrew language

Modern-day Hebrew is drastically different from the original Biblical or Classical version of the language. The latter was an ancient tongue that emerged sometime in 1,000 B.C. Back then, Jewish people used this version of Hebrew to record their history, literature, and religion.


The Star of David on top of pages with Hebrew text

Classical Hebrew was used to write ancient Biblical texts.
Photo by Ri Butov from Pixabay 



During the Roman Empire, however, Hebrew was almost wiped out of existence. Fortunately, surviving Jews kept it alive in its written form. Later, in the 19th century, the language experienced a revival thanks to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who wrote the first Modern Hebrew Dictionary, and other Jewish intellectuals.

This re-emerging version of the language was influenced by European culture and languages – especially French and German – and the need to come up with words for things that didn’t exist in Biblical times. 

Therefore, elements like grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary in Modern Hebrew have all changed significantly compared to its Classical version. 

You can learn more about the history of Hebrew and how the language has changed in the last centuries in the video below:


Quick intro to the Hebrew language

Hebrew is read from right to left and has an alphabet of 27 letters. This alphabet is an abjad: a system where only consonants are represented.

That said, some of these letters can function as vowels. A system of points, dashes, and lines called niqqud was developed to label consonants that are serving as vowels. 

The following table shows the full alphabet:




In terms of pronunciation, words in Hebrew are generally stressed on the last syllable, and the language doesn’t have regional dialects.


63 essential Hebrew words for travelers

Keep these common Hebrew words and phrases handy in case you’re planning to travel to Israel or meet up with native speakers. Remember, you can learn more Hebrew vocabulary using the Fluent Forever app! Our integrated flashcard system makes creating, studying, and reviewing word and sentence flashcards quick, easy, and fun!


Greetings & courtesies

#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
2להתראותGoodbye / See you laterLehitraot
3בוקר טובGood morning Boker tov
4לילה טובGood nightLayla tov
5ערב טובGood eveningErev tov
6תודהThank youTodah
8סליחהExcuse meSlikha
9?מה נשמעHow are you?Ma nishma?
10טוב, תודהGood, thank youTov, toda!



#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
11?מתי Why?Lama?
13?מה What?Ma?
15?איפה Where?Eifo?
16?מי Who?Mi?
17?מתי When?Matai?
18?כמה זה How much is this?Kama ze?
19?איפה השירותים Where is the toilet? Eifo haSherutim?
20…אפשר בבקשה Can I have…?Efshar, bevakasha…?



#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
27שבע SevenSheva


Days & temporal words

#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
31יום שני Monday Yom sheni
32יום שלישי TuesdayYom shlishi
33יום רביעיWednesdayYom revii
34יום חמישי ThursdayYom khamishi
35יום שישי FridayYom shishi
37יום ראשון SundayYom rishon


Moving around

#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
43(שמאל(ה LeftSmol(a)
44(ימינ(ה RightYamin(a)
45תחנת אוטובוס Bus stopTakhanat otobus
46תחנת רכבת Train stationTakhanat rakevet
47שדה תעופה AirportS’de teufa
48ישרStraight aheadYashar
49שמאלהTurn leftSmola
50ימינהTurn rightYamina


Food & drink

#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
51!היה ממש טעים The meal was excellent!Haya mamash taim!
52?מה אתה ממליץ לי What do you recommend?Ma ata mamlitz li? (addressing a man) 

Ma at mamlitza li? (addressing a woman)

53?אשפר חשבון, בבקשהCan we have the bill, please?Efshar kheshbon, bevakasha?
54אני צמחוני I’m a vegetarianAni tzimkhoni (when you’re a man) 

Ani tzimkhonit (when you’re a woman)

55-יש לי אלרגיה ל I’m allergic to…Yesh li alergiya le-…
56מים, בבקשה Some water, pleaseMayim, bevakasha
57תפריט, בבקשה The menu, pleaseTafrit, bevakasha
58ארוחת בוקרBreakfastArukhat boker
59ארוחת צהרייםLunchArukhat tsohorayim
60ארוחת ערבDinnerArukhat erev



#Hebrew termEnglish translationRomanized pronunciation
61!תתקשרו למשטרה Call the Police!Titkashru le-mishtara!
62!הצילו Help!Hatzilu!
63!שריפה There’s a fire! Srefa!


That’s it for today. We hope you enjoyed this article on common Hebrew wordsלהתראות!


  • Hebrew
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