Svetosila (svetosila) wrote in linguaphiles,

Hebrew-English translation

I'd like to know the exact translation of the Hebrew word  leitpalel  into English. I'm not sure about the correct transliteration of it. Actually, when I've tried Googling  leitpalel , I've got only links to texts in Spanish. So I suppose this transliteration is used by Spanish-speaking authors... And I'm a bit perplexed. Maybe "leitpalel" isn't the best way to transliterate it?

One of them says (I'm translating it into English for clarity): "The Hebrew word for "to pray" is "leitpalel", it comes from the root "palel" which means "to inspect". ,The prefix "leit" is the reflexive form of the verb, meaning an act that one does for oneself. So "leitpalel" is an act of personal introspection.

[The Spanish version: La palabra hebrea para rezar es "leitpalel", y viene de la raíz "palel", la cual significa inspeccionar. El prefijo "leit" es la forma reflexiva - que denota una acción que uno hace para uno mismo. Entonces, "leitpalel" es un acto de introspección personal]. Taken from here
Tags: hebrew
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June 3 2014, 15:48:46 UTC 12 months ago

In English a better way to transliterate it would be "lehitapalel." And, yes, it means to pray.


June 15 2014, 11:43:40 UTC 11 months ago

Thanks a lot!


June 4 2014, 01:12:24 UTC 12 months ago

It does mean "to pray" but the correct transliteration is lehitpalel (not leitpalel, not lehitapalel). The le- is the infinitive prefix; hitpalel by itself means "he prayed".

I wouldn't take the stuff about "personal introspection" seriously -- it looks like a made-up etymology. It's true that lehitpalel comes from a root p-l-l which can mean "examine" or "judge", but it doesn't follow that it means "examine oneself".


June 4 2014, 10:14:58 UTC 12 months ago

An even better transliteration would be lehitpallel.


June 4 2014, 16:55:48 UTC 12 months ago

Well, it depends if we're talking Biblical or Modern Hebrew; the latter doesn't have geminates.


June 9 2014, 17:13:55 UTC 11 months ago

Erm, so le-dabbér doesn't exist anymore, people say le-davér? Just kidding. There are geminates, of course.


June 9 2014, 19:26:09 UTC 11 months ago

No, people say ledaber -- just a single b, not a geminate.


June 15 2014, 11:50:06 UTC 11 months ago

I'd prefer the Biblical version here.


June 15 2014, 11:48:12 UTC 11 months ago

Thanks a lot!
Well, the important part for me is that the root can have such meaning, so the etymology is based on... well... something.