The Academy of the Hebrew Language has announced several new words intended to replace English equivalents — most of which relate to the world of computers and technology.
Among the new words are a Hebrew version of hashtag: “tag hakbatza” – literally, a grouping label; “hezen,” for the noun “feed” (as in Facebook feed or news feed); and “biyush” — from Hebrew word busha (shame) — is the new term for shaming. Big data has been translated as “netunei atek” (literally meaning “large data”) and ransomware is “cofra” from “cofer,” the Hebrew for ransom. “Tazlum matzag” is the new Hebrew term for screenshot.
On the non-tech side, “divkit” (from “devek,” glue) is the word chosen for a bumper sticker; “talmanut” (from the word “telem,” meaning path) for conformism, and “talman/talmanit” for conformist (male and female forms). Bunker has been termed “mivtzor,” a word with the same etymology as “mivtzar” (fortress).
Every Israeli can suggest new words to the academy, and the academy’s board meets periodically to discuss the propositions and accept or reject them. Academy members, naturally, also propose words.
The academy was established in 1953, succeeding the Hebrew Language Committee that had existed since 1890. Its offices are located in the Hebrew University campus in Jerusalem, in the Eliezer Ben-Yehuda building, named after the reviver of Hebrew as a spoken language.
While many words offered by the academy catch on and replace their non-Hebrew parallels, many others fail. New words are often introduced in Israel Radio news broadcasts.