Hebrew language academy approves 1,400 new words
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Hebrew language academy approves 1,400 new words

Range of legal terms coined to replace use of English terms; some spiders and scorpions get new titles, including daddy longlegs

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of books on sale in Jerusalem, June 15, 2011. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of books on sale in Jerusalem, June 15, 2011. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Academy of the Hebrew Language on Monday published a list of 1,400 new words and phrases it had recently approved, many of which formalized legal terms that in the past had relied on English instead.

Among the phrases approved was the Hebrew hatara lefee hahok meaning “permitted under law” instead of the English word “legalization,” and the Hebrew for “illegally obtained evidence,” rayaa habaa b’avera, instead of a Bible-inspired phrase meaning “fruit of the poisonous tree,” an idiom borrowed from American law.

The new words were added to a dictionary that has been worked on for the past 30 years by the academy’s Committee for Legal Terms, which counted among its members various legal experts, including Supreme Court justices.

Other phrases approved for use were the Hebrew for “temporary fees” — s’char tirha iti — instead of the awkward use of the English word “retainer,” and “corporate body,” in Hebrew ta’agid hakuk, instead of the clumsy “tagid statutory,” a phrase that combined the Hebrew word for “corporation” and the English word “statutory.”

In addition, some new Hebrew phrases were endorsed for use, such as words for a legal statement (amara), a train-turning device (sovevan), a vending machine (mehonat mimkar) and the Hebrew for “reciprocal system,” (ma’arechet gomlin) meaning an ecosystem.

There was also a specific phrase added, at the request of environment activists, for the waste product from the process of extracting oil from olives, which has been polluting rivers in the central region of the country. The new term, “mohal,” has its origins in Talmudic texts.

The academy also approved new names for various scorpions and spiders, among them some species of opiliones, commonly known as “daddy longlegs.”

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