Sports Vocabulary in Hebrew

Wow! When we look back, it is hard to believe how many words we have already taught you. Among many others, we’ve talked about Hebrew vocabulary during pregnancy, we’ve mentioned the most useful Hebrew words to use when you have a baby or a young child, and we even spent some time teaching you the most important Hebrew words to use in an office.

At this opportunity, and after receiving a few complaints from our fit friends, we want to take the Hebrew language to a healthy, strong, passionate field: Sports.

If you happen to be in Israel for the final of the Copa America, or if you wanted to attend a Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball match, or if you just wanted to play volleyball at the beach in Haifa or Tel Aviv, how would you do it? Well, we’re here to help!

In the following lines, you’ll learn how to say each one of these sports, in Hebrew. Are you ready? Awesome! Bring your jersey and start cheering for your favorite team because soon, you’ll know how to do so in Hebrew.

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Sports in Hebrew: New words to learn, more sports to practice!

Chess: Chess is the best sport to train your brain. It teaches you the importance of strategy and the significance of deeply understanding and analyzing your opponent. Chess in Hebrew is שחמט (pronounced: shach-mat), and it is taught in many schools around Israel. Even more than that! There is an Israeli startup called ChessMatec that teaches שחמט to young children through a friendly, engaging and interesting app. Ready to play? Who’s going to say “Checkmate” first?

Soccer: The most popular sport in the world it is also popular in Israel. The sport of Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, and of the great Eran Zahavi increases the heart rate of many fans all over Israel. Soccer in Hebrew is כדורגל (pronounced: kadoor-regg-ell), and the literal translation is “foot-ball”.

Volleyball: You’ll be able to see tons of people practicing handball on almost every beach, all around Israel. Nets are installed there permanently, allowing handball fans to just bring a כדור, join a team, and start playing. Handball in Hebrew is כדורעף (pronounced: kadoor-aff). Fun literal translation though… it means “a flying ball”. Accurate, isn’t?

Baseball: Although mostly Americans play baseball in Israel, there are many native Israelis who follow this huge sport leagues from their homes in Eilat, Pardessiya, Ramat Gan or other localities in Israel. Baseball in Hebrew is בייסבול, and guess how is it pronounced… Yes! Exactly like in America: Baseball. Easy, right?

Basketball: Basketball is the most popular sport in Israel! Everybody loves basketball. Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team with the highest number of fans, has won the Israeli Basketball Super League 51 times, including 23 times in a row between 1970 and 1992.

Basketball in Hebrew is כדורסל (pronounced: kadoor-sal), and if you want to go to a spectacular match next time you’re in Israel, then you should start practicing your pronunciation today.

Tennis: The sport of Rafael Nadal, Marcelo Rios, and the Williams sisters is not very popular in Israel, but in case you want to follow the latest results it won’t be complicated for you since tennis in Hebrew is טניס and it is pronounced just like you say it in English: Tennis. Ready to play your next set against one of the Israelis you’ll meet on your next visit to Israel?

More sports, more language, learn Hebrew today!

We know, there are many more sports out there. A few weeks ago we even published a great article about the best coasts in Israel to practice surfing, and if you are more into hiking, taking a look at the most breathtaking landscapes in Israel will give you enough motivation to select your new destiny.

But there’s one thing you should know. Learning Hebrew will be useful, regardless of the sport you decide to practice or to cheer for. Register to one of our online Hebrew classes, and start mastering this ancient, rich, and very engaging language. You’ll surprise yourself with the extraordinary results you’ll get. Behatzlacha!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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