Thursday, May 31, 2012

Backwards?

Okay, some more astounding Jewish culture for you...

I am sure that most of you know that Hebrew is written from right to left, instead of left to right like most languages.  But, have you ever stopped to think about what that means in everyday life for the Jews?  It is really quite fascinating!  (Most of the pictures in this post I found randomly from the internet):

Not only do they read their words from right to left, but they literally start reading from right to left!  Do you see the titles of the books on {what we would consider} the back covers?  They read from "back cover" to "front cover."
And here is a familiar children's book for you to see.  Notice the binding is on the right side!
And how about music?  It has been explained to me that they read the notes in the same direction that we do (left to right) and the words are written underneath the notes they correspond with, but the words are written "backwards." So, it would go something like this:

knahT uoy rof gnidaer siht golb 

(If you look closely, I typed "Thank you for reading this blog."  How's that for a little hidden message thrown in there for you?!)
Official documents look like this: (Notice the numbered list with the periods coming before the numbers.)
And how about some school work for the little ones?
Davey received two birthday cards in Hebrew that we'll be saving in his baby book.  Be sure to notice which side the greeting starts on!
And, my personal favorite?  The interface of computers and the way they are cleverly constructed.  The start-up button and the icons are on the right side of the screen, and the time is shown in the left-hand corner!

The little cursor also starts blinking on the right hand side and automatically moves towards the left instead of towards the right.  
We just love getting e-mails from Jews!  Even though they type to us in English, sometimes they put their periods at the "beginning" of their sentences, which for them, of course, would be the end (as you can see in the e-mail below.  Personal information has been blacked out on purpose).
And how about internet searching?  Right to left too!  Thanks, Google, for being so accomodating!
Google Search Hebrew

So, here is the question of the day:  who is really backwards, them or us?  Hmmm... seems to me that the Hebrew language has been around a lot longer than other languages, so it stands to reason that it could be us who is backwards!

But really, it only depends on what you grew up learning.  After all, we have one eye on the right and one eye on the left and they both work both ways. {wink}

18 comments:

  1. I'm really enjoying learning all this! I was fascinated when we visited Japan with their newspapers, the read right to left as well. So it seemed their newspapers were backwards, but of course for them they weren't! Thanks!!

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  2. My left-handed daughter would be so happy there!

    I saw a quote once that said something like "Languages are written right to left, left to right, or even top to bottom. None are written from the bottom up. This reminds us that knowledge comes from God above."

    Ah, I found the original quote, not just my memory of it:
    "Интересно то, что люди пишут справа налево, слева направо и сверху вниз. Но никогда — снизу вверх. Письмо — это знания, а знания всегда сверху."

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  3. Fascinating. I'll have to show this to the children today. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Fascinating -- all the lessons you are providing are simply fascinating!

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  5. Ha ha! I am thoroughly confused! :) My husband had some booklets that are in Arabic and they are the same way (at least I think it was Arabic...). They were "tracts" for Muslims. I always wondered what they said. I do wonder who has it wrong...them or us? Hmmmmm.

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  6. Loved reading this and learning more about the culture and way of life there.

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  7. So neat...thanks for taking the time to post all of that. Always fun to learn new things. :)

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  8. Andrea ChambersFriday, June 01, 2012

    Wow! So interesting. Thank you for sharing. Always enjoy reading you blogs!

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  9. Thank you for sharing this it was so interesting to read.

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  10. Esther PrestonFriday, June 01, 2012

    That's hilarious....and a little confusing! :) Especially the music.

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  11. Kind of makes me dizzy!! Neat to know though!! I'm sure it takes some getting used to. Love you Sis

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  12. Wow! So fascinating!

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  13. Very interesting!

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  14. LOL That is CRAZY!!! i lOVE it! haha ;D

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  15. .Knaht uoy rof lla eht noitamrofni uoy evig su !Ti si os looc D; lol

    [ummm idk if i even did that right haha] ^^

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    1. You did perfect! Great job and great effort, Haley!

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Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25