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TMCNet:  Hebrew gets an update: Can you guess what the new word for 'avatar' is? [Jerusalem Post (Israel)]

[March 09, 2014]

Hebrew gets an update: Can you guess what the new word for 'avatar' is? [Jerusalem Post (Israel)]

(Jerusalem Post (Israel) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Academy of the Hebrew Language approved a slew of new words to add to the revived dialect last week, including a Hebrew word for 'avatar,' a popular Internet term used to represent an Internet personality.


'Avatar' is now deemed yatzgan in Hebrew, which is derived from the word leyatzeg, meaning to represent.

A committee for the academy decided to add about one hundred new words to the language, the majority of which were medical and technological terms.

Many of the new words came from recommendations and complaints from the public.

The committee deciding on the changes took in a number of factors. For example, they said that they changed the Hebrew word for dementia, shition, because they received many complaints that the word had taken on negative connotation and was offensive.

To find new options, the academy turned to the public for suggestions and announced that the most popular submission was k'hayon, meaning bluntness, saying that the advantage of using this word was that it doesn't take away from the gravity of the situation but also isn't offensive.

In addition, the word trauma, which doesn't have a word of its own in Hebrew, will be replaced by the word hovla, from the word damage, from now on.

Adapting to modern and computer-filled times, the academy updated their outdated list of technological terms, adding computer science and software terms.

The Committee for Information Technology submitted a list to the academy, including words that would replace the often-used English words for much of the lingo in the sci-tech world.

Adding a Hebrew word for malware, short for malicious software, will from now on be called nazkan derived from the word nezek meaning damage.

Teleportation, too, got its own place in the Hebrew language. The fictional term, meaning to move from place to place with the power of the mind, will from now on be hitatkut, from the word haataka, meaning to copy.

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