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לא רואים עלייך

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by airelibre, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I get that this means something like "You don't look it" or "You/I can't tell", but in English there is a difference in the connotations of these two expressions, in my opinion.
    For example:
    "I'm an Arab"
    "Oh, you don't look it!"
    Is fairly neutral.

    But to me,
    "Oh, you can't tell" kind of sounds like "Oh, you're doing a good job of covering it over/hiding it."

    Is לא רואים עלייך neutral, or potentially offensive?

    Also, do people ever say לא שומעים עלייך, for example if you can't tell from someone's accent that Hebrew isn't their first language?
  2. arielipi Senior Member

    לא רואים עליך
    is by itself neutral, but based on the tone changes mood.

    לא שומעים עליך
    is used for we dont hear of/about you anymore.
  3. ystab Senior Member

    I think it depends on whether the person who says it finds that being X is derogatory. Hence, previous knowledge about one's beliefs, and of course, tone (this phrase can also be used sarcastically to say that one would recognize another to be X from a mile away) are important to understand the intent of such a phrase.

    Regarding לא שומעים עליך, I think I've heard it before. Not quite common, though, in this meaning.
  4. arbelyoni Senior Member

    I would think that in your first example ("I'm an Arab") the response לא רואים עלייך is quite offensive, or at least ignorant. It really grinds my gears when I tell people about my ethnic background and they come up with this response, presumably trying to compliment me that I don't fit the stereotype.

    Anyway, to me it doesn't sound like "you're doing a good job of covering it over".
    No, we don't say that.
  5. arielipi Senior Member

    arbelyoni - why do you think so? i'd take it as a surprisement.
    when i say such things about ethnicity im just surprised. not offensive.

    and we do say לא שומעים עליך at least in gush dan
  6. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    What does לראות על vs. לראות את mean ?
  7. ystab Senior Member

    לראות על מישהו means that something is evident on someone.
  8. origumi Senior Member

    I'd say לא שומעים ממך.
  9. arbelyoni Senior Member

    That's my point; when people are surprised by a fact about you and they try to compliment you by saying דווקא לא רואים עליך, they ultimately show a negative attitude towards that fact. When I get this response all I can hear is "good for you that you don't look it", and that's offensive.
    Not in the same way like in airelibre's question.
  10. arielipi Senior Member

    Again, i say it simply factual - i am surprised by the fact you are X and not Y. nothing more and nothing else; it doesnt suggest its a compliment, its simply a surprise.
  11. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Ok, well the fact that you are disagreeing over whether it is offensive answers my question! It's clearly not neutral or offensive on its own, but carries potential.

    Thank you all.

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