לבקש

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Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
שלום!

I've noticed that in modern Hebrew לבקש means "to ask for" while in biblical Hebrew it means "to look for". For example,

אני מבקשת לבטל את המינוי לשבועון שלכם (modern Hebrew)

Am I correct? Has the meaning shifted over time?

אני מודה לכם מאוד
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Abaye: Thank you! My biblical Hebrew textbook translates it as "suchen" (to look for), while my modern Hebrew textbook translates it as "demander" (to ask for). The German word for "to ask for" is "bitten", not "suchen", while the French word for "to look for" is "chercher", not "demander". That's why I thought there was a difference in meaning.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    You can't expect a single-word translation to cover all the meanings of a word.

    Nor can you compare translations to different languages, because then you end up with translations on top of translations, which are never accurate.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Both my French and German biblical Hebrew textbooks give chercher and suchen (to look for) as the meaning of לבקש. What I find quite strange is that לחפש, which means chercher according to my modern Hebrew textbook, has almost the same meaning as לבקש in biblical Hebrew: fouiller.

    And according to my German textbook, לחפש means exactly the same thing as לבקש in biblical Hebrew: suchen.

    Does anyone know if there was a difference between the two verbs in BH? I know there is one in MH, because לבקש now means demander/bitten (to ask for), not chercher/suchen (to look for).
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    I might also add that in biblical Hebrew there is another verb for demander/bitten (to ask for): לשאול. However, in modern Hebrew it only means demander/fragen (to ask).
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    This meaning survives in Modern Hebrew (and Mishnaic Hebrew) in the sense of "borrow". לשאול can mean "to borrow".
     
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