Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by rolmich, May 16, 2013.

  1. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    Could you tell me what is the origin of this word which does not always has an equivalent in other languages.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Tararam Senior Member

    It's Aramaic.
    It appears in the Talmud as "precisely" or "exactly".
    Its root דו"ק is close to the Hebrew root די"ק which you might know from words like "דיוק", "דקדקן" "לדייק" , and revolves around punctuality and accuracy. It received another meaning in Israeli colloquial Hebrew which is "spite"/"to spite", which if you think about it, isn't so far from the meaning of "exactly".
    "אני אעשה לך דווקא" = "I will spite you" or "I will do it to you exactly like that".
  3. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    Thanks Tararam,
    I thought it came from arabic, probably because of the "debka" (the dance), but it davka came from Aramaic.
    I still think there are some uses of the word which necessitate a whole sentence to translate like in :
    From all this crowd this curse had davka to fall on me ! If you translate by "precisely/exactly" it's not enough, the sense of fatality is missing.
    In other words, the word is sometimes unique and proper to hebrew only.
    Do you agree?
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  4. scriptum

    scriptum Senior Member

    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    "Davka" (paraît-il) est très exactement traduit par "c'est... que" / "c'est bien... que" / "c'est juste...que".
    "De toute cette foule c'est bien sur moi que ça tombe".
  5. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    I only received a partial answer (from Tararam) to my question. So, I reformulate it :
    Is davka a word proper to hebrew only, needing a whole sentence to translate its meaning (like nu and stam for ex) ?
    Do you know other words which are proper to hebrew only ?
  6. origumi Senior Member

    Could you elaborate please - explain what's "proper to Hebrew only".
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    It means סיפוק בשפה העברית where it is only satisfied in hebrew, meaning it only exists as a whole in hebrew and never has a direct translation.
  8. origumi Senior Member

    But nobody in this forum speaks Congolese. So how can we guarantee that something exists only in Hebrew and cannot be translated to Kikongo or Lingala?
  9. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    I gave nu and stam as examples. These words are typical of the modern hebrew language and need a whole sentence (or at least several words) to be translated in english, and have also several uses.
    Am I clear ?
  10. arielipi Senior Member

    Yes you are, and as in nu and stam, davka goes to the same type.

    now: it can be used as "especially" (בחרתי דווקא אותה ולא אותה) , "on purpose" (הוא דווקא עושה לה) (הוא דווקא מעצבן אותה) (הוא מעצבן אותה דווקא)
    hes doing it to annoy here: "mom, tommy's doing it "on purpose", tell him to stop!!"
  11. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    Thanks arielipi, things are clear now.
    Do you know any other word falling into this category ?
  12. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
  13. David S Senior Member

    Richmond, VA, USA
    English - US
    rolmich, check out the thread I made a few months ago on this very topic of davka. In some cases davka can be translated as precisely or "in fact", in other cases it seems like it's a "modal particle". Other languages like German also have such words: small words that are very difficult to translate but convey the mood of the speaker, in the case of "davka", it's one of spite, annoyance, or exasperation.
  14. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
  15. Tararam Senior Member

    ?הכצעקתה = "is it really so?"/"is it that bad?" , it literally means "is it like her scream?"
  16. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    That's a fantastic word! Is it really used by people nowadays?
  17. Tararam Senior Member

    It's used on TV, in newspapers and on the internet all the time, less likely to hear it in everyday conversations.
    "נו, הכצעקתה?" or "נו ו... הכצעקתה?" are probably what you'll hear if you do.
  18. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    And how is it related to דווקא? :confused:
  19. arielipi Senior Member

    not to mention its not as common as tararam says, id even go as to say its pretty rare, or at least not common.
  20. Tararam Senior Member

    rolmich asked for words that cannot be translated in one word in English.

    The situation in which this word is said might be rare, but it's quite the go-to term in the media, in my opinion, for it. I said it's not common in everyday conversations.

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