Tonight's Homework

My daughter Grace gets a list of spelling homework choices at the beginning of the week and must choose 5 of the options each week. Tonight as she sat down to do her homework, she got out the computer and started working on something. After a few minutes I noticed her obvious frustration and asked if I could help. She said she was trying to find what English letter each letter of the Hebrew alphabet stood for.

I found a site with the Hebrew alphabet and started going through the letters, but told her that they did not all have an English equivalent. I asked her what she needed to do. She read me the choice from her homework sheet that said she needed to write 10 words in a foreign language and those same words in English. She told me that everyone was doing Spanish, and someone had already done Chinese, but she wanted to be different. Hebrew is very different.

So next we looked for simple Hebrew vocabulary sites that listed words in Hebrew and English. I showed her a few that I knew, like mother and father. She sat down with the computer and started looking through the words. She told me she wasn’t finding her spelling words in the lists. At this point a lightbulb goes on over my head. She doesn’t need to translate 10 random words. This is her spelling homework. 10 of her spelling words are what is needed.

At this point I showed her Google translation tools and we typed in 10 of her spelling words. I selected English to Hebrew and clicked translate. Lo and behold, Google returned 10 Hebrew words. And now it was up to Grace to write them down. Quite a challenge for a half-Jewish kid who has barely seen Hebrew, let alone tried to write it.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen