I just learned that the Jewish New Year will not be celebrated for the first time here in Alexandria this year (it has been continuously celebrated in Egypt for hundreds and hundreds of years). Very sad news, however, it reminded me that time is right to teach you how to wish someone a happy new year in Hebrew.
So, let’s cheer up a bit.
A new year’s eve in Hebrew is called “rosh hashanah” written in Hebrew like this:
This literally means “head of the year”. Makes sense, right?
ראש = head
ה = the
שנה = year
I pronounced it here for you:New Year's Eve in Hebrew (audio pronunciation)
Now, let’s see how you would wish someone a happy birthday in Hebrew. What you actually would be wishing them is a “good year” or as in Hebrew they say “shana tova”, written this way:
שנה = year
טובה = good
I pronounced the Hebrew word here for you:Happy New Year in Hebrew (audio pronunciation)
You might have noticed that the word for good is usually “tov” instead of “tova”. The reason why we put the heh at the end of the word is that Shana in Hebrew is a female word. This should be kind of tricky, finding the female and male nouns, but a good sign we have here for female nouns is the final heh ה.
Now you know how to wish someone a happy new year in Hebrew, how about you learn a few more things? like the Hebrew greetings, how to wish someone a happy birthday in Hebrew or at least how to write Shalom in Hebrew?
By the way, there are things that are strongly related to the Jewish new year, like apple, honey and the Shofar. People usually have apple slices dipped in honey on this very special holiday.