How to say it in Hebrew
Tip #6

I am often asked...
Now, today's question is - how to say "that's why..."!
You would ask me - what' so difficult in saying "that is why"? We know the word for "that/this/it," we need no "is" word, and we know how to say "why" - and off we go! Not really. Don't do it, don't translate literally! I've heard so many students do it - are you one of them? ;) We have a very special word - just one word! - that stands for it. And this magic word is - לכן (LAKHEN).*

Example:
אף פעם לא שמעתי את המילה הזאת קודם, לכן לא הבנתי אותך
(I've never heard this word before, that's why I didn't understand you)

But sometimes we don't feel like giving a reason...
What do we say then? If someone is asking us "why?" and we want to answer "just so..." - in this case the לכן word wouldn't help us. For this we have another concise word that helps us express it - ככה (KAKHA). Which can be translated also as "like this" or "just so," "for no reason."

For example:

- למה דווקא היום? למה לא בשבוע הבא?
- לא יודע, ככה...

(-Why davka** today?
- I don't know... for no special reason...)

* Hebrew loves words of reason! We have way too many (I nearly gave you here a link to an unreasonably long list, but caught myself just on time deciding not to scare you! :) ). Hopefully, I'll have some more entries about a couple of them later, but for a start all you need to know is this לכן word!

** Davka word is used for emphasis - and if you are not certain how and when to use it - wait for my next post to find out!



That's it for this week!
Happy Hebrew-learning,
Alisa