Procrastinating in Hebrew

English editing / Hebrew English translations

How many procrastinators does it take to change a lightbulb?

I’m writing this post as I sit in our dimly lit kitchen, wondering when Guy will get around to putting in a new lightbulb. I could do it myself, but I have absolutely no intention of doing so (finding the right bulb, climbing up a ladder, taking down the light fixture…). Guy is happy to do things like this around the house, but in his own time.

If you open the dictionary to the word “procrastinator,” you’ll probably see a picture of Guy and our three kids. On the other hand, if there was a word for doing everything in advance, long before the deadline, there would probably be a picture of me (looking very stressed). I prefer to do things as early as possible. As a university student, I always handed in my papers months in advance (and sat in the front rows, but that’s a topic for a different post). All other members of our household tend to do things at the very last minute, after the deadline if possible.

Maayan, for example, likes to ask me where her shoes are just as she’s leaving the house. Ori asked me if we had a Hebrew-English dictionary minutes before he left for his English Bagrut exam. And Yahav could often be found doing his math homework at 6:30 in the morning (although he’s really changed since going into the army).

Guy always leaves the house late, no matter where he’s off to. And just before he leaves, usually while I’m engrossed in my editing work, he’ll ask me if I’ve seen his wallet.

Procrastination is hereditary in Guy’s family and they’re all very proud of this characteristic. His sister Adi even wrote a seminar paper on the relationship between procrastination and intelligence. (She wrote the paper at the very last minute and I was much more stressed than she was.)

But you know that this post isn’t just about airing our dirty laundry in public 😉It’s about the Hebrew and English languages.

In Hebrew, you simply say: da-ẖa; daẖ-yan; da-ẖiti

In English, as always, it much more complicated:

He is a procrastinator. He always does things last minute. daẖ-yan דחיין

She postponed today’s meeting to next week. daẖ-ta דחתה

The flight was delayed because of the snow. nid-ẖa נדחה


If your family members also have heredity traits, feel free to share. You’re among friends 😉

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