One of the first words I learnt in Hebrew, was how to say my name in Hebrew. I was lucky enough to have been given a name that was interchangeable. So, my name in Hebrew is the same as my name in English. Not everyone is the same though. Many people are given an English name, then a Hebrew one, and they sound different. For example, the Hebrew for Jonathan is Yonatan
Hebrew names translated
Hebrew names are translated into English. For example, my name in Hebrew translated into English is “mountain goat”. The funny thing is many people say to me that my name in Hebrew is beautiful, and they ask the meaning of it. I say to them I’d like to think that it means “beautiful princess”, but it means “mountain goat”. The look on their face is priceless!
Other Hebrew names have a much nicer translation, and are often related to a story in the bible. For example the Hebrew for Jonah is Yonah, and is translated into English means “dove”. This relates directly to the story of Noah’s Ark. The earth was flooded, after the rains stopped Noah sent out a dove to look for signs of life. The dove came back with an olive branch.
The characteristics of a Hebrew name
Parents might choose a name that they want to reflect certain characteristics in their child. For example, if a person calls their child “Yonah”, meaning dove, they may hope that the child will take on a characteristic of a ‘peacemaker’. Or perhaps the translation is irrelevant and the parents just like the sound of the name.
It is always interesting to find out a bit more why a person has the name they have. Maybe they were named after someone special. It is always worthwhile asking.