The languages of Israel can tell us a lot about its social fabric, history and culture. In this talk, Guy will take us through the streets of Israeli cities, deciphering textual graffiti in Modern Hebrew, lost pet ads, texts on t-shirts, shop signs and more. We'll learn about the cultural layers of an ever changing society and about the latest trends in Modern Hebrew. We'll also look at texts in different languages in the Israeli public sphere and explain their context.
Just as we look at ancient texts and try to decipher them, the contemporary linguistic landscape can tell us many things about any given society. Who wrote the text, why, what did they want to say? Why did someone change one letter and what did they do by that? We will look at urban texts and about their political, religious, social and historical context, looking at them in their natural habitat - the city.
*Cosponsored by MCLLC, Passport to the Year of Languages and Cultures Without Borders
Guy Sharett teaches Hebrew in the Shanghai International Studies University in Shanghai, China. He has a B.A in Linguistics of Hebrew Language from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.A in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of London. Guy, who was born in Ashdod, Israel, speaks 8 languages, and is the presenter of the Streetwise Hebrew podcast, where he teaches Hebrew through music and pop culture, explaining the Israeli psyche through slang expressions and grammar.
You can read more about Guy in the New York Times here.