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If you speak English and are looking for an extra source of income, I have just the thing for you. No, it doesn't require an all-night shift on the phone as a telemarketer, and there's no stuffing envelopes involved. All you have to do is - go shopping! Actually, you can run this business at the medical clinic, the gas station, your kids' school or just about anywhere you interact with Israelis who insist on talking to you in English.
Every immigrant knows what I'm talking about; it even happens to people who have been here for decades, and whose Hebrew is flawless. The second they open their mouth, Israelis can detect that Anglo accent, and try to conduct the conversation in English.
Some English speakers think this is a good thing; if they can hold a conversation in English, then they don't have to speak Hebrew, which makes things easier for them. Others are appalled at the idea, and try to keep up their side of the conversation in Hebrew. Usually, though, it doesn't help; the person you're talking to insists on jabbering away in English, and usually not very well, either.
We're not making any value judgments here; if you prefer speaking English to the locals, more power to you, and if you're frustrated at their insistence on speaking to you in your mother tongue, we feel your pain. But why do it for free? You could be making big money running off-the-cuff lessons for Hebrew speakers who insist on using you as their English tutor. It's real easy, too; just tell the dry cleaner, the bank lady, the handyman or whoever how you feel, and insist on a discount. After all, one good turn deserves another, and why shouldn't you be benefiting from this relationship as much as them?
Once you put your cards on the table, one of two things will happen. Either you'll now be treated (or subjected, depending on your attitude) to Hebrew-only conversations, as the other party decides s/he would rather get paid their full due rather than practice their English on a savvy businessperson such as yourself. Or they'll actually acknowledge your complaint, and even agree to some sort of deal - providing you really help them out and teach them stuff they really need to know.
Either way, you're going to need to draw upon the resources of the great Word2Word Language Resources site, which includes hundreds of links to what seems like any and every language-oriented site out there - including tutorials, translation sites, English as a second language and full-blown Web courses on dozens of languages - including Hebrew and English. Need flash cards (Hebrew available)? Vocabulary practice? A quick course in basic Cherokee? It's all on the Word2Word course page (http://www.word2word.com/coursead.html). You'll get quick and easy Web help on learning, using or teaching just about any language under the sun - for free.
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