Mark Wahlberg knows his shit

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are on a press junket, promoting their new film Daddy’s Home 2. (Any comments about the quality of this franchise or the need for a sequel will be summarily ignored.) This week, one stop on that tour was with the Israeli website ynet (the online arm of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth). During the interview, Ferrell was asked about Wahlberg’s “profound knowledge of Hebrew”, which Wahlberg was then happy to demonstrate. And, like any good language learner, his knowledge apparently includes a wealth of profanity, which I’ll lay out below.

But first, you can watch the interview here:

ynet has no compulsions about transcribing naughty words (which I’d wager Daddy’s Home 2 is full of), so most of the hard work has been done for us. Wahlberg says:

“He’s a טמבל”

tembel
idiot
'idiot'

“בן זונה”

ben   zona
son   bitch
'son of a bitch'"

לך תזדיין

lex                tizdajen
walk.imp.masc.sg   fuck.imp.refl.sg
'go fuck yourself'

“חתיכת חרא”

xatixat     xara
piece.gen   shit
'piece of shit'

and then he says something which ynet captions as “תעזור לי … שלי”

taʔazor            li       ...   ʃeli
help.imp.masc.sg   me.dat   ...   me.gen
'help me ... of mine'

(where the ‘of mine’ could be the second half of a phrase like ‘my sweet’, ‘my friend’, or something far more salacious).

Unfortunately, this isn’t a case of Wahlberg knowing some profanity which was too naughty for ynet to even caption. Instead, he’s just… kinda hard to understand.

Israelis discussing this line online have suggested at least two plausible interpretations for what Wahlberg might have been trying to say:

a. תעזור לי להעמיד את המטה שלי

taʔazor            li       lehaʔamid        et    hamate      ʃeli
help.imp.masc.sg   me.dat   stand.caus.inf   acc   staff.def   me.gen
'help me erect my staff' (i.e., 'help me get it up')

b. תחזרי למיטה מותק שלי

taxzeri             lemita    motek        ʃeli
return.imp.fem.sg   bed.dat   sweetheart   me.gen
'go back to bed, my sweetheart'

At first glance, (a) might seem more plausible, and it’s the one that fits ynet’s (attempted) transcription. But I think it’s actually (b), and here’s why: In 2010, Wahlberg had a role in Tina Fey & Steve Carrell’s movie Date Night, wherein he shared a scene with current ‘It Girl’ Gal Gadot. Gadot, of course, is Israeli, and in that scene Wahlberg utters the line in (b) to her.

You can watch the relevant scene here:

It seems likely to me that Wahlberg learned his extensive Hebrew vocabulary hanging out on set with Gadot, and this line has just stuck with him. That same conjecture was made by The Jerusalem Post back in August, after a similarly sweary Israeli interview wherein Wahlberg was promoting Transformers: The Last Knight. (Video here.)

And then, last but not least, Wahlberg finishes off with:

“חמור”

xamor
donkey
ass

And poor Ferrell has no idea what’s happening right next to him.

2 thoughts on “Mark Wahlberg knows his shit

  1. יובל פינטר November 30, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Oh yeah it’s definitely the second one. Great job digging up that Date Night scene, which has some hidden gems for Israelis in it, such as Gal’s character being named Netanya, which is a city on the Israeli coast, about as plausible as a person’s name as “oh, have you met my friend Portland?”

    Two small errors in your transcription – (1) תזדיין ends with a ן, not a ו. (2) It’s not just 2.sg, it’s reflexive.2.masc.sg.

    Like

    • toddsnider November 30, 2017 / 6:06 pm

      Good eye! Thanks for pointing those out!

      Like

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