A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hebrew Bananagrams

NEWS FLASH: Hebrew Bananagrams is now available in the U.S. from Amazon!

As posted in the forum, the Hebrew version of Bananagrams is now out. It looks like this:

The Israeli distributor has a web site dedicated to this version of the game, http://www.bananagrams.co.il which is in Hebrew. There is also an English translation of the site.

If there were an award for the language that Bananagrams would play most differently in, Hebrew would be a contender. Hebrew doesn't have an alphabet; it has an abjad - an alphabet without vowels. In written Hebrew, vowels may optionally be indicated by a system of diacritic marks placed above or below the consonants. In the image above, the tiles are all Hebrew consonants. My suspicion is that this will make Bananagrams matches in Hebrew markedly faster than in other languages.

UPDATE: This article gives more information on how the Hebrew translation of Bananagrams came about:
For the Israeli version, the Dalfens [the family that owns and runs the Israeli distributor] did not only translate the game’s instructions and special terms − such as “split,” dump,” and “peel” − but also consulted a Hebrew linguist regarding the frequency of each letter. [...] the allocation of letters would vary depending on whether Biblical or Modern Hebrew is used, according to the linguist. The Dalfens opted to allocate letters corresponding to the spoken language.