True false friends

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-17, 5:28

Malayalam (ml) വെള്ളം [ʋɛɭˈɭəm] - water
Tamil (ta) வெள்ளம் veḷḷam - flood
Ciarán12 wrote:The similarity is compounded all the more when you try to explain to a Brazilian that (ga) Dia dhuit! means (pt-br) Bom dia! and they naturally assume the "dia" part of the phrase must mean the same in both languages. They're also pronounced almost identically.

What if you tell them it also means boa tarde, boa noite, oi, olá, etc.? :P

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Re: True false friends

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-08-17, 9:12

vijayjohn wrote:What if you tell them it also means boa tarde, boa noite, oi, olá, etc.? :P


I think I cleared it up in the end when I said it literally means "Deus pra ti".

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Re: True false friends

Postby ReachingOut » 2019-08-17, 11:53

In Greek, two words which have the same pronunciation, but a different spelling, gender and meaning:

το σκοινί = rope
η σκηνή = stage

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-08-18, 14:01

ReachingOut wrote:In Greek, two words which have the same pronunciation, but a different spelling, gender and meaning:

I.e. homophones.

ReachingOut wrote:η σκηνή = stage

This is a true false friend for English “scene”.
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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-08-19, 15:39

(en) miscreant
(fr) mécréant unbeliever, infidel
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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-23, 23:05

Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - love

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Re: True false friends

Postby voron » 2019-08-23, 23:38

vijayjohn wrote:Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - love

It's Arabic محبّة that means exclusively love or affection. In Turkish, conversation is the primary meaning as well.

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-24, 14:47

voron wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - love

It's Arabic محبّة that means exclusively love or affection. In Turkish, conversation is the primary meaning as well.

That's interesting because it seems to exclusively(ish) mean 'love' in all the other languages that borrowed (or inherited) it:

Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - conversation, love
Arabic (ar) محبة maḥabba - love, affection, charity
Swahili (sw) mahaba - love
Maltese (mt) (i)mħabba - love
Persian (fa) محبت mohabbat - love, affection, kindness
Uzbek (uz) muhabbat/муҳаббат‍ - love
Bashkir (ba) мөхәббәт möxäbbät - love
Kazakh (kk) махаббат maxabbat - love
Urdu (ur) محبت / Hindi (hi) मुहब्बत, मोहब्बत [mʊˈɦəbbət̪], [mɔˈɦəbbət̪] - love, affection

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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-08-24, 15:10

vijayjohn wrote:
voron wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - love

It's Arabic محبّة that means exclusively love or affection. In Turkish, conversation is the primary meaning as well.

That's interesting because it seems to exclusively(ish) mean 'love' in all the other languages that borrowed (or inherited) it:

Albanian (sq) muhabet - conversation, discussion
Turkish (tr) muhabbet - conversation, love
Arabic (ar) محبة maḥabba - love, affection, charity
Swahili (sw) mahaba - love
Maltese (mt) (i)mħabba - love
Persian (fa) محبت mohabbat - love, affection, kindness
Uzbek (uz) muhabbat/муҳаббат‍ - love
Bashkir (ba) мөхәббәт möxäbbät - love
Kazakh (kk) махаббат maxabbat - love
Urdu (ur) محبت / Hindi (hi) मुहब्बत, मोहब्बत [mʊˈɦəbbət̪], [mɔˈɦəbbət̪] - love, affection

This is cool! Thanks for posting. :D
There's also Kyrgyz (ky) макаббат makabbat - love

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Re: True false friends

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-25, 15:38

Huh, weird and interesting. I knew it meant love in the other Turkic languages and Hindi/Urdu and that it was borrowed from Persian (and ultimately from Arabic), and I know I've heard it in at least one Turkish song even if I can't remember what song it is (and I'd always assumed it meant "love", and my Turkish is bad enough that it was one of the few words I understood (except apparently I didn't even understand that)), and had no idea it could mean anything else. :oops:

Like, I knew aşk and sevgi as the words for love, but I thought *muhabbat (which turns out to even be a misspelling) was like maybe a somewhat poetic synonym or whatever. Where did the meaning of "conversation" in Turkish and Albanian come from? :o

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Re: True false friends

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-08-25, 20:11

(pt-br) ladrilho - tile
(es) ladrillo - brick

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-27, 3:07

Vlürch wrote:Huh, weird and interesting. I knew it meant love in the other Turkic languages and Hindi/Urdu and that it was borrowed from Persian (and ultimately from Arabic), and I know I've heard it in at least one Turkish song even if I can't remember what song it is (and I'd always assumed it meant "love", and my Turkish is bad enough that it was one of the few words I understood (except apparently I didn't even understand that)), and had no idea it could mean anything else. :oops:

Well, my Turkish is much better than yours, and I was pretty sure Albanian got it from Turkish, but even then, I didn't know it could mean anything else, either. :P Wiktionary doesn't include that meaning for Turkish.
Where did the meaning of "conversation" in Turkish and Albanian come from? :o

You have to start talking to really fall in love? *shrug* :D

Anyway, from the Random Language Thread:

Punjabi (pa.Arab) کڑی / Punjabi (pa) ਕੁੜੀ [kʊˈɽi] - girl
Malayalam (ml) കുടി [kuˈɖi] - drink (noun); drink! (imperative)

Some other Dravidian languages have this word for 'drink' as well, or at least cognates with it.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-27, 15:04

vijayjohn wrote:Well, my Turkish is much better than yours, and I was pretty sure Albanian got it from Turkish, but even then, I didn't know it could mean anything else, either. :P Wiktionary doesn't include that meaning for Turkish.

T-there are things you don't know...?! :o But seriously, though, that makes me feel better about not knowing it. I just always assumed it had the same meaning as in all the other languages (since I didn't yet know it existed in Albanian and that its meaning was different (since I know literally nothing about Albanian except that it's kinda weird and indistinguishable from Brazilian Portuguese :para: ), I thought its meaning was the same in all languages). Of course that's never a good idea, since semantic shift and whatnot happen all the time, as proven by this thread...
vijayjohn wrote:You have to start talking to really fall in love? *shrug* :D

:lol: but honestly, who knows, maybe it turns out that's exactly it...

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-08-27, 15:18

Vlürch wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:You have to start talking to really fall in love? *shrug* :D

:lol: but honestly, who knows, maybe it turns out that's exactly it...

I can much more easily grasp a semantic shift of conversation > love via euphemism than I can love > conversation.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-27, 19:19

linguoboy wrote:I can much more easily grasp a semantic shift of conversation > love via euphemism than I can love > conversation.

Makes sense in general, but in this case, how would it have shifted the exact same way in the majority of languages (to the extent where the "conversation" sense doesn't exist at all) but remained in Turkish and Albanian, especially considering it entered presumably most if not all of the languages through Persian fairly recently? Logically the shift away from the "love" sense would've happened in Ottoman Turkish, right?

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Re: True false friends

Postby Saim » 2019-08-29, 14:08

Ciarán12 wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:What is that a true false friend with?

I don't know what Saim had in mind, but when I first learned célibataire, I remembered it because of the loose resemblance to "celebratory".


I was thinking more "celibate-er" i.e. one who is celibate. The immediate connotation of "celibate" to me is someone who abstains from sexual activity (which would be a false friend aince that's not what "single" implies), though apparently it can also mean "unmarried", which is much closer to "single".


Yes, when I first heard the the word I understood it to mean "celibate" (in the common sense; I was unaware that in literary English it can also mean unmarried) for a few seconds until I realised that the context made it obvious that's not what they meant.

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-30, 5:20

Oh, thanks for explaining that! :D
Vlürch wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I can much more easily grasp a semantic shift of conversation > love via euphemism than I can love > conversation.

Makes sense in general, but in this case, how would it have shifted the exact same way in the majority of languages (to the extent where the "conversation" sense doesn't exist at all) but remained in Turkish and Albanian, especially considering it entered presumably most if not all of the languages through Persian fairly recently? Logically the shift away from the "love" sense would've happened in Ottoman Turkish, right?

I don't think he's saying that love > conversation is actually false, just harder to visualize. 'Love' is obviously the original meaning; all these words come from a Semitic root having to do with love.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-01, 12:27

vijayjohn wrote:I don't think he's saying that love > conversation is actually false, just harder to visualize.

Oh. Yeah, then obviously I agree and the rambly stuff about how the opposite could've happened is pointless.
vijayjohn wrote:'Love' is obviously the original meaning; all these words come from a Semitic root having to do with love.

Ah, I didn't know that. So Turkish and Albanian really are the weird ones. So, assuming the change of meaning happened in Ottoman Turkish, maybe it could've been through poetry or something? Although AFAIK usually the tendency in poetry is to use terms that don't mean "love" to mean love, not using terms that mean "love" to mean things that don't mean love...

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-01, 17:21

Vlürch wrote:So, assuming the change of meaning happened in Ottoman Turkish, maybe it could've been through poetry or something?

I dunno, maybe! (Although I kinda doubt it).
Although AFAIK usually the tendency in poetry is to use terms that don't mean "love" to mean love, not using terms that mean "love" to mean things that don't mean love...

Eh, you can come up with any kind of metaphor in poetry, though. :P

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Re: True false friends

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-01, 23:54

vijayjohn wrote:I dunno, maybe! (Although I kinda doubt it).

I guess it'd be pretty weird, yeah, and it's probably not like the Ottomans went to Albania like "here's some poetry, read it and then we'll make love I mean talk about literature" or whatever. Although, judging by the quick glance I had at the Wikipedia article about Albania under Ottoman rule, they didn't just unexpectedly rush in guns blazing either... but obviously that doesn't mean their first words to the Albanians were "let's make love have a conversation" either. :P

Honestly no idea why I think I'm funny and why I keep trying to be funny when I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm not funny.
vijayjohn wrote:Eh, you can come up with any kind of metaphor in poetry, though. :P

True. I'm not really into poetry myself, although I often wish I was, but it's just hard to get into; I always feel like they should be song lyrics and the fact that there isn't a song they're lyrics to makes them kind of "pointless", even though I know the point isn't even trying to be song lyrics. Maybe if I started writing poetry, I'd also start reading it...? :hmm:


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