Words that just won't stick

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-10, 15:36

I can never remember how to spell Telangana because I always forget whether the second vowel is e or a. Neither option seems to make etymological sense.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Polyglotus_Maximus » 2017-09-13, 9:13

(en) to condone
I used to always confuse the meaning with 'to condemn'.

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches - I cannot seem to be able to remember those.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby eskandar » 2017-10-07, 16:22

For the life of me I can't stop mixing up Urdu انّیس unniis (nineteen) and انتیس untiis (twenty-nine). I hate the counting system in Hindi/Urdu so much. In what other language can someone have learned enough to comfortably read a newspaper without a dictionary but still struggle to count to 100?
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-07, 17:25

In every Indo-Aryan language still spoken on the Subcontinent today.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby eskandar » 2017-10-07, 23:27

You're right, I should have amended that to say: in what other language but a North Indian one can someone...
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-10-08, 1:55

I don't know how it compares to North Indian languages, but France French? I get base-20, but I find it super challenging to use it only from 70-99.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 3:32

Yeah, North Indian languages are way harder than that. You have to memorize every single number from 1 to 100. There are no reliable patterns that apply across the board.

For example, here's the one I find perhaps the most reliable in Hindi and Urdu: When the second digit in a double-digit number is 9, then the word for that number is [ʊn]- plus the next number (i.e. next number minus one). However, there are often small phonological changes affecting the pronunciation of the next number in these compounds, e.g. 'twenty' is [bis] but 'nineteen' is [ʊnˈnis], not *[ʊnˈbis]. In addition, 'ninety-nine' is an exception: [nɪˈnãʋe] 'ninety-nine', [ek sɔ] 'one hundred'.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Hent » 2017-10-28, 12:21

Dormouse559 wrote:I don't know how it compares to North Indian languages, but France French? I get base-20, but I find it super challenging to use it only from 70-99.


Is it Belgian or Swiss French that uses the fully normal system?

Anyway Danish threw me off at first, but there's some logic behind it.

What's an eyesore is the Indian placement of the "comma".
100,00,000?

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-10-28, 15:09

Hent wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:I don't know how it compares to North Indian languages, but France French? I get base-20, but I find it super challenging to use it only from 70-99.


Is it Belgian or Swiss French that uses the fully normal system?
As far as replacing all three of soixante-dix, quatre-vingts and quatre-vingt-dix with more-regular words, that only happens in a few Swiss cantons (septante, huitante, nonante). More common are dialects that just replace the first and third (septante, quatre-vingts, nonante). As far as I know, most dialects that aren't in France or Canada do the second thing.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-28, 15:22

Hent wrote:What's an eyesore is the Indian placement of the "comma".
1,00,00,000?

;)

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby JackFrost » 2017-10-28, 15:54

eskandar wrote:In what other language can someone have learned enough to comfortably read a newspaper without a dictionary but still struggle to count to 100?

Dormouse559 wrote:I don't know how it compares to North Indian languages, but France French? I get base-20, but I find it super challenging to use it only from 70-99.

Isn't it normal to struggle counting very comfortably in another language that isn't really your native one? Even after speaking French for a little more than half of my life, I still glitch full hard saying something like 3456. At least in my mind. But then, it could be that it's not really my strength to do mental numbers and maths as it's always easier for me to use a pen and paper to quietly process all of those.

I find it super challenging to use it only from 70-99.

My high school French teacher, who's anglo, said she found it a huge relief that it was 2000 so she could stop having to say dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-28, 16:33

JackFrost wrote:Isn't it normal to struggle counting very comfortably in another language that isn't really your native one?

Yes, but I've never seen a counting system in any language that's as unintuitive (to basically anyone) as the Indo-Aryan ones, and in India, there are plenty of people who don't even count in their native languages and use English instead. I'm sure there are plenty who can't as well. I remember Meera once saying most Hindi-speakers don't even bother with the counting system in their language and just use the English equivalents instead.

Incidentally, I keep finding that I have the damnedest time remembering the word for 44 specifically: [t͡ʃəˈʋalis]. I keep thinking it's *[t͡ʃɔˈɾalis] by analogy with [t͡ʃɔ̃ˈt̪is] '34' and [t̪ɪˈɾalis] '43'. Just now, I was trying to count out loud to myself in Hindi, and I said *[t͡ʃɔˈɾalis], then I thought, wait, maybe it's *[t͡ʃɔˈʋalis]! Then I thought, no, you're getting confused! It's *[t͡ʃɔˈɾalis]! Then I thought, wait, maybe it really is *[t͡ʃɔˈʋalis]! Lemme check TY Urdu, and both my guesses were wrong because it's [t͡ʃəˈʋalis].

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-10-29, 1:53

JackFrost wrote:Isn't it normal to struggle counting very comfortably in another language that isn't really your native one? Even after speaking French for a little more than half of my life, I still glitch full hard saying something like 3456. At least in my mind. But then, it could be that it's not really my strength to do mental numbers and maths as it's always easier for me to use a pen and paper to quietly process all of those.
Of course, but I’m not complaining about baseline difficulty. It’s the added challenge of switching to base-20 a third of the time. Without that, French numbers are really pretty simple from an Anglophone perspective. You just have to deal with that baseline, remembering the words.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Ciarán12 » 2017-10-29, 10:17

(pt-br) cócegas <-> (pt-br) coceira

I remember both but I'm never able to remember which once means "tickle" and which one means "itch".

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Osias » 2017-10-29, 11:33

I mostly see "cócegas" on TV or written media, people I know personally tend to say "cosquinha".
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby JackFrost » 2017-10-29, 15:51

vijayjohn wrote:
JackFrost wrote:Isn't it normal to struggle counting very comfortably in another language that isn't really your native one?

Yes, but I've never seen a counting system in any language that's as unintuitive (to basically anyone) as the Indo-Aryan ones, and in India, there are plenty of people who don't even count in their native languages and use English instead. I'm sure there are plenty who can't as well. I remember Meera once saying most Hindi-speakers don't even bother with the counting system in their language and just use the English equivalents instead.

Ah, I see. Well, no one says that numeral systems don't change with time. If it becomes complex and speakers actually find it so, then there's a pressure to "simplify" it. Like, French and Danish didn't have the base-20 system as Latin and Old Norse didn't count like that and that's what we actually have now.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-29, 16:05

JackFrost wrote:If it becomes complex and speakers actually find it so, then there's a pressure to "simplify" it. Like, French and Danish didn't have the base-20 system as Latin and Old Norse didn't count like that and that's what we actually have now.

:hmm: I'm not sure the motivation for a sub-base-20 system has much to do with simplification per se, if that's what you're implying. I was more under the impression that base-20 is just not all that rare in Europe and happened to spread from some European language varieties to others (but sometimes in only a limited fashion as in French and Danish).

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby JackFrost » 2017-11-04, 16:57

vijayjohn wrote:
JackFrost wrote:If it becomes complex and speakers actually find it so, then there's a pressure to "simplify" it. Like, French and Danish didn't have the base-20 system as Latin and Old Norse didn't count like that and that's what we actually have now.

:hmm: I'm not sure the motivation for a sub-base-20 system has much to do with simplification per se, if that's what you're implying. I was more under the impression that base-20 is just not all that rare in Europe and happened to spread from some European language varieties to others (but sometimes in only a limited fashion as in French and Danish).

Counting is pretty deep in the mind, so just like pronouns, they're usually the last bits of language to change if my guessing is valid. :P French were a mix of Celtic, Germanic, and Latin influences. The "h aspiré" is Germanic influence and still persists today when adopting English loans such as "hockey" ("le hockey"), yet weirdly not "Halloween" (in Quebec, we use the eliding definite article whereas in France, they don't use any article). The base-20 system is Celtic and pre-European influence (most supposedly I guess). That's a way that makes the most sense to me considering that Latin counting is purely decimal and "logically", it should've been conserved in French. Well, French used to be more complex with its base-20 system, but it got simplified with time to the point that we only have base-20 to say 70, 80, and 90. Before, it used to be a base for from 20 to 90 like 34 = 20-4-10, not 30-4; 55 = 2-20-5-10, not 50-5.
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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-04, 18:08

JackFrost wrote:Counting is pretty deep in the mind

Counting doesn't even exist in some languages.
so just like pronouns, they're usually the last bits of language to change if my guessing is valid. :P

I think they're clearly not. Which came first into French, le hamburger or quatre-vingts?
French were a mix of Celtic, Germanic, and Latin influences.

French was descended from Latin with some Germanic influences and apparently very few Celtic ones.

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Re: Words that just won't stick

Postby Osias » 2017-11-04, 18:23

vijayjohn wrote:
JackFrost wrote:Counting is pretty deep in the mind

Counting doesn't even exist in some languages.
Wasn't just the case for a single one, Pirahã?
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