Page 1 of 31

Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-14, 19:46
by Aurinĭa
Continuation of the Random language thread 5, which can now be found in the Forum Archives. If you want to continue a conversation or a discussion from the old thread, post a quote and/or a link to the relevant post here.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-14, 19:49
by OldBoring
Wow already 6

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-20, 10:03
by Saim
In the song El vieyu combatiente by the Asturian-language band Dixebrá, there is a line that goes "díes de llucha, nueches de hiel" (days of struggle, nights of "hiel"). I used to think that hiel meant ice (Spanish hielo), but it turns out that ice is xelu in Asturian, and hiel here is actually a Spanish word meaning bile (which in standard/non-Hispanified Asturian would be fiel).

In Catalan this is fel, which reminded me of a videogame I used to play as a teenager (where fel refers to green, demonic magic):

http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Fel_magic

In Hebrew, the word "אפל" (Afel) means "dark" or "tainted". The English adjective "fell" means "cruel" or "savage"[1]. The word "fel" can also mean "bile", and according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition (2000), it is related to a number of words of Indo-European origin: yellow, gold, gall, cholera, and felon, to mention a few. The same source indicates that the Indo-European root from which it is derived, ghel, meant "to shine". It may also find it's origin in the Old-English word "fūl" which means "foul" and is the origin of the word "defile". Fel also is a Swedish word for "Wrong" or "Incorrect", it is however pronounced differently (the E is pronounced as the first E of "Error" which make the word sound like "fEl").


Erm, what? What pronunciation is this supposed to represent?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-20, 18:47
by linguoboy
[e:]?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-21, 16:01
by Saim
But what does that have to do with the pronunciation of error?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-21, 20:16
by ceid donn
I rather enjoy how the Gaelic word for "Brexit"--Brfhàgail--works as a portmanteau of the Gaelic words Breatann (Britain) and fàgail (leaving, quitting, departure). Lenition of the second word of compound words in Gaelic is usually obligatory, so here, the initial /f/ in fàgail becomes /fh/, which is a silent consonant. So Breatann-fhàgail easy reduces down to Brfhàgail which is pronounnced /braːgal/.

And that very conveniently rhymes with the English word debacle. :wink:

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-22, 13:38
by ceid donn
Reduplication in Indonesian is...confusing. I am sure eventually I will get the patterns down and can intuit them and I'll be like, "Wow, I can't believe I once stressed over this," but right now, it's just an opportunity to stare futilely at the words on my computer monitor and rub my temples. :?

It doesn't help that there aren't many English-language resources that explain this feature in Indonesian and that the Duolingo course (still in beta, so still a work in progress) doesn't really explain it either, even though it has these words in several units and even has one unit called "Rdpl verbs," which I'm sure to a newbie to Indonesian is just like :shock: .

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-22, 14:18
by linguoboy
ceid donn wrote:I rather enjoy how the Gaelic word for "Brexit"--Brfhàgail--works as a portmanteau of the Gaelic words Breatann (Britain) and fàgail (leaving, quitting, departure).

That is a really good coinage. The Irish equivalent, Breatimeacht, just sounds like an awkward calque on the English. But that's how I tend to feel about official neologisms in Irish in general.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-22, 14:21
by Vlürch
Is there any site with "comprehensive" lists of given names and surnames from various languages/countries with etymologies that isn't a baby-naming site? Somehow, even though it sounds like such an elementary thing, I can't find anything like that. Literally every result on Google seems to be a baby-naming site; not sure if it's that for some reason Google thinks that's what I want to find or there really aren't any "legitimate" name lists with etymologies out there, but either way it's pretty annoying. The main reason baby-naming sites don't seem like a good resource is that a lot of the meanings/etymologies seem really suspect, can't really explain why I get that feeling though so maybe I'm just being paranoid.

I mean, behindthename.com is pretty nice but not very extensive. And yeah, it may be a weird question, but it'd be interesting mostly because I'd like to be able to look up what the etymologies behind various singers', etc. and even random people's names are in cases where they're not obvious. Since it's probably relevant to mention, I mostly mean names used in and around Central Asia; the components they're made up of are often pretty obvious (Turkic, Persian and Arabic, with Russian suffixes in surnames) but having a proper etymological "dictionary" for said names would be great.

I get that it's possible that one that includes names from all of the Central Asian countries hasn't been made because of the obvious vastness of such a project, but individually for each country or each origin language would be more than enough and I honestly can't imagine that nothing like that has ever been done...? :?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-22, 22:52
by IpseDixit
Tonight I saw a Mexican restaurant called Màs Mexico.

Spanish: you're doing it right.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-23, 16:20
by linguoboy
A friend of mine works for the Skokie Park District. For one of their field houses, they put together a plexiglass welcome sign in seventy languages. But they left off Assyrian and the local Assyrians, many of whom live in Skokie, are furious. So looks like they're going to have to redo it at a cost of $3000.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-23, 18:54
by Saim
Out of curiosity (if you know): are any of the other languages non-nation-state languages?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-23, 20:09
by linguoboy
Saim wrote:Out of curiosity (if you know): are any of the other languages non-nation-state languages?

The image I have isn't very legible, but I can at least make out Sundanese, Aklan, and Luganda (which--despite the name--is not an official language of Uganda).

Apropos of which, one of the phrases appears to be "Dayon". Any guesses what language that could be?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-24, 18:18
by Luís
French boss commenting on something I had done: c'est beau comme un camion (lit. it's as beautiful as a truck)

For a moment I wasn't sure if he was complimenting me or being sarcastic. But yeah, apparently it's an expression and it means "really beautiful", "great".

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-28, 14:52
by ceid donn
Interesting article in the BBC website on how learning langauges is different for you depending on your age and that, yes, as adult learner, you might have some advantages: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2018102 ... nk.twitter

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-28, 16:06
by Linguaphile
linguoboy wrote:Apropos of which, one of the phrases appears to be "Dayon". Any guesses what language that could be?
It's used in Cebuano as well as several other languages of the Philippines, such as Agutaynen and Kagayanen. It means "come in" (in the sense of inviting someone to come inside).

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-30, 19:38
by ceid donn
Was reading a thing online by a Welsh person about how prior to the introduction of pumpkins, rutabagas where used for jack 'o lanterns. But of course, being British, he referred to them as swedes. This has always amused me a bit, given the number of times I've heard Brits go, "I hate swedes!" and then, upon realizing that they might be misinterpreted, would add, "I mean the vegetable, not the people!" :lol:

Here in the US, we mainly call them rutabagas, since they were largely introduced to the American diet via Swedish and Norwegian immigrants who settled in the Midwest and began farming them there. Even so, they are still a bit of mystery to many Americans. It seems like whenever I shop for rutabagas--which is rare and almost always in the fall when I use them in some of my more seasonal cooking--I find myself explaining to some young grocery employee the difference between rutabagas and turnips.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-30, 19:48
by linguoboy
I get confused between rutabagas and kohlrabi because both can be referred to in German as Kohlrübe and there are variant names for the rutabaga which incorporate "Kohlrabi", e.g. Erdkohlrabi ("earth-kohlrabi"), Unterkohlrabi ("under-kohlrabi"), and Bodenkohlrabi ("ground-kohlrabi"). Plus we never had either growing up, so they're both still slightly exotic vegetables to me.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-31, 10:36
by IpseDixit
I was talking with a friend of mine and she said vengono i miei a trovarmi (literally: my parents come visit me) and I thought she meant that their parents are going to visit her in a near future (because it's very common to use the present tense to talk about the future), when actually she meant that her parents came visit her a few weeks ago (because she's from the South and apparently in the South it's also very common to talk about past events in the present).

Why do we even bother having multiple tenses? lol

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2018-10-31, 14:25
by Vlürch
Because at least in (most?) European languages "right" means both "correct" and the direction, as well as the right wing in politics, I started wondering if there's any language where the word for "left" also has the meaning of "correct" and/or the word for "right" also has the meaning "wrong"?

(Not sure if this is the right thread to ask, but...)