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single words for concepts for which other languages paraphrase

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  • A. da Mek
    ... Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and the more precise word for it would be rather sebelítost , self-pity. Lítost
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 21, 2013
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      > the Czech author Milan Kundera doesn't understand how non-Czech languages
      > could possibly do without an equivalent to the Czech word "litost," to
      > which an English speaker sort of just shrugs when he/she hears the word
      > translated as "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own
      > misery."

      Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
      the
      more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity. "Lítost"
      simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate "Leid"); it
      is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.

      A better candidate for a single word for a concept for which other languages
      paraphrase could be "prozvonit" - literally "to ring trough",
      with the meaning "to give a missed call", "to call someone but only let it
      ring once so that the other person will call you back". I wonder whether
      other
      languages have single word for this concept.
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... As you said this, I m encouraged to say that I feel that the Portuguese word saudade is much more generic than “a feeling of wistful longing for
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 21, 2013
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        2013/1/21 A. da Mek <a.da_mek0@...>:
        >> the Czech author Milan Kundera doesn't understand how non-Czech languages
        >> could possibly do without an equivalent to the Czech word "litost," to
        >> which an English speaker sort of just shrugs when he/she hears the word
        >> translated as "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own
        >> misery."
        >
        >
        > Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
        > the
        > more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity. "Lítost"
        > simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate "Leid"); it
        > is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.

        As you said this, I'm encouraged to say that I feel that the
        Portuguese word "saudade" is much more generic than “a feeling of
        wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never
        return” (as also cited in the original message). It would be very
        natural for me to call my wife now an say "Tô com saudade! Vamos comer
        uma pizza?!" ("I miss you! Let's eat a pizza?!"). But I'm talking
        about Brazil; I don't know about Portugal, Angola, etc.

        > A better candidate for a single word for a concept for which other languages
        > paraphrase could be "prozvonit" - literally "to ring trough",
        > with the meaning "to give a missed call", "to call someone but only let it
        > ring once so that the other person will call you back". I wonder whether
        > other
        > languages have single word for this concept.

        In Braz. Portuguese, an appropriate way of saying this could be "só
        dar um toque" or, more precisely, "só dar um toque para ligar de
        volta".
      • Elena ``of Valhalla''
        ... In Italian there is the noun squillo which in the context of phones means a phone call where the phone is only allowed to ring once, to convey a
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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          On 2013-01-21 at 19:43:30 -0000, A. da Mek wrote:
          > A better candidate for a single word for a concept for which other languages
          > paraphrase could be "prozvonit" - literally "to ring trough",
          > with the meaning "to give a missed call", "to call someone but only let it
          > ring once so that the other person will call you back". I wonder
          > whether other
          > languages have single word for this concept.

          In Italian there is the noun "squillo" which in the context of phones
          means "a phone call where the phone is only allowed to ring once,
          to convey a predefined message".
          It is usually used in the expression "Fare uno squillo (a qualcuno)",
          literally "Give (somebody) a ring".

          The meaning is not just "call me back", from what I've heard
          cellphone-equipped teenagers had developed a complex etiquette
          of squilli used in their social relationships (I believe that
          one of the meanings was "I'm thinking about you, but I don't have
          anything to say worth calling").

          The "call me back" message was implied when calling parents
          and other older people.

          Nowadays the teenagers probably just chat on facebook with their smartphones,
          but adults still use squilli by agreeing on a specific message in
          advance.

          --
          Elena ``of Valhalla''
        • And Rosta
          ... languages ... other ... English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word (or has a decent claim to being taken as such). --And.
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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            On Jan 21, 2013 7:44 PM, "A. da Mek" <a.da_mek0@...> wrote:
            > A better candidate for a single word for a concept for which other
            languages
            > paraphrase could be "prozvonit" - literally "to ring trough",
            > with the meaning "to give a missed call", "to call someone but only let it
            > ring once so that the other person will call you back". I wonder whether
            other
            > languages have single word for this concept.

            English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word
            (or has a decent claim to being taken as such).

            --And.
          • Armin Buch
            ... German: (jemanden) anklingeln (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anklingeln). It s klingeln (to ring) with the prefix an- . German verbal prefixes are
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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              On 22.01.2013 11:16, And Rosta wrote:
              > On Jan 21, 2013 7:44 PM, "A. da Mek" <a.da_mek0@...> wrote:
              >> A better candidate for a single word for a concept for which other
              > languages
              >> paraphrase could be "prozvonit" - literally "to ring trough",
              >> with the meaning "to give a missed call", "to call someone but only let it
              >> ring once so that the other person will call you back". I wonder whether
              > other
              >> languages have single word for this concept.
              >
              > English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word
              > (or has a decent claim to being taken as such).
              >
              > --And.
              >


              German: "(jemanden) anklingeln"
              (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anklingeln). It's "klingeln" (to ring)
              with the prefix "an-". German verbal prefixes are only
              semi-transparent, but this is a productive example.
            • Leonardo Castro
              ... Ah, and, at least nowadays, the word nostalgia is stronger than saudade in Brazil. I think that the definition “a feeling of wistful longing for
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                2013/1/21 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
                > 2013/1/21 A. da Mek <a.da_mek0@...>:
                >> Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
                >> the
                >> more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity. "Lítost"
                >> simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate "Leid"); it
                >> is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.
                >
                > As you said this, I'm encouraged to say that I feel that the
                > Portuguese word "saudade" is much more generic than “a feeling of
                > wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never
                > return” (as also cited in the original message). It would be very
                > natural for me to call my wife now an say "Tô com saudade! Vamos comer
                > uma pizza?!" ("I miss you! Let's eat a pizza?!"). But I'm talking
                > about Brazil; I don't know about Portugal, Angola, etc.

                Ah, and, at least nowadays, the word "nostalgia" is stronger than
                "saudade" in Brazil. I think that the definition “a feeling of wistful
                longing for something one once knew and which might never return” fits
                "nostalgia" better than "saudade". As the meaning of "saudade" is
                wider, it can mean exactly the same as "nostalgia" or something more
                unexceptional as " I miss you* ".

                BTW, the Cape Verdean song "Sodade" (same word as "saudade") is really
                very nostalgic:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_7BV-IuyKI


                * although I don't know how strong is "I miss you" for anglophones; do
                you say it to someone you saw in the breakfast and want to see in the
                dinner again?
              • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                ... To prank or prank-call someone doesn t have the same meaning (it s done as a (annoying) joke, while what A. da Mek is talking about calling someone to get
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                  On 22 January 2013 11:16, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word
                  > (or has a decent claim to being taken as such).
                  >
                  >
                  To prank or prank-call someone doesn't have the same meaning (it's done as
                  a (annoying) joke, while what A. da Mek is talking about calling someone to
                  get them to call you again, or at least to remind them of some event –the
                  callee has usually agreed with the caller on the meaning of that call, not
                  so in a prank call–), and I've never seen the term "missed call" used as a
                  verb. I *have* seen the verb "to calldrop" though, with the meaning
                  intended.

                  I'm not aware of a similar expression in Dutch. That's too bad, because
                  it's something I do regularly.

                  On 22 January 2013 13:06, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > * although I don't know how strong is "I miss you" for anglophones; do
                  > you say it to someone you saw in the breakfast and want to see in the
                  > dinner again?
                  >

                  Only if you're lovesick! :)
                  --
                  Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

                  http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                  http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                • And Rosta
                  On Jan 22, 2013 12:21 PM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                    On Jan 22, 2013 12:21 PM, "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets" <
                    tsela.cg@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On 22 January 2013 11:16, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > >
                    > > English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word
                    > > (or has a decent claim to being taken as such).
                    > >
                    > >
                    > To prank or prank-call someone doesn't have the same meaning (it's done as
                    > a (annoying) joke, while what A. da Mek is talking about calling someone
                    to
                    > get them to call you again, or at least to remind them of some event –the
                    > callee has usually agreed with the caller on the meaning of that call, not
                    > so in a prank call–), and I've never seen the term "missed call" used as a
                    > verb. I *have* seen the verb "to calldrop" though, with the meaning
                    > intended.

                    Google "missed-call me" and "prank me" (with the inverted commas) and
                    you'll see I'm right about both.
                  • Douglas Koller
                    ... I know *I* did when I first read you as a prank/crank call for me, as Christophe points out, involves Is your refrigerator running? or Do you have Sir
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                      > Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:54:43 +0000
                      > From: and.rosta@...
                      > Subject: Re: single words for concepts for which other languages paraphrase
                      > To: CONLANG@...

                      > On Jan 22, 2013 12:21 PM, "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets" <
                      > tsela.cg@...> wrote:

                      > > On 22 January 2013 11:16, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:

                      > > > English: to missed-call someone, to prank someone. Each is a single word
                      > > > (or has a decent claim to being taken as such).

                      > > To prank or prank-call someone doesn't have the same meaning (it's done as
                      > > a (annoying) joke, while what A. da Mek is talking about calling someone

                      > Google "missed-call me" and "prank me" (with the inverted commas) and
                      > you'll see I'm right about both.

                      I know *I* did when I first read you as a prank/crank call for me, as Christophe points out, involves "Is your refrigerator running?" or "Do you have Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?" (nyuk, nyuk), but Wikipedia confirms your usage. Who knew? Right Pondian? YAEUT anyone? ;)

                      Kou
                    • Jörg Rhiemeier
                      Hallo conlangers! ... How many of us have such words in our conlangs? In Old Albic, I at least have _phanara_, an animate noun derived from the verb _phana_
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                        Hallo conlangers!

                        On Monday 21 January 2013 22:35:52 Leonardo Castro wrote:

                        > 2013/1/21 A. da Mek <a.da_mek0@...>:
                        > >> the Czech author Milan Kundera doesn't understand how non-Czech
                        > >> languages could possibly do without an equivalent to the Czech word
                        > >> "litost," to which an English speaker sort of just shrugs when he/she
                        > >> hears the word translated as "a state of torment created by the sudden
                        > >> sight of one's own misery."
                        > >
                        > > Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
                        > > the
                        > > more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity.
                        > > "Lítost" simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate
                        > > "Leid"); it is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.
                        >
                        > As you said this, I'm encouraged to say that I feel that the
                        > Portuguese word "saudade" is much more generic than “a feeling of
                        > wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never
                        > return” (as also cited in the original message). It would be very
                        > natural for me to call my wife now an say "Tô com saudade! Vamos comer
                        > uma pizza?!" ("I miss you! Let's eat a pizza?!"). But I'm talking
                        > about Brazil; I don't know about Portugal, Angola, etc.

                        How many of us have such words in our conlangs? In Old Albic,
                        I at least have _phanara_, an animate noun derived from the
                        verb _phana_ 'to shape' (hence also, _phanas_ 'a shape'), which
                        may be translated as 'gestalt' or 'morphic field'. A _phanara_
                        is an entity that governs the shape of a particular object by
                        guiding and informing the _phaneri_ of its parts. _Phaneri_
                        resonate with each other, especially ones of a similar kind,
                        and of course with those of the parts they inform.

                        The whole universe is a huge hierarchy of nested _phaneri_, up
                        to _Éa_ ('The One') which encloses and informs the entire
                        universe, and down to imperceptibly small elementary _phaneri_
                        that make up everything (and can be identified, from a modern
                        physics viewpoint, with the probability fields of fundamental
                        particles in quantum mechanics).

                        The soul (_nâra_) of a living being is also a _phanara_; magic
                        (_léachvaras_ 'spirit-work') operates by getting one's own soul
                        into resonance with the _phanara_ of a target and in-forming it
                        in order to achieve a particular event.

                        --
                        ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
                        http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
                        "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
                      • Roger Mills
                        ... How many of us have such words in our conlangs?  In Old Albic, I at least have _phanara_, an animate noun derived from the verb _phana_ to shape (hence
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 22, 2013
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                          --- On Tue, 1/22/13, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:

                          How many of us have such words in our conlangs?  In Old Albic,
                          I at least have _phanara_, an animate noun derived from the
                          verb _phana_ 'to shape' (hence also, _phanas_ 'a shape'), which
                          may be translated as 'gestalt' or 'morphic field'.  A _phanara_
                          is an entity that governs the shape of a particular object by
                          guiding and informing the _phaneri_ of its parts.  _Phaneri_
                          resonate with each other, especially ones of a similar kind,
                          and of course with those of the parts they inform.

                          The whole universe is a huge hierarchy of nested _phaneri_, up
                          to _Éa_ ('The One') which encloses and informs the entire
                          universe, and down to imperceptibly small elementary _phaneri_
                          that make up everything (and can be identified, from a modern
                          physics viewpoint, with the probability fields of fundamental
                          particles in quantum mechanics).
                          ================================================
                          Very nice. Not dissimilar to Kash belief that something of the Creator resides in all things in their world (hence their belief in the Spirits of things).

                          Not sure this is quite relevant, but some Kash "accidental" verb forms (with /caka-/ prefix) might qualify, e.g. from tikas 'to see' we get cakatikas basically "overcome with seeing"-- but with a dative (animate) subj. it means to have a sudden understanding of something, a sudden insight; while with a nominative subject it means 'to appear suddenly, to pop into view (esp. if inopportunely)', and quite a few others that translate into Engl. phrases or idioms.

                          You can have such nonce-forms as "cakacika" (cika (colloq.) = TV) 'someone who watches altogether too much TV), or "caka+Number" to refer to someone obsessed with that number

                          The soul (_nâra_) of a living being is also a _phanara_; magic
                          (_léachvaras_ 'spirit-work') operates by getting one's own soul
                          into resonance with the _phanara_ of a target and in-forming it
                          in order to achieve a particular event.

                          --
                          ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
                          http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
                          "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
                        • Douglas Koller
                          ... Following the model of my German-English dictionary, which says if a concept doesn t translate well (it seemed there was some type of German cake? (also
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jan 24, 2013
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                            >Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 20:55:38 +0100
                            > From: joerg_rhiemeier@...
                            > Subject: Re: single words for concepts for which other languages paraphrase
                            > To: CONLANG@...

                            > On Monday 21 January 2013 22:35:52 Leonardo Castro wrote:

                            > > 2013/1/21 A. da Mek:
                            > > >> the Czech author Milan Kundera doesn't understand how non-Czech
                            > > >> languages could possibly do without an equivalent to the Czech word
                            > > >> "litost," to which an English speaker sort of just shrugs when he/she
                            > > >> hears the word translated as "a state of torment created by the sudden
                            > > >> sight of one's own misery."

                            > > > Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
                            > > > the
                            > > > more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity.
                            > > > "Lítost" simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate
                            > > > "Leid"); it is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.

                            > > As you said this, I'm encouraged to say that I feel that the
                            > > Portuguese word "saudade" is much more generic than “a feeling of
                            > > wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never
                            > > return” (as also cited in the original message).
                            > How many of us have such words in our conlangs?

                            Following the model of my German-English dictionary, which says if a concept doesn't translate well (it seemed there was some type of German cake? (also various terms in the German educational and governmental systems)), it's just going to *explain* it and to hell with a simple gloss, if I feel the need to coin an indispensible word to the Géarthçins psyche that requires a definition like:

                            "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own misery" (and let us not forget the plaintive wailing of a dog that goes with that) or

                            "a feeling of wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never return"

                            I just explain those words in italics on the Géarthnuns-English side with no corresponding entry on the English-Géarthnuns side. However, since there's no English cross reference, I've made a cheat sheet so if I'm thinking of one of *those* words, I can access it quickly. There are about fifteen thus far, and you could probably pare that down by half to the words of the totally twee and obnoxiously 'untranslatable' "hygge", "lítost", "saudade", "Gemütlichkeit", "wabi-sabi" variety.

                            Kou
                          • Leonardo Castro
                            I just remembered an English word that, at least in the context I expose here, was not properly translated as a single Portuguese word: asset . In Robert
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 18 3:19 AM
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                              I just remembered an English word that, at least in the context I
                              expose here, was not properly translated as a single Portuguese word:
                              "asset". In Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad Poor Dad", it's said that the
                              problem of many people is that they wrongly treat liabilities as if
                              they were assets. An asset is an item that provides positive cash flow
                              (gives you money) and a liabilitity is an item that provides negative
                              cash flow (takes money from you).

                              In a Brazilian translation of this book, "assets" and "liabilities"
                              were translated as "ativos" and "passivos", but these are accounting
                              terms that are too technical, so it's a little ridiculous to say that
                              people think that their "ativos" are "passivos", because they usually
                              don't know what these words mean.

                              In other texts, they are translated as "direitos" (rights) and
                              "obrigações" (obligations). But it's also a little strange to say that
                              someone consider his car as a right while he should consider it as an
                              obligation, because he really has rights over his car.

                              Well... Nonetheless, while writing this, I just found an article of
                              someone who disagrees with Kiyosaki's definitions of these words:

                              http://www.sharesinv.com/articles/2012/06/08/robert-kiyosaki%E2%80%99s-definitions-of-assets-and-liabilities-are-wrong/

                              Até mais!

                              Leonardo


                              2013/1/24 Douglas Koller <douglaskoller@...>:
                              >>Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 20:55:38 +0100
                              >> From: joerg_rhiemeier@...
                              >> Subject: Re: single words for concepts for which other languages paraphrase
                              >> To: CONLANG@...
                              >
                              >> On Monday 21 January 2013 22:35:52 Leonardo Castro wrote:
                              >
                              >> > 2013/1/21 A. da Mek:
                              >> > >> the Czech author Milan Kundera doesn't understand how non-Czech
                              >> > >> languages could possibly do without an equivalent to the Czech word
                              >> > >> "litost," to which an English speaker sort of just shrugs when he/she
                              >> > >> hears the word translated as "a state of torment created by the sudden
                              >> > >> sight of one's own misery."
                              >
                              >> > > Do not take him too seriously. This is only one of possible meanings, and
                              >> > > the
                              >> > > more precise word for it would be rather "sebelítost", self-pity.
                              >> > > "Lítost" simply means regret, pity or sorrow (there is a German cognate
                              >> > > "Leid"); it is not a specialised word for cry in one's beer.
                              >
                              >> > As you said this, I'm encouraged to say that I feel that the
                              >> > Portuguese word "saudade" is much more generic than “a feeling of
                              >> > wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never
                              >> > return” (as also cited in the original message).
                              >> How many of us have such words in our conlangs?
                              >
                              > Following the model of my German-English dictionary, which says if a concept doesn't translate well (it seemed there was some type of German cake? (also various terms in the German educational and governmental systems)), it's just going to *explain* it and to hell with a simple gloss, if I feel the need to coin an indispensible word to the Géarthçins psyche that requires a definition like:
                              >
                              > "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own misery" (and let us not forget the plaintive wailing of a dog that goes with that) or
                              >
                              > "a feeling of wistful longing for something one once knew and which might never return"
                              >
                              > I just explain those words in italics on the Géarthnuns-English side with no corresponding entry on the English-Géarthnuns side. However, since there's no English cross reference, I've made a cheat sheet so if I'm thinking of one of *those* words, I can access it quickly. There are about fifteen thus far, and you could probably pare that down by half to the words of the totally twee and obnoxiously 'untranslatable' "hygge", "lítost", "saudade", "Gemütlichkeit", "wabi-sabi" variety.
                              >
                              > Kou
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