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You know you’re a language nerd when...

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 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 2950 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 2641 of 3735
09 October 2012 at 7:10pm | IP Logged 
.. when the highlight of your day is listening to your colleague making a phone call in Russian.
3 persons have voted this message useful



cmmah
Diglot
Groupie
Ireland
Joined 2637 days ago

52 posts - 110 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Irish

 
 Message 2642 of 3735
09 October 2012 at 7:49pm | IP Logged 
When your pet peeve is language ignorance in general. E.g when people mispronounce foreign footballers' names (I
heard someone call the Bayern Munich goalkeeper "Neuer" as the English word "newer") and it put me in a bad
mood when someone thought "Katakana" was the language they speak in Kazakhstan.

5 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3115 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 2643 of 3735
09 October 2012 at 9:33pm | IP Logged 
...when thinking in French gets on the lists of things which prevent you from vomiting in
a bus driven by an idiot (other things on the list is quetly singing to myself, listening
to really good music and cursing the driver)

...when one of the main flaws of dvds you consider to buy legally is the low number of
languages (such as two).

...when you regret that the great looking book in a bookshop is in Czech, written by a
Czech author and will possibly never be translated to any of your target languages.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5262 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 2644 of 3735
10 October 2012 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
...you crack a smile at this tongue-in-cheek "dramatization" in etymology.

Helimski E., “Early Indo-Uralic Linguistic Relationships: Real Kinship and Imagined Contacts – Carpelan C. / Parpola A. / Koskikallio P., Early Contacts Between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and Archaeological Considerations = Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 242”, Helsinki, 2001, 187-205 wrote:

A Pre-Finno-Mordvinian comes to a neighbouring Proto-Indo-European village and looks around in bewilderment.

— What are you looking for here?—someone asks him (a Pre-Aryan, as it turns out later—though there are also many Pre-Greeks, Pre-Slavs, Pre­Balts and especially Pre-Germans dwelling in the same village).

— Oh, I’d like to borrow a word for boat…—the guest answers.

— What are you speaking about? Do you want to borrow one of our boats?

— Why should I? We have plenty of boats ourselves. In fact, we are a long way ahead of you in boat-making! How else could we become skilled fishermen? I only need your word for boat!

— Don’t you have your own word for it?

— Surely we do! But you know, nowadays it’s all the rage—to use Indo-European loans!

— Well,—the Pre-Aryan scrunches up his brow.—Naturally we do have a name for boat. It is *nāus—everybody, except these stupid and stubborn Pre-Slavs and Pre-Balts, knows and uses it! But I just cannot lend this word to you! I need it for myself, and for my Old Indic offsprings, who will call boats nāu, and for my Ossetic descendants, so that they could call them naw! No, you won’t get this precious lexical item!

— What shall I do then? I cannot come back empty-handed. Maybe you will find for me something less valuable or little needed, if you have such a thing? And you must have, Pokorny tells us that your language is so rich in stems!

— He is right, we do have some other boat-names, *aldhu, *(s)kolmos, and *plou̯os, for example. But lending them is out of question, forget it! We Indo-Europeans need these items for ourselves, if we are going to have our languages spread over all continents!

— Have pity, give me something, at least!—moans the poor creature.

— I’ve had enough of your begging! Here, take the word *wen-(e/o-)— this is the only one I can give you! At present nobody really uses it here—this word will emerge only in Sanskrit as vána and in Avestan as vanā-, without and Indo-European etymology and without any trace of the vowel e. So nobody will now notice it is missing. But I must warn you, this word does not really denote a boat! It is a word for tree, or for wood, or for timber. At best you can refer to a chunk of wood or a wood­en vessel, like a bucket or a trough, with this name…

— No matter, our boats are after all no less wooden than troughs! You know, sometimes we just use dug-out stems as canoe boats! That will suit me! Thank you very much indeed, now I can head home with this wonderful new loan!

— Hey, wait a moment! You cannot borrow *wen-(e/o-) just so as it is. What if one of our guys hears and recognises it? He’ll take it back, and I’ll get into trouble for squandering words! You must disguise the loan. Look, you may add some unusual non-Indo-European suffix to it. For ex­ample, —this will be a proper disguise.

— What a wise idea! I will do so. Many thanks again, it was so kind of you!

And the happy Pre-Finno-Mordvinian leaves the village whispering: «*Veneš, *veneš! How sweet these Indo-European words are!» [...]

14 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4703 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 2645 of 3735
10 October 2012 at 10:46pm | IP Logged 
When you smile so hard that this makes you cry.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5262 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 2646 of 3735
11 October 2012 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
When you smile so hard that this makes you cry.


I'm happy to make a fellow Uralophile smile.
2 persons have voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4809 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 2647 of 3735
11 October 2012 at 10:52am | IP Logged 
My first reaction was to look up the etymology of "smile" ('at smile' in Danish), and I found this:

smile (v.)
c.1300, perhaps from M.L.G. *smilen or a Scandinavian source (e.g. Dan. smile, Swed. smila "smile"), from PIE root *smei- (cf. O.E. smerian "to laugh at," O.H.G. smieron "to smile," L. mirus "wonderful"). Gradually pushed the usual O.E. word, smearcian (modern smirk), into a specific, unpleasant sense. Related: Smiled; smiling.


The obvious sequel to my first reaction was to notice the change r -> l and think about parallels in Asian languages ("Do you want a loom?").

The follow-up to the sequel to my first reaction was to notice that the original 'r' maybe has been preserved in the word "smirk" in English, but probably not in the Danish expression "et smørret grin" ('a buttery grin') - although that would be a very fitting etymology for that expression.

---

My second reaction was that my first reaction definitely belonged in this thread.
4 persons have voted this message useful



Levi
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3673 days ago

2268 posts - 3328 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian

 
 Message 2648 of 3735
12 October 2012 at 12:31am | IP Logged 
...when somebody yells to you, interrupting your Chinese character study, because they have a Chinese character they'd like you to read for them.


4 persons have voted this message useful



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