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Languages - terms of endearment

 Language Learning Forum : Philological Room Post Reply
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iguanamon
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Virgin Islands
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Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Creole (French)

 
 Message 1 of 13
30 May 2013 at 3:50pm | IP Logged 
An article about the Languages of love: 10 unusual terms of endearment was on the BBC website today. Interesting explanations of the meanings behind the terms.

BBC wrote:
6. My flea (French)
Ma puce
"Ma puce" is roughly equivalent to "sweetie" in English. One theory suggests that it could be linked to the historic relationship shared by humans and fleas - in times past, removing fleas from one another became a one-to-one grooming activity, and is alleged to have been a pleasant and sometimes intimate process.


What are some terms and explanations in your TL's or L1's?



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Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
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Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 2 of 13
30 May 2013 at 4:30pm | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
An article about the 22699938">Languages of love: 10 unusual terms of endearment was on the BBC website
today. Interesting explanations of the meanings behind the terms.

BBC wrote:
6. My flea (French)
Ma puce
"Ma puce" is roughly equivalent to "sweetie" in English. One theory suggests that it
could be linked to the historic relationship shared by humans and fleas - in times
past, removing fleas from one another became a one-to-one grooming activity, and is
alleged to have been a pleasant and sometimes intimate process.


What are some terms and explanations in your TL's or L1's?



I don't agree that "sweetheart" can be used in other languages. I can't imagine a
Russian saying сладкое сердце. Although сладкий - sweet is often used. We have зайка
(hare), котик - cat. In Russian we use deminutive-endearing suffixes a lot. People who
learn English or French often complain that they can't translate them. There is a
common myth in Russia that English is a poor language because it doesn't have
productive emotional suffixes.
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Марк
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Russian Federation
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 Message 3 of 13
30 May 2013 at 4:34pm | IP Logged 
In French there is also "rat" - rat.
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Ogrim
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France
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Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 4 of 13
30 May 2013 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
Interesting article, but I must say that I have never, ever heard anyone in Spain use "terrón de azúcar" - lump of sugar. I guess the most commonly used term is "cariño" (which as far as I know is originally a Galician diminutive of "caro", but has adopted as a noun with its specific meaning in Castillian).

Like in Russian, using diminutives as a form of endearment is quite common in Spanish too e.g. "hijito mío" (my little son), "maridito" (little husband) etc.
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cacue23
Triglot
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Canada
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Speaks: Shanghainese, Mandarin*, English
Studies: Cantonese

 
 Message 5 of 13
30 May 2013 at 8:59pm | IP Logged 
The Chinese one is... kinda weird...
We would say a loved one's beauty is comparable to that of the Four Beauties in the history, but we would never call a loved one as "diving fish, swooping geese"... And there's also the hiding moon and ashamed flower...?

Edited by cacue23 on 30 May 2013 at 9:00pm

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montmorency
Diglot
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United Kingdom
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Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 6 of 13
30 May 2013 at 11:00pm | IP Logged 
Welsh: "cariad" - more or less "darling", or "beloved".


From Latin "carus,cara, carum"? Tempting to think so, but I don't know if it actually
is.

...


some Danish offerings



Edited by montmorency on 30 May 2013 at 11:03pm

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tarvos
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China
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 Message 7 of 13
30 May 2013 at 11:09pm | IP Logged 
Probably also Celtic (and IE, thus related to Latin, but different). Breton has kaer,
which means the same (and also some other things).
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Tedmac278
Triglot
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United States
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Speaks: English*, German, Spanish
Studies: Estonian

 
 Message 8 of 13
31 May 2013 at 8:00am | IP Logged 
In Argentina some men use "gordi" with their girlfriends as a term of endearment. It literally means "fatty".
Only country I'm aware of where you can get away with calling a woman fat!

Edited by Tedmac278 on 31 May 2013 at 8:01am



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