‘My language allows me, somewhat clumsily, to get the distinctions across: on the one hand, factual knowledge, on the other, acquaintanceship and understanding. But to a French [and German and Spanish and Italian and Albanian but not Modern Greek] speaker, that distinction is central to how the mind interacts with the world.’
'Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio...’
Athens I am thought as fair as she,
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know.’Leave me a comment if you detect the clumsiness Abley is on about. Buggered if I can.
Onsra - to love for the last time (Boro - NE India andAh, amazing that people should have words for so specific an idea! It’s almost like having a word for ‘to appear overly polite, obliging or contrite in order to sway a superior’s judgement in one’s own favour’ – i.e., ‘to grovel’ in English. Does Abley actually know any Boro? Is it possible that on means 'love', and sra means 'finally'? Or the other way round, or some other analysis? How is it used, anyway? What does 'to love for the last time' actually mean? Is there a more idiomatic English rendering? We need to know before we gasp in admiration.
Nartutaka (Wangkajunga, centralNot yet, at least. Wait until Waitrose catch on, and there’ll be nartutaka fruit salad, unpasteurised nartutaka juice (rich in antioxidants and vitamin C to protect against Today's Diseases) and porridge with sun-dried nartutaka in every middle class kitchen. 'Narts’ will be in the OED along with mango, banana, papaya and kumquat. Presumably the Wangkajunga speakers lack a word for Bramleys. Amazing!
Australia) - small plum-like fruit for which there is no English word.
'English and other major languages, while often acting as a democratising force, do not always reflect the breadth of meaning in the language they supersede. [Italics added - using the keyboard.] The Inuit language of Inuktitut, for example, has many verbs for the word "know", ranging from "utsimavaa" - meaning he or she knows from experience to "nalunaiqpaa" - he or she is no longer unaware of something.’Now, this is sweet naivety on
Language fanciers go all misty when they find some language (preferably one on the endangered list) has a single word for a concept that English expresses with a phrase, and single words always command their respect, while phrases are seen as second best. They usually ignore, or more likely have never given a thought to, instances where the boot’s on the other foot and it’s English that has more words for a notion than some other language. Greek, thank God, is not endangered, but here's an example of what I'm ranting about: βγάζω, [vgazo] can translate as take off, push out, pull out, stick out, take out, let out, lead to, open out in, come out with and so on, depending on the noun it collocates with. This is either a) amazing English fecundity, or b) amazing Greek economy - take your pick. In terms of communication of the concepts involved, it doesn’t matter a toss. Defending a) over b) or vice versa would be like arguing whether true italics are achieved by using your mouse or your keyboard.
- The Greek έξυπνος [exypnos] means intelligent, and may be analysed as ‘ex + ypnos’, meaning ‘out of sleep’ and thus awake, alert.
- Then there’s σύζυγος [syzigos] meaning ‘spouse’. This we are told is ‘by far superior semantically’ to the English words husband, wife and spouse as it means ‘one bound in the same yoke’.
‘It is discovered in the language that during the process of development of the sound connection man to man, man to nature the mutual connection is realized by means of natural sounds as two-sound connection.’
‘Appearance of three-sound (three-letter) connections on the same base can be considered as a quality of reasoning owing to the quantitative recognizing realization of man.’
'In GRABAR alphabet all the sounds are silhouettic symbols and have a sound quality and cardinal silhouettic character. For the first time in the linguistic science in Armenian dialects and GRABAR the three-sound (three-letter) words are divided into two-sound (two-letter) and one-sound (one-letter) mathematical index, which belongs to the structure of human and animal anatomy.’