I wish English had a word for this!

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Post by Ollock »

Valinta wrote:
Ollock wrote:Come to West Virginia. Here, some dialects have three distincions: you (singular), y'all (small group), and all y'all (large group/everyone within earshot).


You're from West Virginia? What part? I have connections there, but they're mostly in you'uns or standard usage territory, and take as much from Pittsburgh as from what people typically consider Appalachian. I hear some y'all when I'm out there, but not a whole lot. It seems like y'all is much less stigmatized than other nonstandard you plurals, generally speaking, so it migrates easier than the rest.


Elkins, in Randolph county. You may not have heard of it. I hear y'all most commonly, perhaps you're thinking furter south -- or even somewhere in the Eastern Panhandle (I think I've heard some of my relatives in Grant County say you'ns before).

At WVU, most of the West Virginians I know will say y'all, though (sadly for me) it seems many refuse to make the distinctions. Once in a while I even here all y'all from people talking to a large group.
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Post by sasasha »

Tengado wrote:
MustangDan15 wrote:So, the focus of "thoil" is not on the worth of the purchased item but on my feeling after purchasing the item or my need for that item? So its meaning is more like "I can't justify the purchase of it for myself"?

Yes - exactly. It's whetehr you could justify it to yourself and not feel too guilty about having spent the money. Whetehr you can stomach handing over the money.

And they wonder why Yorkshire people are considered tight.

Euskaldun - was there a reason for quoting that ginormous block of text and not saying anything?


I've never heard 'thoil' in Sheffield when not accompanied by 'fuck' in some form ("I can't fucking thoil it", or perhaps "Fuck it, I can't thoil it") - and I would say it refers to when you can afford something, it's worth the money, and you perhaps even want it; but you can't be bothered to part with the money. Interesting. Pointless, but interesting.

I always use 'to thrag' around Yorkshire people, thinking it's a real word; then I realise I made it up in a game of Scrabble, when I begged my mum to let me have it (96 points, I think) so much, and made her laugh so violently, it acquired its meaning of 'to die laughing'. :)
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Post by Chuma »

Some nice suggestions here. I miss doch too.
"Y'all", however, is an abomination. We should all go back to "thou".

One thing I miss in English and German is the distinction between different types of grandparents. A Swedish example:
jag besökte min morfar
"I visited my grandfather-on-my-mother's-side"

Another annoying thing about English is the lack of good native abbreviations. For example, "for example". German has z.B. for zum Beispiel, Swedish has t.ex. for till exempel. So English could easily use "f.e.". But I've never seen anything other than "e.g.". Why do you suddenly need to switch to Latin when writing abbreviations?

But the word that I miss the most is, taking the example from Swedish, dygn, meaning "24 hours". Just like for example "week" can mean either specifically from Monday to Sunday (or wherever you count the beginning of the new week) or any period of seven days, dygn can also be either from midnight to midnight or any period of 24 hours.
My German friends tell me that there doesn't seem to be a German word for it either.
Apparently, the "official" English word for it is "nychtemeron". But when did you last say that?

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Post by Soap »

Does Swedish have a word for grandfather in general?
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Chuma
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Post by Chuma »

Soap wrote:Does Swedish have a word for grandfather in general?

No. Admittedly, it wouldn't have hurt to have one, but I think that problem is pretty small.

Oddly, I think it has both separate words and a general word for "mother's father's father" and "father's father's father".

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Post by Qwynegold »

Some Finnish words I miss:

hän - he or she. It's really annoying having to write he/she or s/he when speaking about a hypothetical person.
vinkua - a verb similar to cry, as in to make a sound. You can use this word for both pets, for example the sound a cat makes that is different from meowing, as well as small children, for example like the way kids in malls whine when they want their mother to buy some toy they saw.

EDIT: two other words:
gubbe (Swedish), ukko (Finnish) - old man. This is a word often used by middleaged men. Many fairytales begin with "once upon a time there was an old man and old woman". It can also be used by men or humans in general, for example the little men in the traffic lights are referred to as the green "gubbe" and the red "gubbe".
gumma - old woman. This is the female counterpart of gubbe. In Finnish it's called akka, but that can be a rude word. Oh yeah, English also lacks a counterpart to Swedish kärring and Finnish akka, meaning like an old bitchy woman.
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Post by greg »

May be English has them all, but I wonder how the following could be rendered :
    bisaïeul, trisaïeul → /bizaj9l/, /tRizaj9l/
    :D bravitude → /bRavityd/ :D
    métro-boulot-dodo → /metRobulododo/
    rentrée → /RÃtRe/
    terroir → /teRwaR/
    tutoyer → /tytwaje/
    vague à l'âme → /vagalam/
    voussoyer, vouvoyer → /vuswaje/, /vuvwaje/.

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Post by Nuntarin »

greg wrote:May be English has them all, but I wonder how the following could be rendered :

A totally uninteresting post for anyone who does not speak the language. How about telling us what those words mean?
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Post by greg »

How about some hints in German ?
    bisaïeul → Urgroßvater

    métro-boulot-dodo → U-Bahn, Arbeiten, Schlafen

    rentrée → Anfang September, Ende der Sommerpause, Schulanfang, Schulbeginn, Schuljahresbeginn, Semesterbeginn, Wiederaufnahme der Aktivitäten

    terroir → Boden, Erde, Gegend, Mikroklima, kulturelles & natürliches Ökosystem, Tradition

    trisaïeul → Ururgroßvater

    tutoyer → duzen

    vague à l'âme → unerklärliches, melancholisches Gefühl

    voussoyer, vouvoyer → siezen.

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Post by Wycoval »

English doesn't need words like tutoyer (FR) or tutear (SP) because it only has one form of second person address. There is no need for disambiguation where there is no ambiguation to start with.

And yes, 'ambiguation' is not a word.
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Post by Shm Jay »

Wycoval wrote:English doesn't need words like tutoyer (FR) or tutear (SP) because it only has one form of second person address.


And if it did, the word would be the horribly ugly verb to thouthee, with the equivalent of vousvoyer being to youyou. I think we can do without these words.

(What's the equivalent in German, Swedish, Dutch, etc.?)

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Post by Khvaragh »

Qwynegold wrote:ukko (Finnish) - old man.


Meaningless trivia I suppose, but isn't this also the name of an ancient Finnish sky god?
لا يرقىء الله عيني من بكى حجراً
ولا شفى وجد من يصبو إلى وتدِ
("May God never dry the tears of those who cry over stones, nor ease the love-pangs of those who yearn for tent-pegs.") - Abu Nawas

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Post by Terra »

old bitchy woman.

There's always "hag".

bisaïeul → Urgroßvater

métro-boulot-dodo → U-Bahn, Arbeiten, Schlafen

rentrée → Anfang September, Ende der Sommerpause, Schulanfang, Schulbeginn, Schuljahresbeginn, Semesterbeginn, Wiederaufnahme der Aktivitäten

terroir → Boden, Erde, Gegend, Mikroklima, kulturelles & natürliches Ökosystem, Tradition

trisaïeul → Ururgroßvater

tutoyer → duzen

vague à l'âme → unerklärliches, melancholisches Gefühl

voussoyer, vouvoyer → siezen.

You could try to render them in english using phrases.

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Post by greg »

OK, /metRobulododo/ (uttered in one shot) is rather familiar, though no slang at all, and conveys the meaning that workday routine essentially boils down to spending your time in the underground (métro), at work (boulot) and then in your bed (dodo). You may say /metRobulododo/ even if there's no underground where you live.



Wycoval wrote:English doesn't need words like tutoyer (FR) or tutear (SP) because it only has one form of second person address. There is no need for disambiguation where there is no ambiguation to start with.

And yes, 'ambiguation' is not a word.

And how would you do if you were to translate a French/German/Spanish novel where Fr <tutoyer>, Ge <duzen> & Sp <tutear> would be essential like in : « Ils la tutoyèrent puis se mirent à la bousculer ».

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Post by Wycoval »

If you were writing in English, it would never come up. If translating and you wanted it to be known that they were speaking another language, you would have to use a phrase like "they addressed each other in the familiar" or maybe "they were on a first name basis" or some such.

If you were translating and wanted it to seem like the people were English speakers, it would never come up. There would be no need to translate it literally, you would just need an indication that they were on familiar terms. That could be achieved by having one address the other as 'buddy' or 'pal' or 'dude'.
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Post by Qwynegold »

Khvaragh wrote:
Qwynegold wrote:ukko (Finnish) - old man.


Meaningless trivia I suppose, but isn't this also the name of an ancient Finnish sky god?

I believe he's the god of thunder (thus ukkonen means thunder).
FinalZero wrote:
old bitchy woman.

There's always "hag".

Oh yeah, I forgot! Interestingly, Swedish has two words for this - kärring and hagga. I'm not sure though if there's any difference between them.
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Post by Rui »

FinalZero wrote:
bisaïeul → Urgroßvater
[...]
trisaïeul → Ururgroßvater
[...]
vague à l'âme → unerklärliches, melancholisches Gefühl
[...]

You could try to render them in english using phrases.


Urgroßvater = great-grandfather, and Ururgroßvater is probably great-great-grandfather. I would consider these words, even if they don't appear in dictionaries

And also, not to mention, "vague à l'âme" is a phrase too ;)

But other than that, having a word for this "rentrée" would be neat. The other ones have already been addressed/I'm not quite sure what they mean (i.e. terroir)

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Post by Soorim »

I miss friolenta, which is an adjective in spanish meaning to get cold easily.

You would say " Ella es muy friolenta." She gets cold very easily.
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Post by greg »

Wycoval wrote:There would be no need to translate it [tutoyer — duzen — tutear] literally, you would just need an indication that they were on familiar terms. That could be achieved by having one address the other as 'buddy' or 'pal' or 'dude'.

Agree. So that would be rendition rather than translation, wouldn't it ?




Chibi wrote:
FinalZero wrote:
bisaïeul → Urgroßvater
[...]
trisaïeul → Ururgroßvater
[...]
vague à l'âme → unerklärliches, melancholisches Gefühl
[...]

You could try to render them in english using phrases.


Urgroßvater = great-grandfather, and Ururgroßvater is probably great-great-grandfather. I would consider these words, even if they don't appear in dictionaries

And also, not to mention, "vague à l'âme" is a phrase too ;)

But other than that, having a word for this "rentrée" would be neat. The other ones have already been addressed/I'm not quite sure what they mean (i.e. terroir)

So English does have words for bisaïeul & trisaïeul. What it lacks is perhaps synonyms like arrière-grand-père for bisaïeul & arrière-arrière-grand-père for trisaïeul.

I don't know what word I'd go for to translate terroir were that word to be used on its own. I think I'd go for terroir, hoping the reader is somewhat familiar with more loans such as cuisine... :D Otherwise I'd try soil, local climate, local food & wine traditions — that sort of things.

As for <vague à l'âme> I agree that's essentially a scriptophrase. However, /vagalam/ is no orophrase at all : it is uttered in one breath. A bit like Fr <vert-de-gris> — also lexicalised in En <verdigris> — which is pronounced /vERde@gRi/ and even verbalised into <vert-de-griser> = /vERde@gRize/. As in En ?<verdigrise> perhaps ?

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Post by imploder »

I miss an adjective equivalent of "of course". Czech has an adjective samozřejmý, from which the adverb samozřejmě meaning "of course" is derived. Is it possible say "of course" with nouns in English?
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Post by Nuntarin »

Do you mean constructions like "I admire the work of jsburke, Maknas, and of course zompist"? If so, yes, that's perfectly legal.
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Post by Boşkoventi »

Nuntarin wrote:Do you mean constructions like "I admire the work of jsburke, Maknas, and of course zompist"? If so, yes, that's perfectly legal.

That's still an adverb; you could also say "... and zompist, of course". I think the closest word to what he's asking for is "obvious", although "... and obviously Zompist" sounds a little strong. Consider:

"That's the answer, of course" / "That's the answer, obviously" / "That's obviously the answer"

vs.

"That's the obvious answer"
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Post by Risla »

I wish English had a word for "ridiculousness" that didn't sound painfully awkward. My brain has gone and invented one out of the blue (ridiculum), but I imagine that sounds silly to everyone but me.
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Post by Aurora Rossa »

Yeah EI, I've often wished for words like that as well, particularly a nominal form of "serious". The best I can think of is "seriosity"by analogy of "curious" -> "curiosity".
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Post by tron cat »

Boskobènet wrote:
Nuntarin wrote:Do you mean constructions like "I admire the work of jsburke, Maknas, and of course zompist"? If so, yes, that's perfectly legal.

That's still an adverb; you could also say "... and zompist, of course". I think the closest word to what he's asking for is "obvious", although "... and obviously Zompist" sounds a little strong. Consider:

"That's the answer, of course" / "That's the answer, obviously" / "That's obviously the answer"

vs.

"That's the obvious answer"

"Naturally" also works.


One little thing I miss in English is the German suffix -mäßig, which can mean "as x" or "-ularly" or "in terms of x":

regelmäßig - regularly
hobbymäßig - hobularly
altersmäßig - in terms of age
kräftemäßig - in terms of strength

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