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Re: [ontolog-forum] (OT) German

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Peter F Brown" <peter@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:26:52 +0100
Message-id: <1B2253B0359130439EA571FF30251AAE072D19@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
"Hungarian is full of those illogical compound words that were literally 
translated from German.."
I don't know why there are considered illogical (and anyway Hungarian is 
amongst the most logical European languages that I know), they just may not 
parse very easily... I think they are wonderful reminders of common heritage 
and fun to trace. The common plant 'Dandelion'= is "Lowenzahn" in German, which 
in turn literally translated into French would be 'Dent de lion' and yet the 
French term is Pissenlit, or 'Piss in bed', something you'll end up doing on 
too much expos are to it, as it's a powerful diuretic. 

Another curious construction, where German does not play a part, is the name 
given to the unfortunate Christmas or thanksgiving fowl. In many countries in 
indicates a country (of origin? Hardly likely... ): 'turkey', 'Dinde' in 
French, 'Peru' in Portuguese... As the bird was introduced to Europe by the 
Spanish, via the conquered Aztecs, one would expect a similar root in Spanish, 
but no interestingly....
-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ivan Herman
Sent: 13 January 2008 11:09
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] (OT) German

John F. Sowa wrote:

> The western European languages, even though they come from different 

> language families, such as French, German, Hungarian, and Polish, all 

> share a common culture.  Therefore, the vocabularies of those 

> languages have become aligned because of many interactions among 

> people who have worked (and fought) together for centuries.


> As just one example, Polish and Russian are two closely related 

> languages that have many common roots.  But Poland has been more 

> closely connected to the west than he east.  As a result, many Polish 

> words are aligned with western European languages, even though the 

> roots are closer to Russian.


Another interesting example is Hungarian which went through a phase of 
'linguistic renewal' at the beginning of the 18th century, when committees 
created new words in Hungarian to make it usable for more modern life (prior to 
that Hungarian was spoken only by peasants). As Hungary was part of the 
Austrian Monarchy, they took over German words, including the German 
construction like... Nasehorn. So, for example, they looked at 'Nase + horn', 
they translated the words 'Nase' (orr) and 'horn' (szarv) and they put the two 
together again to create "orrszarvú" 
to mean... rhinoceros..



Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
PGP Key: http://www.ivan-herman.net/pgpkey.html
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