PK> ... there are new words and new semantics of the words in each
> language all the time that adds to the complexity. Simple example
> we all use the operating system "Windows" and there are windows on
> the walls of buildings.
That's an example of metaphor (transferring the meaning of 'window'
as a means for looking inside or outside a building to a means for
looking inside a computer system). Then Microsoft adopted the
generic term 'windows' for the name of their system, Windows.
Those are systematic ways of extending the vocabulary.
PK> But scientific terminology is harder in other languages than in
> English, because the rest of the world just uses English scientific
> words as part of the spoken language... My brother sometimes writes
> books and scientific fiction in our mother tongue. Even though I
> have known
that language all my life, I have a hard time reading
> his published books.
That raises the issue of whether a language should add new words
by borrowing or by coining new terms from native roots. English
became a large-scale borrowing language after the Norman conquest
in 1066. Since the conquerers spoke a dialect of French, large
numbers of English speakers began to use French words in the
English grammatical patterns. Later English authors borrowed
many technical terms directly from Latin or Greek.
As a result, the common words of English, such as 'the', 'hand',
or 'give', come from native Germanic roots. But the majority
of words in large English dictionaries come from French, Latin,
or Greek. When new scientific terms are needed, it is common for
English-speaking scientists to coin new terms, such as 'hydrogen'
or 'oxygen' from Greek roots rather than English
Since French and other Romance languages also borrowed many words
directly from Latin and Greek, they have the same words, but with
a slightly different spelling: 'hydrogène' and 'oxygène' in French.
German and Russian scientists, however, didn't borrow as many words,
and they translated the Greek roots into German ('Wasserstoff' and
'Sauerstoff') or Russian ('vodarod' and 'kislorod').
In the early days of computers, the German word 'Rechnenanlage'
was coined for 'computing device'. But if you check Google, the
term 'Rechnenanlage' gets only 366 hits. If you want to know
the words that German speakers and authors actually use, click
on any of the objects in the following picture: http://www.languageguide.org/im/computer/de/
For comparison, check the following picture for French:
Check the same web site for Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian,
Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hindi.
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