October 18th, 2009

also v. and

do most languages distinguish between these? i found myself wondering, as recently i heard the words for 'also' and 'and' used interchangeably among native speakers here in Taiwan. so it occurred to me, maybe in some languages they are considered an identical concept, but in others, this is not the case? just wondering, i myself am having a hard time telling the difference, the more i ponder it!

Fun with Aramaic (or Hebrew as proxy?)

I'm wondering about another Biblical phrase: five loaves and two fishes.

Jesus emphasized (with some variation among the gospels) seven commandments. They could be sorted as five "don't"s and two "do"s:

- don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't bear false witness, don't defraud
- honor father and mother, love neighbor as self

Or maybe as five of the Ten Commandments and then two others:

- don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't bear false witness, honor father and mother
- don't defraud, love neighbor as self

Or maybe some other distinction of five and two?

I'm wondering if the five loaves and two fishes were a metaphor for the five don'ts and two do's. Or maybe for the five (out of the official Ten) and the two "others."

Maybe these are the five loaves and two fishes with which He fed 5,000? Maybe this was a mnemonic; like the prominence of memorizing and enacting counted lists of principles in Buddhism.

Linguistically, it would be interesting if there were some confirming hint about this in His original language (Aramaic or Hebrew?).

Anybody know enough Aramaic or Hebrew to think of a connection? E.g., does "don't" (or "not," obviously) sound something like "loaves" or "bread"? Or alternatively does "don't" sound something like "one of the official Ten Commands"?

And then does "small" or "fish" sound anything like "do" or "honor" or "love" ? Or maybe like "commandments (mitzvot?) from the Bible that are not among the official Ten Commands"?

(no subject)

Two popular theories

1 Asians, in particular Chinese and Japanese, are so good in math because words for numbers are very short in Asian languages. So in short period of time Chinese can remember significantly more digits than a person who speak European language. Chinese and Japanese language expose a very strict structure to name the numbers without all those exclusions typical for European languages ("eleven", "twelve", "fifty").
Another fact, I do not if it is relevant to this theory, in Japanese language, 4 digits split numbers units instead of 3 as in European languages (thousand, millions, billions=milliards, etc)

2 One of the reasons why Americans won the war in Pacific is that they military command language is much more concise then Japanese language. Basically, it took less period of time to give a command or to answer a command to American pilot, then to Japanese pilot. So the American pilots had a significant time advantage in tactical fights.

Are these theories confirmed by any kind of research or they are urban legends? What kind of experiments can prove or disprove these theories? Are there any other theories similar to these theories?
NaNo - how hard could it be?

Finnish + French terms of endearment/nicknames?

I'm working on outlining my NaNo project for this year, and I'm deciding on driver lineups for my fictional racing teams. I've got a Finnish driver, and a Canadian driver thus far. I've had a wander around the internet, looking for terms of endearment/nicknames in Finnish for my driver to use while talking to his girlfriend, and for addressing his teammates, who he's rather close with. So far, the only terms I've found have been "kulta" ('darling') and "ystävä" ('friend'), so I'd like to find a few more.

I'm running into a similar situation with my Canadian driver - I know a few sort of general terms, like "mon ami/ma amie" ('my friend'), "mon cher/ma cherie" ('my dear'), and such, but I was hoping to find something sort of off-the-wall or obscure, or perhaps specific to French-speaking Canadians. Again, he'll be talking to his girlfriend, and addressing his teammates.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! :-D
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    "King Of The Mountain" - Redline
from a painting

Some Turkish Sentences

 I'm playing around with and dissecting Turkish, so I'm not sure if these sentences are well written. If you find any mistakes, please correct them :)
  1. Elma kırmızıdır - The apple is red.
  2. Bu onun elmadır - This is his apple.
  3. Biz ona elma veriz - We give him the apple
  4. O ona verir - He gives him it.
  5. Ben elma yeyim - I eat the apple.
  6. Türkçe konuşuyorum - I speak Turkish.