tibba (tibba) wrote in linguaphiles,
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The secret life of Ben

In That Thread, someone left a comment that said "Bent jij Ben?"
Which was kind of Dutch, except that when you have an inversion of the second person singular pronoun and its verb, the -t that forms that person's inflection on the verb (as opposed to being part of the verb itself) is left off. Which is a long-winded way of saying that it should have been "Ben jij Ben?" - which to my mind is rather nicer.

Actually I think "Neb jij Ben?" would just be excellent, but I don't think Dutch has a verb "nebben" - people whose Dutch is better than mine, feel free to flame me about this (!) if I'm wrong.

The first Ben means "are" - the question is, perhaps not surprisingly ;) , "Are you Ben?"

So what does the word ben, or a fun permutation, transformation or transliteration thereof, mean in the languages YOU speak?


PS1: I'm waiting for the day when I'm walking down the street casually talking to a friend about this random LJ ben-phenomenon, and a complete stranger starts looking at me funny because he's actually another member of linguaphiles .

PS2: Nederlandstaligen, als wij samen ff een leuke betekenis voor "nebben" kunnen vinden, wordt dit volgens mij helemaal leuk/gestoord ;)

EDIT-10th June: this could turn into some kind of variant of the Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo sentence. Only each Ben is in a different language and means something different each time. How would we figure out the syntax of the whole sentence? :)
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  • French: Inversion in French questions, first person singular

    Do French native speakers use the inversion in questions in the first person singular? Je pèse --> pèse-je, or do they simply say: Est-ce que…

  • Il donne sa langue au chat

    It is not enough to read French correctly. It is not enough to literally understand what is written. You also need to be French in order to…

  • FRENCH: yes, sir

    I'd like to ask you what would a French soldier say, after he receives an order, before he goes away. I believe in English it's simply "Yes, sir!"