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Liosse de Velishaf
08-15-2010, 03:40 AM
To be honest, whoever came up with those names should be shot. No language "borrows" a word from another or loans one out. What in the world would the interest on "tsunami" be?

But it's still an interesting topic. As a native English speaker, around half my vocabulary originally came from other languages. Mostly French, Latin, and Greek. And new words are "borrowed" every day. Especially from Japanese or Italian.

What I find most interesting, is that nowadays, English is much more likely to adopt the pattern of the borrowed word wholesale, rather than snatching one version and applying english grammar. For instance, Japanese words have no singular/plural distinctions like the ones in many Indo-European languages--such as English. And so a lot of Japanese to English loan words aren't pluralled with the usual s/es, but rather the same word is used for both. anime/anime, manga/manga.

So what about examples and insights from other borrowings? Don't have to be English.

Kateness
08-15-2010, 03:43 AM
A lot of technology-specific words (computer, television, mobile phone) just tend to be transliterated into languages using other alphabets (it's certainly true in Russian, and I can't be bothered to find my Arabic dictionary to confirm it in that), or adopted more or less wholesale by languages using the Roman alphabet.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-15-2010, 03:53 AM
A lot of technology-specific words (computer, television, mobile phone) just tend to be transliterated into languages using other alphabets (it's certainly true in Russian, and I can't be bothered to find my Arabic dictionary to confirm it in that), or adopted more or less wholesale by languages using the Roman alphabet.


Japanese does that quite a lot. "conpyuuta" (or close enough) for instance.

It's extremely hard to find good roots for technical terms, if your language hasn't evolved them over time. I think Navajo and Hebrew are two of the only languages that really make a strong effort at it. Perhaps also Cherokee(?).

Actually, I imagine a lot of endangered languages in general make some effort, whereas most others don't really give a crap.

Medievalist
08-15-2010, 04:28 AM
And so a lot of Japanese to English loan words aren't pluralled with the usual s/es, but rather the same word is used for both. anime/anime, manga/manga..

Anime is directly derived from animation.

Manga is genuinely Japanese.

Both are already plural; anime because it refers to the series of images, manga because it refers to the "caricatures," or "whimsical" pictures. It is, itself, a Japanese nineteenth century creation as a word, though the root is ancient enough.

I note that there are entire classes of nouns that have identical singular and plural forms. One class relates to herd-beasts and school-beasts:

sheep/sheep
deer/deer
salmon/salmon
shrimp/shrimp
kudzu/kudzu

And then there are words like blues, which, well, it's always plural.

With Japanese borrowings, English tends to treat them as plural/plural:

anime/anime
benshi/benshi
bento/bento
manga/manga
otaku /otaku
samurai/samurai
suishi/suishi
tempura/tempura

Medievalist
08-15-2010, 04:32 AM
It's extremely hard to find good roots for technical terms, if your language hasn't evolved them over time. I think Navajo and Hebrew are two of the only languages that really make a strong effort at it.

Languages spoken by nomadic peoples tend to have very specific terms for parts of things, and directions, and kin-groups. We've lost a lot of the words in Old English, and have instead used words with Latin and Greek ancestry.

There are, for instance, words in Old English for parts of an intestine, the membranes covering certain organs, the various parts of large bones.

Bookewyrme
08-15-2010, 04:55 AM
One thing I would note about the word manga specifically. I have heard, increasingly and particularly among younger fans, the usage "mangas" rather than "manga." I haven't noticed "animes" and all the other words on Medi's post certainly not, but it is interesting how slight changes occur generationally. They seem especially prone to happen around "loan words" in fact.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-15-2010, 05:39 AM
One thing I would note about the word manga specifically. I have heard, increasingly and particularly among younger fans, the usage "mangas" rather than "manga." I haven't noticed "animes" and all the other words on Medi's post certainly not, but it is interesting how slight changes occur generationally. They seem especially prone to happen around "loan words" in fact.


I'm a fairly young fan, but I'm also a very involved fan.

I hate to seem elitist, but most of the people I've heard say "mangas" and "animes" are new, young fans who watch mostly the shounen series that Shounen Jump(manga) and Adult Swim(anime) tend to air most frequently. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece. So perhaps if you persist long enough, the other long-time fans influence your language with regards to these mediums. As Medi points out, the words actually refer to the medium of art, but many western fans also use them like "a manga", "an anime", which is likely where a lot of the pluralling comes from. "a manga", "some mangas".



Medi- Yes, that's true. However, by "technical", I was thinking more along the lines of computers and high technology--things that spread fast once discovered in one area, and thus have the chance to outpace local development of technology and vocabulary.



On the subject of plural/plural-- kudzu's an import (from Japan as it happens), brought in because it was thought it would make good ground cover in landscaping. I'll give you the animals, though.

Medievalist
08-15-2010, 06:14 AM
Medi- Yes, that's true. However, by "technical", I was thinking more along the lines of computers and high technology--things that spread fast once discovered in one area, and thus have the chance to outpace local development of technology and vocabulary.

A quick check of my localization guides suggests that mostly they just borrow the English versions, even if transliterated. Even French has begun to give up.


On the subject of plural/plural-- kudzu's an import (from Japan as it happens), brought in because it was thought it would make good ground cover in landscaping. I'll give you the animals, though.

Yeah, that was a formatting error; I meant it to go in the Japanese loan-words.

SaraP
08-15-2010, 06:03 PM
I find it interesting that now the new words come from english, the new cultural reference, whereas a few decades ago they came from french. The portuguese words for lipstick and lamp-shade are two examples (baton and abat-jour, respectively).

maxmordon
08-15-2010, 08:43 PM
I find it interesting that now the new words come from english, the new cultural reference, whereas a few decades ago they came from french. The portuguese words for lipstick and lamp-shade are two examples (baton and abat-jour, respectively).

Same here, some older people still call peas "petit-pois".



I had an argument with a published writer about this; she was mad that in Spanish we call Banana Split, well, Banana Split instead of looking a Spanish equivalent and she even suggested some and I commented how silly was to try to rename cultural food as in, do Americans try to call Tacos "flat bread sandwhich"?, of course not, and how, yes, we must try to encourage and protect our language but pretending than cultural exchanges doesn't exist is, well, naive. If it wasn't for the growth and relationships of language and culture I would be speaking Latin as a mother tongue.

Needless to say, I don't talk with said author anymore.

Bookewyrme
08-15-2010, 09:18 PM
I'm a fairly young fan, but I'm also a very involved fan.

I hate to seem elitist, but most of the people I've heard say "mangas" and "animes" are new, young fans who watch mostly the shounen series that Shounen Jump(manga) and Adult Swim(anime) tend to air most frequently. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece. So perhaps if you persist long enough, the other long-time fans influence your language with regards to these mediums. As Medi points out, the words actually refer to the medium of art, but many western fans also use them like "a manga", "an anime", which is likely where a lot of the pluralling comes from. "a manga", "some mangas".


Undoubtedly you are correct. I probably should have said newer rather than younger, but in my mind they tend to be the same. *Shakes cane and shouts something about kids on her lawn* :D



I had an argument with a published writer about this; she was mad that in Spanish we call Banana Split, well, Banana Split instead of looking a Spanish equivalent and she even suggested some and I commented how silly was to try to rename cultural food as in, do Americans try to call Tacos "flat bread sandwhich"?, of course not, and how, yes, we must try to encourage and protect our language but pretending than cultural exchanges doesn't exist is, well, naive. If it wasn't for the growth and relationships of language and culture I would be speaking Latin as a mother tongue.

Needless to say, I don't talk with said author anymore.
What a bizarre insistence on the part of the published author. I mean, sure you want to protect your language, but most languages use the native term or something close to it when discussing something from the culture(s) associated with the language.

maxmordon
08-16-2010, 07:05 PM
Language and culture has become something highly political here, Booke. Some words are considered "government party only" and from what I have percieved, they kinda disdain learning English.

LilliCray
08-17-2010, 03:49 AM
I find this subject quite fascinating!

One thing I've noticed about words in Japanese taken from English... a lot of them tend to be abbreviated. Even a native English speaker could have trouble with some of the abbreviations. Two that come immediately to mind... "pasokon" (Personal Computer) and "rimokon" (Remote Control).

I was actually just reading something about the abbreviation thing... I believe one of the examples was "sekuhara" for "sexual harassment."

And some words from English in Japanese aren't what a native English speaker might expect. "Tarento," for example, which--according to my superfreakingawesomewonderful new dictionary :D--means something like a TV personality.

Is the abbreviating words thing common in other languages when using words from another language?

And, ha! I KNEW "kudzu" was from Japan... I knew it. :D Nao I feelz teh smartz.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-17-2010, 04:15 AM
Not that I know off the top of my head.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of those crazy Germanic words were abbreviated if they got adapted into English. ;)

SaraP
08-17-2010, 05:16 AM
OK.

:D

Dona Quixote
08-19-2010, 10:50 AM
Someone mentioned the fact that a lot of technical terms get loaned into the language in the same form. I'd like to point out that in Finnish they have made a number of "homegrown" words. Electricity is "sähkö" which was derieved from a dialect word alluding to a sizzling sound, "puhelin" is the word for telephone - derived from the root to speak (or speech) - and the suffix which indicates a tool or machine or gadget, something that does something.
They were made in the late1800s during a period of awakening in Finland when there was a movement to make Finnish a language for others than peasants (mostly among speakers of Swedish).

Once computers cropped up they needed a word for that - "tietokone" which is literally knowledge machine. They did use "sähköposti" for email but I think that now the term mostly used is "meili" and a mobile phone is nowadays a "kännykkä" which I haven't a clue about (in the 80s the slang term was "juppinalle" (yuppie teddy-bear).

This is what I could descramble from my morning brains (still drinking the first cup of coffee) and the above could probably be explained better and more correctly but I wasn't sure you wanted a crash course in Finnish language history.

And now I am seriously curious to hear how the Finnish words, or more sppecifically, certain letters are viewed on screens worldwide!

Liosse de Velishaf
08-19-2010, 11:51 AM
The words seem to have come off fine for me...


Anyway, thanks for the interesting examples.


One I know from navajo, I believe: For movies, they nominalize a form of a verb that basically means "it flickers". Since that process is pretty common in Native American languages, I imagine you could find several more examples like that.

Ambri
11-02-2010, 12:31 AM
Interesting thread. This is one of the things my dad has always been interested in, so here are a few examples from my memories of old conversations with him:

Bungalow: loan-word from Hindi or one of the other Indian languages

jalopy (old-fashioned word for a beat-up car): something relating to the fact that old cars would be sent to some area of Mexico that begins with "Jalo-"

And I *think* tomato, potato, and maize are all loan-words from various Native American languages. Hmm, maybe chocolate, too? :)