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Francophonia

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Francophonia

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:46 am

In some thread somewhere there is discussion of
the evolution of language. Mention is made of the
French and their abhorence of other languages
creeping in and distorting their language. They are
at it again:


http://www.france24.com/en/20100331-fra ... h-language
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Postby Slava » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:19 pm

Fun article, thanks Luke. I understand Iceland does much the same thing. Things may have changed, but the one Icelander I have met told me that they even found ancient roots for distant and sound and thus don't have "telephones," which almost everyone else does.

I was intrigued to see that Spanish beats out English as the second most common native language. I always thought we were #2 after Mandarin.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:21 pm

True, China has millions of people, but then again
all of Central and South America, and points all over the
USA are Spanish speaking. I presume it will be the
'universal language' supplanting English soon; as English
supplanted French.

I am intrigued by the Iceland business you mentioned.
And references or sites to read further?
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Postby Slava » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:47 pm

LukeJavan8 wrote:I am intrigued by the Iceland business you mentioned.
And references or sites to read further?
Sadly, no. My tale is completely anecdotal, coming from my one and only Icelandic contact.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:37 pm

First I used the AlphaDictionary Icelandic/English dictionary to find the Icelandic word for "telephone" (simi). Then an internet search using "simi" and "icelandic" led me to Andrew Evans' Bradt Guide to Iceland (2008).

He says "the Icelandic word for telephone -- simi [accent acute on the first i] -- means 'thread'. In the olden days (not so long ago), a long line of farms would be attached to a single party line along which messages would be passed."

So while it seems to be true that Icelandic avoids loan words, it doesn't look like the etymology Slava reports is correct.
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Postby Slava » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:51 pm

Nice work bnjtokyo, I don't think I'd ever have figured out how to look such a thing up.

How do the Japanese say telephone? Is it a "Japanesed" form of telephone, or a completely different word?

Anyone else out there with experience in other languages care to "phone in" and clue us in?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:22 am

The Japanese term for "telephone" is 電話 (pronounced 'denwa'). The first character (電 - den) refers to matters electric; the second character (話 - wa) refers to talk, speech.
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