Re: Language name questions

Date: Tue May 28 2002 - 05:16:09 EDT

[I hope the combining characters survive]

Petra's table confirms my thoughts on the Slovak side of the question.
I'm not famiar with Slovenian, but lived till the age of 14 in Prague,
so am familiar with Czech and somewhat familiar with Slovak.

Petra's table could, however, do with some extra rows. Let me explain.
The word "English" is incredibly versatile and the way we use it further
broadens its meaning. This is not the case with many other languages.
I'm not a linguist, so I can't give language categories, but I guess at
least Slav languages do things very differently from English.

You will see from Petra's table that for English, we would simply write
"English" in most of the different rows. Other potential rows where the
same applies are the uses of "English" in the following sentences (I'm
basing my Slovak examples on Czech, so I hope I'm getting them right):

- "Say it to me in English"

   I think the Slovak replacement for "English" would be "slovensky"
   (no accent).

- "This is an English shirt"

   I think the Slovak replacement for "English" would be "slovenský",
   "slovenská" or "slovenské", depending on the gender of "shirt".

Then comes the interesting question: What do we mean when we write
"English" in a language selection menu on a Web page. The possible
meanings include:

- "English language" -- "slovenský jazyk" / "sloven?tina"

- "in English" -- "slovensky"

- "English Web page" - "slovenský", "slovenská" or "slovenské",
    depending on the gender of "Web page".

I would welcome comments from Petra and others.


On 27/05/2002 20:02:06 John Hudson wrote:
> At 00:22 5/25/2002, I wrote:
> >I've forwarded Deborah's query re. Slovenian to Petra Cerne Oven at the
> >University of Reading. Petra is a) Slovenian and b) writing a doctoral
> >dissertation on the application of the Latin script to Slavic languages,
> >so she should be able to provide a reliable answer.
> Petra responded to Deborah's query today, with a handy table comparing
> Slovenian and Slovak terms for their respective countries, languages and
> peoples. Some of these terms are very similar, which might explain some of
> the confusion. With Petra's permission, I have uploaded her table to
> John Hudson
> Tiro Typeworks
> Vancouver, BC
> When the pages of books fall in fiery scraps
> Onto smashed leaves and twisted metal,
> The tree of good and evil is stripped bare.
> - Czeslaw Milosz

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