Fwd: Re: Language name questions

From: Misha.Wolf@reuters.com
Date: Wed May 29 2002 - 09:15:24 EDT

I can't see this in the archive, so it may not have made
it to the unicode list (as Petra isn't a member?).


----- Forwarded by Misha Wolf/LON/GB/Reuters on 29/05/2002 14:15 -----
                    Petra Cerne Oven
                    <petracerneoven@btint To: Misha Wolf/LON/GB/Reuters@Reuters
                    ernet.com> cc: john hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, unicode@unicode.org, pco --
                                                 btinternet <petracerneoven@btinternet.com>
                    28/05/2002 12:37 Subject: Re: Language name questions
                    Please respond to Header: Internal Use Only
                    Petra Cerne Oven

Misha wrote:
> 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.
This is very true. I can add some examples:
Apart from dual, Slovene grammar also has six cases [German has 4], which depend on gender (3 possibilities), number (singular, dual, plural) and declination. There is plenty of exceptions as well (just to make it more interesting :-).
1. nominative case
2. genitive
3. dative
4. accusative
5. locative
6. instrumental case
They change everything. Here are your examples translated into Slovene.

> "Say it to me in English"
"Povej mi to v angle배ini." (5th case, if I am right)
But "English is beautiful language" would be "Angle배ina je lep jezik." (nominativ)
Depending on declination, words also change the form: angle배ina, angle배ine, angle배ini, angle배ino, (pri) angle배ini, (z) angle배ino.

> "This is an English shirt"
"To je angle퉗a srajca." (nominativ, femininum)

> I think the Slovak replacement for "English" would be "slovensk",
> "slovensk" or "slovensk", depending on the gender of "shirt".
You are right. It is the same in Slovene:
"This is an English car." would be "To je angle퉗i avto."

Declinations change nouns, adjectives and everything else. "Petra is very busy" would be "Petra je zelo zaposlena" but "Petra is not at home" is "Petre ni doma".
It is very funny when I translate things from English to Slovene and English speaking people complain that there were spelling mistakes in names in the article....

> 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" -- "slovensk jazyk" / "sloven?tina"
> - "in English" -- "slovensky"
> - "English Web page" - "slovensk", "slovensk" or "slovensk",
> depending on the gender of "Web page".
On Slovene web pages you can usually see "sloven배ina" (Slovene), or "slovenski jezik" (Slovene language) or "v sloven배ini" (in Slovene). Since there are no issues of non-understanding there (nobody would assume that "Slovene" would mean that only Slovene people may read it or something like that) I think everybody tries to make it as short as possible (and they pin on Slovene flag, which is anyway recognizable only to Slovene :-/

best wishes,

| Petra Cerne Oven | p.cerneoven@reading.ac.uk | petracerneoven@btinternet.com | Department of Typography & Graphic Communication | 2 Earley Gate, Whiteknights | Reading RG6 6AU | United Kingdom |

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