False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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sangi39
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by sangi39 » Mon 26 Feb 2018, 01:26

(moving this to the write thread [:P] )
Attic Greek: τέττᾰρες (téttares) "four"
Sheep counting*: teddera "three"

Teddera comes in some way from Brythonic *trīs, "three", (cognate with Attic Greek τρεῖς (treîs)), but no-one's entirely sure. Sheep counting systems tend to have non-multiples of 5 rhyme in pairs, with teddera followed by meddera, which ultimately derives from Brythonic *petwār, "four" (in other areas this is more clear with examples like pedder), and it's meddera that's ultimately "cognate" with τέττᾰρες

*I think mostly in some places in Cumbria, but my dad taught me tethera, and where I live it's tether. Few miles down the road and it's edder.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by All4Ɇn » Tue 27 Feb 2018, 01:16

:bra: ema "rhea"
:eng: emu
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Imralu » Tue 27 Feb 2018, 02:35

All4Ɇn wrote:
Tue 27 Feb 2018, 01:16
:bra: ema "rhea"
:eng: emu
That's not really a false friend unless you're Brazilian and keep accidentally calling rheas emus in English. They're quite possibly cognates too, so probably not a coincidence either.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by All4Ɇn » Tue 27 Feb 2018, 02:39

Imralu wrote:
Tue 27 Feb 2018, 02:35
All4Ɇn wrote:
Tue 27 Feb 2018, 01:16
:bra: ema "rhea"
:eng: emu
That's not really a false friend unless you're Brazilian and keep accidentally calling rheas emus in English. They're quite possibly cognates too, so probably not a coincidence either.
I guess I was looking too hard as to whether or not ema was derived from emu and didn't spend enough time to check and see if it was the other way around!
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Xonen » Wed 07 Mar 2018, 00:10

One I've been meaning to mention here:

:eng: canine
:swe: kanin, :fin: kaniini 'rabbit'

These look exactly like a typical modern neo-Latin-based internationalism adapted into these languages, but nope. Wiktionary tells me the Swedish word does actually have an etymology that ultimately goes back to Latin, but not to the same word (cunǐculus 'rabbit', as opposed to canis 'dog').

Speaking of Latin and canine rabbits, someone has apparently created a Canis lepus:
Spoiler:
Image
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Wed 07 Mar 2018, 14:09

Xonen wrote:
Wed 07 Mar 2018, 00:10
One I've been meaning to mention here:

:eng: canine
:swe: kanin, :fin: kaniini 'rabbit'

These look exactly like a typical modern neo-Latin-based internationalism adapted into these languages, but nope. Wiktionary tells me the Swedish word does actually have an etymology that ultimately goes back to Latin, but not to the same word (cunǐculus 'rabbit', as opposed to canis 'dog').

Speaking of Latin and canine rabbits, someone has apparently created a Canis lepus:
Spoiler:
Image
It's also related to :eng: <Cony>, which is weird, as I remember reading that it is of North Germanic stock, but maybe I was misrembering the fact that it comes from the Norman dialect of Old :fra:
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 07 Mar 2018, 14:53

I have a structural one: If you want to express "already" in :chn: Mandarin, you normally use 已经:

我已经有男朋友了。
Wǒ yǐjīng yǒu nánpéngyǒu le.
1SG already have boyfriend change_of_state
I already have a boyfriend.

However, if you negate this structure to:

我已经没有男朋友了。
Wǒ yǐjīng méiyǒu nánpéngyǒu le.

This normally does not mean "I don't have a boyfriend yet", as one propably would expect, but rather "I don't have a boyfriend anymore." The former would instead be:

我还没有男朋友。
Wǒ hái méiyǒu nánpéngyǒu.
1SG still not_have boyfriend
I don't have a boyfriend yet.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Mon 19 Mar 2018, 03:52

:eng: Aryan and Arian.
Very unfortunate, given that the Witnesses were victims of the Holocaust, and they are classified by some Religious Studies experts as "Neo-Arian"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by All4Ɇn » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 23:30

:chn: 謝謝 xièxie "thank you" and 泄瀉 xièxiè "diarrhea"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Dormouse559 » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 23:51

All4Ɇn wrote:
Fri 13 Apr 2018, 23:30
:chn: 謝謝 xièxie "thank you" and 泄瀉 xièxiè "diarrhea"
Diarrhea for letting us know about that.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 03:07

All4Ɇn wrote:
Fri 13 Apr 2018, 23:30
:chn: 謝謝 xièxie "thank you" and 泄瀉 xièxiè "diarrhea"
And suddenly, the Japanese city of Niigata took on a whole new frightening resonance. . . [:x]

Having regained composure, of course, one realized that it was not, in fact, that character, but (潟), which means that our fair city is not 新瀉, but 新潟. We can put the hip waders away. Chalk it up to a pre-coffee senior moment. I will, however, sleep better tonight.

As for 謝謝, neutral toning that second syllable is, like, so mainland :roll: . My Taiwan dictionary still lists it as xièxiè, making your coincidence all the more unfortunate. [B)]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by All4Ɇn » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 05:39

Lao Kou wrote:
Sat 14 Apr 2018, 03:07
As for 謝謝, neutral toning that second syllable is, like, so mainland :roll: . My Taiwan dictionary still lists it as xièxiè, making your coincidence all the more unfortunate. [B)]
That's definitely good to hear as I almost certainly said xièxiè during my trip to China a few years back...
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by clawgrip » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 01:29

Japanese has stuff like this too since it took Chinese vocabulary but ignored the tones.
So we have things like 校門 kōmon "school gate" and 肛門 kōmon "anus" (both gates, of different sorts).

Also since you're talking about diarrhoea, the name Gary gets Japanesified as Geirii, even though e.g. Mary is Merii, probably in part to avoid it sounding like 下痢 geri "diarrhoea".
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 13:27

All4Ɇn wrote:
Sat 14 Apr 2018, 05:39
Lao Kou wrote:
Sat 14 Apr 2018, 03:07
As for 謝謝, neutral toning that second syllable is, like, so mainland :roll: . My Taiwan dictionary still lists it as xièxiè, making your coincidence all the more unfortunate. [B)]
That's definitely good to hear as I almost certainly said xièxiè during my trip to China a few years back...
When I started learning Chinese (about eight months ago), I always was like "oh, cool, the last syllable is 5th tone, that means I don't have to learn it!"

Well yeah, that was obviously a misconception. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of words I pronounce wrongly with 4th tone although they are 5th tone. So yes, chances are high that I wish random Chinese people to get diarrhea if they show me the way. [xP]
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Vlürch » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 15:00

Iyionaku wrote:
Wed 18 Apr 2018, 13:27
So yes, chances are high that I wish random Chinese people to get diarrhea if they show me the way. [xP]
The way? Da wae?

Sorry, I just can't not think of that every time I see/hear the words "the way".
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 16:57

Iyionaku wrote:
Wed 18 Apr 2018, 13:27
So yes, chances are high that I wish random Chinese people to get diarrhea if they show me the way. [xP]
You know that the Dao De Jing can probably be found at your Library, there's no need to ask random Chinese people about it [:P]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Fri 20 Apr 2018, 16:10

Iyionaku wrote:
Wed 18 Apr 2018, 13:27
All4Ɇn wrote:
Sat 14 Apr 2018, 05:39
Lao Kou wrote:
Sat 14 Apr 2018, 03:07
As for 謝謝, neutral toning that second syllable is, like, so mainland :roll: . My Taiwan dictionary still lists it as xièxiè, making your coincidence all the more unfortunate. [B)]
That's definitely good to hear as I almost certainly said xièxiè during my trip to China a few years back...
When I started learning Chinese (about eight months ago), I always was like "oh, cool, the last syllable is 5th tone, that means I don't have to learn it!"

Well yeah, that was obviously a misconception. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of words I pronounce wrongly with 4th tone although they are 5th tone. So yes, chances are high that I wish random Chinese people to get diarrhea if they show me the way. [xP]
To be clear, (泄瀉 xièxiè) is hardly a common way of expressing the concept of "diarrhea", so even if your Chinese pronunciation is perfectly horrid, no sane person is going to construe your well-intentioned expression of courtoisie as "May your bowels evacuate like Vesuvius".

Too, I'm scarcely on a crusade or anything, but I find the term "5th tone" an unfortunate term in Mandarin nomenclature. I would kind of consider it as the tonal equivalent of a schwa. Is pronouncing "different" with two syllables or three "right" or "wrong"? Answers will vary. Perhaps for some, a three-syllable "different" will sound affected or pretentious. I think this is also so for not neutral-toning. Not neutralizing 子 would sound really over the top most of the time, but other cases? I'm not sure there's a "right" or "wrong". Just listen to what the locals are doing and play along.
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